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Apple releases firmware fix for freezing aluminum iMacs

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Apple on Thursday released iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 which is intended to improve system stability on 20-inch and 24-inch aluminum iMac computers with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics card.

Specifically, the update [772KB] is for 20-inch and 24-inch aluminum iMac computers with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics processor, running Mac OS X 10.4.10 with iMac Software Update 1.2.1 for Tiger, or Mac OS X 10.5 with iMac Software Update 1.3 for Leopard.

The patch updates the graphics firmware on the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO card to address issues that may have caused the systems to freeze, Apple explained in a tech note.

Not every 20-inch and 24-inch aluminum iMac computer requires this update, however. Users who are not automatically presented with the update via the Mac OS X Software Update mechanism do not need it, the company explained. Users who manually download the update and attempt to install it on an ineligible computer, you will receive an error message.

If you manually download the update and receive the following error message when selecting a volume, "You cannot install iMac Graphics Firmware Update on this volume. Your computer does not need this update," one of two conditions exist:
You have not installed the iMac Software Update 1.2.1 for Tiger or iMac Software Update 1.3 for Leopard. From the Apple menu, select Software Update and install the appropriate software update, and then reinstall iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.You have already installed this update.
post #2 of 53
Ah...this is where I should be looking...Sorry about the wrong post...

So....if anyone applies this and the problems disappear PLZ let me know.

Thx

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

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24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

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post #3 of 53
Gave me more problems in day one than my PB 17" in more than 3 years.

Please, post your feedback quickly so i can decide to keep ou give back my obsolete imac!

Thank you.


PS. My first post
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro View Post

Gave me more problems in day one than my PB 17" in more than 3 years.

Please, post your feedback quickly so i can decide to keep ou give back my obsolete imac!

Thank you.

PS. My first post


Yes, but are your complaints still valid after this update, and the OS updates released this week?
post #5 of 53
The iMac Software Update 1.2 previously fixed my graphics issues with locking up, except that it had introduced random complete system crashes, so I had to reinstall Tiger from my install DVD to roll it back. But after installing 1.2.1 again today, and then the firmware update, I haven't had any graphics issues with shaders or any system lockups; everything is running great.
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by polar315 View Post

Ah...this is where I should be looking...Sorry about the wrong post...

So....if anyone applies this and the problems disappear PLZ let me know.

Thx

Yes, it works, so far no more freezing!!!

I can enjoy my iMac finally
post #7 of 53
Does anybody know how much the slowed down the video card?
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Does anybody know how much the slowed down the video card?

How do you know that the update slowed down the video card?
post #9 of 53
My computer found the update. I have 10.5 on my 24" iMac but my wife's 24" iMac with 10.4.11 did not find it under software update. The only differences that I thought we had were ram and she has a 2.4 GHz cpu.
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post #10 of 53
edited: disregard -- sorry, not talking about the firmware update
post #11 of 53
I installed the update date and the computer restarted after booting up and then just went to a black screen after about 5 minutes of the swirling line circle with my background. After another 5 minutes, I held the power button until the computer shut down. How do I know if it took?
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post #12 of 53
I think they have worked a miracle. I have almost given up on my 24 Alum Imac. Thank you Steve, Thank you!
post #13 of 53
After SU said it had installed the firmware update, nothing happened. So I chose to reboot and it was then that the firmware dialog popped up right as my machine restarted. I crossed my fingers hoping I hadn't screwed up by choosing to reboot.

I ran SU again and I was surprised to see it showed I needed to download the firmware again... I download again and nothing... So I search in Spotlight and it tells me the iMac Graphics firmware app is in the Utilities folder where I double-clicked it and installed/rebooted with no issues.

Bottom line is if in question, look in the Utilities folder for the app. I still don't know if it should have automatically launched after download/install.
post #14 of 53
I was on the phone waiting for Tech Support (about this issue, of course) just as the notice was posted. Hung up the phone, installed the update, and all is fixed, now and forever.

Fight back for the mac!
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmyers2 View Post

After SU said it had installed the firmware update, nothing happened. So I chose to reboot and it was then that the firmware dialog popped up right as my machine restarted. I crossed my fingers hoping I hadn't screwed up by choosing to reboot.

I ran SU again and I was surprised to see it showed I needed to download the firmware again... I download again and nothing... So I search in Spotlight and it tells me the iMac Graphics firmware app is in the Utilities folder where I double-clicked it and installed/rebooted with no issues.

Bottom line is if in question, look in the Utilities folder for the app. I still don't know if it should have automatically launched after download/install.

Thanks. It tells me it is up to date. So it must have just hung up.
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post #16 of 53
Oh man...I just installed it, things seem good. I wish there was a way to test the freezing issue. Hopefully people will keep us up to date via this thread. I know I will.

"Bottom line is if in question, look in the Utilities folder for the app. I still don't know if it should have automatically launched after download/install."

Mine came on after I restarted for the 10.5.1 update. (downloaded both updates at once) I guess I would advise doing both at once if possible.
post #17 of 53
I installed this update and 10.5.1 at the same time, since they both appeared in SU today. I just finished Age of Empires III in full-screen mode. I can't remember the last time I was able to *finish* an AOE3 game without the video freezing on me during the game, so this is very encouraging! If current trends continue I'll be one happy camper.
post #18 of 53
i applied the patch. the imac runs good now. my command and conquer used to always freeze,

so far its running good. and it doesnt feel like they slowed the card down
24' iMac Alum. 2gigs Ram 10.5.1
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24' iMac Alum. 2gigs Ram 10.5.1
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post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by toxotes View Post

I installed this update and 10.5.1 at the same time, since they both appeared in SU today. I just finished Age of Empires III in full-screen mode. I can't remember the last time I was able to *finish* an AOE3 game without the video freezing on me during the game, so this is very encouraging! If current trends continue I'll be one happy camper.

Update: Just finished second game. No problems. Yaay!
post #20 of 53
this tells apple never never go with ATI!

nVidia the way to go

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply
post #21 of 53
I bought a new aluminum imac about a month ago. Out of the box and on install, it was consant black screens and freezing. Took it back, they gave me a second machine.

This machine has had intermittent but bad and frustrating black screens and freezing, complete with the white horizontal squiggly lines. Most reproduced in the screensaver, iphoto, extensive photobooth filtering, or games. The imac software update didn't fix this problem. I was worried I was going to have to take this back to the store.

Downloaded the firmware update and installed... no problems there. Restarted, everything looks normal. Went though basic usage, no awkward behavior. Pushed it to screen savers, iphoto, etc. Nothing. This initial test makes me thing this bastard of a bug has been squashed.

If so, Apple, bless you. This rules.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by eodchop View Post

I think they have worked a miracle. I have almost given up on my 24 Alum Imac. Thank you Steve, Thank you!

Talk about easily impressed. It's a "miracle" that they stopped their computers from crashing?

post #23 of 53
They fixed it! Cool and thanks.
post #24 of 53
but not this time, they took their merry-time fixing this one and it's massively inconvenienced so many people - personally I think they should offer to restart the normal applecare from yesterday as it was the first time the machine has been of saleable quality.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper3 View Post

but not this time, they took their merry-time fixing this one and it's massively inconvenienced so many people - personally I think they should offer to restart the normal applecare from yesterday as it was the first time the machine has been of saleable quality.

Fat chance!

I had a previous Mac that was away for "service" for over 7 weeks and when I pointed out how much this had inconvenienced me and was almost 15% of the warranty period, they just said bad luck.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper3 View Post

but not this time, they took their merry-time fixing this one and it's massively inconvenienced so many people - personally I think they should offer to restart the normal applecare from yesterday as it was the first time the machine has been of saleable quality.

I think ATI shares in the blame... this is a graphics card firmware update, not an iMac firmware update. Who made the graphics chip? ATI. They're responsible for the firmware.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jApple View Post

How do you know that the update slowed down the video card?

i would suspect that it did also. it's even more dubious if only some of the macs need it.
post #28 of 53
I am new switcher from my world of solid Windows XP. I tried to move to vista few times but ran into road blocks and had to back to XP. So in my frustration I bought a new iMac 20" (running bootcamp for Windows needs"), however the computer only freezes whenin OS X (leopard). I found it started after I enabled the screensaver (the pretty color swirls I forget what it is called, remeber I am new to this).

Anyways, for new switcher this is a frustrating problem, which needs to be fixed and fast.
Any word on if the 1.5.1 update fixes this up?
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslaght View Post

I am new switcher from my world of solid Windows XP. I tried to move to vista few times but ran into road blocks and had to back to XP. So in my frustration I bought a new iMac 20" (running bootcamp for Windows needs"), however the computer only freezes whenin OS X (leopard). I found it started after I enabled the screensaver (the pretty color swirls I forget what it is called, remeber I am new to this).

Anyways, for new switcher this is a frustrating problem, which needs to be fixed and fast.
Any word on if the 1.5.1 update fixes this up?

Read the posts above yours.

Oh, and welcome to AI.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

Fat chance!

I had a previous Mac that was away for "service" for over 7 weeks and when I pointed out how much this had inconvenienced me and was almost 15% of the warranty period, they just said bad luck.

Uh, you expect a different response from HP? Or Dell? Or any other computer maker?
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Yes, but are your complaints still valid after this update, and the OS updates released this week?

???-WTF- If the dudes has had freezes for months the update doesn't erase the frustration of purchasing and using a lemon that should have never been released in the first place. You must be an Apple salesman- you sound like an Applecare drone.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

I think ATI shares in the blame... this is a graphics card firmware update, not an iMac firmware update. Who made the graphics chip? ATI. They're responsible for the firmware.

Wrong. It's in and part of an Apple product.
Is GM responsible for airbags that don't inflate or the airbag manufacturer? You better believe GM is responsible. It obviously wasn't tested properly. Apple's fault.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by katbel View Post

Yes, it works, so far no more freezing!!!

I can enjoy my iMac finally

I also am VERY VERY HAPPY that I can finally enjoy my iMac without freezing (knock on wood). So far so good.
post #34 of 53
I don't understand why some of you are thanking Jobs and Apple for the iMac freezing fix. It should have been fixed before it went on sale. Doesn't Apple check new products for bugs?
Thanking Jobs is like getting hit on the head and thanking the perpetrator for handing you a bandaid.
What am I missing here?

One of the problems current consumers have is that they expect faulty products and are wildly grateful when the product actually functions correctly.
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post #35 of 53
I just updated my 2.8, 24" aluminum iMac to 10.4.11 and the desktop "wobbles" as I move the cursor.
I restarted it again and it still is doing it.
The whole desktops moves in the directions the cursor is moving.
Very disconcerting.
I'm about to take some dramamine and call Apple.
Anyone else had that issue?

Posted on Apple support and I received the fix to my problem:
you probably have zooming turned on.
Go to >System Preferences...>Universal Access and uncheck zooming.
good luck!

No idea how it was turned on, but it is working fine now.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Wrong. It's in and part of an Apple product.
Is GM responsible for airbags that don't inflate or the airbag manufacturer? You better believe GM is responsible. It obviously wasn't tested properly. Apple's fault.

GM engineered the deployment mechanism. They didn't invent the actual airbag used, just the entire deployment system. The major functionality of the airbag is under the control of GM and thus they should be held responsible.

The ATi chip is under the auspices of AMD/ATi. The functionality of the airbag is controlled by GM just as the functionality of the ATi GPU is under the control of AMD/ATi. Putting a fan design to cool the chip down is under the control of Apple.

Without AMD releasing a Firmware update then tested by Apple, this chip wouldn't be updated and thus Apple wouldn't be able to release a firmware update to satisfy it's customers.

The ball was in AMD's court and they have been working hard at trying to secure more business with Apple, so you can bet your ass they don't want this fiasco, once it was proven by Apple to be their problem--to continue going unsolved.

ASUS doesn't make the GPU for their graphics cards. They do control how those chips work on their Motherboards. If their motherboards pass all safety and functionality tests with flying colors and the GPUs still crash their motherboard logic system, who do you think will have to step up to the plate?

ASUS or nVidia/ATi?

The GPU chip manufacturer.

This reduced heat output solution is a stop gap to the known fact that Apple gave ATi the specs for heat convection and ATi insisted these specs were well within their levels of Chip use.

They weren't.

The firmware update reduces the convective heat output from the chip. The decreased performance results were negligible.

We now have a solution that doesn't cause the system to result in an unusable state.

Future revisions of ATi chipsets will have to include these concerns and pass more rigorous tests with each revision of Apple's ever thinning hardware designs.

Apple will reach a design threshold limit where thin has reached it's limits until future GPUs on-board can manage to reduce their power consumption and increase their peformance metrics to warrant making their designs even more thin.

I imagine the whole design issue will have to be addressed with LEDs and OLED displays in the near future.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I don't understand why some of you are thanking Jobs and Apple for the iMac freezing fix. It should have been fixed before it went on sale. Doesn't Apple check new products for bugs?
Thanking Jobs is like getting hit on the head and thanking the perpetrator for handing you a bandaid.
What am I missing here?

One of the problems current consumers have is that they expect faulty products and are wildly grateful when the product actually functions correctly.

Correct. We live in a Microsoft/Comcast/Ford world. We expect the OS/DVR/Vehicle to have design flaws and not work 100% or even 90. If we get 75% out of the box, we complain but when the next update makes it 78%, we are thankful.
That being said, Apple is NOT like the above companies, releasing beta for full-product price. But you are right. Nobody should be thanking them for intially releasing a buggy system and then fixing it.
post #38 of 53
Update 1:
Day 2 after install.

No freezes yet.
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

Correct. We live in a Microsoft/Comcast/Ford world. We expect the OS/DVR/Vehicle to have design flaws and not work 100% or even 90. If we get 75% out of the box, we complain but when the next update makes it 78%, we are thankful.
That being said, Apple is NOT like the above companies, releasing beta for full-product price. But you are right. Nobody should be thanking them for intially releasing a buggy system and then fixing it.

Beta to you may be gold pressed latinum to others. It is always good to thank them. Every-time an OS is released, people say it is still in beta. At some point, you have to sink or swim. If you think we are still in Beta, I would hate to see your time frame for a "good release" would be.
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post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post

this tells apple never never go with ATI!

nVidia the way to go

Actually... it seems that the ATi 3850 is the way to go as far as mid-range video cards these days. They completely blow the nVidia 8600 series away and are close to the 8800 GTS cards.
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