Apple issues EFI Firmware update for 2013 Mac Pro

Apple has issued an EFI firmware update for the newly released Mac Pro, which addresses some outstanding hardware bugs that have been identified since the release of the machine.

The new Mac Pro, which was announced at WWDC in June of this year, was today made available for purchase through the Apple online store. The system introduces a radical new design twist for Apple's pro Mac systems, ditching the old aluminum chassis that was reminiscent of the initial PowerMac G5, in favor of a new, rounded, and relatively minute form factor that relies on Thunderbolt connectivity for expansion, rather … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer Mac-related questions sent in by our readers.

This week readers ask about how to use an older iMac as an external display for a new one, managing an unexpected EFI firmware password on a system returned from a service center, and creating unsupported custom character combinations in OS X.

I welcome contributions from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!

Question: Using an old iMac as a monitor MacFixIt reader Sam asks:

Here's what I want to do. … Read more

MacBook EFI updates fix battery problems

Apple has released a set of EFI firmware updates to address a rare problem where some systems might unexpectedly shut down or stop functioning after the battery has been used extensively.

Apple's determines battery health in part by the number of charge cycles it has been through (one charge cycle being a sum of partial charges that equates to one full charge), and depending on the system claims that batteries should last between 300 and 1,000 charge cycles. However, a rare problem in some systems might result in a nonfunctional computer if the system detects that 1,000 … Read more

MacBook Air EFI update fixes freezes and boot issues

Along with its new lineup of cheaper, truncated Thunderbolt cables, Apple has issued a small firmware update for its mid-2012 MacBook Air notebooks. The update primarily addresses two problems, the first of which is a freeze that can happen when unplugging Thunderbolt devices on standby, while the second is an improper boot in Windows.

The update is a small 4.67MB download that should be available if you choose Software Update from the Apple menu, but can also be downloaded separately from the Apple support Web page.

When installed, the EFI ROM on the system will have the version string … Read more

Fix poor Retina MacBook Pro graphics performance

Some Mac users are finding that some of the latest MacBook systems from Apple are sometimes showing drastic drops in graphics performance, which are particularly notable when playing graphically intensive applications like video games.

While at first launching the game will show the expected smooth performance, it may suddenly drop to a very low frame rate and be essentially unplayable. Usually when systems drop to low frame rates it suggests they are being overworked for some reason and are struggling to make the computations necessary for smooth gameplay, and as a result will usually be relatively hot as the graphics … Read more

Apple targets Wi-Fi trouble with EFI firmware updates for 2012 Macs

Apple has released three EFI firmware updates for some of its Mac systems that were released in 2012, which tackle a number of issues pertaining to sleep, Thunderbolt performance, and -- more relevantly to many users -- reliability of Wi-Fi connectivity.

The first update is a Wi-Fi update for all late 2012 Mac systems that improves compatibility with 5GHz-band Wi-Fi signals.

The update includes a new version of the AirPortBrcm4311.kext kernel extension. This update is specific for those running OS X 10.8.2 build 12C2034 (you can look this up by clicking the version number of OS X … Read more

MacBook EFI Firmware updates follow OS X 10.8.2 release

Along with Apple's OS X 10.8.2 update, the company has issued firmware updates for some of its latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.

Apple's latest MacBook offerings are the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and a 2012 revision of the older-generation MacBook Pro that does not have the Retina Display, along with the MacBook Air. Under some circumstances, these latest systems may experience hangs, or incompatibility with certain boot environments that prevent their hardware from running optimally, and these latest EFI firmware updates from Apple address these problems.

The updates should be available to … Read more

OS X Mountain Lion can run on unsupported Intel Mac Pros

A new procedure has surfaced that may allow owners of the older and unsupported Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 machines to run Mountain Lion natively on their systems.

When Apple initially released OS X Mountain Lion developer previews to testers and its development community, word spread that the OS would leave out some of Apple's earlier Intel-based Macs, including the first Mac Pro systems that still pack a decent amount of computing power. Apple made these requirements official more recently on its OS X up-to-date Web page for Mountain Lion.

The reason for these limitations revolved around … Read more

MacBook Pro EFI update fixes flickering

Last Saturday Apple released a number of EFI firmware updates for various Mac models, which addressed problems with NetBoot features, the use of HD displays for protected HD content, and boot drive selection when external drives are plugged into the systems. The updates were for Mac Mini, MacBook Air, iMac, and MacBook Pro systems.

After releasing these updates, Apple has issued another update for the MacBook Pro (version 2.7 was released on Saturday; this is version 2.8), which addresses a problem in which 15-inch models from late 2008 developed flickering displays. This fix is only applicable to the … Read more

Apple releases EFI firmware updates for 2011 Macs

Apple has released new firmware updates for a number of its early- and mid-2011 Mac systems. The updates, which require OS X 10.7.3 or later to install, address problems with NetBoot features, and fix problems with HDCP authentication after rebooting (which may prevent HD content from being displayed on certain monitors). The updates also fix a problem with the selection of the boot drive when a USB drive is plugged into the system.

The updates should be available via Software Update for iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air systems released in early to mid-2011, but you … Read more