News Archive for Wednesday, October 26th, 2011:  (Many Apple Updates today)

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Service Notes from 2010 MacBook Pro 15in owner w/Video issues - Motherboard Swap is fix for OS X 10.6.x users
(Update: On Nov 14th, 2011 Apple posted an updater for 10.6.8 users - see MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 (Snow Leopard))

(Original post from October 26th follows:)
As promised, here's notes from the reader with an affected 2010 MacBook Pro 15in running 10.6.8 and therefore can't use the MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 software update for 10.7.2 released Monday. (I mentioned in Monday's post on the update that it is not 10.6 compatible, verified by his Pacifist install attempt in 10.6.8.)

"More on the 2010 15in MBP video update (10.6.x user)
So... Went to the Apple Store here in Boston (just visiting) and took my MBP in to try to get the 'fix'. Turns out, unless you're running 10.7.2, the 'fix' is hardware based, i.e. Logic Board. I still might try to hack the software patch into submission, but will probably end up just getting the board replaced. It will be on Apple's dime, after all.
-Peter M."

(He noted Monday that his 10.6.8 system would only boot into safe mode after installing the update manually via Pacifist. Personally I wouldn't bother with that if Apple will swap out the motherboard - that way you get a later chipset, maybe even later stepping CPU, GPU, etc.)
My first thought when seeing the doc earlier this month was it's related to a specific revision of the chipset (or GPU), since apple lists specific production dates affected (mfg between April 2010 and February 2011). I guess the attempted software fix wasn't possible/practical for 10.6.x? (Or they figured it was cheaper to address it w/swaps vs dev/test time for software patch attempts, thinking most would eventually be on Lion anyway.)
  And even for 10.7.2 users that can apply the software update, they note:

... "If the symptoms persist after installing the update, select one of the (Apple store/ASP) service options..."

And the updated doc also mentions:

"Apple will service affected 15-inch MacBook Pro computers free of charge until two years from date of purchase. Apple will provide further extensions to this program as needed."

Update: As of 7/31/2012, the apple doc has been updated to note if the video software updates do not fix the problem that they will service affected models for 3 years from purchase date, which may be extended as needed. The emphasis/underline is mine, as wording is similar to the apple doc on 8600M issues that had several extensions over the years.)

"...Apple will service affected 15-inch MacBook Pro computers free of charge until three years from date of purchase. Apple will provide further extensions to this program as needed. This worldwide Apple program does not extend the standard warranty coverage of the affected MacBook Pro."

The original doc on the MBP/Nvidia 8600M repairs also had 2 years, but was revised to 3 then 4 years over time as that expired. (And with a note on further extensions as necessary.)
  

Another Low-Cost 2006 Mac Pro (Quad-Core) CPU Upgrade Report:
(from a reader mail yesterday)

"I went from a 2x2 core 2.0ghz in a Mac Pro 2006 (Xeon 5130s).
I went to 2x4 core 1.86 ghz, 5320's without the BSEL mod. I wanted stability, and this upgrade is CHEAP. I may do the BSEL later or just wait for the 3ghz to get cheap one day. :) SSD is probably next best bang for the buck, and I've got a Radeon 4870 already. Flashed PC Card, 512M memory.
Tool note: I got a 9" 3mm T Handle for the CPU Allen screws for under $4. Grainger had them in stock in Houston. (ditto at ACE, others per older reports)

I used Arctic Alumina for the new heatsink, cleaned the old off with plastic scraper and fingernail polish with acetone as the main ingredient.

A 50% improvement on Geekbench for $56 minus whatever I can get for the old CPUs. (PDFs of GeekBench scores before and after upgrades.)

A brief scare when it wouldn't boot but I reversed the RAM risers. Another brief scare when the Activity Monitor only showed one CPU scale, but that's what it does with over 4 cores; an aggregrate.

About this Mac doesn't report it correctly of course, but benchmark-wise and using other tools it all looks and acts like it should. At the prices for 5320s, no reason not to do this mod unless you just aren't handy with the steel.

SystemLoad at 100% on all 8 cores, 82F ambient air. World of Warcraft in a window with fairly high settings, showing 33fps in the Auction house.

Ran a dungeon and temp didn't go over 120F for one CPU Heatsink and 115 for the other. CPU fan at 703rpm.
-Rob"

(Many previous upgrades linked on the Macs/Systems and/or CPU Upgrades page.)
  

(Early 2011 and Late 2011) Macbook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.3
(FYI - Apple later revised this doc to note it's for both Early and Late 2011 MacBook Pros. I guess this firmware is so new it wasn't included in the late 2011 builds. However as of late Oct. 28th, the rom version still not corrected.)
"Macbook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.3
About Macbook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.3 This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Pro (early 2011) and MacBook Pro (late 2011) computers and is recommended for all users

This update includes improvements delivered in MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2 that enables Lion Internet Recovery from an Internet connection, resolves issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Pro (early 2011) models.

...Your computer's power cord must be connected and plugged into a working power source. When your MacBook Pro restarts, a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update. It will take several minutes for the update to complete. Do not disturb or shut off the power on your MacBook Pro during this update.

Boot ROM or SMC Version Information:
After MacBook Pro update has successfully completed, your Boot ROM Version will be MBP81.88Z.0047.B24.1110141131
(ver# too long, expect correction later.
I think it should be "MBP81.0047.B24"-Mike
)

System Requirements: OS X 10.6.8/OS X Lion 10.7 and later"

As with previous EFI updates, the originally posted version number in the docs is too long for every update posted tonight. (Last time it was corrected w/doc revisions within a day or two.)
  

(Mid 2011) MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.2
"MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.2
This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Air (mid 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update includes fixes delivered in MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.1 that enhance the stability of Lion Recovery from an Internet connection, and resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Air (mid 2011) models.

...Your computer's power cord must be connected and plugged into a working power source. When your MacBook Air restarts, a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update. It will take several minutes for the update to complete. Do not disturb or shut off the power on your MacBook Air during this update.

Boot ROM or SMC Version Information:
After MacBook Air update has successfully completed, your Boot ROM Version will be MBA41.88Z.0077.B0E.1110141154
(ver# too long, expect correction later.
I think it should be "MBA41.0077.B0E"-Mike
)

System Requirements: OS X Lion 10.7 and later


  
(Mid 2011) Mac Mini EFI Firmware Update 1.4
"Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.4
This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of Mac mini (mid 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update includes fixes delivered in Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.3 that enhance the stability of Lion Recovery from an Internet connection, and resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on Mac Mini (mid 2011) models...

Boot ROM or SMC Version Information:
After Mac mini update has successfully completed, your Boot ROM Version will be MM51.88Z.0077.B0E.1110141154
(ver# too long, expect correction later.
I think it should be "MM51.0077.0E"-Mike
)

System Requirements: OS X Lion 10.7 and later"


  
(Early 2011) iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.7
"iMac EFI Update 1.7
This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection and includes fixes that resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on iMac (early 2011) models.
For more information about Lion Recovery, please visit http://www.apple.com/macosx/recovery/...

Boot ROM or SMC Version Information:
After iMac EFIupdate has successfully completed, your Boot ROM Version will be IM121.88Z.0047.B1D.1110171110
(ver# too long, expect correction later.
I think it should be "IM121.0047.B1D"-Mike
)

System Requirements: OS X 10.6.8/OS X Lion 10.7 or later"

I'm sure it'll be changed later, but the first posting of that page has the icon image of the original CRT iMac. (Icon was corrected Thursday night.)
  

ThunderBolt Software Update v1.1 for OS X 10.7.2
Same change notes as v1.0 released earlier but updated for 10.7.2:
"Thunderbolt Software Update (OS X Lion) (v1.1)
This update provides support for the Apple Thunderbolt Display and bug fixes for Thunderbolt device compatibility.

System Requirements: OS X Lion 10.7.2"

No changes to the Snow Leopard Thunderbolt Software Update (v1.0) from mid-Sept.
  

iPhoto 9.2.1 Update
I don't own iPhoto 9 but saw an update to the doc about iPhoto 9.2/Photo Stream issues that refers to a 9.2.1 update:

"iPhoto 9.2: May quit unexpectedly when enabling Photo Stream or importing photos

Symptoms
If you have the 3ivx QuickTime plug-in installed, iPhoto 9.2 may quit unexpectedly when enabling Photo Stream or importing photos. This plug-in may have been installed automatically, as it is included with the software bundled with some Flip video cameras.

Resolution
Update to iPhoto 9.2.1. Please see About updating iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand for more information about updating iPhoto.

Note: After installing iPhoto 9.2.1, Flip video clips may not play correctly in iPhoto. An updated version of the Flip video software, available from the Flip support site, should restore video playback in iPhoto."

They've now posted a iPhoto 9.2.1 Update D/L page also.
  

Apple/Products Related News/Articles/Updates:


  
New/Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Docs:
(many from Tuesday)


  
Other News/Articles/Updates/OT:


  
Previous Articles/Tips/Tweaks/Reviews - Listing/links to articles, tips and reviews you may have missed.
  
Previous New Pages: See the Archives.
  

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