Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

Firmware Update for All Current Macs

Apple has released separate firmware updates for slot-loading iMacs, iBooks, Power Mac G4s, and FireWire-equipped PowerBooks running Mac OS 9.0 or later. The patches update the firmware to version 2.4, and address the following issues:

  • Slot-loading iMacs can better handle AC power fluctuations that might cause the machine to shut down unexpectedly, and those running Mac OS 9.0.4 gain the capability of using a FireWire device as a startup disk. The update also fixes uncommon problems where the machine may not start up correctly.

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  • iBooks gain improved support for 256 MB memory modules and USB storage devices.

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  • On Power Mac G4s, the update corrects problems recognizing more than 1 GB of memory and startup problems with some third-party memory modules. Also, early Power Mac G4s gain the capability to use a FireWire device as a startup disk.

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  • FireWire-equipped PowerBooks also gain improved support for USB storage devices and the ability to use a FireWire device as a startup disk. The update also improves support for FireWire target disk mode, which enables the PowerBook to be connected to another Mac as if it were an FireWire drive.

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All the updates are available as self-mounting disk images and are less than 700K downloads. Before performing any firmware update, be sure to read the instructions with the update for complete information on upgrading your firmware - and having a complete backup of your data in case something goes wrong is never a bad idea. However, remember that Apple's firmware upgrades are irreversible and sometimes cause problems for third party add-ons such as SCSI PCI cards. If you use such peripherals, we'd encourage you to check with the vendor before updating.


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