Mac Book Pro Firmware Updates

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Firmware is the name given to software that is written into memory circuits such as flash memory, that will hold the software code indefinitely, even when power is removed from the hardware. Firmware on Intel Mac computers is designed to be updated if necessary through a software update.

EFI and SMC firmware is stored on the MacBook Pro's logic board. EFI firmware updates update the Boot ROM, and SMC Updates update the System Management Controller firmware. The SMC manages fans and other environmental parameters that are independent of the Boot ROM.

Firmware symptoms can be easily mistaken for hardware issues (e.g. overheating issues, fan noise issues, etc.). Always check both EFI and SMC firmware versions and update if necessary before replacing any hardware components in the MacBook Pro.

The following lists describe the type of symptoms that may be resolved by updating the EFI and SMC firmware in the MacBook Pro.

Symptoms that may be resolved by updating EFI firmware:

  • L1 Cache reporting as bad
  • Boot Camp not booting into Windows
  • Built-in FireWire has GUID zero if ExpressCard FireWire is present at boot
  • Auto-reboot after wake from sleep
  • Stuck in Target Disk Mode upon restart
  • Cannot eject media (various conditions)
  • Bad media taking too long to eject (including holding mouse button down at startup taking minutes to eject)
  • Auto-reboot after wake from sleep

Symptoms that may be resolved by updating SMC firmware:

  • Status LEDS on battery do not light until the pack has charged for approximately 10 minutes
  • Unusual fan behavior and thermal management issues

Please follow the steps outlined in Knowledge Base article 303364 About firmware updates for Intel-based Macs to perform an EFI and/or SMC firmware update.

Information about firmware versions for Intel Macs can be found in Knowledge Base article 303880 Mac OS X: Firmware Updates for Intel-based Macs.

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Apple Technologies Explained

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