PowerBook Firmware Update 4.1.8 Issues

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive


On Friday Apple released PBook FirmWare Update 4.1.8 [1071 kb]:

The PowerBook Firmware Update 4.1.8 will only run on PowerBooks with built-in FireWire ports running Mac OS 9.1 from a local drive. If you are using Mac OS X you must boot from a local Mac OS 9.1 writeable partition (not a CD, or network disk) prior to following the update instructions.

Firmware Update 4.1.8 includes improvements to Firewire target disk mode, network booting, gigabit networking (on systems with gigabit hardware), and system stability. This update also adds support for additional security options which allow the Open Firmware to be password protected.

Be forewarned: some users have noticed that one (or both) of their installed memory modules became invisible after installing Firmware 4.1.8, apparently due to differing CAS refresh times in the memory.

Read the instructions carefully before installing the update. You have to shut your PowerBook down from the button in the Firmware installer’s dialog box, then start it up holding down command and power keys. When you hear a long tone, you can release the keys. You will then see a white screen with a progress bar where the brightness and volume on-screen control would normally be. When a message says your PowerBook’s firmware has been successfully updated to version 4.1.8, you are finished.

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After installing it, I experience some USB anomalies on my TiBook 500 MHz. Specifically, my TiBook wouldn’t recognize my USB keyboard and mouse immediately after the update. Disk First Aid checked out Ok, then I tried switching the extensions manager to Mac OS 9.1 all, Mac OS 9.1 base, even extension off – no luck. A complete shut down, then zapping the PRAM (holding down command-option-p-r when starting up) seemed to get things going again.

MacFixIt has an excellent thread on the topic.

What have you experienced installing the Firmware update? Notice anything different afterword? Post your comments using the feedback link below.

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