More Intel Firmware updates: EFI

Apple released a bunch of EFI firmware updates for Intel Macs yesterday. Unfortunately, since to run EFI firmware updates you must run the updater app, shutdown the machine, then hold down the power button until it starts flashing, there is no way to automate these updates.

The best you can do is to write a script that checks the firmware versions and notifies the admin(s) that a machine needs an update. Then you schedule a visit and manually apply the update.

If anyone has a better idea – I’m all ears.

More Intel Firmware updates: EFI

8 thoughts on “More Intel Firmware updates: EFI

  1. I may be talking pants, but presumably the hold-the-power-button trick just points the firmware at a different boot image than the usual Darwin bootloader. Perhaps if you install rEFIt you could get it to boot the alternate image with some script hackery…looking at the update for the MacBook (I’m on an iBook though, so haven’t tried this) you should be booting “/Applications/Utilities/MacBook EFI Firmware”

  2. Since I installed those updates yesterday on my Intel iMac, the formatting of classes in my WordPress admin has been completely messed up.

    When I write a post, it’s ignoring HTML formatting tags like and substituting something named: class=”Apple-style-span”

    I didn’t develop this site, so my knowledge is limited here, but do you have idea what’s going on?

  3. It’s highly unlikely that EFI Firmware updates would have anything to do with web rendering. EFI Firmware controls the boot process and low-level hardware drivers.

  4. Greg,

    I don’t know about your setup, but to get around this, we use student staff. I’ve created a local account on all of our machines that has some login scripts associated with it; when the staff logs in, the firmware updates are installed. Then, the firmware update is run with the -remote -y options, which (for most updates) installs it without user interaction and (if necessary) reboots the computer. They’ve been trained that if the computer shuts down, they need to hold down the power button until the light blinks.

    The only firmware update I’ve seen that doesn’t play nice with this is the Aluminum Keyboard firmware update, but that one does pop up a window that you can use to install the update.

  5. John:

    The KB article you reference may indeed work on workstations, but really doesn’t address the issue. Note step eight:

    “Press and hold the power button on your Xserve until the ‘system activity lights’ flash repeatedly.”

    Like with desktop machines, to actually run the firmware updater requires someone to shut down the machine, then physically hold the power button down to activate the firmware updater.

    This, unfortunately, is not a way to really run the updater “remotely” – just without a GUI.

  6. Yet more info…

    This KB article describes remotely updating the EFI firmware on the Early 2009 Intel Xserve, and in this case, you _can_ do it without physically pressing the power button.

    Perhaps this means in the future that a similar option will be available for EFI firmware updates for laptops and desktop machines.

    One can hope, at least.

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