Apple USB Modem Incompatible with Lion?!?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Kashchei, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Kashchei macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2002
    Meat Space
    Has anyone else who upgraded to Lion been told that their Apple External USB Modem is incompatible? I knew about Rosetta and Front Row, but I didn't know that my modem would become incompatible. Is there a work-around for this or am I stuck now with a $49 bauble?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Startup on Snow Leopard when you need to use it. I'm in the same boat, where I need to FAX from time to time.

    Perhaps someone will find a third-party driver that works with it. I suspect it uses an industry standard chip. If so, a generic driver might be able to be patched to recognize the Apple modem.

    I recently had to do this with a 64-bit kext for a USB to serial adapter. It used the same chip, but the USB vendor and ID were different, and had to be patched into e kext.
  3. ed724 macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    Your stuck. The Apple USB modem only works under the 32 bit kernel. I have a USB to serial adapter that wont work in 64 bit mode either, totally sux.:mad:
  4. mcb001982 macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Manhattan NY
    Um, why not use ? I went over to that a long time ago and IMO it is worth the $12 a month for the service.
  5. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    I just found this myself after installing Lion... And I too mainly use it for faxing. I'm not holding my breath on Apple releasing a 64-bit driver for it either since they no longer carry it. After a little searching the net, I found this:

    Basically someone found a $12 USB fax modem that works. I just ordered one myself. It doesn't say anything on the e-bay page about it working with Lion - but one user reporting that it did was enough for me at that price point ($12 + free shipping).
  6. Kashchei thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2002
    Meat Space
    Thanks for the tip, moonchilddave! I've ordered one as well and will give my old modem to my wife to use with her SL MacBook.
  7. firmansolutions macrumors member


    May 31, 2010
    USB modem

    I had this problem when I bought a new 2011 MBP. I booted Snow Leopard into 64 bit mode automatically. The recommended solution was to force a boot into 32 bit mode. This provided the required drivers / compatibity.

    I haven't made the upgrade yet. Could you try rebooting into 32 bit mode? This was done in SL by holding down the 3 and 2 keys until the Apple logo appears. Not sure if it's supporting (ie. Does Lion support 32 bit operation).

  8. leaflover, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    leaflover macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    External Apple Modem Work Around

    Lion will not boot in 32 bit mode. The only solution is to partition ~25 gb of space on your hard drive using disk utility and re-install Snow Leopard in this separate partition keeping Lion in the other. Once you have it installed hold down the 'option' key on start up and select the drive partition where you installed Snow Leopard. Hold down the "2 and 3" keys when booting and you will start up in 32 bit mode and be able to use your modem.

    This is not ideal but will work. I often use my MBP where only dial up is available and called Apple to find a solution. This was all we could come up with.
  9. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    This is NOT true... My MacBook boots Lion in 32bit mode - but even copying the driver (I think) for the Apple USB Modem from Snow Leopard didn't work:
  10. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK

    Last millennium us calling, it wants it's outdated technology back...
  11. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    A lot of businesses still use FAX technology... Also, it is my understanding that when certain countries (Egypt I believe) cut off internet access, guess what still was able to get online... A modem.
  12. RileyCoyote macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Just to add a thought... I upgraded to Lion over the weekend, and was very unhappy to find that the external fax modem did not work. I called Apple support, and they confirmed what has been posted here... the external modem doesn't work, they don't make one that does, they don't plan to make one, and they will not refund the $50.00 I paid for this cheap piece of plastic. I am not happy. I had even contacted Apple support prior to buying Lion about compatibility issues. I did not buy an OS upgrade to lose features. Many situations require the use of fax technology--medical-legal situations, recipients who do not use email, etc. The medical clinic where I work has interpreted HIPPA privacy laws to mean that we cannot use email instead of faxing in most patient communications outside our office. This is one thing Microsoft does understand better than Apple. I had hoped to switch my office over to Mac, but this is one of several issues that convinces me to use the Macbook as a toy, not a work machine.
  13. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    I now have my Apple USB Modem working with Lion perfectly (dialup and fax both work)! You need to copy both from a Snow Leopard backup (and be in 32bit mode I think):

    /System/Library/Extensions/IOSerialFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/MotorolaSM56KUS B.kext

    So, apparently Apple just didn't bother to include the drivers. For this to work though you have to be running a 32bit kernel. To check, go to the Apple Menu > About This Mac > More Info > System Report > Software.

    If you see "64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No" - this should work. If it says Yes, you are probably out of luck. Also, after copying those files over, you may want to do a repair permissions and reboot.
  14. fmj macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    I have tried to get the modem to work again by extracting the necessary files from the 10.5.8 combo update and copy them into the correct places as far as i can tell. After rebooting into 32 bit mode the modem now shows up under USB devices in System information, but nothing shows up under modem. Can you clarify a bit about how to repair permissions?
  15. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    Here's exactly what I did... I have a freshly installed SL partition on my drive (all updates to 10.6.8):

    From a terminal:
    $ sudo -s
    (enter password)
    # cp -rp "/Volumes/Snow Leopard/System/Library/Extensions/IOSerialFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/MotorolaSM56KUS B.kext" "/System/Library/Extensions/IOSerialFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/"
    # cp -rp "/Volumes/Snow Leopard/System/Library/Extensions/SM56KUSBAudioFamily.kext" "/System/Library/Extensions/"

    Then I exited Terminal and rebooted holding down Option to boot into my Lion recovery partition. Then I clicked on Disk Utilities, and did a "Repair Permissions" on my Lion partition (where I just copied the files to). After it finished, I rebooted into my main Lion partition and everything showed up (New Network Interface detected). I had to open up and add the modem to the Print & Scan system preferences (Click on Fax, then add a new fax and the modem showed up).
  16. mattraehl macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2005
    I can't get my external floppy disk reader to work either. :p
  17. fmj macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    Would it be possible for you to supply the files? It would be nice to not have to install a fresh SL with all possible updates as well as having to hunt down when the latest files appeared in an update :)
  18. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    Send me a PM.
  19. rossip macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    Are you serious?! But what about all the DOS games I want to import with boxer!
  20. Hugh macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Erie, PA
    I haven't try it yet, but that's not funny. I'm still using a digital camera that uses floppies. LOL! :eek:

  21. fmj macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    PM doesnt seem to work. I just ended up buying the zoom modem and a solution from Seems easier and with the zoom modem i dont have to boot into 32 bit mode all the time. (also this might be something my father will be able to handle :)).
  22. cool11 macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2006

    Can anyone upload somewhere these 2 files?
    I really need usb modem to work in lion.
    Somebody with snow leopard installation can help us.
    I wait for these files to try the modem under lion.


    Anyone else to confirm that lion recognizes apple usb modem with 2 files that moonchilddave told us?
  23. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2010
    You can modify to boot Lion in 32-bit mode. I was "" this close to buying the USB modem till I saw its price when I bought the MBP. I'm glad I didn't.


    Get a new one ;)

    But seriously, I have one that works.
  24. cool11 macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2006
    I hoped somebody could help me, uploading the appropriate files, in order to test/use the apple usb modem in Lion.
  25. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    I sent you a PM....

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