Resolved SOLVED! Mac Mini won't recognize Apple Aluminum Keyboard startup keystrokes

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
I have a Mac Mini 2006 model with SL installed on it, updated to the latest version. I recently decided to try booting a Linux live CD on the Mac, so I inserted the disc, and restarted the machine.

Interestingly enough, the Mac wouldn't recognize my startup keystrokes. I tried the "C" "Option" and other key combinations, but the Mac continued to boot as normal, straight to my desktop.

I have the new USB wired Apple aluminum keyboard with the two USB 2.0 ports on it, and the Mini simply won't recognize it at startup. The keyboard works fine once I get to the login screen.

To ensure that nothing else was wrong, I plugged in a generic Acer PC keyboard, and rebooted again.

The Mini recognized the keystrokes! I was able to use "C" "Option" and the other keystrokes without fail, and the disc booted properly. But when I used the Apple keyboard, there was no such luck. I ensured that both keyboards were plugged into the same USB port when I tried them both, just to be sure it wasn't a faulty USB port problem.

Could it be that the aluminum keyboard, due to its USB hub, draws too much power from the Mini's power supply, so that it isn't loaded until after the boot sequence is finished? I do have other evidence which may support this theory.

I attached an external USB-powered hard drive to one of the keyboard's ports, and I received the "Device is drawing too much power" error message from the Mini. However, when I plugged the exact same keyboard and external into a Macbook Pro, there was no issue, and the drive was recognized normally.

It could be that the Mini's PSU isn't powerful enough to supply the necessary current to the keyboard's hub, and hence it is ignored at bootup. Is this true, or is there something else I am missing entirely?
 
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Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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My 2006 Mini seems to respond normally to my 2007 Apple aluminum keyboard on startup. I'm thinking something might be wrong with your Mini. My Mini has many bus powered USB devices plugged into it. Two portable hard drives, a RF remote receiver, a 9" USB monitor, and it usually has an iPad charging on it.

Could you possibly not be using the proper power brick?
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
Thank you for your prompt and helpful reply Intell! Hmm, that is interesting that you have your Mac Mini up and running with the new aluminum keyboard with no issue. I did double check to ensure that the keyboard was not defective on a 2008 MBP, and the startup keystrokes were recognized. Also, I tested the USB hubs on the keyboard, and they worked fine with the MBP. Are your keyboard USB ports working OK with your Mini? With mine, I get an error message that the device is drawing too much power, and I have to plug it directly into the Mini's USB port.

I've also tested every USB port on the Mini, with nothing else attached, just to be sure there wasn't a bad USB port or a power conflict, and yet the issue persisted. I don't think I'm using the wrong power brick, because this is the one that came with the original Mini. Do you know if there is a way I can check just to be sure? Maybe the power consumption of the brick is listed in System Profiler or something, and then I can check that info against the 06 Mini power requirements.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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My keyboard USB ports don't charge my iPhone. I do know to charge a USB device or use a high powered one on the aluminum keyboard, you have to be using an aluminum iMac or newer Mac model. Because only they provide enough power to the USB ports. Maybe the 2006 Mini's are too old. Oddly enough, my Cube can charge my iPhone via the aluminum keyboard's USB ports.
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
That is very interesting that your Cube will charge the device, but the 06 Mini won't. It just goes to show you they don't make them like they used to!

OK, well at least I know that the low charge to the keyboard's USB ports is part of the Mini design (since you can't use it for high-powered devices either) and not just a problem with my specific Mac.

If you don't mind me asking, which model from the 06 line do you have? I have the early, 1.66GHz model, but if the keyboard's start-up strokes work for you, you might have the later, 1.83GHz model. The reason I'm asking is because I found a very interesting thread pertaining to this issue on the Apple Support Forums: http://goo.gl/2Kg0o

The thread's contributors conclude by reasoning that it must be an EFI firmware issue that is specific to some of the early 06 models; including the early Intel iMacs! The firmware doesn't load the driver to the keyboard until after the system is fully booted - as evidenced by the Caps Lock key failing to light up until after the Apple logo appears, and of course the failure of the start-up key presses to work.

The good news is that I have found a workable solution - besides getting a different USB keyboard - and that is to use the Apple Remote that came with my Mac. If I hold the Menu button while the Mac is starting, the system recognizes it as the Option keystroke, and I can choose to boot to a different drive/disc, making my selection with either the remote's arrow keys or a mouse.

Since I mostly use the start-up keystrokes to use my SL install/recovery disc for its handy utilities, rather than zapping the VRAM or booting into Single User Mode, I'm not too worried about the issue. I'm just surprised that Apple never released an update that would fix this problem, but since it is a very specific piece of hardware conflicting with just a handful of aging Macs, I suppose it wasn't worth the trouble.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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I think the reason why the Cube charges the iPhone via the keyboard is that it was given more powerful USB ports to power the USB speakers that came with them.

I have the early 2006 1.5Ghz Core Solo Mini. It is quite possible that a firmware update is the cause/fix. I know that the 2007 Mini's can charge an iPhone via the keyboard USB port. Again, I'm thinking it has to do with the requirement of a Aluminum iMac or newer Mac model.

That's a fun little discovery about the Apple Remotes. Never thought about that.
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
Aluminum Keyboard and the Mini... a Love Story

So, I believe I have figured out why the Genuine Aluminum Apple keyboards don't work at boot with certain Mac Minis.

The 2006 Mini's firmware doesn't recognize ANY USB 2.0 keyboard until the operating system is actually running.

Therefore, all the startup keys can't be recognized on the beautiful Aluminum Masterpiece keyboards, as they are USB 2.0. It also explains why Keyboard Firmware updates have not thus far fixed this problem. The issue is in the Mini itself, not the keyboard.

I have verified this with iMac, and other keyboards, even ones intended for PC. As long as they're USB 1.1 or 1.0, they work. Just not my Aluminum one. :(

Ouch - that really hurts! Genuine, Premium Apple hardware doesn't work as well as the "inferior" stuff. :apple:



Now - I'll bet you're asking yourself:
  • "Then how can someone in this thread be claiming their Alu Keyed Mini DOES WORK to issue boot time keys?"

See, I read your mind.​


I suspect the answer is that their Mini's firmware is newer than MM11.0055.B08 (EFI 1.1) / 1.3f4 (SMC 1.0), which is listed as the version for the 2006 Mini 1,1 models. How this can happen, I'd like to find out. So far I see no "Officially Blessed" way. Otherwise, the keyboard is in USB 1.1 mode - something I've tried to induce and can't. Like to know how to do that too.


I hope this knowledge helps someone else. This forum has been a great resource with my many "Mac Questions" [Thank You!] and I want to return something if I can.

Anyone with this problem is urged to go out and get an el-cheapo ~$5.00 PC keyboard, "just in case" they ever need it. Do it while the USB 1.1 hardware is still out there. Lots of manufacturers are coming out with USB 2.0 versions now, and unless they're backward compatible - you're liable to miss out.

BTW - Connecting the Alu Keybd through a USB 1.1 hub won't help. It appears the only devices to be recognized at boot time must be plugged directly into the Mini... even Mice. [Holding down a mouse button on boot, ejects the CD... but then you probably knew that]

Best of Luck to you - Great Forum!
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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A nicely though out post. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to me. My 2006 Mac Mini, firmware MM11.0055.B08, responses correctly to my wired mid-2007 aluminum Apple keyboard. As does my father's and the many others I've use at work.

As per your question how a 2006 Mac Mini can have a higher firmware then, MM11.0055.B08. The 2006 and 2007 Mac Mini's have the exact same hardware. The only difference is the CPU. Some adventurous people found out how to extract the EFI firmware from a 2007 Mac Mini and flash it onto the 2006 Mini's using Apple firmware updater. It changes the model identifier from 1,1 to 2,1 and allows the Mini to use 3.3Gb of ram. However, it does not allow the installation of Lion on a C2D upgraded 2006 Mini. Lion checks the logicboard ID, not the model identifier.
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
I have to agree with Intell, 50BMG, because I have used other USB 2.0 keyboards with the '06 Mini at startup without issue. Intell's Mini is a Core Solo however, and mine is a Core Duo 06' model, and while the firmware version on both of our computers is the same, there could be another problem with the hardware that is causing the Apple keyboard's inability to work at startup.

Additionally, if you read one of my earlier posts, I mention that there are other users in the Mac community who have reported this problem with their various 06' vintage Mac models, and that it could be a firmware issue, or something else. The only way I would know that it isn't a faulty power supply would be if I were to test it with a different power brick, which I don't have and don't have the inclination to buy just to investigate this issue. Fortunately, there is a workaround with the Mini models at least, because the 06' line included an Apple Remote, which can be used to access the Startup Disk Chooser, so it's not completely hopeless.

As a side note, is it really possible to upgrade the 06' firmware to the 07' version, Intell? If so, then I'd love to hear how to do that, as maybe that would solve the problem. According to the Apple Knowledge Base Article on firmware updates, the 07' and 06' Minis have the exact same EFI and SMC version
 
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Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Intell's Mini is a Core Solo...

As a side note, is it really possible to upgrade the 06' firmware to the 07' version, Intell? If so, then I'd love to hear how to do that, as maybe that would solve the problem. According to the Apple Knowledge Base Article on firmware updates, the 07' and 06' Minis have the exact same EFI and SMC version
It was a Core Solo. Now it has a 2.33Ghz C2D in it.

Yes, but its a bit risky. I've never done it: http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,874.0.html
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
Ah, I didn't know you upgraded your Mini, Intell, you sly Apple upgrader, you! :apple: Thanks for the link; I'll check it out and see what I can do.
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
Thanks for the replies.

... My 2006 Mac Mini, firmware MM11.0055.B08, responses correctly to my wired mid-2007 aluminum Apple keyboard. As does my father's and the many others I've use at work.
That's very interesing. I suppose mine could just be different, except that others are experiencing and posting about the same problem.

As per your question how a 2006 Mac Mini can have a higher firmware then, MM11.0055.B08. The 2006 and 2007 Mac Mini's have the exact same hardware. The only difference is the CPU. Some adventurous people found out how to extract the EFI firmware from a 2007 Mac Mini and flash it onto the 2006 Mini's using Apple firmware updater. It changes the model identifier from 1,1 to 2,1 and allows the Mini to use 3.3Gb of ram. However, it does not allow the installation of Lion on a C2D upgraded 2006 Mini. Lion checks the logicboard ID, not the model identifier.
LOL - I find that very cool. I'm not interested in running LION, so this would be good to know how to accomplish. I'll look at your link.

I have to agree with Intell, 50BMG, because I have used other USB 2.0 keyboards with the '06 Mini at startup without issue. Intell's Mini is a Core Solo however, and mine is a Core Duo 06' model, and while the firmware version on both of our computers is the same, there could be another problem with the hardware that is causing the Apple keyboard's inability to work at startup.

Additionally, if you read one of my earlier posts, I mention that there are other users in the Mac community who have reported this problem with their various 06' vintage Mac models, and that it could be a firmware issue, or something else. The only way I would know that it isn't a faulty power supply would be if I were to test it with a different power brick, which I don't have and don't have the inclination to buy just to investigate this issue. Fortunately, there is a workaround with the Mini models at least, because the 06' line included an Apple Remote, which can be used to access the Startup Disk Chooser, so it's not completely hopeless.
Yes, too I have the remote and saw those posts. But it's only good for that one work-around. You can't select "D" to start diagnostics or "V" for verbose etc...

As a side note, is it really possible to upgrade the 06' firmware to the 07' version, Intell? If so, then I'd love to hear how to do that, as maybe that would solve the problem. According to the Apple Knowledge Base Article on firmware updates, the 07' and 06' Minis have the exact same EFI and SMC version
I too have been pouring over those downloads, and the Firmware Restore disks. There is a lot of contradiction in some of it.

I'm with you about being interested in knowing more about the firmware update techniqus and details. So the max memory for a Core Duo system is what, 4GB? Is this different with a C2D? [8GB]?

BTW - There's a lot at that link Intell provided... thank you!

Anyway...

I'd like both of you to gather some more info for me if you would?

Open the System Profiler on your Minis with the USB 2 keyboards connected. Scroll down to the USB item in the HARDWARE section.
Select the "left most" root of the branch which contains the keyboard. Then copy the info in the window below and post here.

This is mine:
Code:
[B]USB High-Speed Bus:[/B]

  Host Controller Location:	Built In USB
  Host Controller Driver:	AppleUSBEHCI
  PCI Device ID:	0x27cc
  PCI Revision ID:	0x0002
  PCI Vendor ID:	0x8086
  Bus Number:	0xfd

[INDENT][B]Keyboard Hub:[/B]

  Version:	94.15
  Bus Power (mA):	500
  Speed:	Up to 480 Mb/sec
  Manufacturer:	Apple, Inc.
  Product ID:	0x1006
  Serial Number:	000000000000
  Vendor ID:	0x05ac  (Apple Computer, Inc.)

[INDENT][B]USB Device:[/B]

  Version:	5.50
  Bus Power (mA):	100
  Speed:	Up to 1.5 Mb/sec
  Product ID:	0x4d03
  Vendor ID:	0x0461

[B]Apple Keyboard:[/B]

  Version:	0.67
  Bus Power (mA):	100
  Speed:	Up to 1.5 Mb/sec
  Manufacturer:	Apple, Inc
  Product ID:	0x0220
  Vendor ID:	0x05ac  (Apple Computer, Inc.)[/INDENT][/INDENT]
I'm wondering if there will be any clues as to why yours work, and other don't.

BTW - This is my System Info section:
Code:
[B]Hardware Overview:[/B]

  Model Name:	Mac mini
  Model Identifier:	Macmini1,1
  Processor Name:	Intel Core Solo
  Processor Speed:	1.5 GHz
  Number Of Processors:	1
  Total Number Of Cores:	1
  L2 Cache:	2 MB
  Memory:	1 GB
  Bus Speed:	667 MHz
  Boot ROM Version:	MM11.0055.B08
  SMC Version:	1.3f4
Thanks again.
 
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Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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Inside
Code:
USB High-Speed Bus:

  Host Controller Location:	Built-in USB
  Host Controller Driver:	AppleUSBEHCI
  PCI Device ID:	0x27cc 
  PCI Revision ID:	0x0002 
  PCI Vendor ID:	0x8086 
  Bus Number:	0xfd 

Keyboard Hub:

  Product ID:	0x1006
  Vendor ID:	0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)
  Version:	94.15
  Serial Number:	000000000000
  Speed:	Up to 480 Mb/sec
  Manufacturer:	Apple, Inc.
  Location ID:	0xfa200000 / 2
  Current Available (mA):	500
  Current Required (mA):	300
  Extra Operating Current (mA):	200

Apple Keyboard:

  Product ID:	0x0220
  Vendor ID:	0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)
  Version:	 0.69
  Speed:	Up to 1.5 Mb/sec
  Manufacturer:	Apple, Inc
  Location ID:	0xfa220000 / 5
  Current Available (mA):	100
  Current Required (mA):	20
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
Thanks Intell.

Doesn't look like we're running the same OS... mine's 10.4.11. Yours seems a little more aware of the hardware. No surprise. Still, the only difference between our keyboards is mine's a little older [0.67 vs 0.69] (is that a firmware rev?) - Onboard hubs are same rev 94.15. Mini's USB ports do look the same.

Are you aware of an app to read out the raw contents of the PRAM? Occurred to me last night there might be something to pursue there.

You said your CPU is Dual Core? Hmmm... Couldn't be that simple. I have a friend with a Core Duo Mini... maybe I'll spend a couple minutes with my keyboard on his and see how it's startup behaves.

All I can tell you is that when I plug in a USB 1.x keyboard it works - always. Even if it has an onboard hub, as long as it too is USB 1.x.

Maybe if someone else posts their results we'll see a pattern emerge.

Gee I love puzzles. :confused:
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
More info...

Using the Diagnostic Startup option (AHT) with my OSX install DVD, I obtained additional Boot ROM information.

My system has Boot ROM rev: MM11.88Z.0055.B08.0610121326

Would someone with a working Wired Apple Aluminum Keyboard please confirm theirs is the same?

Thank You.
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
All right, great news, Intell! I followed your link, and after a long and arduous process, I created a backup just in case something went wrong, then underwent the firmware update and crossed my fingers.

IT WORKED!! :D I was so surprised that it actually pulled through that I practically fell out of my chair. My Mini is now registering as a 2,1, with a completely different Boot ROM version and everything. I can install more RAM in it now, the Mac responds better to my DVI y-splitter (although it isn't perfect) and best of all, the keyboard works at startup! :apple:

I have already downloaded and purchased Lion for my Macbook Pro, and I still have the installer app. I tried running it on the Mini, and it informed me I would of course need a 64-bit CPU. This is still a huge improvement; when I tried to run it before this firmware upgrade, the installer wouldn't even launch. I wonder if I did upgrade the CPU to a C2D the installer would then work? It isn't something I'm worried about, as simply having the larger RAM capacity and a working Apple keyboard at startup are the biggest prizes of my endeavors. Thanks again for sharing that link!
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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You're welcome. The 2,1 firmware upgrade hack will not allow you to install Lion Apple's way. You'll still need to remove the SupportedPlatform.plist and upgrade your CPU to a C2D. Lion checks the logicboard ID. The 2,1 firmware update does not change this because it is burned in to the logicboard.
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
Right, I knew I would have to upgrade the CPU before anything else even happened. I've heard about the SupportedPlatform.plist hack as well, so I don't know if the Lion upgrade is worth the trouble.

Just for the sake of curiosity, were you saying that the firmware is burned into the logic board, or did you mean something else?

As a side note, my success with the Apple aluminum keyboard now working with the Mini after the firmware update could certainly demonstrate that the early 06' firmware - at least on some Mac models - could be to blame for the startup keystroke failure. Nothing else was wrong with the Mini I'm using, and it was fully updated, and the keyboard was fine, so it really didn't seem like anything else would cause the issue.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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The EFI firmware isn't burned onto the logiceboard. But its logicboard ID is. This is the thing Lion checks.
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
...As a side note, my success with the Apple aluminum keyboard now working with the Mini after the firmware update could certainly demonstrate that the early 06' firmware - at least on some Mac models - could be to blame for the startup keystroke failure. Nothing else was wrong with the Mini I'm using, and it was fully updated, and the keyboard was fine, so it really didn't seem like anything else would cause the issue.
So, what's the firmware revs now? Please include the keyboard fw rev too, as I'm curious if this upgraded too.

I think I'd like to repeat your success here. You say it's along the course of this thread? Wouldn't care to share a shortcut would you?

BTW - This Mini had an Air Port Express card that was preventing it from booting. Looking in the logs, this started after a major OS upgrade last year. I've heard some of these online upgrades update flash on things like Air Port cards, but it's all rather vague. Could this be related to why it stopped working and had to be removed? [in other words, is there any chance of salvaging it?]

----------

Intell, I guess I'm confused. You were talking about having an Alu Keybd 2006 Mini running the same firmware as I, but then you talked about having flashed one to think it was a Mini2,1... are we talking about 2 different Minis?

I'm confused. :confused: Are you saying the only thing that changed in this update was the Mini's identity from a 1,1 to a 2,1? This implies the same firmware just behaves a little differently based on the Ident.
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
All right, great news, Intell! I followed your link, and after a long and arduous process, I created a backup just in case something went wrong, then underwent the firmware update and crossed my fingers.

IT WORKED!! :D I was so surprised that it actually pulled through that I practically fell out of my chair. My Mini is now registering as a 2,1, with a completely different Boot ROM version and everything. I can install more RAM in it now, the Mac responds better to my DVI y-splitter (although it isn't perfect) and best of all, the keyboard works at startup! :apple:...
Dude - your IQ must be off the charts. I've read through that thread 3 times now, and all I am is dizzy.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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Intell, I guess I'm confused. You were talking about having an Alu Keybd 2006 Mini running the same firmware as I, but then you talked about having flashed one to think it was a Mini2,1... are we talking about 2 different Minis?

I'm confused. :confused: Are you saying the only thing that changed in this update was the Mini's identity from a 1,1 to a 2,1? This implies the same firmware just behaves a little differently based on the Ident.
My Mini is still on the 1,1 firmware. A 2,1 Mini's firmware is not MM11.0055.B08. I don't know why Apple says it is, but I think it has to do with there never being a Mac Mini 2,1 firmware update. So the 2,1 Mini's should never have corrupted firmware. Let's recap, the 1,1 and 2,1 Mini's have different firmware versions.

Dude - your IQ must be off the charts. I've read through that thread 3 times now, and all I am is dizzy.
It is a bit more oriented to the power users.
 

50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
My Mini is still on the 1,1 firmware. A 2,1 Mini's firmware is not MM11.0055.B08. I don't know why Apple says it is, but I think it has to do with there never being a Mac Mini 2,1 firmware update. So the 2,1 Mini's should never have corrupted firmware. Let's recap, the 1,1 and 2,1 Mini's have different firmware versions.
Uh... yeah that would help.


It is a bit more oriented to the power users.
I guess. I've been writing firmware and working with microprocessors for 30 years, and I could hardly follow what they were saying. Now I haven't worked with EFI at all before, so I'm not up to speed there, and this is my first Intel Mac. [I'm from the 68k Mac days]

I understand the thread was written while developing a method, but it wasn't clear [to me] which was a eureka post. I've collected almost all the tools they referred to, but I still don't follow the "downgrade to upgrade" angle. Maybe it's cause I haven't tried it.

Editing the images in HEX seems clear enough - to transplant the serial number and take care of the CRC. But it wasn't obvious to me how to save the image to begin with, as Diogones mentioned.

I guess I'm draggin this thread a bit further from a simple Aluminum Keyboard fix. I'd still appreciate if you or Diogones could PM me a "boiled down" version, or direct me the the individual posts in the thread that are the real meat.

Thanks for the response and for putting up with my nub questions.
 

Diogones

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2009
186
3
All right, 50BMG, I'm sorry that you are still confused, so I'll try and explain the process to upgrade the firmware as best as I can.

WARNING: I'm sure it goes without saying, but I'd strongly advise you to backup your entire system before proceeding. In case you brick the system, you can always restore with your backup and your system recovery discs. If you don't have any, ensure you have some before you begin. I'm not responsible if your Mac breaks after trying this.

First, download this zip file which contains the updated mac mini firmware files. After you extract the files, you will place them in your /System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware Updates directory.

Once you have placed the files in that location, open up a Terminal window and type (if you prefer to practice your keyboard skills) or paste the following:
sudo bless -mount / -firmware /System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware\ Updates/EFIUpdaterApp.efi -payload /System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware\ Updates/LOCKED_MM11_0055_08B.fd -options "-x efi-apple-payload0-data" --verbose
This will allow you to not only run the operation as root (sudo) which is necessary, as you are editing system-critical files, but it will order the Mac to bless the new firmware that you moved so that it is updated.

Turn off your computer normally.

Press and hold your power button until you see your Mini's power light flash repeatedly, and then release. You should hear a strange boot sound from your Mac.

You may or may not see a grey screen with a progress bar loading. I did, but others report they do not, so it will vary. If you do encounter this screen, just let the progress bar complete, and don't touch anything.

You should see your Mac boot into your desktop, only it will have an incredibly strange and distorted image, so you won't be able to operate anything. This is perfectly normal. Force your Mac to power down by holding the power button until it shuts off.

Reboot, but this time do a PRAM reset, by holding down Command+Option+P+R. Now here is the catch: if your aluminum keyboard doesn't work, you will need to have another generic USB keyboard you can use for the startup strokes, substituting the Windows key for Command and the Alt key for Option.

Once the PRAM is complete, the Mac should reboot and launch normally.

That's it! If done correctly your firmware will be updated. You can confirm this by checking your System Info dialogue box and examining the Mac identifier and the Boot ROM version. Nothing else should be required.

As you can see, it is a very tricky process, because you want to get the timing down just right on the reset and boot times. I'd write down these instructions so you can follow them through after your shut down your Mac. Remember, backup backup backup! If it goes haywire, restore from backup and try again.

Good luck! :apple:
 
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50BMG

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2011
52
0
Thank you very much Diogones.

Your procedure is very simple, especially when compared to the other thread. I'm not sure how you arrived at this elegant version from all that. I'll just be glad you did. I certainly missed the link to that Archive file.

A few things...

My system doesn't have a folder "/Firmware Updates/" in "/System/Library/CoreServices/", at least not one I see from the GUI. I'm running 10.4.11 Tiger, perhaps that's why?

Backing up my hard drive is no problem. I have a clean system drive freshly installed from the original Mini's DVD set to run the update from. It's making a backup of my present firmware that's the concern. I have the Apple Firmware Restoration CD 1.7 downloaded, which I can burn. Will that do as a suitable restoration source if the process goes awry?

Only thing remaining to ask [- maybe "verify" is a better word] I am running the Mini with it's original 1.5Ghz CPU and 1GB Memory configuration. [minus the Air Port Express card] If I've been following the update process correctly, the 2,1 firmware will have no problem in this system.

Reason I ask... I bought a RAM upgrade a couple days ago. But when it's installed, this system won't startup. [two stix of 1GB PC2-5300 667 SODIMM 1.8v] Tried everything I can think of, but no joy - just a flashing power LED and no chimes. I'll probably try these again if the new firmware works on the original RAM. According to what I've read, it should have worked as it is now though.​

Anyway, I'll wait to hear your response to the "missing folder" and "Restoration CD" before taking any steps.

Many thanks again.
 
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