Superdrive firmware updating in Windows on a Mac

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by macstatic, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. macstatic, Aug 21, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014

    macstatic macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I'm having trouble (as I've posted about in a separate thread) running a (Windows based) firmware updater for the DVD drive in my Mac, but read somewhere else that in Wineskin (Wine) I will only get access to the DVD media inside the drive and not the drive hardware itself.
    Is this a limitation in Wineskin, or would I run into the same issues with just about any Windows emulator (VMware Fusion, Crossover, Parrallels, Virtualbox)? I can't justify the cost of buying a Windows license just for this one tool, which is why I'm attempting to work it out in Wine which is free and emulates Windows without Microsoft Windows.

    I also read a suggestion about looking for an OSX driver which allows me to access the DVD-drive hardware through Wineskin. Where can I get a hold of something like that?
     
  2. macenied, Aug 21, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014

    macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #2
    I updated the Superdrive firmware on my MBP using Windows 7 with Bootcamp. In case you don't have a Windows license, you should be able to perform the FW update on any PC running Windows ( you need to temporary remove the Superdrive from your Mac for this workaround ).
     
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Good to hear it's doable from on Mac :)
    I don't feel comfortable removing the Superdrive of my still very new Macbook Pro.
    Are there other (legal) alternatives to buying an expensive Windows license for this? I know you can buy OEM licenses cheaper than a full one, but from what I understand it'll no longer work whenever you upgrade RAM, buy a different hard drive etc. and you just have to get another license instead.
     
  4. macenied, Aug 21, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014

    macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #4
    As far as I know W7 must be licensed within 30 days. This gives you a time window of 30 days after installation to do everything you want with it before you run out of time ;) . This is the legal Windows trial period, OS is functional without restrictions. You can use any official Installation DVD or download it from MS. You do not need ( and should not ask for ) the Product Key.
     
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    What??? There's a 30 day trial version of Windows?
    I couldn't find anything at Microsoft's website other than a "buy Windows download".

    I did find something else which was interesting though (Extend the Windows trial form 30 to 120 days).
     
  6. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #6
    The Windows distributions I know are purchased DVD's. Not sure about downloads. Everybody can hand over such a DVD to you, it's save as long you don't get the Product Key as well ( normally printed on a label on the DVD cover ). You can install the product and use it for 30 days without licensing, it's fully functional.
     
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    That's fantastic!
    So I can completely legally borrow a Windows installation DVD from a friend (but not receive the licence key) and install it on my Mac for 30 days for evaluation purposes?
    Wow, thanks for a great tip :)
     
  8. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #8
    Yes, you can. I did not want to dig in the extended 120 days, but if you need it, give it a try.
     
  9. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    SF Bay Area
    #9
    Windows 7, yes.
    Windows 8 will need an installation key.
    Installation keys are not the same as activation keys and can be pretty easily found online but just be warned that it's an extra step that you can avoid by sticking with Windows 7.
     
  10. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #10
    I also would recommend to stick with W7 at this specific issue :cool: . As already mentioned I updated the Superdrive's FW using Bootcamp ( 4.0 ) with Windows 7.
     
  11. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I found a completely legal Windows 7 downloadable installation ISO disk image by going here.
    After a few hurdles I managed to install it in VirtualBox (free) as I didn't want to repartition my drive. So now I have a trial version of Windows working :)

    The next step is to figure out how to actually put the Windows tool inside the virtual machine, but as this is slightly off-topic I'll post elsewhere about that.
    Thanks guys for suggesting the Windows trial! Much appreciated.
     
  12. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Just me but I wouldn't trust a virtual machine to make firmware changes on hardware.
    I'd also be a little surprised if OSx even allowed it.
     
  13. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I didn't know it made a difference just as long as I was running Windows.

    I really don't want to mess with the hard drive by partitioning it, but I have a free external hard drive. Is there a way to install Windows (from an ISO disk image file) on that drive and use it with Bootcamp? Or do I have to partition the drive, install OSX on one partition, Windows on the other and boot from it (the OSX partition)?
     
  14. macenied, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014

    macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #14
    - While it is possible to install Windows 7 at an external drive, tihs is not a practical approach. You will never be able to run it on a different machine due to hardware and driver issues. USB2 or Firewire 800 / 1600 or other older link speed technologies will not be satisfactory for you. USB3 or Thunderbolt might work.

    - As for Bootcamp, the Bootcamp assistant does for you: Re-Patrition the OSX Drive for you for using OSX and Windows on the same drive ( internal ) without OSX data loss. Provide the needed drivers for Windows for your MAC. Provide a utility to ( default ) boot OSX or Windows. Think about Bootcamp as a dual boot machine.

    - Use the Windows 7 64-Bit SP1 ( Service Pack 1 ) professional edition for your Mac. Home edition is restricted in functionality, Ultimate is likely an overkill.

    - Get rid of your Windows 7 installation iso file and burn a bootable DVD from this file. I'd recommend minimum 50 GB space for Windows on your hard drive, better 100 GB when you start working with the OS later on ( installing programs and maybe games as well ). My experience with Windows 7-64 Bit is that it runs very stable on my MBP using Bootcamp.

    As already mentioned somewhere, I use Windows 7 as my primary OS ( to be compatible with my clients needs ). I use OSX for MBP maintenance and any Unix-related tasks ( mainly programming and testing ). My mid 2010 13" MBP is a very rugged and useful portable tool for me. Not perfect, but good+ for my needs. I use this MBP 4 years now and will use it for anoter 2 years min. In this 4 years i updated the MBP to 8 GB Ram and an internal 480 GB SSD ( replacing the internal harddrive ). No need for a newer machine.

    I found a link where I think it might be helpful for Bootcamp basics:

    http://macs.about.com/od/bootcamp/ss/Using-Boot-Camp-Assistant-To-Install-Windows-On-Your-Mac.htm
     
  15. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    That's excellent information you've given me. I hadn't really given any of this much thought as I've been able to do just about everything I need in OSX... except for a couple of hardware related tools for DVD-drives, hard drives etc. where the manufacturer hasn't provided anything for the Mac platform.

    It's great that I can repartition the drive without losing anything (I'll clone the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner, Super Duper or similar first of course). Your setup sounds very nice. I currently have the stock 4GB RAM in mine and a 500GB hard drive. In time I hope to upgrade by replacing RAM with 16GB and an SSD as well.

    With "only" 500GB of hard drive space I'm wondering how much room I really need as for now I just need to run a couple of very small utilities, but then again I might find other things I need to install.... once I've split the drive into two partitions (i.e. OSX and Windows) will it be possible to re-partition it again in order to get more room for Windows (i.e. a bigger Windows partition)?
     
  16. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #16
    Although I've never done it, "resizing" the Bootcamp partition should be possible by deleting the Windows partition and installing Bootcamp again. However, take this statement with a grain of salt and further investigate, before you rely on it.
     
  17. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #17
    P.S. As soon as you connect to the Internet, you need a Virus protection for Windows 7. "Microsoft Security Essentials" is a free Virus Protection you can download from MS. Virus Definition files are updated on a daily basis and it is friendly to your hardware resources. There are different opinions about this Virus Protection out there, but for me it does the trick. Just avoid "suspicious" websites.
     
  18. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

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    UK
    #18
    I've used Windows running in VMWare Fusion to flash a couple of my optical drives with custom firmware before, though this was on an old Mac Pro with drives that I wouldn't have cared too much about if they broke as they were cheap and easily replaceable.

    So it is possible to flash your optical drive from a Windows running in a virtual machine on OS X, but I'm not sure I would recommend it.
     
  19. macstatic, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Macenied: after several attempts I finally managed to install Windows via Bootcamp. It was a bit confusing because Bootcamp installer told me to put the Windows ISO disk image on a memory stick which I did, but nevertheless it told me the file was useless for some reason when actually getting to the installation stage. The same ISO image burnt on to a DVD on the other hand allowed me to install Windows via Bootcamp, but initially I was told to use the USB-memory stick as it wouldn't accept using a DVD. Very strange.
    I must have done something wrong to begin with because although Windows installed as it should and I was able to boot into it the drivers etc. obviously weren't installed.
    I tried a couple more times until finally an installer of some sort (within Windows) which said "Bootcamp" installed lots of drivers. After that all seemed fine as I was even allowed online which previously didn't work. But after all that I didn't get the DVD firmware tool to work as it should. Maybe it only works via real PC hardware. I'll have to spend more time looking into this. I hope I "installed" the firmware utility correctly though: having previously downloaded the Windows tool on my Mac, and unzipping the ZIP file I simply copied the folder (containing the .BAT and .EXE files) over to a FAT formatted USB-memory stick, inserted it into the (Windows booted) Macbook Pro, then copied that folder over to the "Documents" folder where I double-clicked it. I know PCs at least used to have that registry mess, so should I have installed the software somehow to avoid any problems?

    Downloading and installing anti-virus software as suggested was a good idea that I had totally forgotten about. Working with Macs really spoils us, doesn't it! It all reminded me how much more I like the "minimalist" OSX interface, that we don't have to worry about viri and that even installing our operating system is a breeze!

    Dark Dragoon: interesting to hear that you've managed to flash drives in a virtual machine. I did get different error messages between my two setups. In VirtualBox I believe the problems seemed like it just couldn't find the drive while in Bootcamp it seemed the communication was eastablished with the drive but there were some address errors or something.
     
  20. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #20
    macstatic: Great to read that you finally succeeded with the Bootcamp Installation. I cannot comment on the USB Installation because I never tried.

    Now, that you have a dual boot system there is no additional layer between your firmware updater and the Superdrive, so the firmware update should work. However, Superdrive is not Superdrive and you need to find out what version of Superdrive you have ( screenshot 1 ). Depending on the result you need a corresponding update software and firmware for the superdrive. I had success with the product showed in screenshot 2. You can download and install everything using W7 now. W7 has an integrated zip Utility.

    Be careful, wrong firmware loaders or firmware can brick your Superdrive.
     

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  21. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #21
    P.S. I send you 2 attachments:

    1) A Bootcamp W7 Desktop can look good also, IMO ( not so practical ;) )
    2) Macbook Keyboard mapping for Windows ( very practical )
     

    Attached Files:

  22. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Thanks for the keymap PDF. Very useful indeed (screenshots etc.)! :)

    Yes, I've checked the drive model/firmware version prior to all of this in OSX, and have downloaded the correct one for my specific drive. I think I may be able to flash it from the OSX side actually, but what I'm having trouble with is dumping the existing firmware (for backup purposes) as the OSX version of the utility is too old to run in Mavericks, and my 2012 Macbook Pro is too recent to allow for booting into Snow Leopard (which I think the firmware dump tool works with), so I'm stuck. The only option left is to try it in Windows, but alas I'm having problems there too. I understand that I could also create a virtual machine to run the server version of Snow Leopard, but then I'd have to buy that installation DVD and besides it would mean running it in a virtual machine which I've now understood might not be such a good idea.

    I noticed something interesting with your Windows desktop: there's a shortcut to "Windows XP mode", and this might be worth looking into as perhaps there's a compatibility problem with Windows 7 and the firmware dump utility.
     
  23. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #23
    Windows XP mode is a Virtual Machine for Windows XP, which you can download ( 2 packages, Virtual Machine and Windows XP SP3 ) from Microsoft for free if you have a Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise Edition. No Windows XP license is needed, the product is free. You will find detailed Information from Microsoft if you google for "Windows XP mode".

    It works without flaws and is quite handy when you need / want to run Windows XP or native DOS Software.

    For Windows 8/8.1 the packages are not available. To achieve same functionality you need to install a Virtual Machine and you need to have a Windows XP license.
     

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  24. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I installed Windows 7 professional. I've just downloaded and installed "XP mode" but couldn't really figure out how to use it. But then I read somewhere that the problems I'm having might be due to BIOS settings (I should turn off AHCI). Is it possible to get access to the BIOS when I'm not running Windows on a "real" PC?
     
  25. macenied macrumors 6502a

    macenied

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    #25
    Not that I know. I run all this on a 13" MBP mid 2010 and have no BIOS as well.

    Did you update your Windows 7 Installation with the "Windows Update" function ( Start -> All Programs -> Windows Update ? ). If not, I would highly recommend it. !!! This can take quite some time !!!
     

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