Apple updates Macbook firmware

by Volker Weber

The SMC Update improves the MacBook's internal monitoring system and addresses issues with unexpected shutdowns. This update is recommended for all MacBook systems, including those that received warranty repair. The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the process.

Available through Software Update.

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Update: This screenshot takes the cake:

control panel


In my eyes, the SMC patch does either one of two things (or both):
a) it makes the system ignore signs of heatsink-induced short-circuits or
b) it lowers temperature thresholds so that the fans come in earlier

Judging from various reports it appears to me that the underlying problem is hardware-related. Therefore, neither one of the above options is going to solve the problem at its roots but rather provides a "quick and dirty" solution, leaving the malfunctioning hardware completely untouched.

While Apple surely gets around spending a lot of money on repairs or even issuing a recall for affected serial numbers, it's a shame to delude customers by making them think that a highly serious problem has been solved.

Martin Switaiski, 2006-10-29

Your option (a) does not make sense. A short circuit cannot be ignored.

I think Apple fights the root cause: a machine running too hot. And it successfully does so. My MacBook is running cooler. And I am happy with that.

Volker Weber, 2006-10-29

Sure, the MacBooks ran way too hot in the beginning. But that was addressed by the 1.0 update already, which improved fan behavior a lot on my machine.

I suppose your MacBook didn't suffer from "Random Shutdown Syndrome" (RSS), as you'd surely have noted that in your blog. Drawing from first-hand experience, the RSS isn't necessarily related to overheating. In my case, the problem was most severe when booting the machine in the morning, when it had usually been turned off for about 10 hours and thus was cold as dead fish. The machine shut down immediately after switching it on. I rather had the impression that the MacBook was actually too cold and that it needed sort of a floor temperature to take off. Therefore, I suppose there is something physically wrong with the affected machines, as has been noted by many other users that saw their MacBooks dying regularly.

Besides, it's a joke that it took Apple so long to come up with some sort of general solution in the first place. Buying a new machine for your master's thesis, only to experience this nightmare and buy a cheap windows notebook because you need a solution whatsoever was a lot of fun.

Martin Switaiski, 2006-10-29

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