Flash EFI firmware update manually on a Mac(Book 5,1)

So, you find yourself in the need to flash an EFI update by hand on a mac??  That’s awesome, I was in the same situation! My story is quite funny, it all started….nah, just kidding! First things first, I’ll tell you my story afterwards. ;)

On word of WARNING in the beginning: Don’t do anything described here if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m not responsible for anything that may happen if you continue reading and apply the next paragraph. It worked for me, it might work for you as well. But it also might not and break something! If you’re unsure, go seek competent help at an Apple Store, from a Certified Apple Technician or some other professional!


Download the EFI Firmware update from Apple, unpack the package (e.g. with unpkg) and locate the Firmware in the correspoding app. Or you use the existing app in /Applications/Utilities if you happen to have it already. As I needed to reflash a Unibody MacBook 5,1 (Late ’08), I downloaded the package for it (MB51.007D.003 (EFI 1.3)), unpkged it and located my firmware in the app (MacBook EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/MB51_007D_03B_LOCKED.scap). This is very important!! One needs to make sure to flash the correct version!!! Else bad things WILL happen! Then open a terminal and use bless (That command is one line and yes, -firmware is an undocumented feature):

user@mac:~$ sudo bless -mount / -firmware /Applications/Utilities/MacBook EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/MB51_007D_03B_LOCKED.scap

Again: BE VERY CAREFUL TO USE THE RIGHT VERSION!!! THIS CAN BRICK YOUR DEVICE!!!

Then shutdown and continue with the default firmware flash procedure for your device (e.g.: Unibody MacBook 5,1 – 1.3 EFI Firmware).
And that’s all folks. The Mac should reboot, flash the firmware and everybody’s happy again. It worked for me like a charm, but ymmv. ;)

And now my story: what happened to me was the following. The Ubuntu 11.04 beta was released on April 1st, I had a spare external harddrive, some free time, so i had to try it out. I knew there were macbook specifc live cds (with grub-efi) out there from the alpha releases but I couldn’t find them on the beta download page. So i went on and downloaded the daily version assuming it would be the same. Oh boy, what a mistake.

I don’t know exactly what happened and why, but the installation from that daily disk didn’t finish on the one hand and didn’t let me specify the location where to install grub (i did find it out later on using the right disc). What i know for sure is, that my macbook wanted to flash a firmware afterwards. But there was none. And as a result, every boot followed the firmware flash procedure because apparently, the flash flag (wherever that might be) stayed set: Long wait with a black screen -> Power light starts flashing -> A horrible beep -> Wait some more -> Start the boot process

The MacBook isn’t booted that often (sleep ftw!), but it was quite annoying to know that something was kaputt. Well, and after a long weekend searching and trying different solutions (even bless), a friend of mine who knows a lot about Apple stuff mentioned the undocumented -firmware flag for bless. And that fixed everything. ;)

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    • sirblackheart
    • May 1st, 2011

    WOW thx!!!
    It happend a lot of people with ubuntu. Too bad you didn’t file a bug report.
    Look here for the current situtation:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/774089

    • Paul
    • May 1st, 2011

    Hey there,

    I just wanted to let you know that I was able to recover thanks to your post from the same issue that you described.

    There is a bug report (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/774089) going with a number of people having the same issue and most of them were able to recover, mostly thanks to this post! So this is a very big thank you for saving our macbooks. Before that turning them in to the apple store seemed like the best bet, so this has been a pretty big life saver!

    Keep up the good work ;)

    Paul

    • Hey,

      you’re welcome! Good to know that it worked for someone else as well! ;)

      And thx for the information about the bug report, didn’t know about that.

      bye

    • Doug Livesey
    • May 3rd, 2011

    Hi — thanks for this post — I’m one of the people from the bug report, although I haven’t been able to use your solution, yet, as there don’t appear to be any firmware upgrades for my model of MBP (5,4) in the link you provide.
    I guess I need to ask someone at Apple which one would be safe for me, but I thought I’d post the question here, in case anyone moseying through saw & knew the answer.
    Cheers,
    Doug.

    • Hey,

      that’s a pitty.
      Don’t know if that works, but maybe someone with the same model could extract the firmware file (should be located in the EFI partition which is mountable (as msdos) from the terminal at the APPLE/EXTENSIONS path) and you flash that one.
      You could even try and extract your own firmware and flash that, as I think that’s only a backup location for the firmware (but i’m not 100%) so it shouldn’t be broken.

      But that may also kill some kittens…
      Good luck

    • Doug Livesey
    • May 3rd, 2011

    I’ve just been doing a little research, and by going to “About This Mac” I’ve seen that the last installed EFI Firmware was indeed the package shown there for the 5,3, so I reckon I should be good to install that one.
    Cheers again for this article — I’ll let you know how I get on (once my courage has picked up enough to to start ‘fixing and improving’ things again!).
    Doug.

    • jakommo
    • May 5th, 2011

    Hey pubmem,
    I just want to thank you for your post.
    I was affected by this too and went to the apple store today where they suggested to replace the mainboard for 400€.
    Now I have it working again and saved the money thank to our post and the instructions in Comment #30 on the bugreport.
    Cheers
    jakommo

    • Loki
    • May 7th, 2011

    Hey thnx million times. I really appreciate that. thnx thnx thnx

    • dougfolksy
    • May 8th, 2011

    It worked!
    Thankyou very, *very* much!
    Am now picking up the courage to attempt to try to install Ubuntu dual-boot, again.
    Wish me luck! :)

    • Mike
    • May 9th, 2011

    I ave done this on my 5.5 it works better now, it did the update, and restarts normally

    but every restart i get a message firmware update completed successfully, i click ok and everything is ok

    is there a way to disable this message? i doesn’t actually do an upgrade every reboot just the message.

    • Alex
    • May 11th, 2011

    Hi there guys,

    I’m having a problem with the bless command, maybe you can help me.

    The errors:

    No appropriate ESP for /
    Failed to determine auxiliary partition mountpoint for /
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Dunno what I’m doing wrong. Thanks guys.

    • tinoZZo
    • May 13th, 2011

    Hi,

    I have the same issue apart from that my macbook (5,1) never boot, it just has black screen.
    Somebody else is experiencing this?
    Bye,

    • Juan
    • May 14th, 2011

    I’ve been bitten by the same Ubuntu 11.04 issue. I’ve been running Ubuntu on my MacBook exclusively without a separate OS X partition.

    Do you know if it’s possible to reflash the firmware from an OS X installed on an external USB hard drive? When I tried to do so I got an error:

    sudo bless -mount / -firmware MBP53_00AC_03B_LOCKED.scap

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
    typing when using sudo. Type “man sudo” for more information.

    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

    Password:
    Error while writing to /Volumes/bless.gS66//EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE/MBP53_00AC_03B_LOCKED.scap: No space left on device
    -1 bytes written
    Could not create /Volumes/bless.gS66//EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE/MBP53_00AC_03B_LOCKED.scap
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Thanks.

    • In theory it should work without a problem if you booted from the external drive.

      Your output makes me assume that either
      * you mounted it from your internal hard drive OS X installation
      * you mounted the device read only
      * that there’s not enough space left :P

        • Juan
        • May 20th, 2011

        Let me give you more detail about my problem. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

        I downloaded the ubuntu-11.04-desktop-amd64.iso (not the special Mac one, which was probably my mistake) image and installed it. No problems during the install. But now my MacBook Pro 5,4 won’t book _at all._ Every fourth or so time I get an “invalid arch independent ELF magic” error.

        I’m not sure, but my gut tells me that the Ubuntu install fried the firmware. I’m guessing using bless to reflash the MacBook is the right solution. I’ve tried that from an OS X I installed on an external USB drive with no success.

        Is / the right value for -mount in my case? Isn’t that the root of the external USB hard drive file system? Shouldn’t I tell bless to write to the MacBook itself?

        I’ve also tried reinstalling OS X on the MacBook itself. But the installer can’t read the internal hard drive. It doesn’t show up in Disk Utility.

        _And_ I’ve also tried a firmware recovery CD. That hasn’t worked either. :(

    • Phil
    • May 30th, 2011

    Took me a while to find this, but others might find it helpful – a link to a list of model identifiers and which firmware update goes with each, to help you determine the correct one to download:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1237

    • Jurry
    • June 12th, 2011

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to let you know this worked for me, but in a different way. I have a MacBook Pro 5.5 with OS X 10.6 This it what made it work for me:

    Downloaded the the EFI update (1.7) from the apple website and unpacked it with unpkg.
    Blessing the .scap file while it was still in the contents of the MacBook EFI Firmware update.app did not work for me. I copied the .scap file (located in Contents/Resources) to my home directory. After I used this command:
    sudo bless -mount / -firmware MBP55_00AC_03B_LOCKED.scap

    The terminal didn’t give any output info and returned to my home directory. After I copied the .scap file back into the Contents/Resources directory, From there on I followed the rest of this guide.

    I was so happy after days of trying that I did not pay attention any more to what happened after the bless command worked, but when I tried to do the update again it still said that my macbook was up to date with the latest firmware. So, did it do the firmware update anyway or was using the bless command actually flashing the EFI??? I wonder…..

    Anyway…. Many thanks to pubmem!!!

  1. Hi,

    I have exactly the same problem but with a Macbook 6.1 Apple hasn’t released a firmware update for this model. There is a Firmware.scap on the Mac OS X installation disk under /usr/standalone/i386, I suppose it’s a backup of the original firmware. I tried to replace MB51_007D_03B_LOCKED.scap by the original one. But the EFI Firmware.app seems to check the version and says that it’s not for my model. Do you if there is procedure to lauch the installation ?

    Thanks !

    • Hey,

      you shouldn’t need to run any *.app as you invoke the upgrade process with the bless command and point via the -firmware parameter to the location of the firmware you would like to flash, in your case the one from the os x installation disk.

      But I really don’t know if the firmware on the disk is the firmware you need to flash. If in doubt reflash your current firmware, located in the same directory as on the installation disk. Because it’s not the firmware that’s broken (at least not in my case), it’s only some EFI flag that is wrongly set from the ubuntu installation (as far as my understanding goes).

      Good luck.

      • Hey

        I own a macbook6,1 and I’m suffering from this problem. The firmware.scap didn’t work for me, it simply asks me to enter my password after the following command and then thats it.
        sudo bless -mount / -firmware /Users/jackbramhall1/Desktop/Firmware.scap
        After shutting down then turning the power back on, my macbook does the same thing and it takes 5 goes to get my mac booted up.

    • Matt
    • July 4th, 2011

    Woah! Thanks. I’ve been stuck with this issue for over a year since I tried to install Ubuntu Server and killed my EFI partition. This finally fixed it!

    Do you have anyway of making a donation for your awesome instruction?

    • andreigherghe
    • July 5th, 2011

    Hello!
    Thank you!
    I can confirm this also works with an MacBook Air, Mid 2009 (MacBook Air2,1)!
    It fixed the problem! Now it boots faster also :D
    THANKS A BILION!

    • Tree
    • July 5th, 2011

    Thanks for the help! I had the same issue from the same computer and it has taken me months to find a solution.

    • Olyphant
    • July 16th, 2011

    Thank you very much!

    • Kasper
    • July 19th, 2011

    Thanks a lot man! :D Helped me out with my Macbook 5,2.

    • Luc
    • July 21st, 2011

    @pubmen & jurry
    Hey Guys,

    I have a MBP 5.5 with OSX 10.7 (Lion). I did everything you guys did but everytime I launch the firmware update, it says my EFI is already up to date. So, nothing happens at the next shutdown/boot and I’m still stuck with the POST problem. Is there any other way to force the EFI update besides the bless command ?

    • Luc
    • July 21st, 2011

    Never mind my previous question: I just needed to wait for the flash to take hold (20 seconds after the long beep). Thank you both for your help, now my precious MBP works damn fine (and Lion rocks, too).

    Luc

  2. Hey, I’m also having this problem and was glad I found this site.
    Unfortunately I can’t seem to get this to work. Every time I put this in Terminal I get this:
    Can’t load /Applications/Utilities/MacBook
    Could not load data from /Applications/Utilities/MacBook
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Any idea what I’m doing wrong? I really need to get this fixed!

    • * Wrap the path in quotes
      * Be sure that the file exists

    • leo
    • August 21st, 2011

    A mi tambien me ha dado error de firmware al instalar ubuntu 64, tengo un macbook pro 5,4 y no he encontrado el firmware en la web de apple para mi mac, y he actualizo manualmente con el firmware 5,5 tengo que arrancar haciendo un reset a la PRAM, seguire investigando.

    • Pues yo no se si es una buena idea de instalar un firmware de otro MacBook.
      Lo que podrias intentar es installar el firmware que tienes en la partition EFI, pero si ya has installado el firmware del MB 5,5…pues yo no se…

    • Edson
    • August 25th, 2011

    I dont know if I misunderstood something, but after I enter the bless command, I already tried to shutdown -h now and reboot in terminal and always my macbook pro boots normally, without flashing the EFI.
    Also, when I extract the MacbookProEFIUpdate.pkg, I have a folder with some subfolders until I got the .scap file (EFI 2.1 macbook pro 8,1 2011), and not the .app….

    • What does your bless command look like? And in the *.pkg there should be the app as well containing the scap file (in the Applications/Utilities folder).

    • Edson
    • August 27th, 2011

    The bless command: sudo bless -mount / -firmware /Users/Administrator/Desktop/MacBookProEFIUpdate/System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware\ Updates/MacBookProEFIUpdate-2.1/MBP81_0047_0EB_LOCKED.scap

    It don’t give any error, and if I mount the EFI partition the .scap file is in EFI/FIRMWARE

    I used unpkg and got only the subfolders you can see in the bless command and the scap file, nothing else. And I don’t have any app related to Firmware in App/Utilities folder.

    I tried to use the Firmware.scap that is in the Install DVD that came with my MBP, but no luck with that too.

      • Edson
      • August 27th, 2011

      I have a bootcamp partition, the mod partition table because of that is a problem?

    • Edson
    • August 27th, 2011

    I downloaded yours efi update too and saw the .app.
    My Boot ROM Version: MBP81.0047.B0E
    I tried to run the pkg and it says that my system is not compatible, and with the 1.3 it says that I don’t need the update.
    I’m downloading the Software Update 1.4 (130mb), let’s see if that will install.
    The problem is that when I’ve tested the Lock my Mac in iCloud, something happened that I enter the right code, for icloud.com my mac gets unlocked but it says wrong code here O.O, and I’m talking to the Support for 2 weeks now ;/
    * I’ve already re installed OSX to take out the bootcamp.

  3. Hi! I have the same problem… as you, I have a MacBook 5,1 I tried to follow all the steps above, but in terminal I’ve got the next lines:

    mount_msdos: Unsupported sector size (0)
    /sbin/mount returned non-0 exit status
    Failed to determine auxiliary partition mountpoint for /
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Please, help!!!

  4. I have the same MacBook 5,1. But I always got this on terminal:

    Can’t load /Applications/Utilities/MacBook EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/MB51_007D_03B_LOCKED.scap
    Could not load data from /Applications/Utilities/MacBook EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/MB51_007D_03B_LOCKED.scap
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    The annoying sound still there… :S

    • jimmymac641
    • August 29th, 2011

    Where do I find the .scap file? I’ve downloaded and used unpkg, but still am unable to locate the .scap file Also does the Mac need to be remotely booted?

    • It’s in the app… (assuming you downloaded the file I referred to in the original post)

        • jimmymac641
        • August 30th, 2011

        My Mac was a different version so I downloaded this file MBP55.00AC.B03 (EFI 1.7) but once unpacked I still can’t see a .scap file. Any thoughts?

        • max
        • November 21st, 2011

        under utilities folder, there is only “MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update”. can’t locate .scap file

  5. Isaí Muñoz :

    I ready solve it… thanks…

    How? Please share your solution with us…

  6. Well… it’s a funny mistake… as you see, the path of the file, in the command line is:

    /Applications/Utilities/MacBook EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/MB51_007D_03B_LOCKED.scap

    And I didn’t realize that the file is in the folder Contents/Resources/… I just change it, and… bam! the annoying sound go away… :D

    (I really don’t know why I get the first error, but… it doesn’t matter any more…)

    PS: if you have problems with the path, just pick the archive and put it on over the Terminal.

    Thanks a lot…

  7. Worked great! Thanks! But…

    I had to (completely) format my disk because (after installing ubuntu 11.04…) it was marked to be a disk with a MBR (Master Boot Record) instead having a GUID Partition Table. So bless could not do its work. After reinstalling OSX the command described above worked instantly.

  8. It worked ! It was cheaper than the motherboard replacement :)

  9. thanks this is great, however when i executed the command, nothing is shown(good so far), but when i reboot the system just booted and there’s no progress bar whatsoever.
    i’m using Lion and MBP 5.4. any help?

    • Leon
    • September 18th, 2011

    Sorry for my impatience!
    It shows us after a long wait. Thanks! Your post really helped many ppl!

    • Adi
    • September 27th, 2011

    Hi Guys,

    I have the same problem. I own a Macbook 6,1 (late 2009 Model) and i am unable to find efi update for my model. Is there any other way around I can flash my efi.

    Please suggest.. I have been trying to get rid of this problem from past 3 months.. In dire need of help

    • I have a Macbook Air 2,1 (MBA21.0075.B05) and Apple doesn’t have this firmware available either. Were you ever able to track yours down?

        • Adi
        • October 15th, 2011

        No same for me they don’t have it for my model as well.

  10. Hi
    I’ve been battling with this for a few months now. But I can’t get past the black screen in order to enter commands. Any advice?

    • MartinMac
    • October 16th, 2011

    Here you are the solution for MacBook 6,1 (late 2009). Be aware that your MB will be a 5,5 MBP for the “system informations”

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=11354204&postcount=62

  11. Adding my thanks to the list. Worked perfectly with my Macbook Pro 5,5. Life saver :)

    • Tommy Brown
    • November 21st, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this fix – recovered my Mid 2009 5,4 Macbook Pro to one-power-cycle goodness.

  12. max :

    under utilities folder, there is only “MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update”. can’t locate .scap file

    It’s _in_ the app. (Look at the path in the original post. For more information regarding OS X apps please google or read e.g. http://www.mactipsandtricks.com/articles/Wiley_HT_appBundles2.lasso)

      • max
      • November 26th, 2011

      I don’t tell what to tell you. it works!!!!!! after i Wrap the path in quotes

    • Ryan
    • November 26th, 2011

    This will not work on Lion…?

    • There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work. But on the other hand it’s apple, so who knows for sure? ;)

    • Peo
    • November 30th, 2011

    I’m stuck here:

    MacBook-Pro-di-Claudia:~ enrico$ bless -mount / -firmware /Users/enrico/Desktop/MacBookProEFIUpdate/System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware\ Updates/MacBookProEFIUpdate-2.3/MBP81_0047_24B_LOCKED.scap
    mount_msdos: /dev/disk0s1: Permission denied
    /sbin/mount returned non-0 exit status
    Failed to determine auxiliary partition mountpoint for /
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    ??

    • You missed “sudo”. ;)
      You need root permissions for that command, simply prepend “sudo” or get a root shell.

    • Peo
    • November 30th, 2011

    That’s an administrator account. I tried sudo-ing as well :-P

    • What’s the output of “bless –info –getBoot” and “diskutil list”?

    • Peo
    • December 3rd, 2011

    pubmem :
    What’s the output of “bless –info –getBoot” and “diskutil list”?

    My wife took the MBP away for her work, I’ll be back to you in a couple of days. Thanks.

    • Peo
    • December 5th, 2011

    pubmem :
    What’s the output of “bless –info –getBoot” and “diskutil list”?

    $ bless -info -getBoot
    Can’t access “efi-boot-device” NVRAM variable

    $ diskutil list
    /dev/disk0
    #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
    0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.1 GB disk0
    1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
    2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 499.2 GB disk0s2
    3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3

    • Looks like your nvram’s kinda corrupt, try to repair it (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1379). Then reexecute the “bless -info -getBoot” command and if you get some meaningful output, the original command should work by then.

    • Peo
    • December 7th, 2011

    I contacted Apple Support. They made me reset PRAM, verify and repair disk and other tests.
    The problem was my MBP started in Safe mode.
    Format & reinstall solved the problem.

    Thanks for the info

    • dg
    • December 24th, 2011

    Help. My mac is doing the same thing! I dont understand this statement

    “Download the EFI Firmware update from Apple, unpack the package (e.g. with unpkg) and locate the Firmware in the correspoding app. Or you use the existing app in /Applications/Utilities”

    Define corresponding app: I dont understand what to use

    • In the unpackage *.pkg file there is the “Firmware Upgrade.app” and there you need to locate the firmware.

    • dg
    • December 24th, 2011

    Okay, still having issues and I am afraid of bricking my machine. Would it be possible to write instructions for newbs like myself. I think I get the jest, but this is not something you want to do and get it wrong.

    • dg
    • December 28th, 2011

    Would you type the script in from the command line in terminal or command-s when you start up.

  13. Shouldn’t really matter, but I’d use the terminal to avoid $PATH issues…

    • mk
    • January 5th, 2012

    That fix doesn’t work for me… After the terminalcommand from your article there is no reply from the system or anything else. Then I shut-down and turn my Mac back on. But nothing happens. It starts normal and nothing happens. I’m using a Macbook Pro 5.5 running OS X 10.7.2 on a Samsung SSD instead of the original Apple HDD but I think that will be not the problem. After resetting PRAM I still get a black screen until the loginscreen of Mac OS… Don’t know what else to do… I just want to reflash it! ;)

    • Sry, I have no idea if it works under lion. You could try to change your harddrive, install SL and then try the flash procedure…

    • Victor Deleau
    • February 3rd, 2012

    Isaí Muñoz :
    I ready solve it… thanks…

    Hi ! please i have the SAME problem. Could you say me how did you fix it? Thanks !

    • Larry
    • February 19th, 2012

    Working on a Macbook 5,2 & firmware MB52.0088.B05.
    The command goes well. no errors.

    However when I restart, I get the same version of Boot ROM.
    What am I missing.

    • Vinhidalgo
    • February 27th, 2012

    Pubmen… I need to run the EFI update on a mac that has broken HDD> Is it possible to run those commands, and just when ready to reboot and Flash firmware- use this HDD(good one) on the macbook pro with the broken HDD and Flash EFI? Could be possible? Also, when I run bless –info –getBoot… I get “No volume specified”…

    When I try the whole line “sudo bless -mount / -firmware /TechnofixCR/Desktop/MacBookProEFIUpdate/System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware\ Updates/MacBookProEFIUpdate/MBP61_0057_0FB_LOCKED.scap ” i get

    Password:
    Can’t load /USER/Desktop/MacBookProEFIUpdate/System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware Updates/MacBookProEFIUpdate/MBP61_0057_0FB_LOCKED.scap
    Could not load data from /USER/Desktop/MacBookProEFIUpdate/System/Library/CoreServices/Firmware Updates/MacBookProEFIUpdate/MBP61_0057_0FB_LOCKED.scap
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Any advice? Thanks

    • Vinhidalgo
    • February 27th, 2012

    These are my results from Terminal:

    XXXXs-MacBook-Pro:Firmware Updates USER$ sudo bless -mount / -firmware MB61_0057_0FB_LOCKED.scap –verbose
    EFI found at IODeviceTree:/efi
    GPT detected
    No auxiliary booter partition required
    System partition found
    Returning booter information dictionary:
    {type = mutable dict, count = 3,
    entries =>
    0 : {contents = “System Partitions”} = (
    disk0s1
    )
    1 : {contents = “Data Partitions”} = (
    disk0s2
    )
    2 : {contents = “Auxiliary Partitions”} = (
    )
    }

    Substituting ESP disk0s1
    Mounting at /Volumes/bless.mPqE
    Executing “/sbin/mount”
    Returned 0
    Creating /Volumes/bless.mPqE//EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE if needed
    Deleting previous contents of /Volumes/bless.mPqE//EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE
    Can’t load MB61_0057_0FB_LOCKED.scap
    Could not load data from MB61_0057_0FB_LOCKED.scap
    Executing “/sbin/umount”
    Returned 0
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    where could be the problem? Thanks

  14. WOW. This worked perfectly for me, thank you very, very much!

    Only tweak I made was placing the .scap file in Applications as the folder route wasn’t recognised.

    I don’t have a partitioned drive and have never dabbled with Ubuntu etc. Yet my MacBook Pro (5,3, mid-2009) was consistently restarting with a long beep and black screen, followed by 3 more black screens on forced restarts, followed by a normal startup.

    I’d tried every startup option, taken it to the genius bar at the apple store and both they and I were convinced this was a hardware problem (They actually suggested a new motherboard and / or a new top case to fix the problem – both the wrong side of £500).

    Thanks again – am delighted :)

    • Khaled
    • March 9th, 2012

    Chokran Jazilalan !

    I know you will don’t understand my 1st sentence cause it’s arabic wroten by latin letters but that means thank you so much.

    I’m great to repair my mac and i have honor to read your article.

    • Tomáš Pluskal
    • April 14th, 2012

    Hi. I have a little problem. My friend have a broken MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2009 and it have a SOS Boot problem, so i thing that a EFI Restore will fix it. I think that there is a just one way – EFI Firmware restore CD from Apple support. But there is no option for that model of MacBook Pro. So how can i make a ‘my own’ restore CD ? Is there some way to take a last version of official Apple EFI restore CD and exchange just a that file with firmware with a last firmware update ? Because there is no way to boot, so i think that a restore CD is only option. Thank you so much !!

    • peterj
    • April 25th, 2012

    Hi All, it’s not working for me with MBP54. I moved the app to /Applications/Utilites, found the firmware file, ran bless and entered password but then there is no message about success/fail… just back to command prompt. When I run the EFI Firmware Update app (tried both before and after reboot) it still says EFI Update 1.7 is already installed and refuses to do anything. What step am I missing?

      • tvamvarg
      • April 28th, 2012

      I get the same result with my MB51, nothing happens, just command prompt. I am almost sure that getting this done would fix my booting troubles with my new SSD!

    • tvamvarg
    • April 28th, 2012

    Thanks for the info, when I tried this to get my cloned SSD (Snow Leopard install) to work, I got the following:

    /System/Library/Extensions/msdosfs.kext failed to load – (libkern/kext) validation failure (plist/executable); check the system/kernel logs for errors or try kextutil(8).
    mount_msdos: msdos filesystem is not available
    /sbin/mount returned non-0 exit status
    Failed to determine auxiliary partition mountpoint for /
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Why would it fail like this, do you have an idea?

    • tvamvarg
    • April 28th, 2012

    When I tried to fix my unreliable boot with a cloned SSD (Snow Leopard install) I got the following:

    /System/Library/Extensions/msdosfs.kext failed to load – (libkern/kext) validation failure (plist/executable); check the system/kernel logs for errors or try kextutil(8).
    mount_msdos: msdos filesystem is not available
    /sbin/mount returned non-0 exit status
    Failed to determine auxiliary partition mountpoint for /
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    Any idea what could be wrong here?

    • tvamvarg
    • April 28th, 2012

    Scratch that comment – I had safe booted; of course the msdosfs.kext wouldn’t have been loaded…

    • theo
    • May 29th, 2012

    A lot of apple computers have trouble updating efi when the os is run from a different disk than the main HDD. This seems to happen for people who replaced their dvd drive by a flash drive and installed os x on it, or in my case, who are permanently running os x from an external drive, because i wanted to put a different os on the internal drive.

    I can’t update my iMac efi to 1.8; software update keeps bugging me to update, i accept, it updates, reboot, and software update is still unhappy.

    I am tempted to you your bless trick, but i am slightly worried i am going to bork a completely working system.

    Any reason to believe I would mess something up (assuming that i am using the proper efi for the system)? Is not having the ‘main’ HDD available the source of the issue?

    • Husseinkh
    • July 20th, 2012

    Lots of thanks, it did work great for me

    • Chris
    • July 26th, 2012

    Is it possible to do a raw read of the efi flash? And to flash it back to a device?

    With best regards

    Chris

    • If your talking about the EFI itself (not the boot loader this post is about but the BIOS successor) I don’t think it’s possible from OS X directly as I assume the kernel’s missing the appropriate interface/device, but that’s way beyond my skill level to answer accurately. ;)

      Maybe this post can get you to the right direction: http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~pxk/416/notes/02-boot.html

    • swordfish2172
    • July 27th, 2012

    I’m wondering is this an OS level command?

    I’ve got the same machine with an EFI problem. Won’t boot can’t run OS X but i can access the drive by mounting it in target mode on my other machine. I’ve booted my imac into my macbook pro’s drive via target disk mode. I’m just worried will this command force my imac to try and install the macbook pro firmware? or will it only create that flag at the os level so when the macbook pro boots it will run the update

    • It is an “OS level command”, just look at the man page for specifics.

      Well, not sure. I’d say it’ll mess around with the iMacs firmware. Did you try and boot with any live CD to your MB (like the OS X install DVD, any linux live CD, …)?

        • swordfish2172
        • July 28th, 2012

        Yea I’ve already got one dead machine i don’t need to make my iMac dead as well….I figured out how to bypass the SMC which allowed me to boot into OS X. Unfortunatly i cannot get the bless command to work. it returns as could not load data from the file and then says error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    • incase
    • August 14th, 2012

    hi, I accidentally flashed a SMC from a MBA to my MBP7,1.
    I can’t flash the EFI 2.5 … there is always an error: “This version is not supported by your mac” …
    The EFI 2.5 is different from yours (no update app…)
    I tried it like you … everything worked but I can’t still run the update because of the error…

    … what should I do?

    • Luis Stefanakys
    • August 15th, 2012

    hi how do i do this on a mac pro 1.1 ?

    Thanks

    • Bad EFI
    • September 18th, 2012

    I’m with “incase”; I’ve got a MBP7,1 with corrupt EFI Update 2.5 and there is no app. After running the sudo -bless / -firmware command and rebooting back into OSX, I run the EFI2.5.pkg and get the “This Version is Not Supported By Your Mac” error (presumably because it’s already installed…)

    Is there a data base online somewhere with downloads for older EFIs? Could we use this method to re-flash to older EFIs (to fix the corruptness and then re-flash up to the latest version)?

    • sam peter
    • November 6th, 2012

    i have a Macbook Pro 8,2 late 2011, i have the east same problem. i flashed the firmware but after i shutdown and reboot, it beeps agin waits a while, no chime or anything and reverts to the 4 boot sequence and then on the 5th, it boots. i don’t get the screen with the firmware being flashed. Help, my mum will kill me if she finds out I’ve “killed” my mac :(

  15. I give you my Feedback: I also faced the :

    /System/Library/Extensions/msdosfs.kext failed to load – (libkern/kext) validation failure (plist/executable); check the system/kernel logs for errors or try kextutil(8).
    mount_msdos: msdos filesystem is not available
    /sbin/mount returned non-0 exit status
    Failed to determine auxiliary partition mountpoint for /
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

    The first partition of my drive, before the Mac HD HFS, was empty and in FAT formatted, after wrong removal of previous Ubuntu Instal.

    With this system, my MacBook 5.1 Unibody Alu Late 2008, made the long beeeeep at startup, then after a second of that small superdrive sound, booted the way it should.

    So, I always managed to boot the MB, but with this chaotic start up process.

    To avoid the [...] Error while writing firmware updater for EFI, I boot with a Ubuntu Live CD, without installing Ubuntu. I then used Gparted tool to reformat the first 200 MB partition of my SSD into EFI format.

    Then it allowed me to successfull run the comandyou (thank you so much). provide us.

    Greetings by a Frenchy in Germany

    • Bjoern
    • November 27th, 2012

    I have tried your fix but I cannot get my MBP (2.4 Ghz Santa Rosa) to cooperate. The firmware file extension is also different ( .fd and not .scap) – could that be the problem? I have tried copying the file to the root directory and adding “” but the MBP does-t flash when I re-boot it.

    This is the message I get:

    tina-oneill-laurbergs-macbook-pro:~ Lykke$ sudo bless -mount / -firmware “/FWM/MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/Resources/LOCKED_MBP31_0070_07B.fd”
    Password:
    Can’t load /FWM/MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/Resources/LOCKED_MBP31_0070_07B.fd
    Could not load data from /FWM/MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update.app/Contents/Resources/LOCKED_MBP31_0070_07B.fd
    Error while writing firmware updater for EFI

  16. I usually do not create a comment, however after reading a few of the responses on this page Flash
    EFI firmware update manually on a Mac(Book 5,1) Public Memory.

    I do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Is it simply me or do a few of these comments come across like they are left by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing on other sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of every one of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    • Gideon
    • January 17th, 2013

    Hi,

    I have an issue with my Macbook Air 4,1 (Mid 2011).

    When it starts up the screen remains off (not video black) until the login window, from there on it works perfectly. I can only think it is an EFI niggle, failing to power the screen on.

    I get the following in Terminal – which looks OK:
    MacBook-Air:~ Gideon$ sudo bless -mount / -firmware “/Applications/Utilities/MacBookAirEFIUpdate-2.4/MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap” -verbose
    Password:
    EFI found at IODeviceTree:/efi
    GPT detected
    No auxiliary booter partition required
    System partition found
    Returning booter information dictionary:
    {type = mutable dict, count = 3,
    entries =>
    0 : {contents = “System Partitions”} = (
    disk0s1
    )
    1 : {contents = “Data Partitions”} = (
    disk0s2
    )
    2 : {contents = “Auxiliary Partitions”} = (
    )
    }

    Substituting ESP disk0s1
    Mounting at /Volumes/bless.yPq2
    Executing “/sbin/mount”
    Returned 0
    Deleting contents of EFI cache directory
    Creating /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE if needed
    Deleting previous contents of /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE
    Deleting /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE/MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap (8454768 bytes)
    Opened dest at /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE//MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap for writing
    preallocation not supported on this filesystem for /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE//MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap

    /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE//MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap created successfully
    Relative path of /Volumes/bless.yPq2/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE//MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap is \EFI\APPLE\FIRMWARE\MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap
    IOMedia disk0s1 has UUID CB2F0536-7AE5-4F7F-AEF1-5BCAC8013221
    Setting EFI NVRAM:
    {type = mutable dict, count = 1,
    entries =>
    1 : {contents = “efi-boot-next”} = {contents = “IOMatchIOProviderClassIOMediaIOPropertyMatchUUIDCB2F0536-7AE5-4F7F-AEF1-5BCAC8013221BLLastBSDNamedisk0s1IOEFIDevicePathTypeMediaFilePathPath\EFI\APPLE\FIRMWARE\MBA41_0077_B0F_LOCKED.scap”}
    }

    Executing “/sbin/umount”
    Returned 0
    MacBook-Air:~ Gideon$

    But when I restart the Mac just boots the same as before. If I shut down and power on normally it boots the same as before. If I shut down and hold down the power button, I don’t get any long tones or anything, just the normal boot sequence and I’m back at the login window within 15 seconds or so.

    Am I doing something wrong?

      • Kristiaan Pipijn
      • August 16th, 2013

      Hey Gideon,

      I’m stuck with the same issue you had.
      I see it’s already been half a year, but did you manage to get it to work and how?

  17. I read just two lines of this and thought “I dig this guy’s style.”
    Keep it up.

    • Duza
    • April 23rd, 2013

    you are great!
    5 days of searching hole day and night. and then your site. 5 mins to work and everything is fine :D
    you are the one!

    lovely greetings from vienna
    thanks a lot

    • Gerrit
    • July 15th, 2013

    My Macbook is beeping SOS on startup before booting and I tried to fix it with that manual update but I’m always getting that error:

    Could not get information on /Volumes/bless.2cnR/EFI/APPLE/CACHES: 2

    Could somebody please help me?

    • Gerrit
    • July 15th, 2013

    I just recognized that it worked anyway :) After restarting the mac the status bar appeared and know the annoying beeping on startup is gone :) Thank you so much!

  18. Is there any way to downgrade your firmware to use this command? I have an older Macbook Pro 5,4 and it needs different firmware. I used this command to fix a similar problem installing Ubuntu, but now it has the firmware for a Macbook Pro 5,5. I try to use the bless command again, but it doesn’t reflash anything.

    • AC
    • July 17th, 2014

    I know this Post is more than 3 years but men , his solution worked , I had this problem and its driven me crazzzzy , now everything is fixed and my Mac starts up as it should , a BIG thanks to you pubmem …
    !!!!

  1. May 16th, 2011
  2. August 28th, 2011
  3. June 5th, 2012
  4. June 19th, 2012
    Trackback from : Anonymous

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