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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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My MacBook Pro (Early 2008) died somehow while updating the

Customer Question

My MacBook Pro (Early 2008) died somehow while updating the SMC firmware, and is now having intermittent trouble booting. I've tried all the standard stuff (reset SMC, zap PRAM), and running the update manually via Terminal gives the following error: "Error parsing file version '0.000'."

Looking in System Profiler confirms that the SMC Manager is reading as version 0.000.

I've also looked into using a Firmware Restoration CD, but I can't seem to find a version to match this family of machines (MacBookPro4,1).

Is there any way to trick the operating system into seeing a different version of SMC, so the updater will run, or is there any other way to reinstall the SMC firmware from scratch? Thanks!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I think part of the problem is that there isn't a firmware update for that machine.
For the Model 5,1 there is but for the 4,1 there isn't.
These are the specs for both 4,1 models.
This one is for Model 5,1 and it does have an update.
Take a look at this table for what machine should have what boot rom version.
If yours does not match then unless you are an Apple tech it needs to see one.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
An update to my last.
This is where a download can be had for a CD that will restore your Firmware.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi, Dan!

> I think part of the problem is that there isn't a firmware update for that machine.

How strange, it showed up in Software Update when this all started.

I'm going to try those CDs you linked me to; which should I use, 1.3 or 1.4? (Neither shows "MacBookPro 4,1" in the compatibility list.)
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
That list doesn't go by Model number just speed and date of manufacture.
Like 2,1 GHz late 2008. SO you need to match that with your model. Not as easy as 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GTS, that narrows it down.
So what I need is the processor speed to match it to what your machine should have.
If it is what it is supposed to be then it will require an Archive and Install preserving user and network settings.
This will install a new OS and keep your data intact.
It will also overwrite whatever files were corrupted by the firmware update.
Something doesn't match up here with the model you report and firmware updates.
Perhaps I can sort this out with the info 'About this Mac'.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It's a 2.4 ghz, this model here:

The current firmware (Boot ROM) is: MBP41.00C1.B03

SMC Firmware is shown as 0.000.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Ok, this is what I have found.
This tells about the updates and how to do them, you may have this already but I want to set this up right.
Then the SMC version should be 1.3 and this is where it is.
That came form this page under MacBook Pro right in the middle.
Look that over and let me know.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The 1.3 update is the one I tried manually, and it tells me I don't need it, but I doubt that's the case, given the power issues with the machine, which were not present before the update.

If I open package contents and try to run it anyway, I get: "An unexpected error occurred. Your firmware can not be updated. (internal error 21 : 0)".

If I try to run the executable in the Terminal, I get the error I described earlier: "Error parsing file version '0.000'."

I just tried the 1.3 restoration CD, but I can't put the computer in the right state as described here. In order to boot the computer at all, I have to pull AC and battery, wait a while, and plug it in, at which point it boots automatically. If I try normally, the computer dies 2 seconds after hitting power. Either way, I can't hold down power long enough for it to attempt to use the CD.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
It is going to take more than I can do long distance I am sorry to say.
I think you will have to take that step and go to Apple to fix it.
You managed to find the crack to fall through that very few find.
The tools needed I can't provide or use over the net. Sorry.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your time. :) One last question: is the firmware stored on the left i/o board, or the logic board? If the former, I might just try replacing the board.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
The logic board is where this is stored. Sorry, I got waylaid and could not respond sooner.

Daniel and 6 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That's what I thought. I'll take it to Apple and see what they say. Thanks!
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
You are welcome, thank you.