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Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Linux bricked my MacBook2,1 after firmware-reset


I just reset my firmware (Alt+Cmd+R+P) hoping my new battery will get calibrated.

After the reset, the MacBook automatically started into Linux (debian jessie).

But instead I wanted to boot into Mac OS X Lion. So I rebooted.

But it never rebooted anymore. When I start the MacBook, the screen remains black, blank and dark. The LED keeps shining. There is no start sound anymore. It's gone.

I tried to restore the firmware using the Firmware Restoration CD.

But instead of blinking 3x fast, 3x slow, 3x fast, the LED blinks like several times really fast, when I hold down the Power-button.

I'm afraid, debian bricked my MacBook's firmware because it thought this was empty, free memory, right after the reset.

What can I do now? The Hardware is totally ok, but now the firmware is completely gone. How do I completely restore it? (I don't mind opening this thing, as I opened it a thousand times, to change the logic-board, CD-drive, keyboard …)

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... in other words: who can Flash me a new firmware?!


Are you able to get into OpenFirmware by holding down CMD-OPT-O-F when starting the Macbook?


nope ... doesn't work

The firmware is completely wiped out, there is nothing the MacBook is doing anymore.

I guess I need someone who can flash the Firmware.


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First off, Command + Option (or Alt) + P + R doesn't "reset the firmware". It's actually the modern Intel Mac equivalent of the old "Zap The PRAM" (Zapping the NVRAM in this case) troubleshooting step, that was often recommended and used during the old PowerPC Mac days. More info on it from Apple is here:

First, what I would try doing is to try booting your Mac from an alternate startup disk, such as your Mac OS X install disk/MacBook software disk, or an external hard drive, to verify that the issue isn't limited to your main startup volume.

Second - immediately, your symptoms as described suggest either potentially bad RAM, or a bad RAM slot. First, try reseating your RAM before powering up. Failing that, try testing each of the two individual slots of RAM with a piece of known good RAM.

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Have you tried swapping out the hard drive between this Mac and your other MacBook (which I assume is another A1181 with OS X installed)? Did you try booting your Mac from an OS X install CD/DVD? From what you've said so far, you've only tried booting your MacBook from its original hard drive and OS.

Before doing anything rash, or drastic, it's helpful to at least try to isolate other variables (e.g. the OS on your boot disk) before going further.

At least what you can try is to just remove the hard drive. If, on boot, the display lights up and shows the blinking "?" folder icon, at least that tells you that the Mac's hardware is booting up the way it should.

Another alternative would be to try booting from a rEFIt Boot CD. If successful, you could try to install rEFIt (an older boot manager for OS X/Linux//Windows) to your main hard disk to get your system back.

At this point the only other thing I can think of would be to try using the ASD disk to at least diagnose the problem on your Mac. The thing is, there are two types of MacBook 2,1 (the Mid-2007 and the Late-2007), so depending on your Mac's date of origin it'll need either ASD 3S116 or ASD 3S123. (The former can be burned to a CD, while the latter must be installed to an external hard drive.)

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Asking here is already the third step! I already tried booting - the MacBook does not do any attempt to boot at all. Neither Alt, nor C, nor anything works, as I guess this all have been firmware functions.

And of course I swaped the RAM. The former RAM is perfectly working in my not so nice looking backup-MacBook, I recently saved from the dump.

There even is no start-sound. After resetting the PRAM / NVRAM / w/e RAM with this stupid combination ALT+CMD+P+R, the MacBook booted perfectly exactly ONE TIME! Into Linux! Which must have wiped out the firmware - that is the only explaination I see.

After the reboot(! ... I didn't even turn off and on the computer), nothing worked anymore.

That is why I ask for help restoring the firmware even by opening and flashing the firmware w/e chip by hand, violently, in any Apple-unsupported method necessary.

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The Hard-disk already is pulled out (I just built it into the replacement-MacBook, in which it works fine).

And yes, also the memory is replaced (the 2x2GB now work fine in my replacement-MacBook, while I put the former working 2x1GB-RAM into the broken one).

Still the screen (as well as an external monitor) remains black and the LED stays bright.

There is no way to boot any CD or DVD or USB-drive, booting is not possible anymore. I cannot even get the CD out of the Optical Drive.

The thing that makes me wonder the most is that - if it'd work or not - the LED blinks like 10x fast, when I try to use the Firmware-Restoration-CD (holding down the Power-Button, until the LED should blink 3x fast, 3x slow, 3x fast).

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It looks like then what you need to do is replace the EFI chip (which you can buy on eBay, e.g. You'll need soldering skills/a hot air station for this. Either that or replace the logic board.


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