News Archive for: Friday, April 28th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Solution (step by step guide) for MacBook Pro Whine (?)
I don't have a Macbook Pro to test this but Robert sent a link to an Apple forum post titled:
Permanent Solution for the Whine issue. Step by Step Instructions.
If you have a MacBook Pro and this helps, let me know.
The source of the whine is of course a hardware component (some in the past mentioned a capacitor, although I can't personally say that's the culprit component) - but as with the original G5 tower's Pwr Supply "chirping/squealing" (helped by disabling Nap mode on the CPUs) - it can be affected by software. For instance on the G5 w/Nap mode enabled, the Nap mode to full speed transition rapidly increased power draw/current, which caused (IMHO) a transformer chirp/squeal.
But I still find it odd that the Keyboard Update would have affected that... yet many Macbook Pro owners said it made the 'whine' worse (see below).
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MacBook Pro owners report Apple Keyboard Update 1.0 makes 'whine' worse
Yesterday Apple has a posted a Keyboard Update 1.0 for Intel based Macs. I thought it might help some Mac Mini/iMac owners that previously said sometimes they had to disconnect/reconnect the keyboard/mouse to get them working again but no reports from them yet. However several MacBook Pro owners wrote they wish they hadn't applied it:

" Mike, As I reported earlier to you my MacBook Pro was completely silent while on AC. When running on battery I would merely start the Mirror Widget and then close it and I hade NO whine (CPU) while on battery. With the Apple Keyboard Update 1.0 for Intel CPU Macs it is now present with no alteration via the Mirror Widget. I am glad I performed a system update 24 hours prior to applying the update. I will restore via Carbon Copy Cloner and NOT apply the update.
I was alerted to the situation via a post on the Apple Discussions:
- William R. "

I wouldn't think that update would have affected that, but several other MacBook Pro owners reported the same thing:

" I can confirm my infrequent whine problem is now loud and constant after the update. The magic noise killer app no longer works. This is very annoying!
MacBook Pro 2.16GHz build ''week'' 14 and 16 (both being replaced for dead pixels). BTW i have noticed the whine moved location from over left speaker to roughly center, just under the F7 key area. Very weird.
kind regards, Anthony "

" Hi Mike,
The exact same problem here with the Apple Keyboard Update on a MacBook Pro. I had managed to reduce my MBP noise problems to the "processor whine," easily fixed by launching and closing the Mirror widget after each reboot. After applying the Keyboard update, the whine returned, and could no longer be managed with the widget -- the only thing that worked was to disable one of the processor cores.

Since I don't consider that an acceptable "fix," I too ended up reversing the update from a day-old backup. The installer replaces the /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext extension; I replaced that package by hand with the old one, repaired permissions (essential step, if you copy the system file by hand like I did), and voila! Everything back the way it was, with a whine I can control.

Not sure why a Keyboard/USB update would have any effect on the processor whine, unless it's back to very general issues of power draw. In any case, I recommend that any MBP owners concerned about noise avoid this one for now....
-Jay "

" Hi Mike,
I can't believe it :-(
After downloading the keyboard updater, there is no chance to get my MBP silent again. Since the updater is recommended by Apple, I thought that it's a good idea to install it. In fact, it wasn't. How can this be undone? (see notes above) Why is Apple not testing updaters before they are released?
This urgently needs to be fixed, because the whine drives you nuts when all is quiet.
kind regards, Tom "

One Macbook Pro owner wrote he doesn't notice any whine (before or after the update)

" I've got a new MacBook Pro 1.83GHz and seen no problems from the update - I didn't have the whine before and don't have it now.
So far so good. this is my all-time favorite machine so far. I've seen nothing that would detract from the experience.
-Mike "

If you have an Intel CPU Mac and apply this update, let me know if you've seen any pros/cons.

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Price cuts on Mercury Express Portable Hard Drives
(from site sponsor OWC)

" OWC Mercury Express Solutions are compatible for Mac or PCs. Bus Power with either FireWire or USB, also fully bootable via FireWire or USB on computers with such boot support. Intech HD Speedtools, FireWire Cable, USB Cable(on USB equipped model), Carrying Case, and a 1yr OWC Warranty are included.
40GB 4200RPM FireWire Only model on special for $79.99
40GB 4200RPM FireWire+USB remains on special for $89.99
80GB 5400RPM FireWire+USB was $159.99, now $139.99
Ground Delivery available for $4.50 or less, 2nd Day Air special $7.95 or less.
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing"
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Follow-up on OS 9 compatible (w/driver) Gigabit Ethernet card
(NOTE: per a recent email from Realtek support's Kathleen Wei, they do not have OS 9/8.6 drivers for this card now. See updated comments below from Frank who is sending them the OS 8.6/OS9 drivers that someone else at realtek support sent him in Jan. 2005.)

I sent you the following info back on 1/8/05, and I thought I should update you. We transitioned the customer that was using these cards over to Panther, 10.3.9 and installed the 10.3 beta driver. Every card is working well and all of them auto connected to the Gig switch at Gig speed full duplex. Very inexpensive way to get a Gig ethernet card.

Original message:
I have been looking for an OS 9 Compatible Gigabit ethernet card.
Well I have a solution to the problem.
I have a client that runs a mixed OS 9 and OS X marketing group, including some older pre Gigabit G4s running OS 9.

We have all the Mac connected to a Netgear 16 port 10/100/1000 switch, and all the Mac with built-in gigabit work well, but the preGigabit Macs were so much slower opening the complex Quark pages of the network server. I have been looking for a gigabit solution for them. Asante had a card that was OS 9 compatible but it is discontinued, and I have not been able to find it anywhere, including ebay. is a network chip company that has been very good about Mac support for 10/100 and 10/100/1000 PCI network cards using their chips. (The OS X/NIC card page here has linked to their drivers many times, for use with cards that used their chipsets-Mike)
Drivers are posted on their web site for download and are updated frequently. See this Link

So I emailed their Tech support people and asked if they had any OS 9 drivers for their 8169S 1000 Mb chip set. I quickly received an OS 8.6/9 driver for the 8169s chipset. (Update: a recent mail to Realtek support asking for these got a reply they do not have any OS 9/8.6 drivers for this card now but Frank is sending them a copy of the drivers they sent him more than a year ago-Mike.)

We bought several of the TRENDnet TEG-PCITXR cards, see specs here, that use the Realtek 8169s chipset:
Installed them and the drivers and they work prefectly in OS 9. I have not tested 8.6, because all the Mac use 9.2.2.

We selected the new card in TCP/IP, moved the ethernet connection to the new card, rebooted, and up came a full duplex 1000 Mb ethernet connection.

A full day of testing and not a single problem. I have emailed the Realtek support people and asked them to post the OS 8.6/9 drivers for download, even if they post them as a Beta driver.
This card is available for less than $20, from here
You can send an email to Realtek Tech support at and request the OS 9 drivers, but hopefully they will be posted to their site soon.
I hope this info is useful for other people looking for an OS 9 Gigabit nic card.
Regards, Frank P."

I wrote Frank with a copy of Realtek support's reply on no OS 9 drivers for this card and he replied:

" Mike, Well not sure where Kathleen Wei (realtek support) is getting her info from, but I still have a copy of the drivers and email I received from Ryan Kao,, after I emailed them asking if drivers were available.
Here is a copy of the email responce from Ryan with my original info request. While I was looking at the info for the OS 9 drivers I also checked the modification date on the OS X 10.3 driver that he sent me. The version he emailed me was modified 12/30/2004, while the version posted at Realtek has a 12/24/2003 date. If you have an email address for Kathleen Wei, I would like to send her a copy of the software Ryan sent me and see if they will post it to their web site.

Copy of email from Ryan Kao at Realtek:
Subject: Re: 8169S 1000 MB controller
Date: January 7, 2005 12:46:47 AM EST
To: (frank),

Hi Frank
Thanks for your Email.
Please refer to our latest MAC driver.
One for Mac 8,9
Another for Mac 10.3.x
Ryan Kao
Technical Support Engineer
Wire Network Product, REALTEK "

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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report Total to date: 10,260. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4 Dual 1.8GHz (7447A) in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 10)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

You can find the full reports by searching the database selecting the indicated Mac model and upgrade card brand/type. If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, send a review with your experience and rating. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand).

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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