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Part: VII Mac OS X: Appendixes > Updating Your Mac's Firmware

Updating Your Mac's Firmware

Before you install Mac OS X, it is a good idea to update your Mac's firmware. (Of course, it is a good idea to update your Mac's firmware once in a while even if you don't install Mac OS X!)

Your Mac must have access to some basic software in order for it to start up. For example, it needs to know where to look for system software that it can use to start up. This software used to be permanently stored in hardware called Read Only Memory (ROM). This permanent ROM could not be updated, so what came with the Mac was as good as it could get. With modern Macs, the “base” software is stored in firmware that is sort of a combination between software encoded in hardware and normal software. The advantage of this is that Apple can update the firmware on modern Macs to correct problems or improve performance.


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