Once upon a time I was carefully updating the firmware on a peripheral of some sort. As the update proceeded I impulsively moved to recheck the power connector ...
Firmware updates can be lethal. Nowadays many devices have a firmware backup that will, at the very least, restore to the original firmware if an update goes bad. Alas, MacBook Pro's don't, and a recent firmware update that improved the optical drive behavior has bricked quite a few laptops. I thought a restore required a trip to Apple service, but it turns out there's a restore CD for the MacTel firmware and Apple has, not coincidentally, just updated it ...
Apple - Support - Downloads - Firmware Restoration CD 1.3
The Firmware Restoration CD can restore the firmware of an Intel-based Macintosh computer... You can only use this to restore the firmware after an interrupted or failed update... This CD can be created on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macintosh computers.
It won't revert an update, just fix a broken machine. Most of us just need to know this exists, if we brick our machines we can hunt it down then ... I don't know if there's a similar CD for PPC Macs, maybe they have an onboard backup.
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