Solved: Apple SATA II 1.7 Firmware Problems

mbp13When something ‘just works’ 99.9% of the time, that .1% of downtime is particularly frustrating. This is what I recently experienced with my Time Capsule networking fiasco, and was paralleled by another problem stemming from an Apple firmware update.

The new MacBook Pros were shipped with their SATA II data speeds crippled; they were limited to 1.5Gps rather than the SATA II 3.0Gbps standardized speed. While this had no real effect for HDD users, it did affect SSD users – SSD is capable of taking advantage of the SATA II spec, and so SSD users rightly complained.

Apple heard these complaints, and released a firmware update for the MacBook Pro line; they warned that the update might not work with non-stock drives (!) but that it would restore SATA II speeds. I decided to update the firmware, just because having an up-to-date system is a good idea. This is right-minded thinking, right?


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Solved: Apple Time Capsule Not Found in Airport Utility

openingtimecapsuleAlmost all my home computer equipment is composed of Apple products, save for the Windows media center that I’m using to power the TV/display old TV shows/movies/listen to the radio. I’ve been using Windows Vista to power the ‘center until (very!) recently, and for the past two or three weeks have had my Time Capsule and attached AirPort Disk vanish from the network every couple of hours. Given that a lot of my movies and TV shows are on the AirPort Disk, this has been a real problem. Despite the drops, the router-element of the Time Capsule continued to work – I could browse the ‘net, and even run my automated backups using Time Machine, though I couldn’t actually access the data on the Time Capsule!

At first I assumed that the problem was a Windows Vista-related issue. I’d had other issues getting everything set up, and third-parties had mucked around with the media center while I was gallivanting around Ontario a few weeks ago. The only time that the router (and AirPort Disk) become unresponsive was when I used Vista to connect to the AirPort Disk. No issues arose when just browsing the AirPort Disk using a Mac (note: all Macs in the house are running 10.5.7). Continue reading

It Just Works (Sometimes)!

Time Capsule is incredibly helpful – it’s saved me from several moderately catastrophic data loses. What is less than terrific, however, is the instructions for connecting an external hard disk drive (HDD) to it. To save myself the hassles of figuring out how to set it up again in the future, and for those who are searching for the solution, I’ve thrown this together.


Many drives are shipped partitioned to FAT. That’s great…for PCs. Heck, my Macbook could read it too, but doing so crashed my Time Capsule. I figured that it was probably FAT, and so just opened up the Disk Utility to erase the drive and partition it to HFS+ (Journal). Then I found out that this element of OS X has been broken for a long, long time.


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