Audio driver conflict causing slow startup

Since at least two months, Windows 8.1 startup is awfully slow. From UEFI boot to login screen, it takes a few seconds, which is perfectly reasonable and what I expect from a Core i7 computer equipped with a SSD. However, after I was typing my password to login, it was taking between 30 to 45 seconds before I could reach the desktop! This was almost wiping out the benefit of the SSD, making the total boot time as long as if I had a regular hard drive with an older CPU.

I was getting annoyed on every startup, but at least, the machine was correctly responding afterwards. But yesterday, that combined with another issue: each and every Metro application is now closing instantly and NOTHING suggested on forum posts can fix the issue; the only solution seems to completely reset my user account.

I thought the slow login time was also linked to my user account and was starting to feel ready for creating myself a clean account and starting from there. Most applications should survive this process, only some settings will be lost. My documents live on a second hard drive which wouldn’t be affected. However, I found out that the slow startup was also experienced for a new user account! This was thus a system issue, probably yet another program that installed malware without me noticing it.

Searching on forums, it seems I would now have to hunt for and install many different anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and regularly create hard drive images. I didn’t have to run into this trouble while I was using Windows 7? What changed in Windows 8.1? Is the system now so unstable that I would need to regularly restore from an hard disk image? This is a real non-sense!

Deeper analysis of the slow startup seemed to link this to CPU! There was little hard disk activity during the long login time and CPU fan seemed to increase speed. I was quite shocked at this. I have a Core i7 CPU that works very well for Ubuntu. Why would Windows 8.1, suddenly, require something more? It was working six months ago, starting quickly. My Nuance ultrabook, which also has a Core i7, starts at normal speed. My personal ultrabook, equipped with a Core i5, starts in a reasonable time as well. Both machines are equipped with Windows 8.1 and newer than this 2012 Core i7, but they are NOT significantly more powerful! Do I really have to face the fact there is a time bomb in Windows, that will trigger after some time and start marking some CPU/motherboard combinations as arbitrarily obsolete? This makes little sense, but I was slowly but surely drifting to that conclusion. I was awfully disappointing because it takes me weeks to shop for new computer parts, check for compatibility with Linux, make sure I won’t get into a dead end with the motherboard, assemble the thing, test, solve issues, etc. I didn’t want to reenter into this just because Microsoft decided I would have to do so!

I didn’t want to perform a clean install, because it is taking too much time. It would break my GRUB configuration while Ubuntu provides no simple way to restore it (each time I need to search more than fifteen minutes, and apply a manual procedure), would require installing multiple drivers each rebooting the machine, and I wasn’t sure Ableton Live would correctly reauthorize. But I was starting to feel ready to try this reformat during the Christmas holidays, because this was becoming too annoying.

I thought about purchasing another system and moving the Windows 8.1 part of my current configuration on it, leaving only Ubuntu on the original machine. That would remove the issue with Windows breaking the GRUB setup at the cost of more money and space.

I also got issue with my audio system. Yesterday, I started Ableton Live and opened up a Live set I got from my friend. I got an error message, because my Ultranova synthesizer was set as the ASIO audio interface but it wasn’t powered up. Instead of turning it on, I switched to the M-Audio ASIO driver, so sound played through my main Fast Track Pro interface.

Things went well… until I closed Live. After that, for the third time, sound stopped working. The M-Audio driver is getting corrupted and stops working. Restarting the machine does nothing; I really had to reinstall the driver.

But after I removed this damned M-Audio driver and restarted the computer, I found out the startup speed was restored to normal! I reinstalled my M-Audio driver, because I need it for ASIO integration, and startup speed remained normal!

I thought about finding an audio interface more suitable for Windows 8, but I found out it makes no sense to replace a working product just because Windows misbehaves with it while it USED to work! I thought about downgrading to Windows 7, but I HATE its low contrast between selected and unselected items and lack of any solution to fix this without disabling Aero. I considered the possibility of installing Live on a dedicated Windows 7 laptop (tired of assembling computers and when purchasing preassembled PCs, you usually get to choice between cheap desktops, reasonable laptops or high-end desktops with too stylish gamer-centric cases). But the new machine would have low storage so I would need some kind of NAS for my systems to access a common storage. That was starting to be endless stacks of problems! I thought about using my Ultranova as sound card for Windows and M-Audio on Linux (because the Focusrite-based audio chip in the Ultranova does not work under Ubuntu) but that was resulting in need for endless reconfiguration (when switching between the two OS).

But today, things are still working. It seems I just must not use the Ultranova ASIO integration in Live and things will continue working. As a workaround for this uncommon issue, I connected the S/PDIF output of my synth to the S/PDIF input of my audio interface using a plain basic RCA cable (nothing fancy), turned on S/PDIF output on my Ultranova and was able to get the digital audio from the S/PDIF input of my audio interface. This has the added benefit of allowing Live to record BOTH from S/PDIF and the main input jacks of the audio interface. Using this new configuration, I was able to record four tracks at a time: the two one from my synth through S/PDIF, and the two outputs of my Korg’s EMX. S/PDIF input has low volume for I don’t know why, but at least this can be worked around in Live.

I hoped that would solve my Metro issue but no, the problem persists. I tried a lot of stuff to solve this without success. I will thus need to reset my user account if I really need these kind of useless Metro apps. At least startup is now normal so I won’t have to format to get this fixed!

Contorted CD ripping

On December 24th, I got the Namasté CD from Steve Trottier. I was in Chambly, away from my main computer, so unable to easily rip the disk and I wanted to listen to it on my way to Mauricie or back to Montreal. My parents were not interested in listening to it so I could not just insert it in their car’s CD player. Having little to do yesterday morning, still at my grandmother’s house, I wanted to try something out to rip the disk with the means I had there.

First, I brought with me that old MacBook Pro my brother’s girlfriend gave me a month ago. This machine has a CD/DVD drive so it could, in theory, extract audio from the disk. In theory… My best hope to get this job done was iTunes. As a first step, I inserted the disk in the drive, which went well. The disk got detected and a CD icon appeared on the desktop. Then I started iTunes: NO EFFECT. I clicked again on the icon in the Dock: the icon bounced and nothing more.

Ok, iTunes has gone south or it NEEDS an Internet connection to start, quite bad design, probably yet another stupid error from Apple that has been fixed in Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9 or 10.10, any version I cannot install on this old MacBook Pro OF COURSE! Having little if not no hope to address that without an Internet connection, I tried to Control-click on the CD icon to get a contextual menu.  The menu was offering NO ripping option, just basic read and open commands.

Why not listen to the disk using the MacBook Pro? Well, the machine has no battery at all (the battery exploded a while ago).

I tried the Open command and got a Finder window with one icon per track. Ok, if things work intuitively, let’s try just to copy the tracks to a directory. I opened a new Finder window, created a directory, went back in my open CD, pressed Command-A to select everything, Command-C to copy, went back to the created directory and pressed Command-V to paste. Cool, it worked!

I tried to open one of the files in iTunes: iTunes didn’t start. Double-clicking on any track did nothing. Ok, let’s copy that to my Windows 8 ultrabook; that will be where the files would be useful.

I tried a network-based copy, but anything I could think of failed. I didn’t have a cross-over Ethernet cable so I tried with wi-fi. I used my Mac to create a wi-fi network, but my Windows ultrabook couldn’t see the network. I tried to turn my Android phone into a wi-fi hotspot, the same way I can share an Internet connection except there was no connection to share. Both my ultrabook and my Mac joined the hotspot, but they couldn’t see each other. I don’t know exactly why and had no resource to find it there, in Mauricie, without an Internet connection. I tried to create a wi-fi access point from Windows, but there is no option to do so, maybe that requires yet another software tool.

I thus fell back to the USB key. That worked, but when I tried to double-click on one of the ripped tracks, I got an error message: Windows media player couldn’t read the AIFF files. I tried with QuickTime: no success. I tried with iTunes: it wouldn’t start playing the track automatically, just display tons of useless information. AIMP3 just couldn’t play the tracks as well.

I finally got it played with iTunes, on my Windows ultrabook of course; my Mac’s iTunes was still dead. I had to import the tracks in the library, then they were available in the list of songs. However, I did my test from my USB key. After I copied the tracks to my ultrabook’s SSD and imported again, they didn’t show up in iTunes, no matter how hard I tried to find them.

I then started my Ubuntu virtual machine, powered by VirtualBox. From there, I used the FLAC command-line tool. It was able to read the AIFF files and re-encodes them into FLAC. The FLAC files played fine with AIMP3! Phew!

Any attempt to repair iTunes failed. After many many failed attempts, I was able to hook up to my aunt’s wi-fi which was nearby and do a Google search. All of the clues I got from that failed. Running from a different user account didn’t help. Trying to reset the permissions just took an awful amount of time without results. Trying to remove iTunes library and preferences had no effect. Looking at system logs didn’t give me any clue: the iTunes process was starting, then exiting with code 1 without any other useful log.

On the way back home, I was able to listen to the result of my rip using my ultrabook and earphones. The sound was correct despites all the treatments. I listened to this while reading using the machine, in tablet mode. At least all this had some use!

Back at home yesterday evening, I did additional research and finally had to reinstall iTunes.  Having Internet connection wasn’t enough to get it back to life. Probably iTunes died when I mistakenly reinstalled the 10.6.8 update, thinking I was installing LibreOffice’s French language pack. The Apple’s web site only gives iTunes 12, which AGAIN requires a more recent Mac OS X version than the one installed on my damned MacBook Pro, but I managed to get iTunes 11 from somewhere else. I had to revert to 11.3, which forced me to uninstall iTunes, but after reinstallation, Apple’s software updates allowed me to get 11.4 back.

Ripping the disk with CDEX took less than five minutes and gave me FLAC files directly. The files were named against the tracks of the disk rather than the generic names I got yesterday morning in Mauricie.

Recovering Final Cut Express

Yesterday, I tried to get my Final Cut Express setup back on my Mac. It went away when I reinstalled Mac OS X and formatted the hard drive. However, before formatting, I backed up the complete Applications and Library folders, so I had a possibility to get Final Cut Express back by just copying back the corresponding folder on my new system.

This is exactly what I tried yesterday.

Capture d'écran 2014-12-23 16.35.59

Of course, the copy operation went smoothly, without any issue. The contrary would be quite upsetting, meaning there is an issue with one of my hard drives or USB ports. However, double-clicking on the copied FCE folder resulted in a shockingly sparse error message similar to the following.

Capture d'écran 2014-12-23 16.37.34

I was so angry by the lack of details and the suggestion to contact product manufacturer that I clicked on Report and sent a report to Apple. Product manufacturer would only tell me to reinstall, reformat, try on a different machine, etc. All these solutions were not applicable for me or taking too much time.

After that, I tried my luck with a DMG file from a Torrent. The first download failed, resulting in a DMG file that would install something else, MediaPlayerX, but the second download gave me a Torrent that I loaded in uTorrent. Then I got the FCE DMG. I installed using the original serial number which I noted down before reformatting.

Capture d'écran 2014-12-24 13.47.12

The installation went well and the program started successfully. As a result, my Final Cut Express is back to life!

Firefox and Chrome mixing up

Yesterday, when I started Firefox, I noticed that the Chrome’s interface shown up instead. I thought I picked the wrong icon, closed the window and tried to start Firefox again: no more Firefox icon in the start menu. I pressed the Windows key, typed Firefox, picked the Mozilla Firefox result and pressed Enter. I got Chrome again. Tired of stupid bugs making absolutely no sense, I closed the window and removed Chrome from my computer. I tried to start Firefox again: Chrome started once more. So even the removal failed. I searched for unwanted installed programs, found Speed Browser and removed it as well. After that, Firefox started normally.

I don’t know exactly if the problem came from Google Chrome or Windows 8. I suspect Windows 8 as Chrome is installed on other machines without issues and I got several other issues with Windows 8 and 8.1.

Problematic network file transfer

Yesterday, I wanted to transfer a VirtualBox VM from my main computer to my ultrabook, in order to have a basic Ubuntu VM on my secondary machine. That operation happened to be harder than expected. First, I booted my two computers. My main machine is hooked up permanently to my router, but my ultrabook usually plugs using wi-fi. I plugged a USB to Ethernet adapter for faster network transfer.

From my ultrabook, I then pressed the Windows key to go into Metro and typed \\drake. This worked, showing me the Users and Data shares. I went into Users, then Eric, then found out there was only AppData as a subdirectory, no VirtualBox VMs. I didn’t want to copy VirtualBox VMs elsewhere, because I knew it would take five minutes just for this, but maybe I should have done that, after all.

Instead, I tried to share VirtualBox VMs separately: no success. The folder appeared on my ultrabook, but I was getting errors about insufficient permissions when I tried to browse it.

I searched for a solution, found articles about how to setup file sharing in Windows 7 without homegroups. Ah, maybe my ultrabook and my main computers are not in the same homegroups? I checked, they were in the same.

Some people are having incredible difficulties with file sharing since Windows 7, and some tried during hours and hours without success to solve the issues. They end up giving up on networking, use Ubuntu instead (but no Ubuntu on my ultrabook) or explore third party alternatives, like Cisco Network Magic (actually only available from third-party web sites not Cisco, which is very bad), Dropbox (limit on file sizes), etc.

I remembered I tried disconnecting my main PC’s Windows 8 from my Microsoft account to check if that was the factor causing slow login times. It wasn’t, and my ultrabook was still hooked up to my Microsoft account. I reconnected my main PC as this gives access to Windows store; who knows, I may have to get something from there. The different user accounts may have caused the connection issue. Nada, no difference.

I tried the other way round: connecting to my ultrabook from my main computer. No luck, the main computer could even not see the ultrabook. It really seemed that the two machines were running slightly different versions of Windows 8, not even compatible to the SMB level. SMB is the protocol used for file and printer sharing in Windows. It seemed I would have to format the ultrabook and install a genuine, non-Lenovo, Windows 8, or Windows 7. That annoyed me pretty well.

I got fed up and searched for a third party transfer tool. I though about Simple Socket File Transfer, but I didn’t remember the exact name and I knew it would force me to install this on both machines and figure out IP addresses. Then I found Filedrop, a small utility allowing to share files between two computers with less difficulty. The tool installed without problems, on both machines, and the two computers saw each other. However, it didn’t provide any option to add files; I had to drag and drop from an Explorer window. But my Explorer windows take the full screen so any attempt to drag and drop is an hassle consisting of moving/resizing windows around. But I guessed I had no choice and did it.

The transfer didn’t start. Well, I had to accept the file on the other end. I did it, that started to transfer… very slowly. After more than half an hour, only 25% of the data was transferred. Why is it so long??? I tried a SSH-based transfer between my Windows box and my Ubuntu-based HTPC and that would take 3 minutes.

Very tired of having difficulties transferring files between computers and having regularly to fall back to USB keys or external hard drives, I got pissed off, tired of having to try the USB plug in one direction, then the other, then again the other, until I get lucky and it worked. I heard about a variant of USB3 with two-sided connection. I was so exhausted of having computer issues of all kinds every weekend that I was ready to make almost anything necessary to get this two-sided plug. I hoped I would get it using adapters, but maybe I would have to install a PCI Express card in my main computer and some USB dongle on my ultrabook, or maybe switch board and machine. But it was even worse than this: I will have to wait indefinitely for USB 3.1 motherboards to come onto market.

Filedrop ended up aborting the transfer. Some other issues forced me to restart the computer or log out and log back in, I don’t remember exactly. But after that, I retested Windows file sharing and that worked. I retried the transfer. But that was slow again. I then found out that although there was a USB-based Ethernet adapter, Windows 8.1 was stupidly using wi-fi to transfer data!!! I disabled wi-fi and got a reasonable transfer speed. It took maybe 10 minutes transferring the VirtualBox VM. Note that the USB to Ethernet adapter was just 100 Mbps, not a Gigabit one.

So to recap, I got issues with mismatching user account type in Windows 8.1 and networking problem because my ultrabook chose wrongly to use wi-fi instead of Ethernet.

The power of i7

Yesterday, I got truly impressed after months of disappointment about performance. I was trying to reinstall Myst IV and have some nostalgic fun with it, but this time, Windows 8.1 decided that it wouldn’t start the autorun program on the DVD. There was no other setup program on the disk, so I had to either downgrade my system or try on an older machine. No help from any forum, only complaints about games failing on Windows 8.1 but working on Windows 8.0! Grrrr…

I got fed up of all these difficulties with Windows 8.1, got tired of reading repetitive non-constructive posts about Microsoft releasing one good Windows version over two and no way to easily roll back to the “good” version, and reached the point of creating a virtual machine running an older version of Windows. For this, I used VirtualBox, which served me very well at Nuance for creating a virtual Ubuntu box.

When I started VirtualBox, I found that my Ubuntu machine was still there. I started it, it was still working, then I decided to upgrade it to 14.10. During the upgrade, I created a second VM and installed Windows XP on it. Yes, Windows XP, no fuss with Windows 7’s bad contrast between selected and unselected items, I was just tired of fighting with Windows. The installation first failed, because I had to configure the VM as IDE and not SATA, but after that it worked like a charm.

Not only two virtual machines were working smoothly in parallel (one installing downloaded packages, one installing Windows XP), but my Core i7 computer was still responsive! I was able to browse the Web without any problem.

In the end, these virtual machines didn’t help much, because when I launched the autorun from Windows XP, I found out I was inserting the second DVD of the game. The autorun of the first DVD failed to start as well on Windows 8.1, but there was a Setup program that started, worked correctly, and the game (patched to 1.03) worked very well. So for this time, no need for a virtual machine, but I will keep it around.

Ubuntu on my Mac: possible but limited

I read quite a lot of wrong and contradictory information when I searched for feasibility of installing Ubuntu on my 2006 MacBook Pro. Part of the problem is that users don’t all understand the pieces of the puzzle involved to boot a Mac into Ubuntu, but the multitude of variants of MacBook Pro, with varying technology in them, causes confusion and contribute to user’s ignorance.

First, Mac doesn’t implement the traditional BIOS used to boot nowadays PCs. They rather implement an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), a more modern way of booting computers than the BIOS, dating from the 80s. Newer PCs start to replace the obsolete BIOS with such an EFI, called Unified EFI or more commonly UEFI. No problem, I thought at first, Ubuntu now supports UEFI booting. I UEFI boot onto Ubuntu several times a week. However, Apple introduced several tweaks to the EFI, making it almost unusable for other purposes than booting Mac OS X.

In my particular case, the Mac’s EFI was 32 bits, which means I could EFI boot only 32 bits operating systems. However, although Ubuntu supports UEFI booting, it doesn’t on my Mac, maybe because the Mac’s EFI is too different from a UEFI. Apparently some people successively UEFI booted their Ubuntu installation, either by using unofficial Mac variants of old Ubuntu versions or a kind of patchy program EFI booting and offering the Ubuntu’s ISO as a kind of virtual device. The later requires a version of Ubuntu supporting loopback booting, and that’s again only old versions. Quite annoying, isn’t it? I don’t want to install a 12.04 then dist-upgrade to 14.04, then 14.10!

Note that newer Mac computers have a 64-bit EFI, and it is well possible that it is able to boot Ubuntu and maybe even Windows, in a native way. That means no need for BootCamp anymore to hack the GPT to fake a MBR; both Ubuntu and Windows supports booting from UEFI and GPT!

While I thought Mac’s EFI only supports native EFI booting, I discovered that it has the necessary compatibility module to boot into BIOS-based environment. Maybe I got this CSM added by a firmware upgrade I obtained when installing all available updates. That means a Mac can boot a Ubuntu live DVD in BIOS-based mode. In theory, that would mean it can boot a 64-bit DVD even though it is 32-bit EFI. In practice, no, reason still to be determined. I thus can only boot 32 bit OS.

Moreover, no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t able to boot Ubuntu off a USB key. I tried installing rEFInd to avoid having to press the infamous defective Option key at boot to get Apple’s boot menu (using an external keyboard), but rEFInd can only boot from the hard drive, ignoring the USB key or telling Apple’s firmware doesn’t support well booting from an external device.

At least, Ubuntu boots from the DVD. In theory, I should be able to install it on a partition on my hard drive and boot from there, but I didn’t do it for the moment.

Unblocked… at least for now…

After I successfully started Ubuntu on my old Mac, I tried to play YouTube videos from Firefox and that worked relatively well. That means the graphic chip of the Mac is not broken, still capable of doing some work. I thought about just installing Ubuntu on the machine, maybe getting rid of Mac OS X, but the goal was to explore the Mac platform, not just toss Ubuntu on an old laptop. I already have plenty of Ubuntu setups at home and at work, both on bare metal and virtual machines.

After my failure with Snow Leopard, I had three options to continue my journey: increase memory of the old Mac, downgrade to Leopard or buy a brand new Mac computer. I didn’t want to downgrade, because that would involve purchasing another DVD from Apple and not being able to install pretty much any application.  I wasn’t ready to jump and purchase a brand new Mac. So my remaining option was to bump up memory.

I looked on Microbytes web site: 55$ for a DDR2 667MHz SO-DIMM. Wow! I checked on NCIX: no DDR2 SO-DIMM. On TigerDirect, I found something, but that was 45$. I found something at 35$ on Amazon.ca, but I had three shipping options: get it by December 23 (the best) but required subcription to Amazon Prime (so yet another subscription with monthly or yearly payments, yet others emails about things I don’t have time to understand, etc.), pay an extra fee to get it by December 19 (but I was planning to be at the office this day!), or wait until December 30 to get it through SuperSaver shipping, which would mean I would almost be unable to explore the machine during the Christmas break.

I finally got the chip from Dantech, a Montreal-based computer store that sells new and used hardware. They didn’t have new SO-DIMM DDR2 chip, but after more than 15 minutes of search, they found some remaining used DDR2 SO-DIMM chips at 667MHz. It was better not to try with 800MHz chips. In theory, they should work, but we never know, especially with Mac’s… I got it for approximately 30$.

Putting the memory in the machine was easy, escept the screws holding the memory cover were surprisingly small. If I had dropped one of the three screws on the floor, I would have had an hard time finding it back. Luckily, that didn’t happen and the memory chip worked.

The machine behaves better now. I will test a bit with Snow Leopard before trying to upgrade to Lion, not sure I will even attempt the upgrade because it may kill the system’s performance a second time.

Preliminary results with Ubuntu booting on Mac

After my more and more frustrating failures with Mac OS X, I wanted to do something to give a second life to this apparently dead system. My previous attempts and research about Ubuntu installation on MacBook Pro 2006 have been a real disaster. But this evening’s attempt is a step toward success!

I first downloaded the 32-bit Ubuntu 14.10 ISO. I already had the 64-bit one. Then I burned two DVD disks: one for the 64-bit, one for the 32-bit. It is always handy to have Ubuntu disks; I consider this an essential part of my geek’s toolbox. Because the Mac’s EFI is 32-bit (an unfortunate ill-design given the CPU is 64-bit capable), I tossed a 32-bit Ubuntu DVD in the machine and tried to reboot. This time, Mac OS X stuck at a blue screen, incapable of shutting down or rebooting. Grrr! What a pain in the neck! I forcibly shut this cursed system down by pressing and holding power button.

Then I powered on again and as soon as my external keyboard’s Razer logo turned on, I pressed and held the Alt key. After a tremendous amount of time, almost 45 seconds, I got the choice between the DVD and hard drive. I took the DVD, had to wait again, and finally got Ubuntu booting! Yes, that damn thing can boot Ubuntu 14.10!

I reached the live screen and was about to open a terminal, resolution is correct, audio seems there and system seems responsive. Of course, the DVD drive is just way too slow. I would have to install Ubuntu onto the hard drive to assess performance in a more thorough way.

More than that, I couldn’t find /sys/firmware/efi, which means a non-EFI boot happened. This means the Mac’s firmware DO has CSM, and thus can boot in legacy mode. I still have to try, but I suspect I could give it a 64-bit Ubuntu and bump up memory to 4Gb! I am more confident Ubuntu will accept almost any brand of memory modules while Mac OS X might be more picky and just accept Apple-approved ones.

This is a good preliminary result, something that will allow to sleep better tonight and have a more enjoyable beginning of week!

MacTracker report about my MacBook Pro

OVERVIEW

Introduced    October 2006
Discontinued    June 2007
Model Identifier    MacBookPro2,2
Model Number    A1211
EMC    2120
Order Number    MA609LL/A (2.16 GHz), MA610LL/A (2.33 GHz)
Initial Price    $1,999 (2.16 GHz) $2,499 (2.33 GHz)
Support Status    Obsolete
Case    Lightweight aluminum alloy
Weight and Dimensions    5.6 lbs., 1″ H x 14.1″ W x 9.6″ D

PROCESSOR

Processor    Intel Core 2 Duo (T7400, T7600) (“Merom”)
Processor Speed    2.16 or 2.33 GHz
Architecture    64-bit
Number of Cores    2
Cache    4 MB on chip shared L2 cache
System Bus    667 MHz

STORAGE AND MEDIA

Storage    120 or 160 GB 5400-rpm or 200 GB 4200-rpm
Media    6x Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD

Trackpad    Solid-state trackpad supports tap, double-tap, drag and scrolling
Keyboard    Full size (78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys incl. 12 function, 4 arrow, embedded keypad, illuminated with ambient light sensor

SOFTWARE

Original OS    Mac OS X 10.4.8 (8N1037, 8N1051, 8N1430)
Maximum OS    Mac OS X 10.7.5
Hardware Test    AHT 3A115

Bundled Software    iLife ’06 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand), Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive, iWork ’06 (30-day trial), QuickBooks for Mac New User Edition, Comic Life, FileMaker Pro trial, Omni Outliner, Photo Booth, and Front Row.

FIRMWARE

Firmware    Intel Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)
Firmware Update    MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.4

MEMORY

Built-in Memory    None
Maximum Memory    3.0 GB (4.0 GB can be installed, only 3.0 GB will be addressed)
Memory Slots    2 – 200-pin PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMM
Minimum Speed    —
Interleaving Support    Yes
Upgrade Instructions    How to remove or install memory

DISPLAY

Built-in Display    15.4-inch (diagonal) TFT, Optional glossy display
Pixel Density    110 ppi
Resolutions    1440 by 900 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 768, 1024 by 640, 800 by 600, 800 by 500, 720 by 480 and 640 by 480 at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio

GRAPHICS

Graphics Card    ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
Graphics Memory    128 (2.16 GHz) or 256 (2.33 GHz) MB GDDR3
Display Connection    1 – Dual-link DVI (VGA, Composite and S-video with adapter)
Display Modes    Dual display extended and video mirroring
External Resolution    Up to 2560 by 1600 pixels
Camera    Built-in iSight

CONNECTIONS

Wi-Fi    Built-in AirPort Extreme card (802.11a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth    Built-in Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
Ethernet    10/100/1000BASE-T (RJ-45) (support for jumbo frames)
Modem    Optional Apple USB Modem (MA034Z/A)
USB    2 – 480 MBit/s
FireWire    1 – 400 MBit/s, 1 – 800 MBit/s
Display    1 – Dual-link DVI (VGA, Composite and S-video with adapter)
Infrared    1 – For Apple Remote only
Audio In    1 – 3.5-mm analog/optical combo jack, 1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out    1 – 3.5-mm analog/optical combo jack, 2 – Built-in speakers
Security Slot    1 – Kensington cable lock

EXPANSION

Slots    1 – ExpressCard/34
Bays    None
Hard Drive Interface    1.5 Gbps Serial ATA (SATA)
Optical Drive Interface    Ultra ATA/100 (running at UATA/66)

SENSORS

Motion Sensor    Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS)
Liquid Sensor    None

POWER

System Battery    60-watt-hour lithium-polymer (MA348LL/A)
Battery Life    Up to 5 hours
Maximum Battery Cycles    300
Backup Battery    —
Power Adapter    85W MagSafe Power Adapter (MA357LL/A)
Maximum Continuous Power    —
Line Voltage    100-240V AC

ENVIRONMENTAL

ENERGY STAR    Meets ENERGY STAR requirements
EPEAT    —

History

Introduced in October 2006, the MacBook Pro (Late 2006) was essentially a speed-bump of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro (17-inch) models to include faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors. The 15.4″ model also gained a FireWire port and a dual-layer SuperDrive. The MacBook Pro (Late 2006) shipped in three configurations: 15.4″/2.16 GHz/1 GB RAM/120 GB HD/128 MB VRAM/$1999 U.S., 15.4″/2.33 GHz/2 GB RAM/120 GB HD/256 MB VRAM/$2499 U.S., and 17″/2.33 GHz/2 GB RAM/160 GB HD/256 MB VRAM/$2799 U.S. All models were replaced in June 2007 by the MacBook Pro (Mid 2007).
HISTORY PROVIDED BY APPLE-HISTORY
PROJECT NAME AND TAGLINE

Tagline    The new MacBook Pro. Seatbelts sold separately.