Posted on Sat - April 10, 2010

Early MacBook computers - possible iTunes problems

My friend almost switches back

Before I talk about my iPad review, I want to tell you about the problems a friend of mine had.

He has one of the earlier MacBooks.

Somehow, someway he skipped over installing an "EFI Firmware Update." so iTunes would not update past version 9.0. Well, actually parts of it updated, but most of it didn't. So even though Software Update was telling him that everything was ready to go, nothing happened when he plugged his iPad into his MacBook.

Then he tried plugging his iPod touch in. Nothing happened there either.

My friend is not the most technically minded person. So he calls me.

First we figure out that there is a program called iTunes Helper that is supposed to be running, but isn't. A little adjustment of his log-in items, a quick sign out and sign back in, and iTunes recognizes his iPod again.

Then we connect the iPad which still shows the USB cable and the iTunes logo. Nothing. A quick trip to the System Profiler (Apple Menu, About This Mac, More Info) shows that an iPad is connected to his USB bus. So it's probably not a hardware problem.

Finally Software Update tells us that there is a firmware update that was downloaded but never installed. So we do the firmware update thing. My friend is panicked because I didn't explain very well what firmware was.

Then we manually download the latest iTunes installer and run it. Finally iTunes is showing 9.1 and connecting the iPad launches all sorts of gooey goodness. Maybe that should be GUIy goodness. Problem solved, right?

Well, not exactly.

Later when he tries to launch iTunes for some music, it tells him that the iTunes library was created by a newer version of iTunes and refuses to open.

The only solution at this point is to open the iTunes folder (user/Music/iTunes if you haven't changed anything) and drag the iTunes Library folder to the desktop. Relaunch iTunes. Quit iTunes. Delete the new iTunes Library file. Drag the old iTunes Library file back to the iTunes folder. Relaunch iTunes and let it update the file.

I have to say, in 20 plus years of using Macintosh computers, I've never had issues like that. First time for everything.

© 2005 - 2010 All Rights Reserved