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So, I recently acquired an old MacbookPro (v.5,4 mid 2009). I decided to create an Arch linux partition, and thus began my adventure... While installing rEFInd (the maintained fork of rEFIt), I ended up doing the following:

  1. Mounted the EFI partition in /Volumes
  2. Moved the necessary binaries into /Volumes/.../refind/
  3. Messed up
  4. Decided to quickly start over by removing refind
  5. Hastily decided to rm -rf *, but did not realize I was not in /refind
  6. Ended up deleting everything in /Volumes/EFI/*
  7. ...which included APPLE/EXTENSIONS/firmware.scap
  8. Freaked out
  9. Freaked out some more because I wasn't exactly sure what I just did...
  10. Shutdown and rebooted, praying I wouldn't hit a brick wall
  11. ...and then...
  12. ...Everything worked find.

But I still do not have a EFI/APPLE/EXTENSIONS/firmware.scap, so my questions are:

What is the firmware.scap? Why isn't my computer freaking out?

I've skimmed some literature on the internet, but there doesn't seem to be that much definitive information, just people giving rote directions to flash EFI firmware for those of us who have deleted it. If someone could just point me in the right direction (to learn more precisely about firmware.scap), I would be very grateful.

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  • maybe this helps you blog.remysaissy.com/2012/02/…
    – konqui
    Aug 3, 2014 at 9:14
  • Good questions. I am also confused by it. But I think deleting anything from the disk will not affect the firmware because the actual firmware is not installed on your hard drive, otherwise it will not be called firmware.
    – Kun
    May 19, 2016 at 6:37

2 Answers 2

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This file is always at this location: /usr/standalone/i386/Firmware.scap

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Your system may not need the firmware extension. See also here.

The Firmware.scap file is a boot loader that shipped with an installed operating system. It allows older Macs to boot newer versions of macOS that would not be capable of doing so because important parts are missing in their EFI Firmware in EEPROM and these parts cannot be added there as the EEPROM size is very limited. In that case the EEPROM only requires just enough boot code to bring up the whatever is required to read the EFI partition on your drive and then it can load that extension firmware from there which takes over control and performs the actual boot. It also depends on the kind of hardware built into your system.

The older the system, the newer the version of macOS you want to boot, and the more exotic your hardware, you more likely you will need that file but in many cases the system can boot fine without it (though booting from USB or booting recovery mode may not work without that file, even if you can boot from the internal drive).

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