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How to reset an EFI chip

Updated March 23, 2017

An EFI (extensile firmware interface) is a set of instructions stored in computer memory that act as an interface between computer components and the operating system during start-up. If you are having start-up problems or your computer components do not work properly, you may be able to solve the problem by resetting the EFI to its default settings. The EFI standard is most widely used in Intel-based Macintosh computers, although other computer manufacturers are beginning to replace the older BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) firmware with EFI. This article pertains to Macintosh computers.

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  1. Shut down the computer.

  2. Turn on the computer and immediately hold down the "Command," "Option," "P" and "R" keys at the same time.

  3. Release the keys after you hear the computer beep a second time.

  4. Check to see if the computer is operating properly. If not, continue through the next steps.

  5. Reboot the computer and hold down the "Command," "Option," "O" and "F" keys at the same time during start-up.

  6. Wait until you see the message "To continue booting, type 'mac-boot' and press return." If the message does not appear, try starting the computer by holding down the power button continuously until the message appears.

  7. Type "reset-nvram" and press "Return."

  8. Type "reset-all" and press "Return."

  9. Tip

    If you still are unable to get to the command prompt to manually reset the firmware, shut down the computer and unplug the mouse, keyboard and power cord. Plug in the power cord while holding in the power button. Let go of the power button and plug in the mouse and keyboard. Try the above steps again. If all else fails, you can go to the Apple website on another computer and create a Firmware Restoration CD that will reinstall your firmware. See the Resources section for a link to the website.

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About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

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