Apple has released Power Mac G4 Firmware Update 4.2.8, a new firmware updater intended for Power Mac G4 and Macintosh Server G4 systems that incorporate AGP-based graphics.
The new Firmware Update version improves the Mac’s ability to start up Mac OS X from the local hard disk. It also includes improvements for FireWire target disk mode, network startup, gigabit networking (on Power Mac G4s built since the beginning of the year) and system stability. An added security option has also been implemented, which allows the Open Firmware to be password-protected.
Apple noted that after applying this firmware update, the Mac’s parameter RAM (PRAM) is reset, which means that some control panels may lose custom settings. Also, the firmware update must be applied by running it from a local, writable partition running North American English Mac OS 9.1 or later, but not OS X — it can’t be run by booting off a CD-ROM either, according to Apple.