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Friday, June 21, 2013

How To Install Head Unit Firmware Updates Using A Mac [How-To]

Pioneer head unit firmware updates require installation using a USB flash drive or micro-SD Card (first generation AppRadio). Updates usually come as two files that have to be installed one after the other. One of the requirements is having the installation files in the root folder of the drive being used. And the file should be the only one present on the drive. Some users have found it difficult to perform the update using a Mac because formatting a drive on the Mac writes hidden files onto the drive which gives an error on the head unit while updating. Here is a workaround to the update process when using a Mac.

There are no issues when using a Windows PC to format the drive. Now, thanks to this tip given by an "Anonymous" reader on one of our posts it is now possible to perform firmware updates using a Mac. All you need is to install a tool (available for FREE) called TinkerTool which enables viewing hidden files in Finder. Here is a screenshot of TinkerTool. You have to first enable "Show hidden and system files". Then "Relaunch Finder".

Here are some files that get written on a newly formatted flash drive in the MS-DOS (FAT) format on a Mac which have to be deleted…

You can download TinkerTool by clicking here.

Picture source: Apple


  1. I still can't get the update to work even when formatting my drive with windows. I get to the point where I plug my flash drive in, then the firmware update screen should pop up. It doesn't on mine. Nothing ever happens.
    I tried emailing pioneer but they suck and told me I should call. I work the same hours they do so that's not easy to do. I tried friday afternoon and spent 30 minutes on hold before I had to hang up.

  2. Pioneer support is really terrible. I went through multiple PCs and Macs and a handful of flash drives before I got a system that worked for me.
    For me, it's been all about using an OLD PC. I wasn't successful using windows 7 or 8 PCs, but every attempt on an old one (XP) has worked well for me. I don't know whether Vista works, but XP works like a champ.


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