Macbook Air and Helix
DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
We have been looking at the Air/Helix issue for the past couple of days. Using an Air and the Apple USB Superdrive our lab bought, we are looking at a way to field triage the Air with encase and Helix.
We have found that the Helix Pro disk will start to boot the Air but hangs at the PCI scan routine. The bad part is that we tried this once and it blew out the USB port, which Apple replaced. Thinking that it was a random hardware issue we tried again with the newly repaired Air, and blew the port again. The port in both cases did not show any devices attached after the Air was rebooted into OS X (thumb drive to test) and Apple confirmed in the first incident that the port was 'gone'. The USB drive is OK because it works with another machine. We suspect that something about the USB port on the Air is causing it to fry when certain signals that Apple did not anticipate are passed to the device. We also understand that the Air's USB port is in some way non-standard.
We gave the Air, USB Superdrive and the Helix disk to an Apple tech support shop. They found that the Helix disk did the same thing to other Airs they tried it on. The fix is to open the case and reset the machine by unplugging and then re-plugging in the battery. They think that something on the Helix disk is crushing the code that Apple has used for what the tech guy called a 'smart' USB port. Apparently there is some kind of Apple firmware that works with the USB port on the Air.
If we find a better solution we'll post it.
Thanks for the information. Im glad I didn't use Helix with this tiny beast a few weeks ago -)
Thanks for sharing this.