Psystar Jabs Apple With Rebel EFI Release

operating systems OS hard drives

Caveat Emptor: Psystar warns users that it is not responsible for possible data loss due to installation or use of Rebel EFI.

The release is a bold and risky move for Psystar, which is already in Apple's crosshairs. Last year Apple filed suit against the company alleging that it broke regulations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by modifying Apple Mac OS X and installing it on non-Apple computers. In turn, Psystar countersued Apple, saying it violated antitrust regulations. That suit was subsequently dismissed. Apple's suit against Psystar is moving forward with a trial date slated for Jan. 11, 2010.

Psystar is offering a free trial of Rebel EFI. However, it will have limited hardware functionality -- the company did not specify what that means -- and the run-time is only two hours. The full version activation is $49.99, down from the original $90 price tag.

Rebel EFI works on PCs with Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i7 and Xeon Nehalem chips. The software includes Darwin Universal Boot Loader (DUBL), which identifies new hard drives attached to a computer and provides an "easy" install on different operating systems on the same computer. The software also has a built-in support feature that lets users communicate with company technicians if they have software problems, the company said.

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A Safe Update tool that let previous Psystar users update their computers has been boosted with more functionality in the Rebel EFI app, the company said. This tool still screens updates and makes available updates directly from Apple, but now it also checks for the best hardware profiles available from its own servers.

However, if your hardware won't cooperate with Rebel EFI, you can use the company's new "home certification" program. After a Rebel EFI license has been verified, users who have problems can send their hardware to the company's lab and its engineers will build a profile for the device.