Apple Has an SSD Data Recovery Tool for Touch Bar MacBook Pros That Refuse to Boot

Friday November 25, 2016 3:05 AM PST by Tim Hardwick

Since it's been revealed that Apple chose to use a soldered down, non-removable SSD in its 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros, it's natural for users to wonder about the fate of their data in the event of a fault that requires a logic board replacement.

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Fortunately it appears as if Apple has a proprietary in-house tool to rescue stored user data when disaster strikes. 9to5Mac reports that a dedicated port on the logic board allows Apple staff to attach the recovery tool once the board's been removed from the chassis. The tool then transfers the data from the SSD to a working MacBook Pro's drive via one of its USB-C ports.

All indications are that users won't be able to get their hands on this recovery tool, as it's only available to Apple support staff for emergency use when a laptop sent in for repair won't boot.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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44 months ago

This is purely speculation but I'd wager Apple would do this for free if you were out of warranty - it's their own fault for soldering down the SSD.


Don't hold your breath on that. If anything Apple does, they are not going to give away a service for free out of warranty ( iPhone 6 touch disease). All i see here is a money making machine for apple. You all have fun with that!!!
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago

Bs. I almost guarantee Apple will do it for free.

I've taken out of warranty stuff to Apple to be fixed to an Apple Store. If they can fix something without cost to them other than labor they will usually do it.

Not BS. I too have had out of warranty work done for free by Apple. I have also been denied free out of warranty service by Apple. It's not their policy. It depends on the type of work and more importantly... scratch that, MOST importantly the employee in the store. Luck of the draw is not something I'd use to base a guarantee on for out of warranty service.

The touch disease only happens to phones dropped too hard.

This is BS. It's the same BS as the ubiquitous "a small number of customers have experienced..." PR line Apple trots out whenever there are issues. Touch disease wasn't about the phone being dropped too hard. Anyone believing that line really needs their head checked. That's a sad example of blame the customer for a design defect (which they promptly fixed in the next iPhone iteration).
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago
Or just make the damn thing removable
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago

The same as any other logic board component failure.

A dead SSD should mean a simple replacement of the SSD, not the entire board. Soldering the SSD to the board makes this recovery tool and the "port to nowhere" necessary. Also it eliminates the possibility of upgrading your SSD down the road.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

The same as any other logic board component failure.


Well then, they shouldn't have made the SSD soldered.

Another reason among the many not to buy any of their new crippled Macbooks.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago

It doesn't help when the SSD is dead you still have to replace the whole logic board... :(


Its quite funny how Apple always wants to appear like the most environmental friendly company and then they pull crap like this. I remember when Apple needed to replace my battery (under warranty). They replaced the whole body housing and the keyboard just to replace the battery. Redic if you ask me
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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