macOS Monterey 12.3 Update Bricking Macs That Have Had Logic Board Replacements

The latest macOS Monterey update, released to the public this week, is bricking Macs that have had their logic boards replaced, causing panic among customers who are unable to get their Mac back to a working state, according to a cluster of user reports posted on social media and Apple's support forums.

macos monterey
Apple this week released ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.3, which among other things, brought Universal Control to users. Sadly, not all users are being able to experience ‌Universal Control‌ or the latest update at all.

As chronicled on an Apple Developer forum thread, users who attempt to update their Mac to macOS 12.3 from macOS 12.2.1 or earlier are met with errors, endless restart loops, and possibly a bricked Mac. The reports are limited to just Macs that have had their logic boards replaced, specifically new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

There is a firmware bug in Mac OS 12.3 that renders the update impossible to install on any 2021 14 or 16 inch MacBook Pro that has had it's logic board replaced.

The cycle is:

You try to upgrade, the upgrade will fail but recovery to handle it correctly, you'll reboot still on 12.2.1 but with a report a problem dialogue informing you of an iBoot Panic
You'll try to upgrade again. This time, the iBoot FW will corrupt. You'll see the apple icon flash on boot 5-6 times before seeing the exclamation mark symbol telling you recovery is needed.
You can try and revive using a second Mac with Apple Configurator 2. This will fail, because it tries to load the 12.3 firmware from the IPSW, in either DFU or Recovery mode.
The only way to get things running again is to manually download the 12.2.1 IPSW and use Apple Configurator 2, with the Mac in DFU mode, to load the revive image. This will update the firmware of iBoot, and the recovery image to a working build. The Mac will then restore 12.2.1's OS, keeping your data upon finishing.

According to the reports, there are two possible outcomes users are facing. Either a Mac becomes bricked and unusable, or a Mac finishes the update process and reboots but doesn't update and displays an "iBoot Panic" message.

macos 12 3 iboot panic error

Error message on a 14-inch MacBook Pro when attempting to update to macoS 12.3

A thread on Reddit by users also reports similar issues. "When I attempt to upgrade to 12.3 on a 2021 M1 14 inch macbook, the entire download and then upgrade sequence completes (30 or 40 minutes in upgrade sequence) and when it reboots has not upgraded and is still on 12.2.1," one user said.

In the case the Mac does not boot up after the update sequences, users must put their Mac into DFU and revive it manually. This process, however, requires users to have a second compatible Mac to revive their bricked Mac. As many customers only have one Mac, or no compatible Mac to use Apple Configurator with, they're forced to head to the Apple Store for assistance.

Even a trip to the ‌Apple Store‌, however, will result in staff likely replacing the already faulty logic board with another logic board, putting users in an endless loop until the bug is patched. Users are generally reporting mixed results when trying to put their Mac into DFU mode, but one user on Reddit has offered some advice:

Any attempts to get 12.3 on your mac will fail with that error.

You should be able to get into DFU though - wait until you're on the exclamation mark screen after a few flashes, then do the DFU key sequence. Configurator will let you try a revive in recovery mode though, but not sure if that works - I assume that's your 21 error. You should get a 2006 error when trying in DFU mode.

The second time I tried a normal in system upgrade, the screen refused to show anything as a result of the firmware failure - but it still appeared in Configurator and the DFU key sequence still worked.

There are also reports on the MacRumors Forum, with one user saying, "I cannot install macOS 12.3 in any way: direct upgrade, install via App Store, Recovery Mode, DFU Restore, all failed. All versions before macOS 12.3 works. I have to download IPSW for macOS 12.2 to use it." Apple does offer IPSW files for macOS updates, but as stated above, that process requires a second Mac to install onto the bricked Mac.

Apple has instructions for how to revive an Apple silicon Mac here and an Intel-based Mac instructions can be found here. Apple has so far not commented or acknowledged the specific issue bricking Macs attempting to update to macOS 12.3, but we've reached out to Apple for comment and will update accordingly.

Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Tag: macOS
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

Top Rated Comments

macsorcery Avatar
14 weeks ago
I can't wait for their car.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Heat_Fan89 Avatar
14 weeks ago

I can't wait for their car.
So would you need a second car to recover the 1st car?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dan From Canada Avatar
14 weeks ago

I can't wait for their car.
Is it my imagination or has quality control been on a downhill slide over the last few years at Apple?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TVreporter Avatar
14 weeks ago
Why are brand new M1 Macs needing new logic boards? That’s the bigger story MR that needs to be explored.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DesertNomad Avatar
14 weeks ago

Is it my imagination or has quality control been on a downhill slide over the last few years at Apple?
Since October 5, 2011.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MajorFubar Avatar
14 weeks ago
Anyone but me more concerned that so many nearly new Macbooks have needed a logic board replacement at, what, five months old at most?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macos monterey

Some Older Macs Reportedly Bricked After Installing macOS Monterey

Monday November 1, 2021 3:12 am PDT by
macOS Monterey, released last week as the latest version of macOS, is bricking older Mac computers, rendering them unusable and unable to even turn on, according to a number of reports from users across social media and online forums. If this sounds oddly familiar, it may be because last year, with the launch of macOS Big Sur, similar reports surfaced about that update bricking older...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Second macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers

Tuesday February 8, 2022 10:08 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming two weeks after the release of the first macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update...
mac studio lifestyle shot

Apple Executives Discuss How Mac Studio Fills the Gap Between iMac and Mac Pro

Thursday March 17, 2022 9:54 am PDT by
Apple's new Mac Studio desktop computer will begin arriving to customers this Friday. Ahead of the launch, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino spoke with a trio of senior Apple employees about the company's process of designing the Mac Studio. Just like the Mac Pro tower released in late 2019, the Mac Studio was born as a result of Apple's Pro Workflows Team that was created shortly after the...
mac studio renders Large

Alleged 'Mac Studio' Renders Surface Ahead of Tomorrow's 'Peek Performance' Apple Event

Monday March 7, 2022 7:07 am PST by
Renders alleged to be the "Mac Studio," described as a hybrid between a Mac Pro and Mac mini, have surfaced online just a day before Apple holds its "Peek Performance" event, where at least one new Mac is expected to be announced. The renders were shared by YouTuber Luke Miani, and shows a design similar to the Mac mini, with a very similar footprint but approximately four-inches tall...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Fourth macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday February 22, 2022 10:08 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming a week after the release of the third macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Third macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers

Tuesday February 15, 2022 10:13 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming a week after the release of the second macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta 2 Appears to Fix Bluetooth-Related Battery Drain Issue During Sleep Mode

Tuesday February 8, 2022 12:39 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Monterey 12.2 last month, some Mac users who installed the software update started to experience excessive battery drain during sleep mode, seemingly due to Bluetooth accessories frequently waking up the machines. The issue appears to affect Macs running the first beta of macOS 12.3 as well. Many affected users found their Mac's battery life dropped from 100%...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Release Candidate Version macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:23 am PST by
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming a week after the release of the fifth macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. The RC represents the final version of macOS Monterey 12.3 that will be released publicly next week. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer...

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...