New Macs are making it harder to recover your data

Two trends in newer Macs, thinness and privacy, are conspiring to make it harder than ever to recover your data. Apple has a fashion-magazine-like obsession with thinness and a Libertarian devotion to privacy. These two factors, however, are making Macs that are harder and harder to recover data from. If you have a Mac from 2016 or later, make sure you have a backup because if you don’t, data recovery could be quite expensive.

One of the most common reasons customers come to us is because their Mac won’t turn on or fully boot. They may be ready to buy a new Mac but they want their data. Traditionally, we would remove the drive, put it in a working Mac or dock and we could easily and inexpensively transfer the data to a new Mac. But times are changing, especially if you have one of these models:

12-inch MacBooks (2015 or later)

As part of Apple’s relentless pursuit of thin and light, they released the 12-inch MacBook: the thinnest and lightest Mac laptop ever. Unfortunately to achieve this thinness, they removed the removable drive and soldered it to the main logic board of the computer. This means we can’t just remove the drive and put it in another computer. It’s impossible. So if your MacBook 12-inch doesn’t turn on, it has to be sent to a lab which is quite expensive. It starts at $1,000 can be as high as $3000—and that’s just to get your data back.

2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros

The new laptops came in two flavors: non-TouchBar and TouchBar. The non-TouchBar Macs have removable drives. We can move these to working MacBook Pros and get your data. The TouchBar Macs had soldered on drives similar to the 12-inch MacBook. These could have had the same issue as the MacBook but Apple did something highly unusual. They created a special tool to extract the data, even from dead MacBook Pros. As an Apple Authorized Service Provider, we have access to this tool and have used it with great success to inexpensively transfer data when these MacBook Pros move on to a better place. Of course, the tool doesn’t always work and when that happens, it’s off to the lab for a $1,000+ bill to get back your data.

2018 MacBook Pros, Mac minis, Retina MacBook Airs, and iMac Pros

As part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to your data privacy, Apple introduced the T2 chip which encrypts your data and locks it to the CPU of that Mac. So once again, if your Mac doesn’t turn on, this is a lab recovery.

Our mission at Mike’s Tech Shop is to make you happy with your Mac. The most unhappy customers we see are those faced with data-loss. We always want to help. We will either be able to recover your data in-house or help you get your Mac out to a lab and back with minimal hassle. But the best solution of all is to have a backup. So please, get your backup set up today because a $100 drive could save you $1,000 or more.


Posted in Data Recovery