Apple tool to recover data from MacBook Pro 2016/2017

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Astrophys, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Astrophys macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2009

    After a recent OS update my 2017 MBP will not boot. I've taken the laptop into the genius bar and they've tried everything under the sun to fix it without having to wipe the hard drive and do a fresh reinstall.

    I can go into recovery start up and use disk utility to see that the hard drive still has all the files on it. I tried making an image of some important folders I wanted to salvage and save them to an external drive, but after copying any folder over about 100mb the computer crashes and I get the black screen with flashing folder with question mark (like I get when I try to boot).

    The computer for some reason will not mount its hard drive when connected to another computer using the target disk mode. So the Apple tech suggested I go pay out of pocket to have a company recover my files (a few gigs of files on my desktop).

    I came across this article and wanted to see if the store could use this tool to recover my data.

    When I called they acted as if the tool didn't exist and asked where I heard about it. I said 9 to 5 mac. They then suggested it was misleading information, that they do not handle data migration unless the computer can boot up. Data salvage services can cost a lot of money and the drive seems to have all the data on it. Any suggestions on what I can do?
  2. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Did Apple try target disk mode with it? That's the only thing I can think of, connecting it to another Mac and trying to access the data that way, or installing the OS on an external and trying that way. And that 'tool' in the link is really just another MBP.

    I would brace yourself for the worst here though, as I would assume you've had FileVault enabled too. There's really next to nothing anyone can do with an encrypted SSD if you cannot access it in the way I mentioned - although perhaps someone has another idea. All I'd suggest is that you don't waste money with data recovery (It would be an obscene cost considering the SSD is soldered in), you'll be far better to spend that on a reliable backup solution to prevent this happening in the future (Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and nobody expects this to happen till it does :().
  3. Astrophys thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2009
    It would not mount in target disk mode. I do have the key for the file vault. There is a data recovery center in San Diego that has the mentioned tool and charges $125 per hour for data recovery.

    I do have a backup, it's just the last 2 weeks that didn't get backed up that I'm trying to get access to. From the article it seems like one should be able to get the data via apple.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Sounds to me like filevault is the "wrench in the works" here.
    That's why I NEVER use it.
    I want my stuff "in the clear", and as easy to get to as possible.
    If the data is that sensitive, buy a safe and lock the entire computer into it.

    If you have a backup, just use it and be done with it.
    RE-create the last 2 weeks of missing data if you must.
    Otherwise, you might have to shell out the data recovery costs, and they WON'T be cheap.

    Just wondering, if the data was that important, why not a "daily backup"...?
  5. Astrophys thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2009
    Was on my honeymoon. Backed up the day we left. Half the trip's videos and images are on the laptop, the other half are on the cameras.

    Went back to the Apple store and they literally said they had no clue what to do. If they send it into the service center an attempt will be made with that tool, but only once, and then they will wipe it.
  6. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
  7. gilles_polysoft, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018

    gilles_polysoft macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2017
    Tours (France)
    the tool exists for sure, it's called Customer Data Migration tool. and you can check at what it looks like here :
    Only genius bar or Apple authorized service providers can have one, and not every aasp have already bought this tool. Ask some AASP in your region...

    The problem is, according to the symptoms you present, the SSD of your 2017 MBP may be defective and if it's the case, you have no luck to get your datas back... Of course your computer might be repaired with a new logic board but you want your datas first and it may not be easy.

    The first thing to do is to plug your MBP motherboard on a rescue computer using the "customer data migration" tool and to check the smart status of your SSD : DriveDX handles NVMe drives and it should give you informations of the health of the SSD soldered on your logic board, which may not be fine...

    Then, if the status of the SSD soldered on your motherboard is not too bad, the next thing to do is to do a full sector clone of your SSD (using the same Apple Data migration tool) on a separate storage. Tools like dd (command-line) or CopyCat may be used.

    Then, a rescue of the data from the sector clone of your SSD can be tried.
    but it may be difficult because your drive has probably been converted to APFS (wich the upgrade to High Sierra) and, as of today in january 2018, APFS is a recent thing and there is to my knowledge no data rescue software handling APFS available yet.. (neither Disk Warrior, nor R-studio etc. do handle APFS drives yet...)
  8. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Merci beaucoup pour votre site, j'ai utilisé Google Translate et j'ai appris beaucoup!
  9. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Given the situation I would recommend trying first the advice posted by gilles-polusoft.

    If that is not possible then installing Sierra or High Sierra on a external drive (depending on which OS is installed on the Macbook Pro) and try to boot the Macbook Pro from it. If it boots then I would definitely clone the internal drive to external drive because you don't want to mess with a potentially failing SSD any more than you absolutely have to...

    Final option is third party data recovery service but if the drive is formatted in APFS odds aren't in your favor because Apple hasn't released documentation for it and its very hard to find recovery software that can support it. If it succeeds be prepared for a hefty bill!
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    Ebenezum is "speaking the hard truth" in reply 9 above.

    I'm going to -guess- that IF you had filevault on, and IF the internal drive is APFS, that you aren't getting that data back.

    Most (all?) data recovery places are going to be "stopped in their tracks" by this combination.

    If the Apple genius bar guys can't get the data from the drive, forget it.

    Always take a small portable backup drive with you, even on trips!
    And... use it!

    One final thought.
    You wrote above:
    "Was on my honeymoon. Backed up the day we left. Half the trip's videos and images are on the laptop, the other half are on the cameras."

    I'm going to guess that you copied some of the older video from the camera's card to the computer, then deleted it from the card, is this correct?

    If so, I'm wondering if any of that could still be "recoverable" from the card?
    There are card-recovery utilities out there, some free.
    It's a long shot, but might be worth trying.
  11. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I have actually handled the customer data migration tool (I have one at work but due to contracts I can't use it to help you, sorry) and I've taken one of these systems apart. This is NOT a task for the feint of heart, which is why use of that tool is restricted to Apple repair centers and AASP's. Definitely do as advised and see if you have a local AASP that will put your board into their tool and try to extract your data. If you have High Sierra with APFS the system they connect it to MUST be running High Sierra (I know from experience, don't ask).

    As long as they're an AASP and have a certified tech work on it, the warranty remains. In fact, they can complete diagnosis and then order the part and repair the computer for you when they're done extracting your data, making it a one-stop-shop to resolve your issue.

    This is why my important trips (one to Bermuda, one to Mexico City) end up with a dedicated SD card. Any pictures taken STAY on the card, even though I have a Time Machine and online backup of my Photos library as well. Which reminds me - I leave on a cruise in 2 months, need to order a new card. I know some people that will even split photos taken during a trip across multiple memory cards so if they lose one they don't lose everything,

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