Are Macs with removable components still around?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Texas_Toast, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #1
    I'm on my old Mac now, but I bought a new Retina MBP about this time last year. It supposedly has a removable SSD and I think you can also remove the RAM.

    I need another MBP to replace this one, and I would like to buy another new Mac that is like the one I bought in Fall 2016, but sadly haven't had a chance to start using yet!

    Do you think any of those MBPs with the removable SSD and RM are still in supply in the U.S.?

    (It really pisses me off that Apple has decided to turn their computers into disposable solid-state devices with no ability to upgrade!!)
     
  2. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #2
    The memory has never been removable on a retina MBP, only the SSDs.
     
  3. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #3
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #4
    The question:
    "Are Mac[book]s with removable components still around?"

    The answer:
    No.
    Unless you want to buy an older model, used.

    Even the 2015 refurbished 15" mentioned above has a flash SSD drive that is not easily or cheaply replaced.

    If you want something new, BUY something new, then use and enjoy it for what it is.
     
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #5
    Gonna argue that point with you. It's held in with a single screw once the bottom case is off.
     
  6. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #6
    Removing the ssd is extremely easy with the right tools. I've done it on a 2013 and 2015 MBA and a late 2013 13" MBP.

    Yes, the ssd drives are not cheap but they are definitely removable.
     
  7. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

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    #7
    Sure, but good luck finding the right one to put in at a decent price. Pretty much the only option is to find someone that pulled one to upgrade their own, or find someone that pulled one from an otherwise non-functioning Mac.
     
  8. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #8
    I believe rMBPs use either m.2 ahci or m.2 nvme drives.

    For those with an ahci drive, people have reported success with using an ahci to nvme adapter and High Sierra in order to use third-party nvme drives in an ahci machine.

    Nvme drives that work in the rMBP are no different than their "PC" counterpart.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-2013-2014-macbook-pro-ssd-to-m-2-nvme.2034976/page-4

    Using the adapter and a non-Apple drive will be cheaper than going for an OEM Apple drive but both options are too much for me.
     
  9. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #9
    Here are the stats on my new (and nearly un-used) MBP...

    MacBookPro 12.1
    3.1 GHz Intel Core i7
    16 GB 18677 MHz DDR3
    1 TB SSD


    I figured that there would be places like B&H Photo that would have some of those still around in "new" form.

    You don't think so?
     
  10. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #10
    So that's the end of the story?

    If you own a Mac, you'll never be able to remove the hard-drive again? :(

    That really concerns me as far as privacy goes...

    If I have all of my company's info on my laptop, and I even needed to: a.) get a bigger hard-drive, b.) get it serviced then I would be screwed.

    My problem is not having to keep buying newer laptops, it is the fact that all of my data is permanently stuck on a given laptop.

    In this age of cybersecurity concerns, how could Apple be so thoughtless?


    (Damn, I knew I should have bought two MBPs back in August of 2016...
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #12
    OP wrote:
    "If I have all of my company's info on my laptop, and I even needed to: a.) get a bigger hard-drive, b.) get it serviced then I would be screwed."

    Simple solution:
    Get a fast EXTERNAL USB3 SSD and keep the sensitive info on that.
    Use encryption if you wish.

    I realize it's not as elegant as storing such data internally, but again -- if the data is that sensitive, you do what you have to do.
     
  12. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #13
    Thanks for the suggestion, but based on my understanding, here is the problem...

    When you use applications and work with files on your computer (PC or Mac), those files and bits&bytes end up on your main SSD/HDD in some fashion because the operating system and the applications need a working space.

    So I'm pretty sure it is naive to think that my "Company Patent File.doc" or my "Financial Projections.xls" or "Top Secret Design Photos.png" or "Oracle Employee Tax-Information Database" doesn't get stored/cached/copied/whatever on the main SSD/HDD.

    If I am wrong about this, then please enlighten me. However, as someone who has done application development in the past, and who is pretty savvy in IT, I think we all have to agree with the fact that "Unless you wrote the OS and applications, you have no clue ultimately where your data is stored!!"

    (I have "surfed" old PC and Mac HDDs and found data in place I would have never imagined!!!)
     
  13. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #14
    It's actually not M.2, it's actually a proprietary interface. An M.2 SSD will not work unless you fit an adapter.

    The one exception is the non-Touch Bar 13" model, that one still has a removable SSD. It's a different interface compared to the rMBP and I don't believe there's any third-party alternatives for that yet.
     
  14. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #15
    Didn't know that. Thank you.
     
  15. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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  16. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

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    #17
    Use FileVault. I'll put it this way - FileVault passes muster for some LARGE corporation security requirements. If you enable FileVault, use the Mac as normal, wipe the drive and install a fresh copy of macOS, only the MOST sophisticated tools will have even a CHANCE of getting your information (and even THAT is unlikely). The chances of a casual "hacker" even having the interest and seeing the financial benefit of having such tools and trying to get your information are pretty slim. Also - file recovery from an SSD is exponentially more difficult than the same task on a platter drive, made even MORE difficult in the new generation of MBP by the drive not being removable.
     
  17. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #18
    @hallux,

    I appreciate the response, but am still skeptical that it is that simple.

    Equifax was supposed to be 100% safe and look what happened...

    When I can physically remove an old hard-drive and destroy it, then I know my data cannot fall into the wrong hands when I get rid of an outdated Mac. But when the SSD is soldered in, I don't have that same reassurance.

    Of course I could still physically remove the SSD from my new Mac, but then I'd feel bad that I'm hurting the environment by throwing a still good laptop into the trash.

    BTW, I always use File Vault 2 from Day 1, but I am skeptical of this, "You data is encrypted, so therefore it is absolutely safe."

    In case you haven't followed the news, people's data WAS ENCRYPTED with Google, Equifax, Transworld, and numerous other companies, yet hacker were still able to get around the encryption!

    I agree that my personal SSD is less of a target than say Equifax, but then again, what is on my SSD is more valuable to me than even what Equifax has on me...

    Any super-smart cybersecurity experts out there, or Apple engineers, that care to join the debate?

    Thanks.
     
  18. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Well, even the other vendors are going this route. We just bought some ASUS ROG G701VI laptops that we were going to use for demos on military networks, but found that they went to M.2 format. Now that typically isn't a big deal, but they put two of them in the laptop. One is on the bottom side of the mother board where it is easy to get to and the other is on the flip side under the keyboard requiring the entire laptop to be removed. PITA!

    They are still removable as is the memory (also on the keyboard side) but not user friendly at all and my guess is they will eventually solder them on.
     
  19. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #20
    @Fishrrman,

    Here is why I am nervous about hard-drives that are soldered into my machine...

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/16/apple_left_filevault_open/

    I'm not sure if you or anybody can answer my concerns about what data from an external HDD, as you propose, might end up on the onboard SSD, but as far as encryption goes, you see what happens when hackers are smarter than Apple engineers!
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #21
    If you're that nervous about soldered-in components, perhaps you ought to be looking at other manufacturer's products.

    Apple's stuff may not be for you.
     
  21. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #22
    Is there a viable alternative? Windows is a definite no-no for security minded people. And using Linux isn't practical.

    As @daflake mentioned, probably every manufacturer will eventually go to soldered in components. After all, this is America and it's all about the almighty $$$, not about the best solutions for customers...
     
  22. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #23
    The only way I currently know of to have macOS on a near top-of-the-line laptop with a removable ssd is to get an older Macbook pro or a hackintosh windows laptop.

    Obviously, the latter option would be a big no-no in a corporate setting.
     

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