Is it possible to brick a Mac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ring, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. ring macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #1
    Hi:

    I was watching a YT video with a kid showing people how to dual boot ubuntu on osx. He said something along the lines of "if you check this option you will render OSX unbootable".. And that got me thinking

    - What if something went terribly wrong and your recoveryHD got overridden? Would you be able to fix your computer and get it to a working OSX state?

    - Is it possible to brick a Mac? Make it un restorable via Recovery HD ?


    - What would happen if the recoveryHD/Main partition got overridden? Is the computer screwed?

    thanks
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    What do you think happens when a hard drive dies? You put in a new hard drive, install Mac OS X, and you're running again. As long as the hardware isn't damaged, you're fine.
     
  3. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #3
    I was going to say the same thing.
     
  4. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #4
    How would you go about doing that if the recovery is fine? OSX USB?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    It depends on the version. In 10.6 and earlier, use the install disk. In Lion, use Lion Recovery.
     
  6. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #6
    But i was saying what would happen if that was overridden (RecoveryHD) due to something going wrong?
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    Did you read the link I posted? It answers your question.
     
  8. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #8
    I think the link is saying if recoveryHD is working. I was saying what if some terrible senario happened and you were unable to access recoveryHD/any other recovery option


    I don't understand this stuff -_-
     
  9. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #9
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718
     
  10. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #10
  11. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #11
    Also, computers don't "Brick" in the sense that gaming consoles do. If there's a hardware failure that can't be fixed that could be comparable, but if you were to say accidentally format your drive, that's a super easy fix.


    It would take extreme skill to "brick" a computer.
     
  12. Comeagain? macrumors 68020

    Comeagain?

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    #12
    Unless your physically damaging the Mac, no.
     
  13. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #13
    the reason I was asking is because the kid said "render OSX unbootable", and I thought if you can't boot = brick (with RecoveryHD not working and all)
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #14
    Here's your first problem: Don't believe everything people tell you, especially when they don't know what they're talking about.
     
  15. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #15
    Well what he probably means is that you would write over the Mac OS X partition. If that were to happen technically you couldn't boot to it but a simple reinstall would fix that. I understand what you mean though.
     
  16. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #17
    he mentioned that "using this option" would "install grub for linux" and "render your OSX unbootable"
     
  17. Luvin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Location:
    NJ
    #18
    You could put a firmware level password on the computer that the user doesn't know about or if you are the user yourself you could just forget it. To my knowledge, there is no way to reset a password at the firmware level. Combine this with changing some firmware settings on critical components before said password implementation and I'd say you've effectively "bricked" the computer. That being said, it would take someone well beyond the abilities of a normal or even pretty advanced user to do this.

    Let me know if I'm wrong please! Although, I'm sure you would anyway =P
     
  18. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #19
    GRUB is just a boot loader. You could still boot into OSX, but you don't want the GRUB boot loader because the only way to get rid of it is to reinstall Mac OS X.

    I keep forgetting that computers also have firmware, so yeah you're right. XD
     
  19. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #20
    On most Macs, you can re-set a firmware password by changing the amount of installed RAM. Obviously, this wouldn't work on a MacBook Air, or newer MacBook Pro systems, which only Apple can re-set.
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Nonsense. You can easily change it. Mac Open Firmware Password Removal
     
  21. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #22
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #23
    Just further proof that the kid in the video didn't know what they were talking about.
     
  23. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #24
    Years ago I found out the hard way that with certain Asus motherboards, removing the jumper that resets the CMOS while the machine is still plugged in bricks the motherboard. (Not turned on -- just plugged into the AC outlet.) Completely. Toss it out, or send it back to Asus, because there's nothing you can do yourself.

    I'd better admit that the mobo manual explicitly said not to do that. I was careless.
     
  24. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #25
    Open Firmware is only on PPC Macs. There hasn't been an Open Firmware Mac in 6+ years.

    On ANY Intel Mac (iMac, Air, MBP, etc...) you use the OS X Install CD to set a Firmware Password and only that utility can remove or change the password.

    In order to avoid user confusion, Apple stopped calling it 'Open Firmware' and just calls it 'Firmware' now.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1352
     

Share This Page