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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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16,882


A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread.

macbookpro13large.jpg


Users are reporting that during the course of updating to macOS Big Sur, their machines are stuck displaying a black screen. Key reset combinations, including NVRAM, SMC, safe mode, and internet recovery, are all reportedly inaccessible after attempting to install the update, leaving no way to bypass the static black screen.

It appears that the overwhelming number of users experiencing problems are owners of the late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it is unclear exactly how many users of these models have been affected. It is also of note that these are the oldest models supported by macOS Big Sur.

One commenter on Reddit said that they were told by Apple support to book their MacBook Pro in for a repair. Another on an Apple Support thread said that the issue has been escalated to Apple's engineering team, so Apple should now be aware of the problem.

Until it is clear what may be causing the issue and Apple releases a fix, late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro may wish to hold off on installing macOS Big Sur.

Article Link: macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models
 
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TheSl0th

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2020
1
8
My 13" late 2013 isn't bricked, but restarting no longer works at all - since updating to Big Sur restarting the machine simply shuts it down.

It also seems to take an age to display the Apple logo when it boots, and has a very strange boot sequence that involves showing the Big Sur background with a progress bar, then reverting back to a black screen with an Apple logo, followed by a really weird graphical distortion with tearing all across the screen and then finally the loaded desktop.

Also, booting into Bootcamp only works if the startup disk is set. Holding down the option key at boot and selecting EFI boot shows the beginning of the Windows startup screen, then it inexplicably reverts to the macOS loading screen and then boots macOS.
 

Maconplasma

Cancelled
Sep 15, 2020
2,489
2,206
Interesting how Apple put out the Public Beta months ago and this is discovered just now? You mean nobody with a 2013/2014 MBP ever had a bricking issue all the time during the public beta? Hmmm. Sometimes I get the feeling that these issues are made up in order to crap on Apple when they release new products. Furthermore while I'm not saying bricking should happen I think it's a stretch trying to install the latest OS on near 7 and 8 year old computers and expect to have no issues.
 

VermontsFinest

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2020
356
788
My Late 2013 MacBook Pro is still on Mojave. Ever since I installed a security update in July or September it will freeze for 1-5 minutes after restarting. I hope this isn't Apple programming planned obsolescence to get you to buy a new Mac.
I doubt it, you have a 7 year old machine. Things will eventually slow down/not be as well-optimized no matter how you spin it.
 

wumpalumpa

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2020
75
89
What do you want Jimmy, wait few months and get a new PC with AMD 6800 XT, 32-64GB DDR4 RAM? or get a new shinny Apple Mac ARM computer with no professional software for it (apart from your phone apps), without cpu virtualization extensions and a GPU that dreams to reach those 20 teraflops?

did I mention the price is the same?
 
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randfee2

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2007
251
163
Germany
Mid 2014 MacBook Pro 15.4" here.
I erased the SSD and did a clean install. The booting sequence looked weird and restarting the machine doesn't work and causes weird behaviour just like it was described here:
It also seems to take an age to display the Apple logo when it boots, and has a very strange boot sequence that involves showing the Big Sur background with a progress bar, then reverting back to a black screen with an Apple logo, followed by a really weird graphical distortion with tearing all across the screen and then finally the loaded desktop.

The OS sometimes (!) is not as responsive as Catalina was. Strange since it is a clean install. Safari often seems frozen and doesn't take clicks or other UI input anymore, having to refresh a website. Chrome shows normal behaviour.

Last but not least... HUGE privacy concerns are popping up!
Apparently trustd and other Apple services and apps will now BYPASS firewall tools like little snitch and even VPNs. This is outrageous and I can confirm it. I had updated to little snitch 5 and it no longer can block any OS services from calling home. However, these Apple servers are constantly connected as indicated by my network firewall. I've now blocked them outside the machine.
This was brought to my attention in this article:

outrageous! This sound just like Microsoft's Windows 10 activity to me and should be boycotted by all of us users accordingly!!!

here's Obdev's response (little snitch dev company) regarding these privacy issues. They phrased it rather nicely. What it basically means, apple is whitelisting all their telemetry communication making it so that no 3rd party app or user can prevent let alone detect it. Network firewall rules must now prevent your Macs from telling Apple and others what Apps you run and when and where. Bypassing VPNs.... really... I'm losing it!
 
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kraney548

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2008
17
13
This same thing happened to me during the betas, several times, but I was able to fix with a visit to the apple store.

When this particular issue occurred to me no boot modification keys would work for me or the genius. But here is the steps that we’re ultimately successful. All data will be lost!
You will need an extra Mac to do this.

Boot a working Mac into Recovery mode and then open disk utility. Hookup your un-bootable Mac via target disk mode with the appropriate cable. Use the working Mac’s disk utility to completely erase the disk of the unworking Mac.

After it’s erased you should be able to use internet recovery on the unworking Mac to re-attempt the install of Big Sur.

Good Luck, would love to get feedback about this if it’s successful or not for anyone affected.
 

wumpalumpa

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2020
75
89
This shouldn't happen, period. We pay big bucks for Macs instead of going for cheaper Windows because Apple tells us that controlling both the hardware and the software leads to more stability. Obviously this isn't happening.
Xbox One Series X is based on Windows 10, with all next gen games adapted for it, those who work with Photo, Video Editing, Vectors, ... would get far better video support on Windows 10 than MacOS next years // Windows Operating System is getting really solid, MaciOS can stick to tablets and phones, still better than Android, no doubt.
 
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