Restoring a Bricked iMac Pro Requires a Second Mac and Configurator 2

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    If an iMac Pro becomes unresponsive and requires restoring, like if there's a power failure during a software update, there are a special set of instructions iMac Pro users must follow, which require a secondary Mac.

    As outlined in an Apple Configurator 2 support page, an iMac Pro restore requires a second Mac running macOS High Sierra with internet access and Apple Configurator 2.6 or later installed.


    The iMac Pro will need to be connected to the secondary Mac with a Thunderbolt or USB-A or USB-C to USB-C cable. From there, iMac Pro users will need to plug the cable into the Thunderbolt port closest to the Ethernet port and then connect the iMac Pro to power while holding the power button.

    Apple Configurator must be used on the second Mac to select the iBridge device and then restore. After the restoration process, the iMac Pro will reboot, making it accessible again.

    This restore process is similar to what must be done for an iPhone or iPad that is unresponsive, and it is necessary due to the extra security afforded by the Apple-designed T2 chip.

    The iMac Pro's T2 chip is a second generation version of the T1 chip that powers the Touch Bar in the MacBook Pro. The T2 chip integrates the system management controller, image signal processor for the camera, audio controller, SSD controller, a Secure Enclave, and a hardware encryption engine.

    Among other improvements, the T2 chip encrypts all of the data on the iMac Pro's SSD using dedicated AES hardware that doesn't impact the performance of the SSD. It also ensures a secure boot up process, making sure no unapproved software loads at startup.

    (Thanks Lukasz!)

    Article Link: Restoring a Bricked iMac Pro Requires a Second Mac and Configurator 2
  2. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
  3. lostczech macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Apple's way of saying "Buy TWO iMac Pros!"
  4. rezwits macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    Las Vegas
    Sick, quite possibly the first "Mac" that you can completely LOCK UP, without any Startup Disk tricks....
  5. Jetfire macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Cool so your buying a possible $5,000 to $13,000 paper weight. Unless you speed more money on another Apple computer.
  6. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Assuming you can’t bring it in to an Apple store or don’t know anybody else who has a Mac....
  7. gaximus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2011
  8. MichaelJohnston macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2007
    San Luis Obispo
  9. adamjackson macrumors 65816

    Jul 9, 2008
    Honestly a MacBook is like 7% more cost to a $13K iMac Pro so it's not really crazy to just grab one.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 15, 2017 ---
    Seriously though, isn't Apple Configurator an Enterprise thing? I've never had to use it in the past...that and my Mac Book pro doesn't have Thunderbolt 3..just 2.
  10. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The moral to this story is always use a UPS. Then the power won't go out in the middle of a software update. Anyway, as long as you are close to an Apple Store you can just take it in to get it unbricked.
  11. LotusLord macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2008
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    Configurator is a Mac Store App, used to deploy software and config profiles to iOS devices and Macs. Enterprise is likely the biggest use, but anyone can use it. We used the old version on our first iPad deployment almost 3 years ago.
  12. howard479 macrumors newbie


    Oct 7, 2016
    Wonder if the government could use this method to bypass any security installed on the system. Would this level of "restore" erase existing data? Would it allow someone to create a new bootable iso of High Sierra, not created by Apple to install over the existing system?
  13. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008
  14. Dave-Z macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    It's pretty ridiculous that you can spend that amount of money and have to take it into an Apple Store (I'm assuming they'll help) or have another supporting Mac.

    I can see Apple putting this T2 in future Macs; that's pretty much a deal-breaker for me. I'm not keeping multiple Macs around just in case something breaks one of them. iOS devices are just as annoying in this respect, but at least with iOS devices any computer can be used (Windows, etc.) to push a firmware onto it.
  15. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008
    Me too - I have no interest in this level of lock down on my desktop computing situation.
  16. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    Unless you live in Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, West Virginia, Saskatchewan, any other part of northern Canada, or in any other part of the US or Canada that's not within 200 miles of an Apple Store.

    And that's only 2 out of 3 countries in North America, there are plenty of cities around the world without an Apple Store.

    Oh, and then let's say there is an Apple Store. There might not be a genius bar appointment available for a few days. If you spend 5 grand MINIMUM on a ****ing computer, you shouldn't have to wait a few days.

    I don't. All my friends and family are PC people.
  17. Dave-Z macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    As mentioned, it's a free App in the Mac App Store. It can be used by anyone to create "profiles" that install certain settings or accounts on devices. I'm not a business or enterprise user, but I use configuration profiles to quickly setup my iOS devices. I add wifi networks, restrictions to disable things I don't like, and accounts for calendar, contacts and mail. It makes setting up quick and I can set devices up "as new" without restoring any backups. Not everyone's preference but it works for my use-cases.
  18. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    This is related to its new security chip, right? It makes sense for a high end model like this, but this could prove to be a pain if it moves to all Macs.
  19. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    Why can't my MBP be like that? Super security!
  20. itguy06 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2006
    Even then it's a HUGE PITA. Even on the low end, for us an Apple store is 60 miles away. At least 1 hour each way, then the time for them to fix it, so you're looking at at minimum of 3 hours wasted.

    Or if it's like the BS we went through with the wife's iPhone 6s battery replacement, it's one trip down to find out they didn't have anything, then another for them to fix it.
  21. MacBebe macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2017
    Sacto, Ca
  22. FrancoisC macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2009
    Montreal, Qc
    Nothing to complain about here. On current macs, if you happen to get a power cut out while the Mac is updating the firmware, you’re pretty much screwed. There is a firmware restoration CD for certain models but not all of them.

    Anyway, alway use a UPS!! (Mentioned already)
  23. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Step 1: Buy iMac Pro
    Step 2: Disable Secure Boot
  24. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    In all my years with Macs I’ve never bricked one. If I did brick any of my existing macs, i have no idea how I would “restore.” Seems like this is no big deal.
  25. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    This sounds disturbing to me.

    I've always treated iOS devices as "appliances", they're basically not "full computers" because you can't run unsigned code on them and you need Apple's permission to install the operating system. (Every time you restore an iOS device it has to authorize with Apple's servers to get an installation key.)

    Macs have never had this problem; they've always been "full computers" because you can run whatever you want on them.

    Now the iMac Pro requires another Mac to reinstall the OS, which suggests that you need Apple's permission to reinstall the OS, just like on an iOS device. This is scary because it may mean Apple is planning on fully locking down the Mac as a platform.

    I'm willing to accept iOS devices as "appliances" but only because I've had my Mac to fall back on as an open computing device. How much longer will that be the case?

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