rMBP Apple Repair Gone Wrong

Nr123*123

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Jul 1, 2014
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Hi,

I gave my late 2013 15 rMBP in for the bottom half replacement for the creaking.

Today I went to collect and they have only replaced the bottom plate and no other bits. But this isn't the problem.

I booted it up and the flashing folder came up. She rudely took it to the back without telling me what was happening. After coming out she requested the firmware password as she said the SSD may have something wrong with it.

I have since rang apple care and the advisor has mentioned that they have noted something on the heat sink is not reattaching; with their advice being a logic board replacement at the next service opportunity.

I just feel something is wrong. Why do they need the firmware password? I saw the genius run a diagnostic without it when I dropped it off. I have already given them my password so I'm not concerned about data. I just feel I'm not getting the truth.
 

Weaselboy

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I just feel something is wrong. Why do they need the firmware password? I saw the genius run a diagnostic without it when I dropped it off. I have already given them my password so I'm not concerned about data. I just feel I'm not getting the truth.
I assume they are going to boot a test utility from an external drive and one would need the EFI password to do that.
 

Nr123*123

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I assume they are going to boot a test utility from an external drive and one would need the EFI password to do that.
Ok that makes sense. But if test utility is the same as diagnostics then why can the same process as when I dropped it off not be repeated?

Of course it might be different. I thought a logic board replacement is more or less economically infeasible for most laptops?
 

Weaselboy

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Ok that makes sense. But if test utility is the same as diagnostics then why can the same process as when I dropped it off not be repeated?

Of course it might be different. I thought a logic board replacement is more or less economically infeasible for most laptops?
Just a guess, but it sounds like when you brought it in it was still bootable from the internal drive, so maybe they were able to run the test utility from there.

ifixit.com shows the logic board for your Mac is list price $899, so figure Apple's real cost is far below that, so it would make sense for them to just replace a logic board rather than give you a whole new machine.
 

Nr123*123

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Just a guess, but it sounds like when you brought it in it was still bootable from the internal drive, so maybe they were able to run the test utility from there.

ifixit.com shows the logic board for your Mac is list price $899, so figure Apple's real cost is far below that, so it would make sense for them to just replace a logic board rather than give you a whole new machine.
I've just spoken to the store and they said they need the firmware password for further testing. They suspect the logic board is at fault.

What are the odds that this happens only when they are trying to repair it. Will the logic board include a new SSD?
 

Weaselboy

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I've just spoken to the store and they said they need the firmware password for further testing. They suspect the logic board is at fault.

What are the odds that this happens only when they are trying to repair it. Will the logic board include a new SSD?
It sounds like they broke something in the process of swapping your case out. The SSD unscrews from the logic board, so I would think unless it too is defective they would just swap yours over to the new logic board.
 

Nr123*123

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Those were my thoughts. I just want it back so I can do my work on it. iPad Air isn't cutting the mustard.

Feel like being cheeky and asking for a new replacement; doubtless they will refuse.
 

Weaselboy

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Those were my thoughts. I just want it back so I can do my work on it. iPad Air isn't cutting the mustard.

Feel like being cheeky and asking for a new replacement; doubtless they will refuse.
Heck... would not hurt to ask nicely. I have seen others on the forum get new machines after repeated repairs.
 

Nr123*123

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Heck... would not hurt to ask nicely. I have seen others on the forum get new machines after repeated repairs.
I've spoken to the genius and apparently the flashing folder was because the machine tried to startup from their external as it was done previously. Makes sense.

Logic board replacement is still required and the misaligned trackpad means the bottom half needs to be replaced.

I did ask if a new unit wouldn't just make more sense and he agreed, but I have to wait for a manager to ring me to see if that can be done.
 

Weaselboy

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I've spoken to the genius and apparently the flashing folder was because the machine tried to startup from their external as it was done previously. Makes sense.

Logic board replacement is still required and the misaligned trackpad means the bottom half needs to be replaced.

I did ask if a new unit wouldn't just make more sense and he agreed, but I have to wait for a manager to ring me to see if that can be done.
The genius is mistaken. Even if they booted to an external and went into system prefs and set that as the new boot drive. If you removed the external and rebooted, it would boot slower because a boot disk was not selected... but the system just takes a few seconds to search around for available boot sources until it finds one (like the internal disk). Something is broken.

Hopefully they give you a new machine. (fingers crossed :))
 

Nr123*123

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I'm very grateful for your help and for pointing that out. Is there a resource I can reference that to? Doubt they'll believe me.

He did suggest I could pick it up tomorrow until the logic board he ordered arrived on Tuesday. So the machine must be working for him to offer? Quite confusing.
 
Last edited:

canucksfan88

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Oct 28, 2007
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sounds like fun times for you...

once the apple "geniuses" open up your machine...it is sadly never the same...
 

Weaselboy

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I'm very grateful for your help and for pointing that out. Is there a resource I can reference that to? Doubt they'll believe me.

He did suggest I could pick it up tomorrow until the logic board he ordered arrived on Tuesday. So the machine must be working for him to offer? Quite confusing.
I don't know of a site that proves this, but you could just ask him to demonstrate this for you. In my experience, it just hunts around for another disk and boots.

Edit: I just thought of something. If your machine had the EFI password on, they could not have booted from an external like they are saying, so that cannot be the cause of the ? mark.
 
Last edited:

Nr123*123

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I don't know of a site that proves this, but you could just ask him to demonstrate this for you. In my experience, it just hunts around for another disk and boots.

Edit: I just thought of something. If your machine had the EFI password on, they could not have booted from an external like they are saying, so that cannot be the cause of the ? mark.
Yes I thought the EFI was pretty strong post 2010 macs. I will find out what is going on tomorrow when I go to pick it up. Hopefully the manager agrees to a new machine.

----------

sounds like fun times for you...

once the apple "geniuses" open up your machine...it is sadly never the same...
Indeed. This is why I was initially hesitant to go there, but the creaking was getting much worse.
 

Nr123*123

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Well it has just got interesting. The machine is still on the flashing folder and my EFI password doesn't work. Not sure why but they now want proof of ownership to bypass this.

The logic board will be refurbished so that's another conundrum. They're now leaning to hardware failure causing the flashing folder.

Oh and they won't give a new one because it is custom order.
 

Weaselboy

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Well it has just got interesting. The machine is still on the flashing folder and my EFI password doesn't work. Not sure why but they now want proof of ownership to bypass this.

The logic board will be refurbished so that's another conundrum. They're now leaning to hardware failure causing the flashing folder.

Oh and they won't give a new one because it is custom order.
That is normal to ask for proof of ownership to remove a EFI PW, but it does seem kind of pointless given they already know it is yours and they are the ones that want the password removed.

Frustrating.
 

Intell

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If a EFI password is set and the startup disk that was set using the Startup Disk pref pane is no longer there, the system will halt until the disk become available. It will not proceed to look for other bootable drives. There are a few Apple diagnostic disk images and Netboot images that are able to bypass the EFI firmware password lockout. When booting from one of those disks, the internal disk's data is not made available to the user or the system.
 

Weaselboy

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If a EFI password is set and the startup disk that was set using the Startup Disk pref pane is no longer there, the system will halt until the disk become available. It will not proceed to look for other bootable drives. There are a few Apple diagnostic disk images and Netboot images that are able to bypass the EFI firmware password lockout. When booting from one of those disks, the internal disk's data is not made available to the user or the system.
Read my edit.
 

Weaselboy

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I did, thus why I stated that some of Apple's diagnostic disks can be booted without needing the EFI to be unlocked.
You need to read the whole thread. They are telling the OP his machine gets the question mark because they booted to an external and now with that external gone, it cannot find that to boot to and causes the question mark. It is not possible to change the startup disk away from the internal with the EFI PW on, thus their explanation does not wash.
 

Nr123*123

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Thanks for your help guys. I have sent them proof of my ownership so hopefully that will be good enough.

I have also sent them my FileVault2 code. Maybe this is what the machine wants. It turned into a bit of an argument but we came to common ground.

The manager is as frustrated as I am. He agreed to swap my 4 month old iPad Air for a new one (camera not working), as apposed to a refurb box model. Plus he arranged for the £30 back to school promo. So this one has a full years warranty again; not that it makes a difference because I have 6 years protection in consumer law.

Which is why he can't swap the mac for a new one, to get a new one I have to go back to the seller of goods.

Regarding booting from one of their drives, they were adamant this wasn't possible. They just kept saying we need the firmware password to run an ADS test.
 

Intell

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You need to read the whole thread. They are telling the OP his machine gets the question mark because they booted to an external and now with that external gone, it cannot find that to boot to and causes the question mark. It is not possible to change the startup disk away from the internal with the EFI PW on, thus their explanation does not wash.
With an Apple diagnostic image it is. It's one of the settings that need to be set in order for the reboot tests to work correctly. What the test was supposed to do when completed was reset the startup disk to be the internal drive. It failed to do so, likely because it was interrupted or failed the test.
 

Nr123*123

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You need to read the whole thread. They are telling the OP his machine gets the question mark because they booted to an external and now with that external gone, it cannot find that to boot to and causes the question mark. It is not possible to change the startup disk away from the internal with the EFI PW on, thus their explanation does not wash.
Indeed they did say that. But they have backtracked and don't have a consistent point. Now they just keep saying we need a firmware password.

My suspicion is they have damaged the logic board whilst replacing the bottom panel. Given their cack-handedness at the last repair, I would not be surprised by this.
 

Weaselboy

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With an Apple diagnostic image it is. It's one of the settings that need to be set in order for the reboot tests to work correctly. What the test was supposed to do when completed was reset the startup disk to be the internal drive. It failed to do so, likely because it was interrupted or failed the test.
Do you have link showing this process or have you done it personally?

I know Apple has a USB boot loader to reset the EFI PW, but I have not heard of a diag. tool that will bypass the EFI startup disk and allow it to be reset. Every time I see this come up, people say Apple called them for their EFI PW so they could test like the OP just did in the post above.

From the string of posts here, it seems obvious this is not the OP's problem.
 

Intell

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I personally have done it and any link that I post would require a valid Apple Connect account and a connection to the Apple VPN. It's mostly used as a last ditch option and targeted to businesses that have their own ACMT group or machines. I have no idea how it bypasses the EFI password. Only that the disk image is restored to an Apple provided USB drive and it is only valid for 6 days, then it expires. But in those 6 days it can be used on all compatible Macs to run diagnostics, but not remove the EFI password. All you do is download the latest image, restore it, connect it to the Mac, power on said Mac normally, and the diagnostics launch.

My guess is that it is signed like an iOS IPSW, but with a very short certificate and it uses a special partition type that the EFI firmware checks for at boot. Like the Apple TV 1G USB Recovery partition type. If it see that partition, it'll force boot from that. When connected to a normal operating OS X machine, it isn't mountable or formattable. Only the special Apple Diagnostic Image Utility can access and reimage it.

I do agree that this isn't what's now wrong with Nr123*123's Macbook.