Things that may "brick" your 2018 MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DeanLubaki, Jul 22, 2018.

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  1. DeanLubaki macrumors 6502a

    DeanLubaki

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    #1
    I noticed that many things may brick the 2018 MacBook Pro because of the T2 chip, and because of lack of information from Apple and proper restore image.
    I created this wiki post so that people can be informed about what may "brick" the 2018 MacBook Pro.


    You did something else that bricked your 2018 MacBook? Add it to the list!
     
  2. themp Contributor

    themp

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #2
    You can prevent bricking from Mojave downgrading by making sure you don’t delete the original high Sierra recovery partition during Mojave install. I suggest installing on a separate APFS volume or container and keeping the high Sierra one intact until Mojave is out of beta or at least has internet recovery images. And turn off the secure boot stuff before you do anything!
     
  3. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #3
    As far as I am aware, you can still reinstall macOS after you erased the drive with Secure Boot on, but you do need another Mac with a T2 chip in it connected via Thunderbolt 3. At least I think that's how it worked with the iMac Pro - does anyone have more information?
     
  4. Daveiggy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I did a disk check/repair in the recovery partition (it found around 6 errors) and after a reboot was left with a "please reinstall High Sierra" The only thing that worked for me was to restore from a time machine backup.
     
  5. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

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    Alabama
    #5
    I know it's old school - but I just keep a current bootable copy using Carbon Copy Cloner. It's SAVED my rear-end a couple times!
     
  6. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DeanLubaki

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    #6
    It doesn't work because Apple hasn't updated Configurator to recognize the T2 from the 2018 MacBook Pro.
     
  7. stefhniik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    #7
    I was able to do first and third on 2018 Macbook pro 15. Booted with holding Shift-Option-Command-R, erased the disk in Disk Utility and then reinstalled macOS with no issues. I was able to downgrade from Mojave on 17th after I tried public beta that had issues. I also reinstalled High Sierra using same procedure before I exchanged my laptop.
     
  8. Ultra Male macrumors newbie

    Ultra Male

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    Dubai
    #8
    I thought that with any Mac even if you formatted it, you can boot to the recovery using CMD + R and let it download the OS over the internet? has this changed for the 2018 version?
     
  9. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DeanLubaki

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    #9
    If you erase the hard drive with Secure Boot on, it bricks the computer. Recovery HD works, but it's unable to reinstall macOS.
    Seemingly the only solution is to restore the T2. This is what requires Apple Configurator.
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    California
    #10
    This is not correct. I enabled the options as shown in this screenshot, and I was able to command-option-r boot to Internet recovery and erase the drive and reinstall. It came up with the firmware password before it would let me proceed with Internet recovery, but it worked.

    macos-high-sierra-startup-security-utility.png
     
  11. stradify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    I'm on my 3rd 2018 MacBook Pro in a week. The 1st two became bricks.
    Returned them to the Apple Store for replacement.

    When I tried to reinstall macOS 10.13.6 using Recovery Mode I got this macOS 14.0.01 macOS-ver-14.0.01.jpg
    Apple techs were clueless why this would be happening. I did not have Mojave on this system ever. This info is available in RMode from the Apple Menu "About This Mac" which shows the version of the macOS install you're about to launch. The OS that came with the computer was, of course, 10.13.6

    Some other things worth mentioning. Prior to launching RMode, in order to erase and reformat the internal SSD, I made a full CCC clone of the 2018 MacBook's internal SSD using a Samsung SSD and I also created a bootable flash drive of macOS 10.13.6 just to be on the safe side.

    Once in RMode I opened the Startup Security Utility and opted for the Medium setting and Bootable from External Drives. I then started the reinstall process which seemed to go ok until the process after the spinning globe, where the actual install begins, Apple logo over a progress bar, when approximately a minute in a red square flashed around the Apple Icon which lasted less than a second. Within 60 seconds of the red square flashing I was sent back to the screen informing me that the Computer OS needed to be Reinstalled. This is the beginning of the install loop that can't be escaped. Rebooting into RMode began the whole process over again bringing me back to the message that my Computer OS needs to be reinstalled. It didn't matter which key combo I used to access RMode. Same result; ad infinitum, ad naseum.

    Neither the SSD clone or the Flash Drive install could be accessed in any way.
    Needless to say I called AppleCare and they were unable to square this circle.
    Told me to just return it. The tech also suggested, since this was my second one from the same source, that I might want to entertain the idea of getting a refund and getting a replacement from Best Buy as the current batch at my Apple Store might have problems. Unfortunately I couldn't since the model configuration that I have is not available at any of my local Best Buys.

    The 3rd laptop, just like its two predecessors, is a 2018 MacBook Pro 13" with TouchBar & 8GB ram + a 512GB SSD. #3 is working fine but I'll be damned if I'm going to run Disk Utility/RecoveryMode/Reboot from external drive/ or even look at it funny till this is all resolved.

    Otherwise...what can I say...I love this computer! I upgraded from a 15" 2011 MacBook Pro which, although still working fine after 7 years, in comparison is 2.25 pounds heavier, hasn't got TouchID and also hasn't got a TouchBar which surprisingly, I'm finding a joy to use. I didn't expect to like it at all, but there it is!

    Now if this was my production machine I'd have just got a refund and called it quits. Can't take the risk. For business I've got a 2015 iMac. This laptop is for pleasure rather than profit.
     
  12. anshuvorty macrumors 6502a

    anshuvorty

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    #12
    Tough luck. What a story, thanks for the detailed write-up.
     
  13. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DeanLubaki

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    Toronto
    #13
    I said “may” in my post because your mileage may vary.
    It bricked mine, it bricked the computers of some other people on MacRumors. I'm happy it didn't brick yours.
     
  14. anshuvorty macrumors 6502a

    anshuvorty

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    California, USA
    #14
    Since these machines are so new, I'm sure that since people are bringing this issue up, Apple will fix it in the future...hopefully. Until then, since we are early adopters to these new Macbooks, we can only hope that our machines don't fail and we don't accidentally format the entire SSD before the patch is released (if it is).

    Gonna keep track of this comment until Apple releases a fix
     
  15. stradify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    I've gotten tons of good info from this site.
    Glad to be able to return the favor.

    Hopefully new owners of the 2018 MacBook Pro's reading this thread will hesitate
    before attempting what used to be simple stuff like reinstalling their OS or booting from an external clone or reinstalling from a flash drive.

    We appear to have entered a brave new world going forward with this new T2 chip.
    Hopefully Apple gets it sorted quickly.
     
  16. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #16
    Jesus Christ Federighi! You rename OSX to MacOS for no damn reason but to make it “sound like the other OS’” and yet you allow the company to release a 3rd version of TB3 MBP and NOT update your trorubleshooting tools used by your users, developers, and support staff?!??

    TP2 has the potential to be epic and game changer but now this.

    I presume the TP2 chip is very similar to UEFI BIOS + TPM hip used in laptops for Win10 and bitlocker encryption.


    Great to have information on both sides of the topic. Hey Weaselboy do you think you and the other team members can do an extensive write up on permissions, SMC, PRAM, erasing drive etc that is lower guys will need a refresher in?!

    Well I haven’t received my MBP just yet, very anxious! Yet this thread definitely has me very concerned and cautious. I’ll be thinking thrice before any of these actions.

    The first thing I’ll be doing is creating two accounts: Admin and my user account something I’ve never done before on my personal machines - inc Win95/98/98SE/WinME/Win7/Win10.

    Next: just how does the drive encryption and touchID work with the TP2 chip?! If a very harmonious and tight relationship it makes perforce sense why the SSD is not removable as it would cause more issues - like my Win10 Bitlocked NMVE PCIe 3.0 SSD grrrr
     
  17. stradify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    "Great to have information on both sides of the topic. Hey Weaselboy do you think you and the other team members can do an extensive write up on permissions, SMC, PRAM, erasing drive etc that is lower guys will need a refresher in?!"

    The AppleTech I spoke with told me that there's no longer any SMC or PRAM reset available with the T2 chipped computers. Not sure on permissions.


    "The first thing I’ll be doing is creating two accounts."
    I used Migration Assistant with a clone of my iMac's internal SSD.
    That created two Admin accounts. The one I brought over and the one the computer created.
    I demoted the one I'm not going to use to a standard account and then erased it on laptop #1 but that's how it ended up being returned.
    After deleting the user account from SysPref's it was still in my Users folder so I chucked it into the trash and guess what? It could not be deleted.
    Apple techs tried everything. Couldn't delete it. I'm not touching either account on laptop #3. There's too much going on that's different in these new T2 chip computers.

    Next: just how does the drive encryption and touchID work with the TP2 chip?! If a very harmonious and tight relationship it makes perforce sense why the SSD is not removable as it would cause more issues - like my Win10 Bitlocked NMVE PCIe 3.0 SSD grrrr[/QUOTE]

    I've not enabled Filevault so I can't tell you how it interacts with TouchID. TouchID works great for me.

    One last thing possibly worth noting. Disk Utility gave me a message after checking my internal drive:
    WARNING: cryptoval: object (old )x4); invalid state key- revision (0)
    Oddly enough the Samsung SSD clone created from that same drive came back without that message when checked with Disk Utility. This is before any of the above craziness had occurred. Both were, according to Disk Utility, good to go.

    Whenever I go into RMode, with the intent to reinstall, I always first run Disk Utility on any drives that I'll be using.
     
  18. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DeanLubaki

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    That is incorrect. The T2 has a SMC reset procedure https://support.apple.com/HT201295#t2
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2018 ---
    What you saw is the installer version, not the version of macOS itself.
     
  19. themp Contributor

    themp

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #19
    I think the best thing to do at this point is to just disable all of the secure boot features and stick with FileVault2 for the time being. The risks certainly outweigh the benefits unless you have government secrets or the coca-cola formula on your computer.
     
  20. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #20
    That's nuts. Complete crazy. So if I do what I have always done since 1989 or so when I reinstall my OS, namely format the drive first I'm bricking it?

    That is unbelievable.

    Lucky thing I'm not at all absent-minded and won't EVER risk forgetting to turn off an obscure option in the settings first before attempting an OS install... :rolleyes: And that assumes the OS will even boot so I can access that setting. Sometimes you want to reinstall because your current installation has become corrupted/unbootable.
     
  21. stradify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    "That is incorrect. The T2 has a SMC reset procedure"

    Interesting! The tech I talked to obviously needed better training.
    I didn't even bring up SMC or PRAM. This info was offered by the tech in the course of our conversation
    regarding various methods going forward just as a point of interest.
     
  22. johnalan macrumors 6502

    johnalan

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #22
    So if I want to do a clean install of Mojave in September (or whenever it's released), can I completely erase the disk and reinstall once I disable secure boot? - if so can I reenable after?

    Surprised this isn't covered by the support docs.
     
  23. upandown macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    #23
    With regards to number 1. Almost fail but found a work through*

    (Clean install from HS to Mojave with USB installer)

    1. I booted into Startup Utilities
    2. Erased the main HD partition
    3. Restarted the computer
    4. Tried to boot up from my Mojave Installer USB (Hold Option key)
    5. Error. Due to security reasons I couldn’t boot from an external source AND the Internet Recovery wouldn’t work either!
    6. While trying again to use internet recovery; (this is the important part) after the globe and download screen, the computer restarts with the normal Apple Logo.
    6B. During this startup sequence screen hold Command~R to access the Startup Utilities as per normal.
    7. Within the Startup Utilities select “Install OS”, select USB and install as normal.

    If you miss step 6B it will be an endless loop of not being able to use an external start up disc and not being able to use internet recovery.

    I was fairly certain I bricked the computer until I figured this out. This will save a lot of people heartache and a trip to Apple. Good luck
     
  24. MatteoSco macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Location:
    Italy
    #24
    Thank you very very much, I am going to try this since I did the same thing (step 1 and 2) and I can't find the way to fix my Mac that is not booting anymore!!!

    I'll update you once it will finish to download the "internet recovery" to let you know if it worked also for me...

    Regards
     
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23 July 22, 2018