Upgrading MBP 2011 without firmware password

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Andymoor94, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Andymoor94 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    #1
    Was really hoping my first post would be a "HEY, I JUST DONE SOME GOOD STUFF TO MY MACBOOK PRO", but alas, it is instead a problem!

    (For TL;DR of this section, scroll down)
    I recently downgraded to upgrade; swapped my MacBook Pro 2014 for a delicious MacBook Pro Late 2011. I both sold and bought these laptops over GumTree, which if you're not familiar, is basically just private trade. I went to the dudes house, tested the MBP, loved it, gave him the cash, and came home!

    The MBP came modified, 60GB SSD in primary bay and the optical bay was swapped out for a 500GB HDD. This model also has 6GB of RAM installed, which I'm not sure if that was user-upgraded or if it came out of the factory like such.

    Anyway, I decided I want to change the SSD and HDD for much large capacity replacements. The 500GB, easy peasy, simple switcheroo, however, the SSD is a problem. The system has a firmware password. So I called the seller about this and he gave me a list of possible passwords, but assured me that he has never set one or never needed to. None of them worked. Upon further investigation, I notice a CEX inventory sticker on the box (CEX being a trade-in store). This means that He wasn't the original owner, but instead had bought it second hand.

    I called CEX at a push to maybe track down the original owner, but obviously that would be a breach of confidentiality, so they refused to give me any details. At another push, I contacted 2 different Apple stores; a reseller and an official Apple store, both required the original receipt, which I obviously do NOT have.

    So here I am, stuck with a low-capacity laptop, unable to upgrade, feeling stupid. I did see that there was another route of getting someone with a hot air station to install a replacement chip that hold the firmware password, but if that goes wrong, I'm completely out of luck.

    TL;DR: Bought used MBP 2011, would like to upgrade it, but don't have the firmware password.

    Any help, any help at all appreciated!
     
  2. MBP_187 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Location:
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    #2
    Thank you for your post. Unfortunately I cannot answer it, since I am new to MBP.
    I have a Late 2011, 13' with 500Gb SSD. going to upgrade RAM soon, just today I read online about firmware upgrade. I will be following your thread with great interest.
    Btw: I bought it second hand from CEX , recently (June '16)
    Wish you good luck.
     
  3. cleanheadsteve macrumors newbie

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    Apr 30, 2017
  4. beachball doom macrumors newbie

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    Feb 1, 2016
    #4
    Hi was wondering if you made any progress? We have a similar problem.
     
  5. chabig macrumors 601

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    Sep 6, 2002
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
  7. chabig macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #7
    Drat. I would have expected it to work on a 2011 Machine. Then I guess the last section of this link applies:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204455
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Agreed, to my knowledge there's no way to bypass the firmware password - that would kind of defeat the purpose
     
  9. Audit13 macrumors 68030

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #9
  10. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #10
  11. Audit13 macrumors 68030

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #11
    Wow, I need to go back to caffeinated coffee.

    Thanks for pointing this out to my sleepy brain.
     
  12. BLUEDOG314 macrumors 6502

    BLUEDOG314

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    #12
    Option one, forget the firmware password, install Sierra on an SSD then place it in the computer, then upgrade to High Sierra.

    Option two, which I have personally seen work. Some Apple stores are very lenient on the proof of purchase requirement. I had a friend get in the EXACT situation you are in buying second hand and such. Find a good quality scan of an Apple receipt or take one of your own and make a scan. Photoshop in all the correct info, serial number, model number, what the price would have been for that machine etc, by googling other receipts. Add last 4 digits of your card, and your name. Print it on regular paper, then recopy it a few times to make it look old then walk in the store and say you just have a copy of the original and make up a story like you copy them in case your file is lost idk. Most places aren't trying to bust your balls, and while yes, this is against Apple ~*policy*~, you bought the machine (you did right?) so whats the harm
     
  13. chabig macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #13
    That won’t work either. The firmware password specifically protects against hard drive swaps.
     
  14. BLUEDOG314 macrumors 6502

    BLUEDOG314

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    #14
    Really? Did not know that, I thought it only prevented use of boot modifiers.
     
  15. chabig macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #15
    It does unless I’m misinterpreting this, “A firmware password prevents starting up from any internal or external storage device other than the startup disk you've selected.” And I might be...

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204455
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    I have no connection with any of them, but there are folks on ebay who claim to be able to reset the firmware password, for a price. I have no experience with this, other than knowing that they're there.
     
  17. Audit13 macrumors 68030

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #17

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