Apple is refining the process for consumer devices when it comes to repairs, as noted by an internal memo being passed around to reflect those changes.
The company is currently documenting a new method for data recovery and transfer for consumer devices that are brought when in need of a repair. This is meant specifically for the latest-generation Macs that are equipped with Apple’s T2 chip, so the new iMac Pro and the 2018 MacBook Pro. The reason for the change appears to be Apple’s new technology, with a stronger focus on security, simply isn’t compatible with older hardware for the same types of repairs.
This new process will kick into gear in specific repair cases, especially those that see the logic board in the Macs “partially functional”, or when a Mac needs their logic board repaired completely. The unit needs to be able to be powered on, too.
“To complete the process, Apple’s repair staff will use a Thunderbolt (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to USB-A cable and another host computer as well as an external hard drive where the data will be transferred. From there the machines can be put into DFU mode and the data recovery process can be initiated from within Apple’s internal diagnostics tool.”
While the new process should make things easier for Apple techs working on the hardware, the data transfer procedure will still depend on how much data is being transferred. The fix itself may take up to only 20 minutes, but depending on how much data there is, the transfer could take as long as two days, so plan accordingly if this repair process is something you need to go through.
Apple’s efforts to try and streamline any part of the repair process is good news. The stores can be incredibly busy, and when you’re dealing with personal equipment any time away –especially for gear that’s required for work– is too long. Of course, in this particular case the transfer of data itself can still take way too much time.