Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Question:

Question: Data recovery options on MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

My friend has got a MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports). One day it just suddenly stopped turning on. He did not make any regular backups of his data before this issue occurred. There are important files on the computer that he needs back, and he is worried that the data on the computer cannot be retrieved.


Does anyone know if there is any chance he can get his data back? Any help would be much appreciated!

MacBook Pro TouchBar and Touch ID, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3), null

Posted on

Reply
Question marked as Solved
Answer:
Answer:

Thank you, I will definitely give this a try. Everything else seemed to be working perfectly up until the battery drained. I didn't notice until too late because I was plugged in and the battery icon showed I was charging, so I believe my data is intact, I just can't get power to the drive to retrieve it.


Apple "generously" offered to replace the logic board free of charge because it seems to be a known problem with the energy management system, but they won't use their special customer data migration tool to help me recover my research data because I'm past warranty. 😠 I've spoken to a few data recovery specialists, and the one who would talk about their method said they will take out each of the 16 chips to extract data, which seems unreasonable (and extremely expensive). Next, I'll be speaking to a lawyer.


My relationship with Apple has outlived two marriages. I've been loyal since my first Macintosh classic back in 1990, and didn't fully appreciate the new post-Jobs company ethos. Apple knows of this defect and has locked everything down so tightly the only access is with their proprietary tools and equipment, which they are unwilling to use in my case. They have lost a lifelong customer, I will not ever purchase another new Apple product.


I know there are a lot of people with the newer SSD MacBooks who are having similar battery and charging issues, I will post any further information that might be helpful for others in this situation.

Posted on

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 11:42 PM in response to SM Matthew In response to SM Matthew

If resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) doesn’t work, and if you have another Mac that has a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port, you can use Target Disk Mode on your non-bootable Mac to recover your files. If your other Mac has a Thunderbolt 2 port, get a Thunderbolt 2 cable and a Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter; otherwise, if the other Mac has a USB-C port then get a Thunderbolt 3 cable. Hold down the T key as you turn on the malfunctioning Mac. The Thunderbolt icon and a battery indicator should appear. Connect the malfunctioning Mac to your other Mac, and the malfunctioning Mac’s hard drive should appear on your other Mac.


Use Migration Assistant on your working Mac to transfer all of the user accounts and data from the malfunctioning Mac, or just manually copy the files over. I recommend using Migration Assistant. Then, eject the malfunctioning Mac’s hard drive by right-clicking (or holding the Control key while you click) on the hard drive, then choose eject. Disconnect the Macs from each other, then power off your malfunctioning Mac by holding down the power button (Touch ID on Touch Bar Macs). Boot Recovery Mode next by holding down Command-R while you turn on your malfunctioning Mac. Release the keys when the Apple logo and a progress bar appear.


When the Utilities menu appears, choose Disk Utility, then erase Macintosh HD and format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). If you only see APFS options, choose APFS. You will lose all data that you did not transfer earlier. Then, quit Disk Utility and choose Install macOS. Choose Macintosh HD as the target volume and wait for the installer to finish installing macOS onto your malfunctioning Mac. It should restart to a setup assistant when done, which will allow you to transfer your data back. (Note: If you want the fastest data transfer possible, boot your other Mac into Target Disk Mode.)


Hope this helps!

There’s more to the conversation

Read all replies

Page content loaded

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 11:42 PM in response to SM Matthew In response to SM Matthew

If resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) doesn’t work, and if you have another Mac that has a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port, you can use Target Disk Mode on your non-bootable Mac to recover your files. If your other Mac has a Thunderbolt 2 port, get a Thunderbolt 2 cable and a Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter; otherwise, if the other Mac has a USB-C port then get a Thunderbolt 3 cable. Hold down the T key as you turn on the malfunctioning Mac. The Thunderbolt icon and a battery indicator should appear. Connect the malfunctioning Mac to your other Mac, and the malfunctioning Mac’s hard drive should appear on your other Mac.


Use Migration Assistant on your working Mac to transfer all of the user accounts and data from the malfunctioning Mac, or just manually copy the files over. I recommend using Migration Assistant. Then, eject the malfunctioning Mac’s hard drive by right-clicking (or holding the Control key while you click) on the hard drive, then choose eject. Disconnect the Macs from each other, then power off your malfunctioning Mac by holding down the power button (Touch ID on Touch Bar Macs). Boot Recovery Mode next by holding down Command-R while you turn on your malfunctioning Mac. Release the keys when the Apple logo and a progress bar appear.


When the Utilities menu appears, choose Disk Utility, then erase Macintosh HD and format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). If you only see APFS options, choose APFS. You will lose all data that you did not transfer earlier. Then, quit Disk Utility and choose Install macOS. Choose Macintosh HD as the target volume and wait for the installer to finish installing macOS onto your malfunctioning Mac. It should restart to a setup assistant when done, which will allow you to transfer your data back. (Note: If you want the fastest data transfer possible, boot your other Mac into Target Disk Mode.)


Hope this helps!

Mar 14, 2018 11:42 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 13, 2018 12:15 PM in response to Encryptor5000 In response to Encryptor5000

Hi, I'm having a similar issue (33 days past warranty). Do you know if this solution will work if the battery on the malfunctioning MacBook is drained and will not charge? In other words, does the malfunctioning mac need power to it for this solution to work? Thanks.

Mar 13, 2018 12:15 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 13, 2018 5:33 PM in response to Tsumommy In response to Tsumommy

Yes, the MacBook needs power in order to do this. Try using Target Disk Mode while the malfunctioning Mac is plugged into power, even if it won’t charge.


If Target Disk Mode won’t boot, your last options are to either get your Mac serviced by Apple or attempt to manually remove the hard drive or SSD. You’ll probably need a SATA cable in order to connect the removed hard drive to another computer.

Mar 13, 2018 5:33 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Solved

Mar 14, 2018 11:54 PM in response to Encryptor5000 In response to Encryptor5000

Thank you, I will definitely give this a try. Everything else seemed to be working perfectly up until the battery drained. I didn't notice until too late because I was plugged in and the battery icon showed I was charging, so I believe my data is intact, I just can't get power to the drive to retrieve it.


Apple "generously" offered to replace the logic board free of charge because it seems to be a known problem with the energy management system, but they won't use their special customer data migration tool to help me recover my research data because I'm past warranty. 😠 I've spoken to a few data recovery specialists, and the one who would talk about their method said they will take out each of the 16 chips to extract data, which seems unreasonable (and extremely expensive). Next, I'll be speaking to a lawyer.


My relationship with Apple has outlived two marriages. I've been loyal since my first Macintosh classic back in 1990, and didn't fully appreciate the new post-Jobs company ethos. Apple knows of this defect and has locked everything down so tightly the only access is with their proprietary tools and equipment, which they are unwilling to use in my case. They have lost a lifelong customer, I will not ever purchase another new Apple product.


I know there are a lot of people with the newer SSD MacBooks who are having similar battery and charging issues, I will post any further information that might be helpful for others in this situation.

Mar 14, 2018 11:54 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 13, 2018 6:08 PM in response to Tsumommy In response to Tsumommy

If Apple offers to replace the logic board for free, then by all means let them replace that. Ask them how much a new battery would cost as well, since that is the main cause of why your data appears to be unrecoverable. If they are able to get your Mac powered on at all, even if it doesn't result in a new battery, then ask them to do that since all your Mac needs is power in order to launch Target Disk Mode.

Mar 13, 2018 6:08 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 13, 2018 6:25 PM in response to Tsumommy In response to Tsumommy

Tsumommy wrote:


Apple "generously" offered to replace the logic board free of charge because it seems to be a known problem with the energy management system, but they won't use their special customer data migration tool to help me recover my research data because I'm past warranty. 😠 I've spoken to a few data recovery specialists, and the one who would talk about their method said they will take out each of the 16 chips to extract data, which seems unreasonable (and extremely expensive). Next, I'll be speaking to a lawyer.


If they have a means of extracting the data and refuse to do so for someone who clearly owns the computer, then I don't know what else we can say. I don't know what Apple's policy is on data extraction, although it's pretty clear that they have a way to extract data from a logic board.


However, we're constantly dealing with people who are saying that they absolutely, positively need their data but they never backed it up. I can buy a 2 TB external hard drive for $65 which will easily store a Time Machine backup, a bootable clone, and a swap partition. Anything that important can and should be backed up.

Mar 13, 2018 6:25 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 13, 2018 6:55 PM in response to y_p_w In response to y_p_w

You are absolutely right, it is my responsibility to back up my data and I have only myself to blame for that. I learned this lesson after another catastrophic failure, and have a backup drive connected to my airport, but a perfect storm of factors resulted in total system failure.


My source is a former genius who told me that company policy is to only recover data when the product is within warranty, no exceptions. He recently left over of differences in opinion with respect to the meaning of customer service.

Mar 13, 2018 6:55 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 13, 2018 7:33 PM in response to Tsumommy In response to Tsumommy

Tsumommy wrote:


You are absolutely right, it is my responsibility to back up my data and I have only myself to blame for that. I learned this lesson after another catastrophic failure, and have a backup drive connected to my airport, but a perfect storm of factors resulted in total system failure.


My source is a former genius who told me that company policy is to only recover data when the product is within warranty, no exceptions. He recently left over of differences in opinion with respect to the meaning of customer service.


Sorry to hear that. I don't have it now because I needed a hard drive to get my wife's PC up and running, but at one time I had two separate backups in the form of two bootable clones. I'm that paranoid. Right now I'm sort of making do with a single backup, but when I can I plan on getting a 2 TB external hard drive that I can use for a Time Machine backup. My future plan is for a bootable clone (which should be easy to extract data from) and a TM backup for regular incremental backups.

Mar 13, 2018 7:33 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 11:47 PM in response to Encryptor5000 In response to Encryptor5000

Thank you for your detailed response.


We've tried resetting the SMC but there was no charging sound when we plugged in the power adapter. There was no sign of power at all, so we couldn't back it up.


Thank you for your suggestion though - it may be able to help the others with a less unfortunate issue.

Mar 14, 2018 11:47 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 11:53 PM in response to kaz-k In response to kaz-k

Thank you for your response.


Unfortunately, my friend's Mac seems to be completely dead - there was no charging sound or video on screen when we plugged in the power adapter, even after the SMC reset.


I guess we're simply out of luck this time - but thank you very much for your input.

Mar 14, 2018 11:53 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 15, 2018 12:16 AM in response to Tsumommy In response to Tsumommy

Personally, I have learnt to back up my data over the years of having dealt with unexpected system failure to avoid situations like the one my friend is having now. But I guess some of us do have to learn this the hard way (myself included), unfortunately.


Knowing Apple, they are not responsible for data, let alone my friend's Mac is also out of warranty. So I suppose if my friend doesn't go to a data recovery specialist for an extremely expensive data recovery attempt, it's not likely for him to get his data back.


So it all comes down to one thing - we REALLY need to back up our data regularly just to be safe.

Mar 15, 2018 12:16 AM

Reply Helpful

Mar 15, 2018 3:51 PM in response to Tsumommy In response to Tsumommy

I'd suggest finding another authorized service center - not Apple corporate. We are authorized, and will recover data off of those machines for customers, as long as the recovery tool functions regardless of current warranty status. Now, if the logic board is failed in such a way that the recovery tool doesn't work, then the only next steps would be dissecting the logic board and pulling chips, which not only voids any repair, but in itself can be extraordinarily expensive.


Yes, with the new MacBoooks and soldered on storage, backup is no longer optional.

Mar 15, 2018 3:51 PM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: SM Matthew

Question: Data recovery options on MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)