MacBook Air A1465 broken after Catalina update
Morning all, long, LONG term listener to the macgeek gab podcast here! Haven’t logge in for ages and couldn’t find my old details so set up a new account. Anyway, my sons MacBook Air had an update to Catalina last night. This morning I checked it and it would not turn on. Now I’ve had this before, I tried a PRAM reset, all the usual stuff. In the end I had to take the back off, disconnect the battery, reconnect and voila, the system starts.
so, I did the same again as usual today, but this time, it can’t see the hard drive once it boots ( flashing question mark folder icon). I did an internet recovery, went into disk utility and no hard drive showing ( it’s a 128gb SSD).
So, power down, disconnect battery, remove SSD, use compressed air to clean contacts and connector, re seat, power up, still no hard drive.
the machine is about 5 years old, is it kaput? I am annoyed that it was fine yesterday and can not understand how a software update can kill the hardware!
Any ideas guys? Pulling my hair out! I have a full backup but I would prefer to save the machine if possible! Thanks!
I have a 2017 12” MacBook with the same problem, and have been reading about others with the same problem.
I had a genius appointment today and they wanted 580 to place the logic board, it must be a massive coincidence that people’s drives have failed at the same time at the update!
Apple booted my Mac and did a full diagnostic check and everything apart from the ssd is 100% ok, I’m really disappointed that they will not acknowledge this update has killed people’s Mac’s.
Mine has never even crashed once, it looks like a brand new laptop as it has had little use sine I got an iPad mini to use day to day. If it had a hard life then yes maybe the SSD would be an issue, but the simple fact is that the update killed it or how it’s addressed as nothing shows at all.
Hey thanks for your reply. This is now really bothering me. As it happens I have another MacBook Air and my next step is to swap the hard drive out and see if that makes any difference. I’ll do it tonight and see what happens and report back.
Have you tried an SMC reset?
I took mine to apple and they tried everything, but I have also tried a PRAM and smc reset and the ssd is not there.
So, the plot thickens. I have 2 of the exact same MacBook Airs (Early 2014) I bought for my kids, they had them for Christmas 2014. Worked great on Mojave, no crashes, hang ups or anything. One I left on Mojave and the other my son updated to Catalina, following the standard update method via the App Store.
Last night I swapped the SSDs round to find nothing wrong with the affected SSD, it booted straight up. After lots of digging around online I can confirm that the update has bricked the computer! After update to Catalina the EFI is corrupted (on purpose??) There are many people with the same problem and it is outrageous that Apple have not made any official statement on this. In the Apple community forums there are multiple threads with this problem, note that no 2019 models have been reported... conspiracy theorists put your tin foil thinking caps on...
And on Stack Exchange:
And here it is on 9 to 5 Mac:
And it's not just older machines, 2017 MacBook Pros have been affected among others. Imagine spending £2k on a laptop and once its out of warranty Apple want £1k to fix it after THEIR MISTAKE!
For the sake of providing all the facts, here is a link to my exact model:
Don't get me wrong, I've been using Apple kit since the mid 90s and on the whole it's been great, but when you get a problem like this you really expect better!
Anyway, I'm not here just to bitch & moan, I have found 3 solutions:
1. Book a Genius Bar appointment, listen to them wrongly diagnose it and charge you upwards of 50% of the original cost of the machine to replace the logic board.
2. Book a Genius Bar appointment & start a fight with Apple that you will undoubtedly lose, suffering many hours of lost time wrangling to get your machine repaired for free outside of warranty.
3. Go here (for the record, I AM NOT AFFILIATED to this site, I just found it in a thread on Apple communities), this company manufacture an EFI flashing tool that will revert your EFI to what it was prior to Catalina screwing it up (this is a link to the exact tool for my machine, if you decide to buy this please put your own model number in here, there is a drop down field on the page to select your model. Note, you'll need the model number and EMC version:
This solder less EFI chip just plugs into your logic board (after detaching mains & battery power) & reflashes your EFI.
Now, I am always skeptical of anything like this. It costs £50 to us Limeys, but I also noticed this company sells EFI flashers for EFI passworded computers, so, for example, my MacBook Pro is EFI locked & if stolen, someone could use one of these tools to unlock it right? So what do I do, suck it up, eat the £50 and buy that? Or can @DaveHamilton or @JohnFBraun help out here on the podcast? (I tweeted them today, maybe they will see this).
Well, hopefully this thread will help someone, if you search on google or duckduckgo this thread comes up about 5th or so in the search results, so maybe more people will chime in & we can get solutions as a community.
Thanks to all for contributing! Have a good (and less frustrating) day!
See ya, Steve.
Call AppleCare and report the issue. They need to know that there may be a bug with their update. Be sure to report the issue.
AppleCare may be receiving calls on this issue and if applicable, being instructed to capture devices from customers for analysis. If course I don't know if the severity of the issue would warrant samples of affected machines, perhaps it is not required but this is not important.
Issues of this severity are uncommon if not downright rare. It's important that you call AppleCare and report this for your sake.
Call them and let us know how it goes.
Just to update this thread, I’ve had a lengthy to and fro with Apple Support via public tweets and DM and in almost every message I ask them to acknowledge that their update bricked the Mac but they just respond with different answers! I might as well have asked my dog! It’s just a slick AI account I think, honestly words fail me with this shower of s**t!
Yep I was chatting to support and went for a Genius appointment, all I got was a quote for £580 to sort the issue that the update caused. Pretty rubbish really 🙁
Cases like this are not easy because it is presented from the perspective that an update caused the trouble.
What update was applied (version number if possible? (Sorry I don't run Catalina)
What immediately happened after the update — what was the machine behavior - just a black screen? Is there any activity that you can hear or see coming from the machine regardless of its current behavior?
What attempts were made after observing the 'brick' state to resolve the issue?
If one or both of you can offer further information on what you might have tried, or something you might have read … anything that you think is worth noting should be offered. I will try to help if something more can be presented.
OK, for me I tried a restore, but because the ssd is no longer seen that's not possible.
Apple tech tried USB disks with utils and nothing was able to be seen apart from the 2gb recovery partition.
My laptop was 100% working before the update was applied, as I might have said it has never once crashed, and there was no signs ever of the SSD failing or starting to fail.
I tried to reset the PRAM and SMC and still no sign of the SSD.
I am pretty sure that if the EFI BIOS chip was replaced by Apple my machine would be 100% OK and work as it did before the update.
I might be only one customer but I will rethink my future Apple purchases, yes people like me have put Apple where they are now, yes the products are great but why not help us when people clearly have issues with the update.
Iphone 3GS, 4, 5S ,6 ,7 ,X
Ipad pro, Ipad, Mini4, Mini5
Thats a lot of products that I have had, I now feel let down as Apple refuse to admit that there is a problem.
I have one more comment, if Apple is going to be difficult and not see it your way, give Louis Rossmann a call, that's his video I posted by the way. He has an online presence, contact him or his shop and find out if he can repair your machine, you will save a ton of money and your data will be preserved (aka don't pay Apple - they don't deserve your money for a machine that you already paid a premium on. If he is too far (NYC), he might know others around the country who will be in a position to repair your machine. He is VERY good at repair and knows his stuff.