A failsafe feature built into earlier models of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has been removed from the 2018 version, spelling bad news for emergency recovery of user data.
Normally, when a logic board on a MacBook Pro fails, data on the machine can be extracted via a specialized mechanism called the Customer Data Migration Tool at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar, providing the laptop’s solid state drive is intact, thanks to a data recovery port on the logic board.
According to a new report from MacRumors, however, the brand-new 2018 MacBook Pro is lacking the data recovery connector, meaning the last ditch attempt to get data off an affected MacBook Pro is simply no longer an option.
The tool is indeed incompatible with the 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, state MacRumors‘ sources, but data can still be transferred via its Thunderbolt 3 ports when booting in Target Disk Mode, granted the notebook is still able to boot at all.
A likely reason for the removal of the connection, as MacRumors speculates, is that the 2018 model of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar offers hardware-level encryption for its SSD, just like the iMac Pro.
But in the case of a logic board failure, recovering data would be unlikely. Apple is yet to comment on this report. MacRumors also says that an internal document obtained by them shows that technicians should advise MacBook Pro users to back up to Time Machine frequently.
Apple launched the new MacBook Pro series for 2018 earlier this month, and it has already seen its fair share of controversy. The butterfly mechanisms in the keyboards of earlier MacBook Pro models were found to fail twice as fast as previous models, to the extent Apple has added a protective film to each of the keys. Additionally, the high-end MacBook Pros with Core i9 chips were found to lack enough cooling to keep them running at even their base clock speeds.