Apple confirms T2 coprocessor blocks some third-party Mac repairs

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 54
    jkichline said:
    [...] Mind you that modern Macs mostly have the storage soldered to the motherboard so you would need to replace that too.
    I think you'd have the replace the entire motherboard, since there's no practical way to replace the soldered-on storage. That's one of the reasons I'm not happy with that design choice.

    jkichline said:
    The whole notion is that your Mac has enough storage to work for most of what you need and if you need more storage, you have Thunderbolt 3 which is PCI Express on a cable running 40 gbit/sec.
    Except that getting enough storage for most of what I need now costs as much as a good late-model Buick, and having to carry around external storage for my laptop is inconvenient and inelegant.

    jkichline said:
    You’ll be able to buy 2 TB of SSD storage for $100 in 10 years and have all the storage you could need.
    Which is EXACTLY why I'd like to be able to upgrade the storage in my machine. Over time, capacities increase and costs fall. The maximum available for my MacBook Pro when I bought it was 2TB. In two years that has increased to 4TB, but the ONLY way I can take advantage of that is to buy a whole new computer. Even I could somehow magically increase the capacity of my existing machine, the cost of that 4TB option is USD$3200. I can't afford that, but in two years it will be half that much so it would be nice to be able to increase the capacity as it becomes more affordable.

    So the issue isn't even primarily Apple's verification requirement, it's that even WITH it there isn't much that can BE repaired at less than jeezly-yikes pricing.
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 42 of 54
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Yes, quite true...
    Even here at ai in a recent article on upgrading the MacMini (probably in the comments) we were told that we should re-install the original memory in the Mac Mini after we break it and ask Apple to fix it for us under warranty -- so Apple wouldn't know we were doing some DIY on it.

    And that's from the cult of the faithful!
    You've got the actions right but not the intent.

    You're right, the advice is If you have third-party RAM in your Mac, you should put the stock Apple RAM back in before sending the machine to Apple for repair. The reason for that is not to be deceptive, though. It's to allow an orderly, thorough, timely diagnostic and repair process. First, it's possible the third-party RAM is the problem. Putting the stock RAM back in will expose that. Second, since Apple justifiably won't assess products it didn't sell, leaving third-party parts in the machine just delays getting the problem resolved.

    Apple doesn't care if you install third-party RAM. All they're saying is don't expect them to fix it while components outside their control are installed. That's reasonable.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 43 of 54
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 628member
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Eh. It's a legitimate criticism. Security measures meant to reduce the fence value of an object, even when broken down to parts, actively work against repairability. Literally the whole point of the security measure is to prevent people from using stolen parts, thereby dramatically decreasing the value of those parts, and reducing the incentive of thieves to take them.

    It's a balance. There are reasonable people on both sides of this issue.
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 44 of 54
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 628member

    avon b7 said:
    zimmie said:
    avon b7 said:
    The EU is going to have a massive heart-attack once they hear this.

    Why? Auto manufacturers have similar procedures which are designed to prevent the ability for thieves to not only steal cars, but to part them
    out and resell them. BMW being one of the biggest, and last I checked they were headquartered in Europe.
    Yes, German car manufacturers try the same tactics although the German Automobile Association is itself against such practices.

    That is why the whole situation is currently under review in the EU with the hope that pan European laws on design protection can be updated to better reflect the wishes of EU citizens.
    German car makers, sure, but also Japanese, Italian, American, and I expect many more. Every single car I have ever seen with an immobilizer has the ability to reset the immobilizer to accept new keys, but only an authorized dealer has the software and credentials with the manufacturer to perform the reset. Further, every single one I've seen requires the technician connect the car to a local computer to get some key information, which it sends to a remote server controlled by the manufacturer. The remote server then responds with an unlock code specific to that car's immobilizer.

    Based on the information which is currently public, AST2 works in exactly the same way. You run AST2 on a local computer and connect it to the computer under repair. It gets key information from the T2 chip, which it uses to form a request to an Apple server for authorization to open the hardware trust store. The Apple server then responds with the authorization, and the technician can get the T2 to trust the new parts.

    To the best of my knowledge, very few have seriously argued for opening up immobilizer resets on cars.
    The immobilizer, to the best of my knowledge, is a security feature to prevent unauthorised starting of the car. I don't drive so I could easily be mistaken.

    In the case of the T2, it would go beyond that and refuse to accept installed parts that the owner had sanctioned but Apple hadn't.
    Immobilizers in cars generally recognize an RFID tag embedded in the key and refuse to start unless they see a key they recognize. The tags themselves are actually a lot like the chips implanted into pets to help track them if they get lost. If you lose the last key with a trusted RFID tag, the car won't start for you anymore until you get it towed to a dealer and pay them to reset the immobilizer and set up some new keys. This is generally a $500-labor job for consumer cars ranging up to well over $1k-labor for luxury cars. The new keys themselves are in addition to that.

    From what Apple has said so far, you can replace most parts yourself (or get an unauthorized service center to do it). The parts which require an AST2 run are parts involved in the hardware chain of trust (Touch ID sensor), or which the T2 manages (camera in the display module on a laptop). You need an AST2 run for a new logic board because the T2 is soldered to the logic board, and from its perspective, all of the other parts are changing.
  • Reply 45 of 54
    jkichline said:
    [...] Mind you that modern Macs mostly have the storage soldered to the motherboard so you would need to replace that too.
    I think you'd have the replace the entire motherboard, since there's no practical way to replace the soldered-on storage. That's one of the reasons I'm not happy with that design choice.

    jkichline said:
    The whole notion is that your Mac has enough storage to work for most of what you need and if you need more storage, you have Thunderbolt 3 which is PCI Express on a cable running 40 gbit/sec.
    Except that getting enough storage for most of what I need now costs as much as a good late-model Buick, and having to carry around external storage for my laptop is inconvenient and inelegant.

    jkichline said:
    You’ll be able to buy 2 TB of SSD storage for $100 in 10 years and have all the storage you could need.
    Which is EXACTLY why I'd like to be able to upgrade the storage in my machine. Over time, capacities increase and costs fall. The maximum available for my MacBook Pro when I bought it was 2TB. In two years that has increased to 4TB, but the ONLY way I can take advantage of that is to buy a whole new computer. Even I could somehow magically increase the capacity of my existing machine, the cost of that 4TB option is USD$3200. I can't afford that, but in two years it will be half that much so it would be nice to be able to increase the capacity as it becomes more affordable.

    So the issue isn't even primarily Apple's verification requirement, it's that even WITH it there isn't much that can BE repaired at less than jeezly-yikes pricing.
    The problem with this right now is the T2 is currently the SSD controller. There are legitimate reasons to integrate it this way (you authenticate to the T2, which then is able to use the disk encryption key to decrypt your storage; if the T2 isn't convinced, storage stays locked), but SSD controllers require very direct access to the chips which back them.

    If Apple split the T3 into two chips (key management, then SSD controller on a replaceable SSD module), you would still have the hardware trust store issues (the key-T3 and SSD-T3 would need to be set to trust each other), but the SSD could be replaced with an AST2 run. Third-party SSDs would be basically impossible, though, as Apple isn't going to sell T3s to SSD manufacturers.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 46 of 54
    zimmie said:

    avon b7 said:
    zimmie said:
    avon b7 said:
    The EU is going to have a massive heart-attack once they hear this.

    Why? Auto manufacturers have similar procedures which are designed to prevent the ability for thieves to not only steal cars, but to part them
    out and resell them. BMW being one of the biggest, and last I checked they were headquartered in Europe.
    Yes, German car manufacturers try the same tactics although the German Automobile Association is itself against such practices.

    That is why the whole situation is currently under review in the EU with the hope that pan European laws on design protection can be updated to better reflect the wishes of EU citizens.
    German car makers, sure, but also Japanese, Italian, American, and I expect many more. Every single car I have ever seen with an immobilizer has the ability to reset the immobilizer to accept new keys, but only an authorized dealer has the software and credentials with the manufacturer to perform the reset. Further, every single one I've seen requires the technician connect the car to a local computer to get some key information, which it sends to a remote server controlled by the manufacturer. The remote server then responds with an unlock code specific to that car's immobilizer.

    Based on the information which is currently public, AST2 works in exactly the same way. You run AST2 on a local computer and connect it to the computer under repair. It gets key information from the T2 chip, which it uses to form a request to an Apple server for authorization to open the hardware trust store. The Apple server then responds with the authorization, and the technician can get the T2 to trust the new parts.

    To the best of my knowledge, very few have seriously argued for opening up immobilizer resets on cars.
    The immobilizer, to the best of my knowledge, is a security feature to prevent unauthorised starting of the car. I don't drive so I could easily be mistaken.

    In the case of the T2, it would go beyond that and refuse to accept installed parts that the owner had sanctioned but Apple hadn't.
    Immobilizers in cars generally recognize an RFID tag embedded in the key and refuse to start unless they see a key they recognize. The tags themselves are actually a lot like the chips implanted into pets to help track them if they get lost. If you lose the last key with a trusted RFID tag, the car won't start for you anymore until you get it towed to a dealer and pay them to reset the immobilizer and set up some new keys. This is generally a $500-labor job for consumer cars ranging up to well over $1k-labor for luxury cars. The new keys themselves are in addition to that.

    From what Apple has said so far, you can replace most parts yourself (or get an unauthorized service center to do it). The parts which require an AST2 run are parts involved in the hardware chain of trust (Touch ID sensor), or which the T2 manages (camera in the display module on a laptop). You need an AST2 run for a new logic board because the T2 is soldered to the logic board, and from its perspective, all of the other parts are changing.

    BMW keys are more advanced. They are coded/paired to a module in the vehicle (the CAS or Car Access System). If you lose a remote key the dealer has to order a new one from BMW direct (and for us in North America that means a wait of up to 2 weeks from Germany). Dealers don’t carry “blank” keys and have no ability to provide you with a new key on the spot. The key is coded to the vehicle VIN and the CAS module at the factory and works as soon as it arrives. In this regard BMW is even stricter than Apple as they don’t give dealers the necessary software to create their own keys (like some manufacturers do).

    If, however, you lose all your keys then BMW can’t provide you with a new key since you need to have an existing working key to enable the new key. In this case you need a new CAS module and a pair of keys (which are sold as a complete kit) and again they come from BMW pre-coded to each other such that when the CAS module is installed in the vehicle it recognizes the keys it came with. You need to provide ID and proof of ownership of the vehicle to order this kit and the dealer will need to install it. Criminals are unlikely to have this information, let alone be willing to bring a stolen vehicle to a dealer for work. BMW has designed this to not only make vehicles secure (harder to steal) but also to prevent criminals from trying to make a working vehicle from a stolen one.

    This extends to other major components. Powetrain modules (the DME or engine computer and EGS or transmission computer) are one-time use and only work in the vehicle they were coded to. This prevents criminals from trying to build a working vehicle by swapping components from other vehicles (with engines/transmissions being two expensive and commonly swapped components). If you put an engine computer into another car it won’t run. If you swap an entire transmission the vehicle will start but you can’t select any gear.

    Head units (the radio/stereo - another expensive component that contains an actual computer and hard drive) have recently been added to the list as they were being stolen and resold (there are online stores that sell these as upgrades so people can convert their basic system into one with Navigation and all the other goodies). Now if you install one in another car it gets bricked. BMW had to notify dealers because technicians will often swap a known good head unit (from a new car or trade-in) to a customer car as a quick way to test if it’s failed. Several dealers ended up bricking good head units.

    Then we get to instrument clusters. While clusters will work when swapped, a tamper dot will appear on the cluster letting you know it’s not original. On newer cars clusters work when swapped but will have warning messages appear for various functions that no longer work making it rather difficult to sell a vehicle that’s “lit up like a Christmas tree”. Can you imagine if people could take any cluster and reset the mileage? Odometer tampering is one of the oldest tricks criminals use when selling a used car. Rolling back the mileage is like adding thousands of dollars to the selling price. Does anyone think it would be a good idea to allow third party shops the ability to set the odometer mileage in a vehicle?


    Bottom line is BMW (and others) do this to reduce/prevent theft of vehicles and their components, and improve security for owners. Which is basically what Apple is doing.
  • Reply 47 of 54
    bb-15 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Yes, quite true...
    Even here at ai in a recent article on upgrading the MacMini (probably in the comments) we were told that we should re-install the original memory in the Mac Mini after we break it and ask Apple to fix it for us under warranty -- so Apple wouldn't know we were doing some DIY on it.

    And that's from the cult of the faithful!
    I suggest that anyone who is afraid of damaging their Apple product with a DYI upgrade should get AppleCare+ for the device. 
    For instance AppleCare+ is available for the Mac Mini ($99) and that extended warranty allows for two incidents of accidental damage (pretty much anything for $299 each).
    I get AppleCare+ for all my major Apple computer/phone/watch purchases.  

    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/S6120LL/A/applecare-plus-for-mac-mini

    While I totally agree on getting AppleCare+, that will not cover damage from a DIY mistake.  As you point out, it covers accidental damage -- not damage from a DIY're because that isn't accidental.

    Plus, AppleCare+ is relatively short lived and expires at right about the time the machine will be ready for an upgrade.  So, even if it did cover DIY damage, it would likely be expired by that time.
  • Reply 48 of 54
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Yes, quite true...
    Even here at ai in a recent article on upgrading the MacMini (probably in the comments) we were told that we should re-install the original memory in the Mac Mini after we break it and ask Apple to fix it for us under warranty -- so Apple wouldn't know we were doing some DIY on it.

    And that's from the cult of the faithful!
    You've got the actions right but not the intent.

    You're right, the advice is If you have third-party RAM in your Mac, you should put the stock Apple RAM back in before sending the machine to Apple for repair. The reason for that is not to be deceptive, though. It's to allow an orderly, thorough, timely diagnostic and repair process. First, it's possible the third-party RAM is the problem. Putting the stock RAM back in will expose that. Second, since Apple justifiably won't assess products it didn't sell, leaving third-party parts in the machine just delays getting the problem resolved.

    Apple doesn't care if you install third-party RAM. All they're saying is don't expect them to fix it while components outside their control are installed. That's reasonable.
    Uhhh, yeh....   That's the theory....

    But, when you just broke the machine and you're trying to get Apple to fix it for you, 3rd party memory is a dead giveaway that you busted it.   I doubt you'll much sympathy at the genius bar.
  • Reply 49 of 54
    avon b7 said:
    Too many people don't understand that, for a device that promises the kind of privacy protection that Apple tauts, a repair is a security risk.  Replacing a critical part with one that isn't up to spec, or possibly even maliciously misperforms, is a security hole a mile wide.  Making it more difficult to replace those critical parts is a good thing.
    Don't forget that Apple offers no guarantee that any data residing on physical media will be kept private while in its possession.

    Any storage related failure under warranty means the part has to go 'back to Apple'. In my part of the world this 'obligation' is non negotiable.

    The last component that Apple took back from me was a failing Seagate hard disk. Apple sent me an authorized tech who took it back to the shop and then it was sent on to Apple.

    Beyond the documentation for the repair I was not given any assurance or guarantee that the contents of the disk would be cleared. The reality is that when Apple took it I have no idea what happened to it.

    In my particular case, I had an encrypted disk image on it which contained all the confidential items so I wasn't overly concerned but many people still use open systems.
    True, but irrelevant to my point.

    A repair is a security risk even after the repair is done.  Wipe your phone before taking to to the repair shop, restore it when you get back, and a substandard repair, or one with "unauthorized" parts is still a security risk.  If those new parts are less secure than OEM ones, then after restoration, your data is still at risk.
  • Reply 50 of 54
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 628member
    zimmie said:

    avon b7 said:
    zimmie said:
    avon b7 said:
    The EU is going to have a massive heart-attack once they hear this.

    Why? Auto manufacturers have similar procedures which are designed to prevent the ability for thieves to not only steal cars, but to part them
    out and resell them. BMW being one of the biggest, and last I checked they were headquartered in Europe.
    Yes, German car manufacturers try the same tactics although the German Automobile Association is itself against such practices.

    That is why the whole situation is currently under review in the EU with the hope that pan European laws on design protection can be updated to better reflect the wishes of EU citizens.
    German car makers, sure, but also Japanese, Italian, American, and I expect many more. Every single car I have ever seen with an immobilizer has the ability to reset the immobilizer to accept new keys, but only an authorized dealer has the software and credentials with the manufacturer to perform the reset. Further, every single one I've seen requires the technician connect the car to a local computer to get some key information, which it sends to a remote server controlled by the manufacturer. The remote server then responds with an unlock code specific to that car's immobilizer.

    Based on the information which is currently public, AST2 works in exactly the same way. You run AST2 on a local computer and connect it to the computer under repair. It gets key information from the T2 chip, which it uses to form a request to an Apple server for authorization to open the hardware trust store. The Apple server then responds with the authorization, and the technician can get the T2 to trust the new parts.

    To the best of my knowledge, very few have seriously argued for opening up immobilizer resets on cars.
    The immobilizer, to the best of my knowledge, is a security feature to prevent unauthorised starting of the car. I don't drive so I could easily be mistaken.

    In the case of the T2, it would go beyond that and refuse to accept installed parts that the owner had sanctioned but Apple hadn't.
    Immobilizers in cars generally recognize an RFID tag embedded in the key and refuse to start unless they see a key they recognize. The tags themselves are actually a lot like the chips implanted into pets to help track them if they get lost. If you lose the last key with a trusted RFID tag, the car won't start for you anymore until you get it towed to a dealer and pay them to reset the immobilizer and set up some new keys. This is generally a $500-labor job for consumer cars ranging up to well over $1k-labor for luxury cars. The new keys themselves are in addition to that.

    From what Apple has said so far, you can replace most parts yourself (or get an unauthorized service center to do it). The parts which require an AST2 run are parts involved in the hardware chain of trust (Touch ID sensor), or which the T2 manages (camera in the display module on a laptop). You need an AST2 run for a new logic board because the T2 is soldered to the logic board, and from its perspective, all of the other parts are changing.

    BMW keys are more advanced. They are coded/paired to a module in the vehicle (the CAS or Car Access System). If you lose a remote key the dealer has to order a new one from BMW direct (and for us in North America that means a wait of up to 2 weeks from Germany). Dealers don’t carry “blank” keys and have no ability to provide you with a new key on the spot. The key is coded to the vehicle VIN and the CAS module at the factory and works as soon as it arrives. In this regard BMW is even stricter than Apple as they don’t give dealers the necessary software to create their own keys (like some manufacturers do).

    If, however, you lose all your keys then BMW can’t provide you with a new key since you need to have an existing working key to enable the new key. In this case you need a new CAS module and a pair of keys (which are sold as a complete kit) and again they come from BMW pre-coded to each other such that when the CAS module is installed in the vehicle it recognizes the keys it came with. You need to provide ID and proof of ownership of the vehicle to order this kit and the dealer will need to install it. Criminals are unlikely to have this information, let alone be willing to bring a stolen vehicle to a dealer for work. BMW has designed this to not only make vehicles secure (harder to steal) but also to prevent criminals from trying to make a working vehicle from a stolen one.

    This extends to other major components. Powetrain modules (the DME or engine computer and EGS or transmission computer) are one-time use and only work in the vehicle they were coded to. This prevents criminals from trying to build a working vehicle by swapping components from other vehicles (with engines/transmissions being two expensive and commonly swapped components). If you put an engine computer into another car it won’t run. If you swap an entire transmission the vehicle will start but you can’t select any gear.

    Head units (the radio/stereo - another expensive component that contains an actual computer and hard drive) have recently been added to the list as they were being stolen and resold (there are online stores that sell these as upgrades so people can convert their basic system into one with Navigation and all the other goodies). Now if you install one in another car it gets bricked. BMW had to notify dealers because technicians will often swap a known good head unit (from a new car or trade-in) to a customer car as a quick way to test if it’s failed. Several dealers ended up bricking good head units.

    Then we get to instrument clusters. While clusters will work when swapped, a tamper dot will appear on the cluster letting you know it’s not original. On newer cars clusters work when swapped but will have warning messages appear for various functions that no longer work making it rather difficult to sell a vehicle that’s “lit up like a Christmas tree”. Can you imagine if people could take any cluster and reset the mileage? Odometer tampering is one of the oldest tricks criminals use when selling a used car. Rolling back the mileage is like adding thousands of dollars to the selling price. Does anyone think it would be a good idea to allow third party shops the ability to set the odometer mileage in a vehicle?


    Bottom line is BMW (and others) do this to reduce/prevent theft of vehicles and their components, and improve security for owners. Which is basically what Apple is doing.
    For most cars, "the necessary software to create their own keys" is actually more of a procedure to get the immobilizer to trust an extant key. That way, the dealer can keep key blanks with RFID chips, and they just cut the metal properly, then set the immobilizer to recognize the RFID chip already in the key.

    As an example, in Toyota's case, the immobilizer has two types of RFID tags it can be set to recognize: master and valet. Master tags can be used by the car's owner to recognize new valet tags. Valet tags cannot be used to set the system to recognize new tags. If you have one master tag and would like to add a second (or third, or nth) master tag, only a dealer can do it, but it's a relatively fast process. If you have no master tags, though, only a dealer is able to reset the immobilizer and get it to accept new ones. This is the process I described in my first post.

    Audi works similarly to BMW. The car authenticates to the key, and the key authenticates to the car. If you swap certain bits on the MOST ring, even parts you didn't swap may complain about the untrusted new part and shut down. Audi's term for this is Component Protection. I haven't looked into the engine computer and transmission computer, but I would be surprised if they were not similarly locked to a car. I expect MB, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, and other luxury manufacturers do the same things.
  • Reply 51 of 54
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Yes, quite true...
    Even here at ai in a recent article on upgrading the MacMini (probably in the comments) we were told that we should re-install the original memory in the Mac Mini after we break it and ask Apple to fix it for us under warranty -- so Apple wouldn't know we were doing some DIY on it.

    And that's from the cult of the faithful!
    You've got the actions right but not the intent.

    You're right, the advice is If you have third-party RAM in your Mac, you should put the stock Apple RAM back in before sending the machine to Apple for repair. The reason for that is not to be deceptive, though. It's to allow an orderly, thorough, timely diagnostic and repair process. First, it's possible the third-party RAM is the problem. Putting the stock RAM back in will expose that. Second, since Apple justifiably won't assess products it didn't sell, leaving third-party parts in the machine just delays getting the problem resolved.

    Apple doesn't care if you install third-party RAM. All they're saying is don't expect them to fix it while components outside their control are installed. That's reasonable.
    Uhhh, yeh....   That's the theory....

    But, when you just broke the machine and you're trying to get Apple to fix it for you, 3rd party memory is a dead giveaway that you busted it.   I doubt you'll much sympathy at the genius bar.
    If the user breaks the machine, it will be pretty obvious with or without the presence of third-party RAM.

    The point is there is no rule against a user installing their own RAM, period. If you're like me and do damage in the process, that's on you. If you install your own RAM and the machine fails for reasons not related to you doing that, Apple will cover it. When the optical drive failed in my cheese grater, no one at the Apple Store even mentioned that I'd forgotten to swap out the third-party RAM I'd installed. First, it wasn't relevant to the issue. Second, Apple had expressly blessed third-party upgrades by providing the slots. They could have made me go home and reinstall the factory RAM before they assessed it (and that would be fair), but the fact that I'd changed it didn't affect the warranty.
  • Reply 52 of 54
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Yes, quite true...
    Even here at ai in a recent article on upgrading the MacMini (probably in the comments) we were told that we should re-install the original memory in the Mac Mini after we break it and ask Apple to fix it for us under warranty -- so Apple wouldn't know we were doing some DIY on it.

    And that's from the cult of the faithful!
    You've got the actions right but not the intent.

    You're right, the advice is If you have third-party RAM in your Mac, you should put the stock Apple RAM back in before sending the machine to Apple for repair. The reason for that is not to be deceptive, though. It's to allow an orderly, thorough, timely diagnostic and repair process. First, it's possible the third-party RAM is the problem. Putting the stock RAM back in will expose that. Second, since Apple justifiably won't assess products it didn't sell, leaving third-party parts in the machine just delays getting the problem resolved.

    Apple doesn't care if you install third-party RAM. All they're saying is don't expect them to fix it while components outside their control are installed. That's reasonable.
    Uhhh, yeh....   That's the theory....

    But, when you just broke the machine and you're trying to get Apple to fix it for you, 3rd party memory is a dead giveaway that you busted it.   I doubt you'll much sympathy at the genius bar.
    If the user breaks the machine, it will be pretty obvious with or without the presence of third-party RAM.

    The point is there is no rule against a user installing their own RAM, period. If you're like me and do damage in the process, that's on you. If you install your own RAM and the machine fails for reasons not related to you doing that, Apple will cover it. When the optical drive failed in my cheese grater, no one at the Apple Store even mentioned that I'd forgotten to swap out the third-party RAM I'd installed. First, it wasn't relevant to the issue. Second, Apple had expressly blessed third-party upgrades by providing the slots. They could have made me go home and reinstall the factory RAM before they assessed it (and that would be fair), but the fact that I'd changed it didn't affect the warranty.
    Agreed, that it's not inherently the 3rd party RAM (although Apple can rightly refuse to work on it if the machine has been modified). 

    The point (at least my point) is that upgrading the RAM in a 2018 MacMini is a difficult and risky task that invites permanent damage to the machine -- particularly if you, like most, don't have all the training, skills and special equipment needed to do it correctly.

    So, people take it back to Apple and expect them to fix it -- perhaps under warrenty.  Apple is well within their rights to either refuse or to charge accordingly.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 53 of 54
    mac_dog said:
    Or, it could be that Apple wants to maintain some semblance of quality control. And how does someone infer “planned obsolescence”? All that does is fuel the fire of apple’s detractors. 
    Yes, quite true...
    Even here at ai in a recent article on upgrading the MacMini (probably in the comments) we were told that we should re-install the original memory in the Mac Mini after we break it and ask Apple to fix it for us under warranty -- so Apple wouldn't know we were doing some DIY on it.

    And that's from the cult of the faithful!
    You've got the actions right but not the intent.

    You're right, the advice is If you have third-party RAM in your Mac, you should put the stock Apple RAM back in before sending the machine to Apple for repair. The reason for that is not to be deceptive, though. It's to allow an orderly, thorough, timely diagnostic and repair process. First, it's possible the third-party RAM is the problem. Putting the stock RAM back in will expose that. Second, since Apple justifiably won't assess products it didn't sell, leaving third-party parts in the machine just delays getting the problem resolved.

    Apple doesn't care if you install third-party RAM. All they're saying is don't expect them to fix it while components outside their control are installed. That's reasonable.
    Uhhh, yeh....   That's the theory....

    But, when you just broke the machine and you're trying to get Apple to fix it for you, 3rd party memory is a dead giveaway that you busted it.   I doubt you'll much sympathy at the genius bar.
    If the user breaks the machine, it will be pretty obvious with or without the presence of third-party RAM.

    The point is there is no rule against a user installing their own RAM, period. If you're like me and do damage in the process, that's on you. If you install your own RAM and the machine fails for reasons not related to you doing that, Apple will cover it. When the optical drive failed in my cheese grater, no one at the Apple Store even mentioned that I'd forgotten to swap out the third-party RAM I'd installed. First, it wasn't relevant to the issue. Second, Apple had expressly blessed third-party upgrades by providing the slots. They could have made me go home and reinstall the factory RAM before they assessed it (and that would be fair), but the fact that I'd changed it didn't affect the warranty.
    Agreed, that it's not inherently the 3rd party RAM (although Apple can rightly refuse to work on it if the machine has been modified). 

    The point (at least my point) is that upgrading the RAM in a 2018 MacMini is a difficult and risky task that invites permanent damage to the machine -- particularly if you, like most, don't have all the training, skills and special equipment needed to do it correctly.

    So, people take it back to Apple and expect them to fix it -- perhaps under warrenty.  Apple is well within their rights to either refuse or to charge accordingly.
    Fair enough. That's pretty much what I would expect. Maybe such dishonest users were part of the reason Apple moved away from slots in the first place? The issue maybe isn't that the user can access the parts, but that some people are ethically challenged.

    Either way, I agree with you that swapping out the RAM in the current mini is not something klutzes (like me) should tackle without due care.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 54 of 54
    anomeanome Posts: 1,486member
    iFixit et al keep harking on about this being Apple trying to stop repairs - when it's pretty obvious what this is: security.

    It means the security of you or your company's files doesn't end when I get out a screwdriver.
    What if it’s a really big screwdriver though?!
    Then it suggests you might be compensating for something?
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