Data recovery on a liquid damaged Apple Macbook Pro Touch Bar

Apple is always ahead of the game when it comes to innovation. Over the years their Macbook models have impressed us with their design and performance. In order to make a thinner design possible along with faster data read and write speeds, they have had to develop hard drives that meet this requirement. Go back a few years and Macbook and Macbook Pro laptops used normal, spinning hard drives. SSD technology became the new norm and Apple, instead of using what was available to the rest of us, designed their own range of SSD interfaces. These SSDs were not made by Apple, but rather by Samsung, Toshiba etc. Either way, the connectors were proprietary Mac designs. Below is an idea of the variations we’ve had over the years.

Macbook SSD types that we recovery data from:

Different Apple Mac SSD types that we recover data from

Things continue to evolve in the Macbook space and now, for certain models, the hard drive is soldered onto the mainboard of the Macbook itself. This 2016 Macbook Pro Touch Bar model A1706 is a culprit, having no removable SSD. This client’s Macbook Pro suffered a coffee spill which rendered the machine dead. It wouldn’t turn on or even charge. If it were an earlier model we could remove the SSD, test it and recover the data by using the relevant adapter. That’s not the case with this model. However, a tool does exist which allows us to bypass the mainboard and access the hard drive separately.

Apple Macbook Pro data recovery tools

We bypass the rest of the Macbook Pro completely, tap into a special port on the mainboard that connects directly to the internal storage. We do this through a host Mac over Thunderbolt 3. The host Mac, in this case a Mac Mini, allows us to mount the Macbook Pro’s hard drive and recover the data.

Apple Mac mini used in the data recovery

For this example, we are choosing to recover the entire drive, not just user data, by using the restore function in disk utility. In just under an hour we’ve got a successful recovery of a liquid damaged Macbook Pro with data copied to a new external drive for the client to collect.

Apple Mac data recovery software used during the data recovery

We are able to perform data recovery on the following models:

Macbook Pro Retinas 13-inch 2016 A1706

Macbook Pro Retinas 13-inch 2017 A1706

Macbook Pro Retinas 15-inch 2016 A1707

Macbook Pro Retinas 15-inch 2017 A1707

We’re happy to help you with Macbook data recovery in Cape Town, contact us for any questions you might have.

Do you want to see some more interesting data recovery articles? Have a look at our data recovery blog.


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