The 2016 MacBook Pro’s Soldered-On SSD Has a Data Recovery Tool

Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro features a non-removable, non-upgradeable, soldered-on SSD. Easily replacing your hard drive is therefore essentially impossible for MacBook Pro owners. If for whatever reason the laptop fails or refuses to boot, it seems as if that users will no longer have access to the data stored on the SSD. Fortunately, Apple has a tool for pulling data off the drive in case of emergency, according to a report from 9to5Mac.

apple-cdm-macbook-pro-tool-2Image courtesy of 9to5Mac

The 2016 MacBook Pro is even harder to repair than its predecessor. An iFixit teardown revealed that the SSD is soldered onto the laptop’s logic board, along with the RAM and the CPU. Even the battery is glued on.

The MacBook Pro teardown by iFixit revealed that not only is the SSD soldered to the motherboard, but the fact that there is also a special terminal that didn’t seem to be connected to anything.

The connection, however, is now known to be a dedicated port on the logic board that allows Apple staff to attach the recovery tool once the board’s been removed from the chassis. The tool then transfers the data from the SSD to a working MacBook Pro’s drive via one of its USB-C ports.

Early reports claimed that Apple would only be providing this service to customers under their original warranty or those covered by AppleCare, but apparently Apple will be offering the SSD transfer service to any computer needing motherboard replacement at no additional cost beyond the flat-fee component and the cost of labour itself.