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Model A2159, EMC 3301. A refresh of the entry-level 13" MacBook Pro. Available in Silver and Space Gray. Released July 2019.

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Security Issue in MacBook Broken Beyond Repair

I slipped on the ice at school and landed on my MacBook Pro,

Took it to the local Mac repair shop and was told the damage is too bad to repair.

I want to take it and have it recycled but I want to remove and destroy all remnants of my personal data.

I know the SSD is integrated into the logic board, so would removing the logic board and recycling the rest of what’s left of my MacBook remove everything, or is there anything else hidden in the battery are or behind the screen that could have personal info on it.

Sorry if this question appears uninformed, I’ve never quite understood computers and appreciate any answers.

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Wow! I’m sorry to hear you fell, hope you’re not badly hurt.

There are two parts I would take out the first is the logic board the other is the power button (Touch ID).

But before we go to this extreme lets see if we can make a silk purse out of your sows ear ;-}

Can you tell us was is physically broken. I assume the display is smashed is the keyboard and the main case still in working order? If you can post some pics Adding images to an existing question

If you try powering up the system connected to an external display do you get any reaction?

What I’m thinking is if we can get the system running long enough to salvage any of the data you have on it (if you hadn’t backed up) as well as at least properly wipe the drive so you don’t need to worry about taking things apart as well as then being stuck with a logic board that you then need to worry about how to deal with it.

While the person who checked your system may have told you it was a lost cause, I’ve brought a few systems back from the grave with out breaking the bank or found ways to make the system still useful.

Give us a chance!

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Decades of experience teaches things the average repair place may not know, and we may have other alternatives the average guy doesn't know about. What do you have to lose? Give us a shot.


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Hey Dan,

I'm actually wondering, just from a security standpoint, if this person was theoretically able to get the system running, would a disk utility wipe be enough? As information on the internet is somewhat contradictory with regards to how secure a disk utility wipe is.

Also, how does the T2 chip fit into all of this considering its the new 2019 2 Thunderbolt Model with touch bar..

And finally, to reiterate OP' s initial question, once the logic board is removed and presumable destroyed, is there any other location on the computer either within the main body or behind the display where data could theoretically be leaked from?

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1 - You would want to run the a security wipe program (which is similar to Apples Secure Erase function which is not an option with SSD's) it's not a simple erase!

2 - A HDD is very different than a SSD and then you still have the T2 on the fly encryption. Simply put a HDD is the least safe. As it's technically possible to recover the residual magnetic signals of the platters. But, we are still talking about a very time and costly process! This is not something readily available nor is anyone going to spend the effort. SSD's are better as the state is not recoverable.

3 - The T2 chip makes this even better! As its doing on the fly encryption! The key to your data is your Touch ID button you break it you have no means to recover the data.

4 - I though I made that clear only the logic board and the Touch ID would need to be removed. There is nothing else within the system that has any data.


Sorry if I’m pestering you, but my knowledge of computers is super rudimentary. Once data is deleted ie. something like my paystubs or my tax forms, is it still protected by the t2 encryption, as I’ve read online that since the release of APFS, deleted data is no longer encrypted? Is this the case and if so does SSD trim command take care of it or is all data that was deleted before a secure wipe vulnerable? Thanks again for all your help.


Lets think this with something more tangible!

Hopefully you have a paper shredder to destroy your papers. So, if we go back in time the first generation of shredders merely made strips of the page so if I only did one page I could easily take the strips side by side and arrange them back together quite quickly and with some tape reconstitute the page! Now that's easy! The only way this gets harder is when many pages are shredded and they are uniform if you have a few yellow or red pages they could be pulled away and bingo! They could be put back together!

The next is when the cross-cut design came out as now instead of strips we now have smaller pieces! So if we do that one page again while much harder it too can be reconstituted! In fact a person only needs an OCR program and a bed scanner to let the computer do the grunt work!

For most, this is all one needs as the needed gear and skills are beyond what one would apply if you where not a government agency trying to get dirt on you.

This is what I use for my bills and I make sure I bag up a good mix of stuff and as big a bag as I can. This makes it so hard no one will do it!

Still not the ultimate in safety! So let's get to the most secure way. If the paper is dyed so you can't see the writing then you've made the task so hard its just not doable or lets just burn the paper! So all you have is ashes!

So as we can see we have three levels of effort Now lets apply the three with the drives:

● Level 1 - HDD

● Level 2 - Plain SSD

● Level 3 - SSD with full encryption via T2

So clearly if you want full destruction you want ashes Level 3 is the answer. Nothing but NOTHING will be scrap able from your drive.

I have not heard of anything about APFS file system being breakable. Besides its not the file system its self, it's how the data held within it is dealt with.

Think of it this way an envelope that holds the piece of paper is not the risk its the exposure of the piece of paper held within it. So having a bucket which is holding that page I metaphorically shredded above, which is safe? A pile of ashes!


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