Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Reviving or Restoring a Mac With Apple Silicon


The revive or restore processes involve the following steps:

1. Launching Apple Configurator 2 on the second Mac and connecting the Mac computers

2. Restarting the Mac using a special key sequence

3. Using Apple Configurator 2 to do one of the following:

  • Revive the firmware and reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS.

  • Restore the firmware, erase all data, and reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS and macOS.

Mr. Macintosh:

Now that Apple Silicon Macs are arriving in users hands, we can now start to rebuild with Apple Configurator 2 and IPSW files just like iOS! This page will be a database of all macOS IPSW Files.

Jeffrey Paul (Hacker News):

If you wish to fully and completely restore these systems to their factory state for whatever reason, be it a virus or malware, reverting a testing or research configuration, preparing for resale, disk data corruption, whatever[…]. The only way to do this is to obtain a cryptographic signature from Apple, specific to that hardware. […]

Freely over the internet, that is.


To repurpose these machines, or to audit/verify them, the steps are repeated: dump their data, wipe them fully, verify their firmware, reinstall from cryptographically verified media. (Optionally, audit to ensure that the data dumps are what they are expected to be.)

This is now impossible on any modern mac (and 100% of all recent macs with decent keyboards).


This means that the machine can potentially be tampered with by Apple (or anyone who can coerce Apple), on a system-by-system basis.

And you depend on Apple’s server being operational.

See also:


Update (2020-12-10): Isaiah Carew:

this is why i can’t update my apple dev kit. my account status has an unexpected “state”. the update utility that is supposed to be grabbing the cert or whatever from apple crashes immediately after i authenticate.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

1995: my Mac is borked... boot to install dvd. use finder to copy important files to external drive.

2020: my Mac is borked... throw mac off the balcony

What an insanely complicated procedure!

Seems Apple Configurator is only available from their App Store. Which means you need an AppleID. So if you're like me, and don't have one, you're out of luck?

Basically, these aren't Macs. They are iOS devices with keyboards and big monitors. I guess that's what the Mac is now. :(

A new exciting way to make Macs disposable! Buy a second one, to try to recover the first. Then throw it out, like Charles says.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH *cough* BWAHAHAHAHAHAH ow ow ow ow my sides.

If this is Tim Apple’s promised land of running IPad apps in a glorified iPad with mouse and keyboard I’m staying in the desert of “clunky PCs.”

All that and Apple should include a pi-hole with every purchase as macs cannot be entirely secured, even from Apple. What a joke.

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