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AppleCare, support, and repair issues

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As expected, these videos are no longer available. I'm glad I downloaded them before Apple issued a takedown.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
An AppleCare nightmare is described here in regards to defective design of Apple's exclusive LG 4K monitor and insanely defective support on the part of Apple.
 


engadget said:
iMac Pro, 2018 MacBook Pros require Apple software for certain repairs
According to MacRumors and shown on documents posted by Motherboard, anyone doing significant repair work on these systems will be left with a nonfunctioning system until they run the "Apple Service Toolkit 2" diagnostic software. For the MacBook Pro that includes "display assembly, logic board, top case (the keyboard, touchpad, and internal housing), and Touch ID board," and on the iMac Pro, it's the logic board or SSD.
Motherboard said:
Apple's New Proprietary Software Locks Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros
Apple has introduced software locks that will effectively prevent independent and third-party repair on 2018 MacBook Pro computers, according to internal Apple documents obtained by Motherboard. The new system will render the computer “inoperative” unless a proprietary Apple “system configuration” software is run after parts of the system are replaced.
MacRumors said:
iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro Systems Must Pass Apple Diagnostics to Function After Certain Repairs
Due to advanced security features of the Apple T2 chip, iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro models must pass Apple diagnostics for certain repairs to be completed, according to an internal document from Apple obtained by MacRumors.

For the 2018 MacBook Pro, the requirement applies to repairs involving the display, logic board, Touch ID, and top case, which includes the keyboard, battery, trackpad, and speakers, according to the document. For the iMac Pro, the requirement only applies to logic board and flash storage repairs.
 




I read a report that Macs with the T2 chip need to be repaired with Apple repairs only.
Not yet, but this might become the case in the future.

Apple sent a memo to authorized service people, but so far (according to iFixit), it's not the case. They were able to swap parts without running the proprietary Apple diagnostic software.

That having been said, it is quite possible that Apple will start doing this in some future macOS/firmware update and when they do, it will likely brick any computer with unauthorized repairs, requiring a trip to an authorized service center to run the diagnostic and unlock the system.
 



MacWorld also covered this:
OK, void the warranty, sure, but this goes so far beyond accepted practices in any industry. New Macs are looking less attractive all the time.
The headlines lately suggest that we are, and have been, in times of nation-state-supported hacking and the potential of a chip required in a device being supplied by a supplier with an undetectable spy capability. Maybe Apple is concerned about third-party parts going into an iPhone with the capability of phoning home and/or compromising the Apple ecosystem. Or maybe the 'bad' guys are providing a backdoor to disable Apple's goal of having security for all iPhone users. The simpler answer could be that Apple does not want to deal with customers complaining or wanting a warranty for non-Apple parts installed in Apple devices.
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch


Here's a CBC video report on issues with Apple Stores, repairs, etc., including segments with Louis Rossman, iFixit, and more:
I've been watching Louis Rossmann's YouTube channel (the repairman featured in the CBC video) for quite a while now, and I credit him with renewing my interest in hot-air reworking of boards, such as those in Apple products. He's proven that knowledgable folks can keep older Mac hardware usable for quite some time, perfectly acceptable for most people. There's also a woman, who, like Rossmann, does the same thing but with a specialty in iPhones. [I think] Apple keeping things in their "walled garden" is pretty much to force people to purchase replacements to ensure their own cash flow [and] I'd bet Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave around now for looking at what his company has become.

I worked in Apple's retail channel back in the early to mid 1980's, and things were pretty straightforward to repair, and, in fact, someone with common sense and electronics knowledge would have been able to repair most Apple products, sans any proprietary ICs that were unobtainium.

Today, working in a K-12 educational environment, Apple has us, as well as consumers in general, by the short and curlies. The CBC news story didn't shock me at all. Our district purchases direct from Apple, and I have iPads for which Apple adamantly refuses to disable activation lock where a former staffer tied the device to their own personal email. It's unbelievable that they can't locate the record of our purchases for these devices! Imagine who a consumer off the street has to endure if they inadvertently lock their device?

I have a school in my district that wants to become all-Mac. Believe me, I'm going to provide some serious analysis on why they should reconsider staying in the Windows ecosystem, as much as I'm no fan of the boys in Redmond.

Fortunately, I haven't had the chance to throw away a MacBook due to a small component failure yet. It's hard to imagine tossing out good hardware just because a bit of corrosion or a small active component, such as a chip, makes the device unusable.

Apple's "innovation", such as the T2 chip, may be presented as a boon for privacy, but I suspect the real reason is to prevent those of us who believe we have a right to repair devices we own from maintaining them. Remember error 53 with the iPhone home button? Tell me that was an accident! Was this a deliberate act to prevent third-party repairs? Rossmann himself stocked up on replacement MacBook screens, only to have Apple alter the EIED code so the replacements won't work with an OS upgrade. I owe a lot of my past and present livelihood to Apple products, but I don't know if I'd continue to purchase them anymore.

I've been using dirt-old 2012 Mac Minis, because I want my own monitor choice, and none of Apple's current offerings are decent. If Apple throws the T2 chip in the next monitorless desktop computer, that will be the nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned. If we vote with our collective wallets, then Apple will take notice.
 


I've been using dirt-old 2012 Mac Minis, because I want my own monitor choice, and none of Apple's current offerings are decent. If Apple throws the T2 chip in the next monitorless desktop computer, that will be the nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned. If we vote with our collective wallets, then Apple will take notice.
I have owned Macs since the Mac Plus and only once that I can remember took any of my many Macs to a shop to get it fixed. It was a failed video card in an iMac. I used the dealers for all kinds of upgrades, such as doubling the speed of the Mac Plus and pushing the clock speed of a Mac IIfx. Other than upgrading all of my iMacs and some MacBook Pro's to SSD and maxing out their memory, I am reasonably sure that I am done with upgrades.

Looking in the rearview mirror, I used to upgrade to new machines for speed, and the speed upgrade was significant. Now, my brain and my typing skills are the limiting factor in the throughput of my computer. As an electrical engineer who did a lot of tinkering with many machines, I recognize that a computer has become a tool only, and as long as it works, I ignore it except for software upgrades. I suspect, also, that my attitude is typical of the vast majority of the millions or billions of people who purchase computers and smartphones and who care less about how technology works. BTW, I rather like the touch strip on my MacBook Pro.

Ironically, about the time I purchased a new MacBook Pro with 8-hour or so battery life for my relatively infrequent plane rides, the planes were rapidly being equipped with charging stations. This also included airports and older planes that are being retrofitted, like a Boeing 717 I recently rode on. As an aside, another reason that I do not need long battery life in my MacBook Pro on a modern airplane in the economy seats is that there is no room for me to open my computer safely. :(
 


Most of the major software houses have moved to a subscription model. I think Apple's morphing towards a subscription model for hardware. The iPhone Upgrade Program is a harbinger for this.

Hardware ownership becomes a moot point if nobody outside of Apple can do repairs. If you're not covered by AppleCare, you either pay Apple's increasingly exorbitant repair rates or buy new hardware. In both cases, Apple reaps high profits.

It wouldn't surprise me if Apple starts leasing hardware in the near future. If this happens, I surmise that Apple will raise purchase and/or AppleCare pricing to further dissuade customers from outright purchases.
 


The Eclectic Light Company said:
Apple stops maintaining its printer compatibility list
For several years, Apple has maintained a Support Note which details all those models for which you can expect macOS to obtain drivers through software update.

Apparently, the effort of letting us know this valuable practical information is now too much. Visit the Support Note, and you’ll see that the list is no longer updated. Instead, Apple tells us:
“If you have an older printer that doesn’t support driverless technology, your Mac might automatically install the driver software needed to use that device.”
...
Equally, Apple, our Macs might not automatically install the driver software needed to use that device. As only you know which drivers you provide, and which printers they support, do you no longer have the decency to inform us, but make us see whether it works?
 


For Sam and others;

I have an HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus. Thanks to a learned member here, I found a way of printing onto card stock, that is, to use the printing software from HP. It really works. The Apple-supplied printer drivers wouldn't allow printing onto card stock, but the drivers from HP did.

The drivers are still working fine under macOS High Sierra 10.13.6. In the next few weeks, I'll be upgrading to Mojave after the 10.14.1 update is released. I'll report back on how the HP drivers are working under Mojave.

(A side note here: I really don't like it when HP assigns me an email address for my printer. I desire no such service.)
 


... I have an HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus. Thanks to a learned member here, I found a way of printing onto card stock, that is, to use the printing software from HP. ...
With recent macOSes I had failures using the HP drivers from Apple's website. Instead, go to HP's website and download and use HP Easy Start.

If you use different model HPs on a Mac, run HP Easy Start for each one to be sure all the necessary drivers/apps are downloaded. Always print a test page. If the HP has scanning, check that scanning works.

If the test print or scan doesn't work: delete the printer/scanner in System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and run HP Easy Start again. In my experience the second time worked.
 


(A side note here: I really don't like it when HP assigns me an email address for my printer. I desire no such service.)
You can abort the installer to avoid that (basically, skip everything other than simply copying in the drivers, skip any setup, product registration, etc.).

It can also be disabled in the printer‘s internal settings available through Safari and the printer's IP number, then the “HP Web Services” tab, or through the HP Utility (click the HP Connected icon).
 


With recent macOSes I had failures using the HP drivers from Apple's website. Instead, go to HP's website and download and use HP Easy Start.
I have been setting up a new MacBook Pro with High Sierra. Since Apple no longer seems to support my HP LaserJet P2055dn, I found and tried Easy Start. After going through its steps, it basically just gave up and redirected me to HP's website, where I had started in the first place. So much for an easy start.

At least Apple offered a generic PCL driver, which hopefully will be OK, since I don't tend to do fancy or complicated stuff.

Anyone have any idea if it's possible to copy the driver from a Sierra system?
 


I have been setting up a new MacBook Pro with High Sierra. Since Apple no longer seems to support my HP LaserJet P2055dn, I found and tried Easy Start. After going through its steps, it basically just gave up and redirected me to HP's website, where I had started in the first place. So much for an easy start. ...
A client has an HP P2035dn. Easy Start worked OK, setting it up in El Capitan and Sierra.

You can copy drivers, but it may not be trivial and, of course, it varies by manufacturer and printer. Driver files are located in several locations and need proper permissions. Drivers may include a LaunchAgent or LaunchDaemon that runs when the Mac boots.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
MacRumors said:
This is Apple's 'Zombie Check' Tool Used to Reduce iPhone Repair Fraud
Last week, The Information's Wayne Ma reported about a sophisticated fraud scheme in which organized thieves would buy or steal iPhones, remove valuable components like the processor or logic board, swap in fake components, and return the purposefully-broken iPhones to receive replacements they could resell.

... To combat the use of stolen serial numbers, The Information reported that Apple came up with a screening method known as "Zombie Check" internally that tested whether serial numbers for the broken iPhones held for inspection were also associated with iPhones still using Apple's online services like iCloud.

According to an internal Apple document obtained by MacRumors, the tool was initially limited to China, but Apple began rolling it out to Apple Authorized Service Providers around the world in February 2018.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I think Howard Oakley makes a very good point here...
Eclectic Light Co. said:
AirPrint or you’re on your own: macOS printing changes
The product which saved the Mac, and Apple, was its LaserWriter printer of March 1985. What had been a quaint computer with a small but loyal following was, with the addition of Aldus PageMaker, transformed into the heart of the Desktop Publishing revolution. Key to that was the way that the Mac could turn WYSIWYG page layouts into PostScript through Apple’s special printer driver. Ever since, Macs and printer drivers have enjoyed an intimate relationship.

This changes as of macOS 10.14 Mojave. ...

... Apple’s withdrawal from providing good printer support will not only pose many users and system administrators thorny problems, but send many perfectly good printers off for recycling, which is hardly environmentally friendly. It is shoddy, cheapskate, and uncaring – words which are surely the very antithesis of Apple’s carefully cultivated image.
 


Eclectic Light Co. said:
But it is important to note that Apple has never developed printer drivers. Apple distributed them to users, but they were always developed by the hardware manufacturers (HP, Epson, etc.) The only drivers Apple ever developed were the ones for use with Apple printers (e.g. LaserWriter, StyleWriter, etc.), and Apple hasn't supported any of them for a very very long time.

The only real change here is that you will now be required to go to the printer manufacturer's web site to get drivers. Driver availability is as it always was - a function of the manufacturer's desire to provide support.

As always, if you want your printer to last beyond the manufacturer's support, make sure you get one that uses a common language like PCL or PostScript, which should guarantee the availability of a generic driver.
 


I think Howard Oakley makes a very good point here...
This is a huge point. And it's one which, I think, most Mac users won't begin to realize until our printer drivers fail us. Apple has not made clear to us that driver support is being abandoned.

And printer manufacturers will have little incentive to update drivers, because they'll be all-too-eager to sell new printers with accompanying short-duration driver software, to unsuspecting Mac users.

I'm actually quite surprised at this turn of events. Are we certain that this is Apple's intention, and that a Mojave-friendly printer system isn't in-the-works for upcoming system updates?
 


I have been setting up a new MacBook Pro with High Sierra. Since Apple no longer seems to support my HP LaserJet P2055dn, I found and tried Easy Start. After going through its steps, it basically just gave up and redirected me to HP's website, where I had started in the first place. So much for an easy start.
I don't know about this specific printer, but in the past, downloading the big "HP Printer Drivers" package from Apple.com provided support for a whole rack of older HP printers that would not consistently "self update" when I just tried to "Add Printer" from the System Preferences.

 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a CBC video report on issues with Apple Stores, repairs, etc., including segments with Louis Rossman, iFixit, and more:
And here's Apple's response...
Louis Rossman said:
Apple & Customs STOLE my batteries, that they won't even provide to AASPs. [YouTube]

Hi. A few days ago, we published a piece with CBC that showcased how the Apple Store is trying to charge somebody between twelve hundred to two thousand dollars for a machine that needed nothing other than an LCD display cable because somebody had accidentally bent it, most likely while trying to install their own screen.

Here, just a few days later - crazy coincidence, imagine that - is that I had my parts seized by customs.

So let's just go over this letter, where they explained to me why Apple and customs seized batteries to a computer that at their store they will no longer service because they claim it's vintage.

Yes, that's correct, a machine that you cannot have your battery replaced on at an Apple store because they think it's vintage they will not allow me to replace a battery on, because when I import batteries that are original, they'll tell me they're counterfeit and have them stolen from me by immigrations and customs enforcement.

And it's so funny that timing on something like this, I like the coincidence. Can you imagine, after years and years of ordering batteries, that I get this notice a few days after the CBC piece. Man, just the way, the way things work themselves out.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's more on the story:
Motherboard said:
DHS Seized Aftermarket Apple Laptop Batteries From Independent Repair Expert Louis Rossman
... Apple has a contentious history with right to repair advocates, and this isn’t the first time the Department of Homeland Security has seized the property of third party repair stores. In May, CBP seized iPhone LCD screens worth a total of $1,727 from prominent right to repair advocate Jessa Jones. In 2013, ICE agents raided independent repair stores in South Florida and seized between around $300,000 in parts apple claimed were counterfeit. In Norway, customs officials seized repair parts headed for an independent repair shop there. Apple ultimately lost a lawsuit against a Norwegian repair shop after it claimed the owner violated Apple’s trademark by using unauthorized parts; the court ruled that he was free to import and use them. ...
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a follow-up from Howard Oakley about printer support problems in macOS Mojave:
The Eclectic Light Co. said:
How to install a printer in macOS Mojave
macOS Mojave doesn’t make any great changes in printing, but printer support has become a bit more complex, as Apple has stopped updating its list of compatible printers, and appears to have also stopped updating the drivers it supplies for older printers, to focus support on AirPrint instead. All is not lost, though: follow these steps and you shouldn’t have to send that printer for recycling, or give it away....
 


Or, this example of Apple abdicating responsibility for its own products:
I just watched this video. It is a real breakdown of customer service on multiple levels. What I wrote is that he should contact Apple Customer Relations. I have used them in the past and found that they can do things, replace things more than the Genius Bar or Apple support, So, it will be interesting to see if something good comes out of this mess.
 


But it is important to note that Apple has never developed printer drivers. Apple distributed them to users, but they were always developed by the hardware manufacturers (HP, Epson, etc.) The only drivers Apple ever developed were the ones for use with Apple printers (e.g. LaserWriter, StyleWriter, etc.), and Apple hasn't supported any of them for a very very long time.

The only real change here is that you will now be required to go to the printer manufacturer's web site to get drivers. Driver availability is as it always was - a function of the manufacturer's desire to provide support.

As always, if you want your printer to last beyond the manufacturer's support, make sure you get one that uses a common language like PCL or PostScript, which should guarantee the availability of a generic driver.
That was always my perception too. And since being advised by an HP rep to get my drivers directly from HP (to avoid the rampant "HP Device Monitor" at the time), that has been my practice with both Canon and HP for several years. Mojave System Preferences is currently nagging me to install drivers that are older than the ones I got direct.
 


The only real change here is that you will now be required to go to the printer manufacturer's web site to get drivers. Driver availability is as it always was - a function of the manufacturer's desire to provide support.
Having had to deal with Windows and printer drivers, the difference is this: by dropping Apple support, we are now exposed to each manufacturer's unique, variable, not always well tested, and often difficult to find driver installer, instead of Apple's grossly simple, well tested, and largely invisible driver update system. I expect difficulties and breakage.
 


Or, this example of Apple abdicating responsibility for its own products:
I believe Ric is specifically referring to the part about the VESA mount adaptor, and how even though it's sold by Apple, bears Apple's branding, Apple doesn't actually manufacture it (that's done by another third party), nor does Apple offer support for it, so Apple is all like "even though we sell it and has our logo, we don't actually offer support for it, so you'll need to call the actual manufacturer for support...... for which we won't give you any contact info.......okthanksforcallingbye!"
 


I took my two year-old iPhone SE in for battery replacement at my local Apple Store (in Michigan) at the weekend.

The replacement took just under an hour, but I when I collected the phone I noticed that it was reporting 'no SIM', despite a SIM card being present. I pointed this out to store staff, who took it back to their technicians. After a short while another member of staff appeared and apologised, saying that the phone had apparently been damaged somehow during the battery replacement, and I was offered a new (and identical) SE there and then, gratis, as replacement, which I accepted.

Fortunately everything was backed up to iCloud, and so getting the replacement phone up and running was relatively painless. The Apple Store kept my dead SE; I'm wondering what'll happen to that.
 



And to the data on it... I wonder if there's a good process to securely erase that after you've already given it to Apple....
This also crossed my mind after I got home. It has to be a case of 'trust Apple, they know what they're doing', right? (FWIW, 'Find my iPhone' has to be turned off for servicing, so I'm unable to do a remote wipe.)
 


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