MacBook Data Recovery Services

Although discontinued in July 2019, MacBooks are still one of the most popular line of laptops around. As with any bit of technology, MacBooks have progressed over the years, especially in regards to hard drives and how they store data.


MacBook Pro Data Recovery

The original MacBooks were discountinued in 2011, being phased out by the popularity of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Earlier generations of MacBook Pros used traditional hard drives for their data storage. Starting with the third generation, MacBook Pros were built with solid state drives (SSD), increasing read/write speed and overall performance. These SSDs were removeable, making data recovery relatively easier than later generations.

Some models in the fourth generation of MacBooks introduced built-in SSDs. Unlike earlier models, these SSDs were not removable, but were built as part of the motherboard.

Do you have a Macbook and can’t get your data?

MacBook Pro Storage Through the Years

Apple uses “generations” to define an update to the MacBook Pro product line. The later the generation, the newer the MacBook. In regards to storage, the progression has gone from traditional spinning disk drives to integrated SSDs.

The first and second generation MacBook Pros used traditional spinning hard drives for storage, for the most part, with a some MacBook Air using mSATA 3SSDs (Solid State Drive).

Beginning in the third generation, Apple utilized mSATA 3 SSDs for storage. These SSDs were mSATA III that looked similar to a RAM board. These are sometimes referred to as “gumstick” SSDs because of their shape.

Generation Four saw an advance to the mSATA3 SSDs with the introduction of SSDs using the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, which greatly increased read/write speeds.

The fifth generation again saw a change to the SSD connection, now using the PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe connection. this again created a large increase in read/write speed. In the lab, we are now seeing MacBook Pros with the SSD integrated into the motherboard. In past generations, all traditional drives and SSDs were removable, making upgrades and data recovery a bit easier. With integrated SSDs, the SSD is no longer removable. This increases the difficulty of data recovery, and makes it so you have to replace the entire motherboard to upgrade the storage.

MacBook Pro Models by Generation:

First Generation: MB133xx/A | MB134xx/A

Second Generation: MB470xx/A | MB471xx/A | MB991xx/A | MB990xx/A | MC118xx/A | MB985xx/A \ MB986xx/A | MB604xx/A | MC226xx/A | MC375xx/A | MC374xx/A | MC373xx/A | MC372xx/A | MC371xx/A | MC024xx/A | MC724xx/A | MC700xx/A | MD314xx/A | MD313xx/A | MC723xx/A | MC721xx/A | MC322xx/A | MD318xx/A | MC725xx/A | MD311xx/A

Third Generation: MD101xx/A | MD102xx/A | MD212xx/A | MD213xx/A | MD103xx/A | MD104xx/A | MD975xx/A | MC976xx/A | MD212xx/A | ME662xx/A | ME864xx/A | ME865xx/A | ME866xx/A | ME664xx/A | ME665xx/A | ME294xx/A | ME293xx/A | MGX72xx/A | MGX82xx/A | MGX92xx/A | MGXC2xx/A | MGXA2xx/A | MF839xx/A | MF840xx/A | MF841xx/A | MF843xx/A | MJLT2xx/A | MJLU2xx/A | MJLQ2xx/A

Fourth Generation: MLL42xx/A | MLUQ2xx/A | MLH12xx/A | MLVP2xx/A | MNQF2xx/A | MNQG2xx/A | MPDK2xx/A | MPDL2xx/A | MLH32xx/A | MLH42xx/A | MLH52xx/A | MLW72xx/A | MLW82xx/A | MLW92xx/A | MPXQ2xx/A | MPXR2xx/A | MPXT2xx/A | MPXU2xx/A | MPXV2xx/A | MPXW2xx/A | MPXX2xx/A | MPXY2xx/A | MQ002xx/A | MQ012xx/A | MPTR2xx/A | MPTT2xx/A | MPTU2xx/A | MPTV2xx/A | MPTW2xx/A | MPTX2xx/A | MR9Q2xx/A | MR9R2xx/A | MR9T2xx/A | MR9U2xx/A | MR9V2xx/A

Fifth Generation: MVVJ2LL/A | MVVK2LL/A | MVVL2LL/A | MVVM2LL/A | MXK32LL/A | MXK52LL/A | MXK62LL/A | MXK72LL/A | MWP42LL/A | MWP52LL/A | MWP62LL/A | MWP72LL/A | MWP82LL/A

How to Recovery Data from a MacBook Pro

Over the years, Gillware has recovered data from many MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs.

Due to the different types of storage devices used in MacBook Pros over the years, our methods of recovering data are dependent on the type of hard drive used.

For traditional spinning disk hard drives, we usually have to make either physical repairs to components in the hard drive, or to the firmware. In some cases, the printed circuit board (PCB) has failed and needs replaced.

Newer models of MacBook Pros use SSDs for storage. Since SSDs have no moving parts, we do not have to make physical repairs to components like a traditional drive. We have to either deal with the firmware on the drive or conduct complex soldering to get the SSD functional so we can get the data off of it. The latest MacBook Pro models have SSDs that are part of the motherboard and cannot be removed. While this is not ideal for our engineers, it hasn’t stopped us from successfully recovering data from them.

Below are case studies that talk more in-depth about the problem that caused the loss of data and how Gillware was able to recover data from the failed device.

MacBook Pro: Black Screen with No Indicator Lights

A recent successful data recovery case in our lab involved salvaging the data from a Macbook Pro 13” 2016 with a black screen and no indicator lights. In order to recover the data, we had to develop a new technique and acquire new, specially-designed tools.

MacBook: Hard Drive Fails to Boot

Our client here in this Macbook data recovery case was in trouble. Their Macbook had served them well for years—but now it was toast. They would turn the Macbook on, and it would greet them with a gray screen. It was the dreaded Gray Screen of Death.

MacBook Pro: No Power = No Data

Onboard SSDs can make data recovery much more challenging. Complications from many sources can cause problems with the storage device.

MacBook Pro: Gray Screen of Death

In this Macbook Pro data recovery case study, the client turned on their laptop one morning and the dreaded “Gray Screen of Death” popped up. This gray screen, which Apple users may be familiar with, signifies a boot error.

MacBook Pro: Recovering Video Files from FileVault Encrypted Hard Drive

This client brought their hard drive to us after being met with the “Gray Screen of Death.” The failed Hitachi hard drive pulled from their Macbook Pro was fully encrypted. Encryption can greatly complicate the file recovery process.