Gold or Rose Gold

This article is to clear up confusion over the colours of the 2017 Retina MacBook 12″, specifically the types of gold. When the range launched in June 2016 it featured the same Silver, Space Grey, Gold and Rose Gold colour options as the previous 2016 range.

In October 2018, Apple quietly changed the lineup. They dropped the Rose Gold option completely but confusingly changed the colour of the Gold model making it much redder and effectively producing a model half way between the original yellow Gold and the very pink Rose Gold. What they did not do is change what they called this warmer colour so it is still referred to as Gold. For clarity, we refer to this new colour as Gold v2 or Warm Gold.

This has led to these Warm Gold models being mis-identified as Rose Gold. It means when sourcing replacement casing parts, it is common to order the wrong colour part. Even if you know the MacBook is a Gold model, how do you tell if it is the v1 or v2 colour. All three are very different!

As you would expect, Apple has different service part numbers for the v1 and v2 Gold casing parts (display, top case & bottom case) with the exception of the bottom casing screws which it did not revise, and the audio board which always used the same part for the Gold and Rose Gold.

So how do you confirm which colour you have if you are unsure? When all three are next to each other it’s obvious but on their own it can be difficult to tell. One way is to enter your serial number into the Apple serial decoder on our Apple parts store. This may be able to confirm the colour but it may not in some cases. If you are really unsure and plan to purchase a case component, contact us first with your serial number and we can confirm it for you.

For reference, here are the Apple service part numbers for the case parts

Rose GoldGold v1Gold v2
Display661-06788661-06787661-09981
Top Case661-06796661-06795661-09984
Bottom Case661-06792661-06791661-09982
Posted in Questions and Answers | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fixing Apple Install USB Sticks

As a general user, you may not have a need for creating an install USB stick, or you may not even know it was possible!

If you have a USB install stick and you’ve gone to use it recently, you would have been met with the following message:Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 16.19.27

Our first thought was ‘this install stick has worked on hundreds of other machines with no problem’. But naturally, we moved onto another install stick assuming it was corrupted. Being that we get through large numbers of machines on a weekly basis, its no surprise that we have hundreds of install sticks in active deployment around the work zone, but all OS installers from 10.10 up to 10.15 all came up with the same error, regardless of how recently it was created.

To save you a lot of research, and some head scratching, here is a description of what is happening, and how to fix it.

The install package of the downloaded file has a certificate that is dated for 24th October 2019, regardless of the date it was downloaded from the App Store. We have installers that were only downloaded a week before this date, and they expired the same time as our oldest install sticks.

Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 16.31.58

Coincidentally, this isn’t the first time this issue has occurred, as it happened once before back in 2015. Licensing on Apple’s install downloads are not dated from the date they are downloaded, but rather all downloads are strapped with the same expiry date from the time the installer was put together.
So, re-formatting your install stick with the same installer you downloaded from Apple’s App Store (whether it be last week or 3 years ago) will not work unfortunately.

The only fix we’ve found for this issue is to delete the old install file, then re-download the file again from Apple’s system. They have updated the certificates within the installer with a new expiry date of 14th April 2029.

Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 16.32.41

Installers that don’t require a certificate are:

  • 10.7 Lion
  • 10.8 Mountain Lion
  • 10.9 Mavericks

Installers that require a certificate are:

  • 10.10 Yosemite
  • 1.011 El Capitan
  • 10.12 Sierra
  • 10.13 High Sierra
  • 10.14 Mojave
  • 10.15 Catalina

INSTALLIMAGES2

image labels:
Blue – No certificate required.
Red – Certificate required, but terminal command needed.
Green – Certificate required, but updated download file available.

Frustratingly, in true Apple form, they have only updated the licensing on the last 3 installer files, 10.13, 10.14 and 10.15. This means that, at the time of writing this post, there is currently no way of re-downloading and updating your install sticks for 10.10, 10.11 and 10.12 to work without throwing up this error. But we have found a work around.

The reason these OS versions throw up that error is because the date and time from the SMC show a date after the certificate expiration date. The easiest way of fixing this issue is to backdate your machines date and time to any date before 24th October 2019.

We do this through a terminal command, which can be done from the install stick itself, so doesn’t require a fully booting operating system to do.

IMG_8160

1 – disable wifi on the installer (it will automatically update the date and time to the current date if wifi is enabled)

IMG_8162

Open Terminal from the install stick

Type in the following command exactly as it is written:

  1. date 102012302019
  2. Hit return

Then simply quit terminal and run the installer like normal.

This reset is simply a date string written in digit form, in the following order. So any numbers will do, as long as they are before the certificate expiration date.

MM (month) DD (day) HH (hour) mm (minute) YYYY (year). We picked 20th October 2019, 12:30pm as an example.

Once the install is completed, you can set your clock back to normal, as it is only the installer files certificate that has expired, not the operating system itself.

Here are some links to the latest download files if you don’t have them currently. (earlier OS versions are only available if you previously download them against your iCloud account when they were first released)

They will not always remain active, but they can be found through Apple’s website and App Store:

Direct links

Apple support pages:

 

If you would like to have a backup install stick to hand in case of an emergency, we have them all available on our website: Purchase Install Stick

Posted in Apple News, How To Guides, Questions and Answers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How The T2 Chip Directly Affects Right To Repair

When Apple first announced their addition of the T2 chip in their machines, starting with the iMac Pro, then all machines starting from 2018, it was a big shock to many in the repair industry. Currently, the biggest resistance Apple have had in relation to their machines ‘repairability’ have been iFixit, who push service guides and push customers to complete their own repairs, and the ‘Right To Repair’ movement that started a few years ago and has been steadily gaining momentum.

When first releasing the spec sheet for the T2 chip, the main shock to the techie followers  (of Apple) is the fact that it is effectively designed to fully lock down the machine if needed. Apple countered this fear with the following statement:

“The Apple T2 Security Chip brings a new level of integration and security to Mac.”

Attached here is a link to their description of the T2 Chip – https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT208862

We have been watching the back and forth intently, as being an independent parts provider and repair company, we need to know how to deal with these later models when they inevitably start coming in for repair, or customers start requesting we source parts for them.

Up until today, our concerns had been put on the back burner, as we had been comforted by the thought that the T2 Chip has been implemented to provide a wider level of security for the end user, as all the internal storage is integrated onto the logic board in the majority of these machines now. More security to the customer is always a good thing, right? (if you remember the passwords you set for them that is, but thats another story) It has now come to our attention today that the T2 Chip is, unfortunately, designed to do a bit more than just secure the customers data.

Without going into too much technical detail, the T2 Chip is effectively mapped to the other major components in the machine. Such parts as the main logic board, the complete display, the top case and the battery. (it may affect other parts as well, but these are the only ones known at the time of writing) Each individual part is internally serialised on the controller boards, and those serial numbers are logged on the T2 Chip. Now, the main fear that arose when the T2 Chip was announce, is that this would render a machine a non-starter (not functional) after any of these parts had been replaced if not fitted by Apple themselves. But recent information has confirmed that not to be the case.

Basically, you can replace parts within your machine all you want, but if you ever want to take your machine into Apple again to have any repair done, the T2 Chip will log that there is a serial number discrepancy, and your warranty will be marked as ‘void’, even if the part previously having been replaced is completely unrelated to the current fault. If you want to take it in for non warranty work, in most cases they will accept the job in. But the new internal GSX system will not allow them to complete an MRI test on the machine because of the serial number discrepancy, which means Apple will not allow any parts to be sold at the normal ‘Exchange’ price, which is the only way to get a service spare at a reasonable price from Apple. You’ll get quoted the outright purchase price of the parts in order for the job to be completed.

All in all, this seems not only counter intuitive, but completely against the Right-To-Repair movement. Apple have always said their machines are recyclable, but unfortunately, their understanding of the term goes against what we believe in so many ways. We believe in reusing, repairing and if all that fails, recycle efficiently (not into landfill). Making machines harder to repair, then making is so you can either pay extortionate prices on repairs or throw it away and get a new one is not a great solution.

Let us know what you think, and how this will affect you as either a user or a repair company, as it would be interesting to see some other experiences of this T2 Chip saga… As its likely to continue

Posted in Apple News, Questions and Answers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment