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Apple removes the Customer Data Migration Tool connector in the the 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The Customer Data Migration Tool connector as seen in the 2016 MacBook Pro. (Source: MacRumors)
The Customer Data Migration Tool connector as seen in the 2016 MacBook Pro. (Source: MacRumors)
iFixit has discovered in its recent teardown of the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar that Apple has removed the Customer Data Migration Tool connector from the logic board. The connector helped in transferring data to a functioning MacBook in the event of a logic board failure but it now looks like customers should use inbuilt backup options such as Time Machine on a frequent basis to safeguard their data.

If you've been contemplating about purchasing a 2018 MacBook Pro, apart from the keyboard and throttling issues, there's one more fact to be wary of. iFixit's recent teardown has revealed that the new logic board forgos the Customer Data Migration Tool connector, which means you need to start paying more attention to taking regular backups as a precaution against logic board failure. 

In all MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, the SSD is soldered on to the logic board. The 2016 and 2017 models provided a connector on the logic board, which can interface with the Customer Data Migration Tool. So in the event of a logic board failure but the SSD still intact, a Genius Bar or an Apple Authorized Service Provider can simply connect the tool to the logic board and recover user data using the Migration Assistant onto a functioning MacBook. 

Now, in the 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Apple seems to have removed this connector making the tool incompatible. MacRumors says it has contacted multiple sources who have confirmed that data recovery is not possible if the logic board has failed. As long as the board is functioning, data can be recovered using Target Disk Mode. The sources say that the connector had to be removed because the 2018 models feature the T2 chip that provides hardware encryption for the SSD. 

An internal 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide also prompts service centers to advise customers for frequent Time Machine backups to safeguard data in the event of a logic board failure. While it goes without saying that periodic data backups are highly recommended, the removal of this useful fall back method will mean that for an unforeseen logic board failure can prove to be very dear in terms of data loss.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 07 > Apple removes the Customer Data Migration Tool connector in the the 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-07-25 (Update: 2018-07-25)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.