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Damaged your fancy new Mac? Things might not be as hopeless as you think

MacBook Pro 13-inch M2 model in an office on a desk
(Image credit: Future)
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Data recovery company DriveSavers appears to have become the first firm to successfully retrieve data from M1-powered Apple Macs that have been “damaged beyond repair”.

The company claims its engineers have identified the steps necessary to access data stored within the latest Apple devices and developed a technique for surgically transplanting M-series silicon onto new, functional boards.

“Through dedicated research and development, DriveSavers Data Recovery engineers have determined the optimal techniques for safe and effective data recovery, minimizing the risk of data loss,” the company said in a press release (opens in new tab).

Hacking the Mac

Typically, recovering data from the SSD of a damaged Mac has been no easy feat. As our sister site Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) explains, the SSD controller is embedded within the M1 SoC, so if the chip is damaged, the data may effectively end up trapped.

What’s more, in order to gain access to data, a number of components must remain connected to one another via the logic board, adding additional complexity to the data recovery process.

However, DriveSavers claims to have found a workaround for these problems, by reverse-engineering Apple’s security protocols in order to understand what conditions need to be met for data to be retrieved.

“The talent and expertise of DriveSavers data recovery engineers are unmatched,” said Mike Cobb, Director of Engineering, who made no attempt to conceal his pride in the achievement.

“Add to that the company’s enormous inventory of donor devices, including the latest MacBook Pro, that we’re able to strip for parts at a moment’s notice. DriveSavers is hands-down the most capable at 

recovering data from these ultra-advanced, ultra-secure devices.”

The DriveSavers announcement will be music to the ears of anyone who has damaged a recently-purchased Mac, but also shines a light on the importance of a comprehensive data backup strategy.

The best way to shield against data loss is to follow the 3-2-1 rule: keep three copies of your data across two different media types (e.g. cloud storage and external hard drive), with one copy kept in a separate location. By following this method, device owners will minimize the need to turn to a data recovery service in the first place. 

Joel Khalili
Joel Khalili

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.