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Repair information and guides for the updated version of the 2015 Retina MacBook that was released in early 2016. Model A1534 / EMC 2991

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Hardrive gone : replace motherboard?

Hello folks,

I am so sad, the hard drive of my Macbook 12” Retina 2016 is broken. It happened while I was working: all of a sudden, it restarted and then a question mark in a folder appeared .

With the help of Apple care on the phone, I started recovery mode and did a bunch of tests. Disk utility does not recognize the hard drive.

I came to an Apple Store and they ran a diagnosis which showed that the hard drive is broken. They say I need to replace the entire motherboard for around 700€ (800€$) which is a lot! I’ve tried to negociate with Apple on store and on the phone, they don’t care that my laptop is 3 years old and you expect a better quality.

I don’t know what to do: should I pay? Are there ways to fix the hard drive without replacing the entire motherboard ?

Thank for any help!

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Where do you live? Country and nearest city.


Marseille, France


Ouch! Sorry I don't find any one of our Pro's near you that might have been able to help you.


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Both Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash chips are soldered to the motherboard. Not worth repairing. Live and learn

Next time research BEFORE you buy. Repairability is very important.

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I knew it was difficult to repair but I thought you did not need to replace entire sections of hardware. As you say, live and learn :(

Are there still repairable MacBooks out there?



Hi Sam,

Here's IFIXIT's "Laptop Repairability Scores":

Unfortunately Macs are not really very repairable. Mainly because the parts are proprietary. Look at the breakdown for your model:

Retina MacBook 2016 Teardown

especially step 7 and 8 photos of the main board.

HP EliteBooks win hands down. Some DELL laptops are good as well. For example my HP laptop requires 5 minutes to replace hard drive, RAM and WiFi card in one go and scores full 10 points.

I just stick to facts. I'm not loyal to any one brand of laptop like I am to my football club.


@samgta - Sadly, Apple has lost its way in understanding its customer base.

The eye candy of the looks and the functionality are what our heads like, but later our hearts ache when we need to fix or extend our systems.

From 2015 onwards MacBooks are only serviceable by four expensive module's. Even the 2016 onwards MacBook Pro's are in the same boat!


@aactech And I did a hard drive in a E7440 I got dirt cheap within 5-10 minutes, along with the thermal paste. You even get access to the RAM, WWAN/mSATA SSD and WLAN card. It took longer to remove it from the test machine then it took to install it.

Once you remove the fan, the required repaste is super easy on the E7440 :-). Mine has the i7-4600U and I got it for less then $100 over a boot issue as a 2 machine pair - both came back albeit with one needing a 2nd screen as there was TAB issues with the first one that replaced the blown backlight panel it came with. I tend to like the Dells more for serviceabiliy these days after they sent the buried D series design to die (and fixed the E5 motherboard design with Skylake). Although some of the nice HPs like the Z line give Dell tough service competition. Even some of the newer Haswell-present EliteBooks are up there with Dell. For me, it's easier for me to get Dell parts then HP or Lenovo.

I'm super picky and the only times I've seen the benchmark I put machines against pass are business class. Never seen a consumer class pass - the compromises are a problem for the benchmark I use, especially since I hate plastic and favor metal. Metal laptops are actually built to last, but I also like carbon fiber composite as well - it's raw ABS I hate. Carbon fiber composite metal hybrids are even better if done right. I generally like a metal base, ABS palmrest since it isn't a structural issue and carbon fiber composite LCD assemblies - although magnesium backed aluminum is fine even though it weighs more.

They copy the best on the business side and leave the bad ideas behind for a reason - corporate customer word of mouth. You only ever see non-serviceable garbage on the consumer side for good reason; consumers don't talk but people who own business class hardware do.



We're a bit off topic here but ya I like my HP Elitebook 8570p Laptop business machine. Slide off bottom panel to service/upgrade and built like a tank. Heavy though.


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Give Louis Rossman a call and see if he has a cheaper fix.

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Mayer! He's in Marseille, France not New York.


@arbaman might just be a lot closer ;-)


@oldturkey03 next door by world standards, but I'm not soldering on youtube videos ;) Thanks for thinking about me M. , hope life's treating you kindly :)


@arbaman so good to hear from you my friend. Was worried about all the stuff going on at your home. Stay safe brother!!!


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Sam Gta sarà eternamente grato.
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