The MacBook Pro (Late 2016), also known as the MacBook Escape, was an odd release. Sold as an alternative to the Touch Bar MacBook Pro, these Macs have lower specs in many ways. Just two USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, built-in graphics chip & soldered RAM. Bucking the trend for Apple laptops towards soldered non-removable storage, this Mac features a removable blade SSD. Although this seems positive, it has no benefit to users at all. These Macs shipped with 256GB, 512GB & 1TB versions. Nobody (not even OWC) have created an adapter to read this SSD. Likewise there are currently no third-party SSD upgrades. The proprietary connector and the fact that it only appears in this one series of Macs makes it unlikely we’ll ever see upgrades for the SSD. To make matters worse, this PCIe 3.0 SSD even features a custom Apple controller chip which seems to be the direction Apple is heading with all storage. For instance the iMac Pro features custom Apple SSD controllers as part of the T2 chip. Prior to 2016, the Apple SSDs were a proprietary connector but a standard off-the-shelf SSD design from Toshiba or Sandisk or whoever.
Instead of waiting for adapters, we’ve built a custom data recovery station from the guts of a 2016 MacBook Escape. This allows us to boot from external storage, and recover SSDs attached to the internal port.
Another feature of newer Macs is Filevault encryption. Now enabled by default, this will encrypt your SSD to prevent unauthorised access. You’ll need to give us the login password (or recovery key) so we can unlock the disk and send you the extracted data.
Water & Liquid Damage
Probably the most common case for extracting data from a MacBook is when the laptop has been damaged by water or other liquids. In many cases, the motherboard and battery take the most damage by water. The unusual connector for these SSDs makes extracting data from the 2016 / 2017 MacBooks more challenging. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if the SSD has liquid damage, it will need to be chemically cleaned before attempting to extract the data.
MacBooks affected have the code A1708 printed on the base in tiny print.