Apple Configurator 2: Make a "dead" Intel Mac with T2 chip usable again

Especially after the release of a new "Monterey" macOS system from Apple, there are increasing reports of Macs that apparently have not been able to cope with the upgrade. This error can occur after a macOS update (within the same major version) or after a macOS upgrade (ascent to a higher system) - then the Mac can no longer be switched on or even no longer reacts to inputs during the installation. You can read here how you can "revive" an Intel Mac with the Apple Configurator 2.

TL; DR: Here is all the information, instructions and downloads you need

Apple Configurator 2 - The Mac, the iMac or the MacBook does not turn on after the macOS installation, the screen remains black. Here you can find the solution for Intel models with a T2 chip.

Apple Configurator 2 - The Mac, the iMac or the MacBook does not turn on after the macOS installation, the screen remains black. Here you can find the solution for Intel models with a T2 chip.

Apple computer no longer works: Repair Mac with Intel chip

"In rare cases, such as a power failure while a macOS update or upgrade is in progress, a Mac may stop responding and the firmware may need to be repaired or restored“, Says Apple. But the error can also occur apart from problems with the power supply. 

When installing macOS 11 Big Sur or macOS 12 Monterey, among other things, it can happen that the Intel-based Mac, iMac, Intel MacBook or similar no longer reacts, no longer starts up and otherwise just stays off. The application "Apple Configurator 2", which is officially published by the manufacturer, can help here. 

Seems like B. after the macOS Monterey upgrade the Apple computer unusable, then take a look on the corresponding Apple support page past. There you will find information on using the app, a list of requirements and a list of compatible Macs. 

Because not only is an Intel chip a prerequisite for repairing or restoring the affected computer, but also that it has a T2 security chip. The difference between "repair" and "restore" is as follows:

  • Mac repair with Apple Configurator 2: Update the firmware without erasing the flash memory. The system, the data and installed apps remain intact so that there is or should not be any loss of data.
  • Mac recovery with Apple Configurator 2: Update the firmware and delete macOS and RecoveryOS. The systems are then reloaded. As an intermediate step, the flash memory is erased, whereby all data is lost.

Required devices, accessories and requirements for the process

In order to be able to use the Apple Configurator 2, you not only need the apparently broken Mac, iMac or the MacBook that can no longer be activated. A second Apple computer is required, which, like the first, has a Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 port. Because the Apple Configurator 2 must be installed on this intact Mac. Then the two computers must be connected to each other using a USB-C to USB-C cable. Only then can the two options explained above be selected.

Apple Configurator 2 for Intel Macs can be used with these models

As mentioned above, the Apple computer that no longer starts must have an Apple T2 security chip in addition to the Intel CPU so that the program can do its work. The following list of computers that meet this description can be found on the linked Apple site:

  • iMac (2020)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • Mac mini (2018)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13 ″, 2020, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13 ″, 2020, two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13 ″, 2019, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13 ″, 2019, two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13 ″, 2018, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (16 ″, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (15 ″, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (15 ″, 2018)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13 ″, 2020)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13 ″, 2019)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13 ″, 2018)

Important note: Depending on the model, a specific connection must be selected from the list for the procedure. Not every Thunderbolt or USB-C port can be used to perform the repair or recovery functions of the Apple Configurator 2 from another Mac. You can find out which connections you have to use to establish the connection in the guide linked above. 

There are also pictures there so that you can see exactly whether the connection has to be on the far left or the far right. The respective interfaces on MacBook, Mac mini, iMac, Mac and Co. are marked in green so that there are no misunderstandings. So first read the document carefully, only then should you get started - even if you want to use your Mac again as soon as possible. I wish you success!

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2 comments

  1. Peter says:

    It is shocking that as an Apple user today you have to deal with such (potential or apparently not so rare) problems, and that with normal, quasi-regular system updates and not with any paradigm shifts in the operating system. And last but not least with machines that are possibly just 1–2 year old and not just any “old sweetheart”.

    As someone who doesn't have his Mac for fun, but has to earn his living with it every day, I have absolutely no understanding of Apple's “nerve” to pour out obviously immature system / update software on their users and then at best with more or less cryptic “help” "-Leave documents out in the rain.

    In spite of everything, I am still a bit sorry to have to admit that I have now largely lost the trust in the MacOS system software that I had acquired over the past decades and that I do not necessarily do every corresponding (system) update that I mean today having to avoid.

    A (stink) normal security update combined with a Safari update made sure that my iMac, which was just over a year old and by no means littered with all sorts of bells and whistles, kept the screen black and he did didn't want to start again. When that is the primary work computer, it becomes a little different - BackUp or not.

    Good for those who have a competent Apple service partner nearby who just has the time and resources to - with a little luck - quickly find a remedy ...

    The days when I only smiled gently at problems regularly reported by Windows users from my Apple / Mac point of view are definitely over.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hi Peter! Yes, I have to agree with you. I'm also always "slower" with updates because I need my Mac for work. If it doesn’t even start up and you need a second Mac to revive it, then from my point of view that’s nothing you can expect from a customer. Apple really should have tested better here. But I wonder how the bug "got through". After all, a lot of beta testers install the systems ... and then you hadn't heard that a Mac would no longer start at all. In any case, it was completely new to me.

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