macOS Big Sur is bricking some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro models

Many users with late 2013 MacBook Pro and mid 2014 MacBook Pro models are reporting that their Macs were bricked when updating to macOS Big Sur. This is an alarming situation for those users and even Apple is aware of it now and looking to fix it.

macOS Big Sur is breaking 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro models

The issue has been reported by users across Reddit, MacRumors forums, and Apple communities. A user on Reddit explained the issue as below:

I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro 13. Tried updating to Big Sur and noticed that after some progress bars the screen turned black. I turned it off after a couple of hours and after turning it back on it wouldn’t boot anymore. Screen turns on, but there’s no chime, fans don’t spin and i can’t get into recovery nor internet recovery. Tried resetting the NVRAM, SMC, connecting to an external monitor, nothing works. Has anything similar happened to anyone else?

Unfortunately, there is no fix that users can perform at home to remedy the situation. If your Mac is not bricked yet and is still on macOS Catalina, the first step here is to disable automatic updates by going to System Preferences > Software Update and unchecking ‘Automatically keep my Mac up to date’. However, if you updated and find out that your display turns on to just a black screen, fans don’t spin and you are unable to use System Recovery, you would have to take your MacBook Pro to an Apple Store or an authorized Apple Service Center.

As per a user on Apple’s forums, the issue is related to the I/O board in MacBook Pro. macOS Big Sur update seems to be damaging the I/O board, specifically the IC chip in the HDMI port. With the help of an engineer, the user was able to get the IC chip removed, and the I/O board plugged back in. This allowed the Mac to work again but at the expense of the following non-functioning features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB ports, SD card reader, and HDMI. This shows that the issue, while software related, is frying some hardware components.

All these MacBook Pros that are getting affected are out of their warranty period. Apple will have to come up with a support plan to help these users so they can have their Macs back in working conditions again.

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