Revive or restore a Mac with Apple silicon with Apple Configurator 2

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 8:45 PM

What a revive does

In very rare circumstances, such as a power failure during a macOS upgrade, a Mac may become unresponsive and so the firmware must be revived. A revive updates the firmware and updates recoveryOS to the latest version. A revive is designed to not make any changes to the startup volume, the user’s data volume, or any other volumes.

What a restore does

You must restore both the firmware and erase the internal flash storage if:

  • You can’t start the Mac from the startup volume or the recoveryOS

  • Reviving the firmware is unsuccessful

WARNING: Back up your data before you restore your Mac. When you restore a Mac, you are restoring the firmware, updating recoveryOS to the latest version, and erasing and installing the latest version of macOS on your internal storage. When this process is complete, any data on any internal volumes is unrecoverable.

This task covers the following Mac computers with Apple silicon:

  • Mac mini (2020)

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020)

Requirements

To perform this process, you must have:

  • The latest version of Apple Configurator 2 installed on a Mac and have internet access.

    You may need to configure your web proxy or firewall ports to allow all network traffic from Apple devices to Apple’s network 17.0.0.0/8. For more information on the ports used by Apple products, see the Apple Support article Use Apple products on enterprise networks.

  • A supported USB-C to USB-C charge cable, such as the one sold by Apple (may not be available in all countries or regions)

  • A supported USB-A to USB-C cable

The USB-C cable must support both power and data. Thunderbolt 3 cables aren’t supported.

Revive or restore processes

The revive or restore processes involve the following steps:

1. Launching Apple Configurator 2 on the second Mac and connecting the Mac computers

2. Restarting the Mac using a special key sequence

3. Using Apple Configurator 2 to do one of the following:

  • Revive the firmware and reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS.

  • Restore the firmware, erase all data, and reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS and macOS.

Step 1: Set up the Mac with Apple Configurator 2 and connect the USB-C cable

  1. Verify that:

    • You have the latest version of Apple Configurator 2 installed

    • The Mac is plugged into a power source

    • You can connect to the internet

  2. Plug in (along with any adapters needed) the USB-C cable.

    An image showing the user should select the port closest to the Ethernet port on the Mac mini with Apple silicon.
    An image showing the user should select the port closest to the display on the left hand side of the MacBook Pro with Apple silicon.
    An image showing the user should select the port closest to the display on the left hand side of the MacBook Air with Apple silicon.
  3. Launch Apple Configurator 2 .

Step 2: Prepare the Mac mini

  1. Plug in a monitor so you can see when the process is complete.

  2. Disconnect the Mac mini from power for at least 10 seconds.

  3. Press and hold the power button.

  4. Reconnect power while still holding the power button.

  5. Release the power button.

    The status indicator light should be amber in color.

    Note: You won’t see any screen activity from the Mac mini.

Step 2: Prepare the Apple notebook computer

  1. Press the power button.

  2. While holding down the power button, at the same time press all three of the following keys for about 10 seconds:

    • The right Shift key

    • The left Option key

    • The left Control key

  3. After 10 seconds, immediately release the three keys but continue to hold down the power button until it appears in Apple Configurator 2.

    Note: You won’t see any screen activity from the Apple notebook computer.

Step 3: Revive the firmware and install the latest recoveryOS

  1. In the Apple Configurator 2  device window, select the Mac whose chip firmware you want to revive and whose recoveryOS you want updated to the latest version.

    Apple Configurator 2 showing a Mac with Revive Device selected from the pop-up menu.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Actions > Advanced > Revive Device, then click Revive.

    • Control-click the selected device, then choose Advanced > Revive Device, then click Revive.

      Note: If you lose power to either Mac during this process, begin the revive process again.

  3. Wait for the process to complete. During this process, an Apple logo will appear and disappear.

  4. After the process completes, your Mac will reboot.

    Important: When you revive the firmware, you must verify that the process was successful because Apple Configurator 2 may not alert you.

  5. Quit Apple Configurator 2, then unplug any adapters and cables.

Step 3: Restore the firmware, erase all data and reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS and macOS

  1. In the Apple Configurator 2  device window, select the Mac to be restored.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Actions > Restore, then click Restore.

    • Control-click the selected device, then choose Actions > Restore, then click Restore.

      Note: If you lose power to either Mac during this process, begin the restore process again.

  3. An Apple computer about to be restored in Apple Configurator 2.
  4. Wait for the process to complete. During this process, an Apple logo will appear and disappear.

  5. After the process completes, your Mac will restart.

    Important: When you restore the Mac, you must verify that the process was successful because Apple Configurator 2 may not alert you.

  6. If the process was successful, you’re presented with the macOS Setup Assistant.

  7. Quit Apple Configurator 2 and unplug any adapters and cables.