Erasing a stuck MacBook Pro

My MacBook Pro has failed.I have no control over my MacBook Pro. The screen displays bands of color but nothing else. I’ve tried all ways of booting up with negative results. Find my computer doesn’t show the computer so I can’t remotely erase it. HDMI to another monitor doesn’t help.
How can I erase/destroy the SSD before recycling short of whaling into it with a 5lb sledge hammer? (Which I doubt will work with that solid aluminum case.)
I’m replacing it with a new MBAir.

What does Hardware Diagnostics say? Boot holding d.

Hi Simon,
No luck booting with d.

Best Regards,


I assume you’ve tried booting from an external drive of some sort. What about Target Disk Mode to another Mac?

If the internal drive is so fried that you can’t boot in any way, and you can’t mount it from another Mac in any way, your data is probably safely damaged too. Unless you have corporate or state secrets, I wouldn’t stress about it.

And if you do, just beat the thing into shards with that hammer. I’m sure you can do a lot of damage quickly.

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What model MBP? Depending on how old it is, you may be able to remove and destroy the SSD, recycling the rest of the system.

Did you also try opt-d at boot for AHT over the internet? If your disk or its interface is totally hosed your Mac might not be able to serve up AHT locally.

So this MacBook Pro was purchased 2/07/2018. I’ll try attaching an image of the screen from my iPhone. There is definitely some information behind the bars of color but no way to reveal what it is. On one of my many attempts I was able to distinguish a few pixels of the cursor which I could move up and down along the right edge of the black bar but could accomplish nothing.

Did you get AppleCare with it? Perhaps you can get an Apple Store to take a look.

That model has a soldered SSD so if you want to be really paranoid about it, you’re going to have to open it up and drill through the memory chips. I’d probably not be quite that paranoid and I have to admit I find some appeal in @ace’s suggestion of taking a hammer to it. :wink:

Thanks. You should be able to see a model number etched on the lower case (a number like A####), which we can use to identify the model. but if you bought it from Apple in 2018, then it probably has soldered-down storage.

Looking at the photo, it would seem that the computer itself is running and you’ve got a display problem. I would guess it’s a GPU problem and not the LCD panel because you said an external HDMI display didn’t work.

I concur with @ace about trying target disk mode to see if you can access its SSD from another Mac. If you don’t have another Mac, you can use the new Air you’re planning to purchase.

If this works, you can copy your documents to another device (e.g. another Mac’s SSD or a USB drive). From there, you can also erase the broken Mac’s SSD.

Another reason for “Right to Repair”. Or at least to remove a component that might need to be upgraded, replaced, or in this case, destroyed. I wonder if Apple would charge to remove and destroy it?

Did you have FileVault enabled (ie the drive was encrypted)? If so, I wouldn’t worry too much about not being able to erase or destroy the SSD. Unless you are being specifically monitored and targeted by a state security agency, the chance of anyone having the resources and time to break into the SSD is tiny/nonexistent.

If all you want to do is destroy the storage (and the part of the board underneath), you can just take a chisel and remove the flash chips. Destroy them and scrap the rest as e-waste (or maybe sell/give it to a repair shop for spare parts if anybody would want it).

You only need tools and skills if you plan on using the computer afterward (e.g. installing replacement flash chips, although that would require special Apple-only software in order to pair them with the T2).

Is this a 2016 or 2017 model of the function keys 13" MBP? If it’s the 2016 model the SSD actually sits on a daughter board you can easily remove.

The 2017 model I’m not entirely sure about yet.

I appreciate all the kind hearted effort on my behalf. Thank you.
I was able to borrow a Thunderbolt cable with which I was able to connect my MB Air M1 to my wife’s broken MB Pro which I could then access in target Disk Mode and using Disk Utility I erased her drive 3 times.
Thank you all again. Next step was the hammer. :sunglasses:


Exactly what I was thinking, both about the graphics card and target mode.

Isn’t it worth repairing? It’s not that old. I’m not saying the MBA won’t be good.

What model macbooks are you referring to? I was able to keep 3 2011 era macbook pros running by altering the GPU usage. There were some limitations, but was effective. Ultimately depends on the effort you are willing to put in.

I appreciate all your concern about my problem with the MacBook Pro. I erased it and it has gone to recycling.
Louise is using her new MB Air.
Thanks again.

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