macOS 11 (Big Sur) bricks older MacBooks

[German]This is not good news for Apple and especially Apple device owners. After Apple has released its macOS 11 (Big Sur), owners of older Macs (especially MacBook Pros) who have been bricked with the update will get in touch.


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In Apple’s support forum a user reported on November 13th that his MacBook Pro was dead after the update to macOS 11 Bit Sur.

MacBook Pro bricked after failed Big Sur update

I saw that there was an update to Big Sur today so clicked update. It all downloaded fine and I clicked all the items to go ahead. It said it’d be a while so i stepped away from the computer. When i returned the screen was black – no status bar, no nothing, but I could tell the LED was on. Nothing would wake it up so I eventually held the power button to force a shutdown.

Now it won’t boot. Tried SMC, PRAM, holding shift, option keys, recovery mode etc etc. Tried all many many times.

The only thing that happens is the LED for the screen turns on. So i can see it’s slightly lit black, and the apple logo on the outside of the screen is lit up.

An automatic Catalina update destroyed my dads iMac a month or two back – resulting in a new SSD and a cracked screen from opening it up. And now my MacBook Pro (A1502) is now dead?? What’s the deal?

In the forum thread, other users acknowledge this problem, and one user then linked further reports on the same problem from the Internet and published a summary.

I wrote a summary

Dear all MBP Pro 13 Inch Mid 2014 & late 2013 folks with a black screen during/ after Big Sur installation,

I did some research here and in the Apple support forum & reddit.

This is what I found sofar:

A lot of MBP Pro 13 Mid 2014 & late 2013 users have the same issue.

I counted at least around 30 (not eliminating all the doubles of users)

1. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/during-install-stuck-on-black-screen.2267620/

2. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252033190

3. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252040614

4. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2520335475.

Symptoms in common:

If you switch the MBP on, apple logo is lit,

No chime, no keyboard lights, no apple logo appears on the screen,

caps lock led doesn’t light up when I press it,

nothing on the screen.

No loud fan activity first gets louder after some minute or so.

NVRAM and SMC resets do not work either.

MBP would only turn on. No chime, no keyboard lights, nothing.

People contacting Apple support were asked to sent the notebooks to repair.

Meanwhile the thread in the Apple forum already has six pages. Some people have managed to get the system running again via recovery. I don’t know, whether this Apple instruction sequence helps those affected. In the macrumors forum, other users have posted photos of this, the update simply hangs. Macrumors has published a summary here.


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