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macOS Big Sur has ‘bricked’ some older MacBooks, users claim

A number of Apple MacBook users with older machines are reporting a major issue with the new macOS Big Sur update, claiming installation has rendered their machines unusable.

Apple released the major macOS Big Sur operating system update last week, with compatibility extending as far back as some 2013 models.

However, MacRumors brings word from owners of some MacBook Pro models from late-2013 and mid-2014, who say their laptops have been bricked by the update.

Users on the MacRumors forum, as well as the Apple Support communities and this Reddit thread are highlighting the issue.

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Those affected say after they attempted to install the operating system their display turned black. Attempts to reboot and run through the various SMC, PRAM and NVRAM resets have proven fruitless. Now the machines will not boot, not even in recovery mode.

It’s not clear how many machines have been affected by the issue, but the MacRumors thread features a “significant” number of users reporting the issue.

One MacBook owner, na1577 writes: “It got stuck on a black screen during installation so I restarted my MBP. Now it won’t show boot options, recovery mode, nothing. The backlight comes on and that’s it.”

Behzadsh also points out: “During the installation, my MacBook Pro stuck on a blank black screen. I tried to boot from USB, boot recovery, reset NVRAM, SMC with no luck. Seems like the notebook is bricked. When I press the power button, only the screen turns on and the Apple logo on the lid back. no sound, no Apple logo at screen, nothing.”

Other users say their MacBooks have been stuck on the installation screen for hours on end, with progress stalled at around 95%. Whether there are issues with the installation files or a problem with the operating system itself is not clear.

Apple has not publicly addressed the reported issues. We’ve approached the company for a comment on the matter. In the meantime, we may suggest some caution (and a backup) before attempting to install Big Sur on your primary Mac.

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