German Repair Shop Invents Tool to Break Apple’s Anti-Repair Locks
A German independent repair shop has come up with a tool that can bypass the anti-repair locks that Apple has placed on a specific sensor on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. This tool, called the Nerd.Tool.1, was designed by Stephan Steins from Dortmund’s Notebook Nerds repair shop. Its purpose is to enable independent repair shops to replace the display angle sensor on broken MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops.
Previously, this replacement could only be done by Apple since the replacement part had to be calibrated with the specific device. However, the Nerd.Tool.1 allows repair technicians to recalibrate replacement sensors without any hassle. This sensor is responsible for detecting when the laptop lid is closed and automatically turning off the screen, fan, and putting the laptop to sleep. If the sensor is broken, the laptop’s screen will remain on even when the lid is closed, causing battery drain, running fans continuously, and potentially shortening the lifespan of the computer.
The Nerd.Tool.1 is now providing independent repair shops with the ability to perform this calibration themselves. “We are calibrating new sensors nearly the same way Apple does,” Steins explained. “They can do it via their T2 [security chip] or their M1/M2 chips. We are using the nerd.tool.1 for this task. The sensor holds all the data. It is not serialized or paired to the logic board, so we are just calibrating it.”
This breakthrough has caused excitement within the independent repair advocate community, as it bypasses Apple’s restrictive measures. In fact, Louis Rossmann, an independent repair advocate and repair professional, described the Nerd.Tool.1 as a tool that “broke Apple’s lock.” In a YouTube video demonstrating the functionality of the tool, Rossmann expressed his frustration, saying, “To whoever it is at Apple who decided to not make this available to technicians, ‘Fuck you, we win.'”
Steins also expressed his enthusiasm for the response they have received from the repair community. “We are selling the nerd.tool.1 to be able to spend time developing other solutions,” he said. “We will do our best to create the nerd.tool.2 to fix other issues that repair shops are facing. The community has been amazing, which demonstrates how valuable these missing tools are for independent repair shops.”
The invention of the Nerd.Tool.1 marks a significant step forward for independent repair shops, as it allows them to expand their services and offer repairs that were previously only possible through Apple. It also highlights the growing demand for independent repair options and the frustration that repair professionals face when faced with restrictive measures from large tech companies like Apple. With the success of the Nerd.Tool.1, it is clear that independent repair advocates are determined to challenge these restrictions and provide customers with more options when it comes to repairing their devices.