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Specifically for iMac Pros, this lockdown will come into force if you replace the logic board of flash storage and will render the machine unusable until the Apple Service Toolkit 2 is used by a member of Apple’s Authorized Service Provider program.
Depending on how pessimistic you’re feeling, you can take this news in one of two ways. Hardware and software security is very much in the news these days and Apple could be genuinely taking steps to make their products that much harder to tamper with, as they move even closer towards a sealed appliance experience.
On the other side of the coin, there is no doubt that Apple is making their machines harder to repair for the everyman. If something goes wrong with your Mac you’re being left with fewer and fewer options before you’ll have to send it off to Apple’s ‘reasonably priced’ own repair service.