New third-party MacBook repair tool gives you the right to repair

Fixing the problem with the sleep sensor [YouTube/Louis Rossmann]

A tool was created to help independent repairers services to solve a common problem with MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that is usually fixed by Apple due to software elements.

Apple has been criticized for some time for its use of serialization and other restrictions that make it difficult for repair shops to repair Apple hardware without access to Apple tools and parts. While there is still significant work to be done, one YouTube video claims there is a solution to at least one component failure that no longer requires Apple's intervention.

In May, longtime proponent of component-level repair YouTuber Louis Rossmann posted a video about an issue with MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models that would not turn off or turn on when the lid was closed or opened. . The problem was related to a small element called an angle sensor or sleep sensor, which is supposed to automatically put the MacBook to sleep or wake it up depending on the position of the lid.

If the sensor is not working, then the MacBook lid cannot switch between sleep and wake modes.

Previously, replacing the sensor with an identical component from another MacBook did not work, despite the fact that the hardware is almost the same component. This meant that something had to be done related to the software.

In a video posted Friday, Rossman said this is because the replacement sensor isn't calibrated for the MacBook it's being installed into. Additionally, Rossmann adds that MacBooks with a replaceable, uncalibrated sensor do not go into sleep mode “for your safety.”

This could still be repaired by repair shops in cases where the sensor connection became corroded, as removing the corrosion could make the sensor work again. However, this did not guarantee that it would work.

Instead of performing repairs for customers, repair shops often refer them to Apple for repairs. In some cases, customers were told that the repair would require a complete replacement of the MacBook's motherboard, which could end up costing $1,000.

Fixing the problem, not the problem

A Saturday YouTube video shows the actual solution to the problem using a new third-party tool without Apple's involvement. Made by German company Notebook Nerds, nerd.tool.1 is said to solve the sleep sensor problem by recalibrating the new component.

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Connecting the replacement sensor to the cover and tool, for It will take a few minutes and two button presses to complete the repair. The sensor is then demonstrated to perform as originally intended.

The creation of this tool is certainly a step forward for Rossmann and the Right to Repair movement, as it is a workaround for a fix that would normally require Apple's intervention to actually complete. Since repairs are performed entirely by a third party using parts obtained outside of Apple's support system, it opens the door to more repairs being performed outside of Apple's involvement.

For right-to-repair advocates, however, this is just a small step because of issues such as serialization of parts.

Apple has taken steps to allow third-party repair shops to repair hardware using genuine Apple parts and tools through its Independent Repair Vendor program. However, there have been complaints that Apple is slow to respond and that parts costs are high, making it difficult for repair shops with Apple's own support system to compete effectively.

The new tool and its ability to solve a common problem while using parts sourced separately from Apple gives hope that other similar breakthroughs could be realized in the future.

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