iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro devices repaired by third-parties will be automatically locked if the proprietary Apple Service Toolkit 2 diagnostics software is not run after replacing critical components according to a report by Motherboard.
Moreover, in the case of the iMac Pro, the Service Toolkit 2 diagnostics have to be run after replacing the computer's logic board or flash storage.
If you repair your 2018 MacBook Pro, you have to make sure that you run Apple Service Toolkit 2 after switching the logic board, display assembly, or the top case (the touchpad, keyboard, and internal housing).
Both Mac models mentioned above feature the new Apple T2 chip responsible for managing multiple system components, from the system management controller and audio controller to the image signal processor and the SSD controller.
Furthermore, the T2 chip also integrates the devices' Secure Enclave coprocessors which control the secure boot feature, the encrypted storage, and the Touch ID authentication process.
Owners of Macs with the T2 chips will only be able to repair them through an official Apple service or an Authorized Service Provider
According to a document Apple sent to Authorized Service Providers, "for Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair."
The issue is that even if the repair is flawlessly performed, the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro will lock automatically and the computer will be usable again only after visiting Apple or one of its Authorized Service Providers and having it checked with the Apple Service Toolkit 2.
In a different internal training presentation also cited by Motherboard, it is unveiled that “Apple Service Toolkit and Apple Service Toolkit 2 are available only to persons working at Apple-authorized service facilities.”
Home repairs and repairs made through independent services will become a thing of the past knowing that Apple Service Toolkit 2 has to be run after changing the hardware configuration of T2 chip-enabled Macs and that the diagnostics suite will only be available to Apple authorized service personnel.
Apple might reconsider this approach given that right to repair legislation could be enacted by multiple US states, although according to New York public records Cupertino is already lobbying against the bill.