There appears to be an issue with the MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Touch ID. There are multiple articles online and videos of customers complaining about MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Touch ID users recently began running into an issue where the machine will not power power-on displaying below error. Unfortunately, I’m one of those customers and there is no easy fix.
“A critical software update is required for your Mac, but a network issue was encountered while installing this update. Your Mac can’t be used until this update is installed.”
Some MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Touch ID users have reported being able to resolve the issue by reinstalling macOS using the utilities in macOS Recovery, but that was unfortunately not the case for me. Neither connecting the laptop to a wired network using the Apple USB Ethernet Adapter even at the apple store, nor reinstalling macOS resolves the issue. Resetting the NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) and SMC (System Management Controller) on the MacBook Pro also doesn’t fix the issue. This problem is often traced back only to MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Touch ID. Apple Genius Bar also went through the same process to no avail. Running Apple Diagnostics return reference code ADP000, which indicate “No issues found” with the hardware. Customers show not be subjected to this unreasonable or undue burden especially is they are expected to pay for the repairs.
Apple introduced the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and as part of the assembly, it contains a sapphire Touch ID sensor. This also included what it has dubbed the T1 chipset. The new chipset, debuting on the MacBook Pro implements Apple’s secure enclave, independent of macOS and the Intel processor contained within. It appears by design that the Touch Bar runs independent of macOS, as the bar is used to turn on the computer and authenticate a user. With the addition of its SMC role which requires early activity, the role of the T1 chip in Secure Boot makes it clear that it loads its own firmware well before the EFI firmware and enforces set security policy. In the unlikely event that a T1 firmware update goes wrong, a T1-equipped Mac is unable to start the normal EFI boot process and has to undergo a special recovery procedure.
Several components in the new MacBook Pro appear to be governed by the secure enclave in the T1. As a result, it is possible that a failure of any of the related components would necessitate repairs. This places the customers at an unreasonable burden if having to pay for the repairs or have to purchase Apple care plus in the event this issue arises.