First Mac I ever owned was (and still is) Apple's 2015 standard 12" MacBook. I love it even if it stopped being supported and it's last OS is MacOS Big Sur.

But in 2017 I had to change it's logic board (a drive issue?) and once it came back, after a week I'd noticed it's Serial Number was missing. No biggie? Precisely what I thought, and left it unattended. Happily used it until I'd upgraded.

But I recently came back to my poor abandoded MacBook to see it's iMessage doesn't work, and it can't show itself properly on my other Apple devices. So, I serviced it again (to also replace it's battery) and heard that 'they cannot input the serial number' (they've also started with trying to talk me out of it, like they'd know better) and if I'd want it fixed I'd have to replace the logic board for which I was quoted ~200$.

Displeased, I'd also called my more favourable service (same company) which quoted ~100$ this time, but it was still a quote for the logic board replacement.

When I'd researched the problem in the first place, I've heard of Apple's Blank Board Serializer which was apparently a leaked piece of Apple software used precisely for the problem I was facing. And after fighting to burn it on a drive to boot my MacBook from, I got it open and wrote the SN back on the board, after which my Mac booted like nothing happened and just announced on my other Apple devices it's now used for iMessage.

I understand why such a limitation is placed - harder for you to run Hackintoshes; if device was improperly serviced it's unusable 'so stick with us' - but If I have to sweatily type my SN into suspicious looking software, knowing it won't ever be reversible if typed in wrong, to bring my Mac which was improperly serviced in the first place just to get it to work - isn't this a bit much?

At least it worked 🤷.

Full list of what didn't work on my Mac for people who are facing simmilar difficulties:

  • Software Update Checks (infinite loading)
  • iMessage (infinite signing back in / unknown error when signing in anew)
  • Find My (just doesn't work)
  • iCloud (iCloud Drive didn't seem to work, device wasn't recognised in some places on my iCloud account, and when it was it wasn't using it's setup name)