MacRumors reports several of its users have bricked their new M1-based Apple Mac computers by performing a simple system restore. When attempting to restore the machine, it gets stuck on an error screen that says "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update." One user says he called to AppleCare, they reportedly told him that 75 other people had called in with this issue:
MacRumors reader RyanFlynn describes the problem:
I just received my M1 MacBook Pro and Macbook Air. Because I don't need any of the included software, it is always my procedure to restore the operating system without things like garage band and iMovie.
during the install process, an error occurs relating to "customizing the system update"
after a couple hours on the phone with Apple care, they told me that 75 other people have called in with this issue, and They have no work around. I was instructed to return my systems, or wait for a fix. Without having an operating system running, there is no way for me to install any future updates, so these computers are effectively bricked.
The only known fix at the moment requires a secondary Mac to revive the M1-based machine. At the moment, it's best to avoid the Mac restore feature until there's a fix.