Macs running on Apple silicon are pretty great. But whenever there’s a major hardware transition, many wise people point out that it’s safer to wait rather than rushing in, because there are always growing pains.
In the case of the M1 Macs, the growing pains seem awfully mild, but there’s one area where they are being felt: wiping and restoring. It’s not surprising, really, given that Apple built a new boot process based on the one found on iOS, but adapted for all of the needs of the Mac.
In any event, in certain cases the act of wiping and restoring an M1 Mac can get complicated, as this article from Mr. Macintosh points out:
Order of that you should follow for reinstalling macOS on Apple Silicon.
1. macOS Recovery
2. System Recovery – (Will boot automatically if macOS Recovery is unavailable)
3. macOS Big Sur USB Installer Drive – (External boot for macOS Installers is enabled by default on Apple Silicon)
4. Apple Configurator 2 REVIVE option – This option will reinstall macOS Recovery (retains user data on the SSD hard drive)
5. Apple Configurator 2 RESTORE option – This option will Reinstall macOS Recovery, ERASE
your SSD hard drive and reinstall macOS
It’s a change, and a little messy, but things are slowly resolving. And Apple has posted numerous tech notes about the issues. It’s worth bookmarking all of this just in case you end up in a situation where you need to recover your M1 Mac—or the M1 Mac of someone you know.