I'm not sure if anyone can help me with this but I have a few questions surrounding Find My iPhone's erase my mac feature.
On Christmas eve I had my Macbook Pro stolen whilst traveling in Gran Canaria. I was pretty sure getting it back would be impossible, so I used my iPhone to log into Find My iPhone. My laptop was registering there so I set it to Erase. It sat there "pending" for two nerve wracking days, and then at about 7pm on boxing day, it said it had erased.
I have a few questions following this procedure:
1: How reliable is this erase? From reading other posts on stackexchange I understand that the erase forces a restart from the recovery partition, and then wipes the other (main) disk partition, but this can take up to a day. I had a 500Gb SSD in my laptop so presumably it would take a while. But I also entered a four letter code into Find My iPhone, so presumably that would at least lock the screen while it tries to blank itself? But what if the battery died during that "day"? Or if they just turned the computer off by holding down the power button? Would FMi still then think that it had achieved the "erase" when actually it hadn't? Where in the code does the "erase successful" message get sent? (ideally it would be at the end, when it had worked, but it could get sent at the start, when it has just begun, meaning its not that reliable a message?).
2: The stolen laptop was relatively new. My previous laptop was an identical but much older Macbook Pro. Given I had put an SSD into it to prolong its life, rather than use migration assistant, when I got the new MBP I just swapped the SSD in, and put the drive that came with it into my old laptop and gave it to a colleague. This worked perfectly. My new laptop was effectively a new MBP with my old drive in it. And my colleague had a "new" drive in my old machine.
Now I'm home from the trip, I've dug out my backup and restored to a new 500Gb (freshly bought) drive, and put that drive back in my old laptop (the colleague who got my old machine had left the company in the meantime, hopefully not because they were annoyed at being given my hand-me-down's ;)
However, the thing that is confusing me is, why doesn't Find My iPhone try and wipe my new drive? As essentially it is a clone of the old machine, put back into the machine that the drive originally came from, so whether the ID that iCloud is looking for is hardware or software, there's a danger that both are now present in the current version of my "just started up" computer. I'm hoping that its not going to suddenly restart any moment and lock me out. Is there a danger of that?
The only thing that could explain this NOT happening (so far) is that if the ID is created when you turn on "Find My iPhone" and sets the ID in hardware (on the intel chip?) then I turned that on AFTER i swapped the drive into the laptop that got stolen. So if that is the case then the ID will be linked to that (stolen) machine, not this one I'm typing on.
3: This new frankenstein machine I'm typing on (new drive, which I've just cloned CCC backup onto, and put into old MBP) is greying out the "Find My iPhone" feature in iCloud preferences, claiming to have no Recovery Partition. Given how useful FMi was to me recently I'm very keen to get this working again. To do so, will I have to do a fresh system install and use migration assistant to move my "laptop" across to a new drive? As installing a Recovery Partition after a drive is setup with a bootable system sounds hard? Or is it possible to "add" a Recovery Partition now? (as background, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to transfer my backup across. The backup had been made in Carbon Copy Cloner, and I initialized the drive with 1 GUID partition before I put the clone onto it, as per CCC's instructions).
Essentially, I'm generally very happy that I've managed to rescue my system, but there are these nagging questions that make me slightly concerned I'm not quite there yet, and could at any moment have my computer wiped by my own Erase request. Which would be mildly ironic. So would love it if anyone could help clarify.
Please bear in mind I'm not a developer so while I understand the mechanics of what I'm doing, I don't use Terminal etc, and only know enough to write the above from reading other posts on here (thank you all already for getting me this far!).