OWC's Aura SSDs Not Working With macOS High Sierra, Fix Coming Soon
Sep 26, 2017 2:35 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Some Mac owners who have replaced their machine's storage with Aura SSDs from OWC are not able to install macOS High Sierra at this time due to an incompatibility issue that prevents the update from successfully converting the drives to the new APFS format.

The Aura SSDs show up as "Rotational" drives instead of Solid State, and when attempting to install macOS High Sierra, users are seeing an error message about a firmware update before the installation process crashes.


Several customers who have purchased Aura SSDs have complained on a macOS High Sierra beta blog post, as the issue long pre-dates the macOS High Sierra release. One customer was told that new firmware would not be developed until the High Sierra golden master was released, but new firmware has apparently not made it out yet.

OWC offers Aura SSDs for a range of Macs, including many MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro models. According to the company, Aura SSDs compatible with the following machines are affected:

- MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)
- MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)
- MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)
- MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Apple is aware of the issue with select third-party SSDs, and the OWC engineering team is working directly with Apple on a fix. OWC expects "a very timely solution."

Tag: OWC

Top Rated Comments

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21 weeks ago
It is probably because those drives were setup as RAID0 internally.

Here is an excerpt from the THESSDREVIEW ('http://www.thessdreview.com/mac/macreviews/owc-aura-1tb-pcie-ssd-review-mid-2013-later/'):

The OWC Aura contains two SMI 2246 XT 4-channel controllers which are situated in a RAID configuration through a Marvell 9230 RAID controller. There are four unbranded 256MB MLC synchronous NAND flash chips which, once paired, create a RAID 0 volume with a 1TB capacity.


The whole setup was a kludge from the beginning.
Rating: 6 Votes
21 weeks ago

Agreed. No clue why someone would buy OWC over Crucial, especially considering that OWC is more $$$. Been running my Crucial M4 in my MacBook Pro for 5 years now and never had so much as a hiccup.


Umm, we're talking about AURA SSD's which is only one of two vendors that make SSD's for macbooks from 2013 onward. So for anyone with a 2013, 2014, or 2015 macbook pro or macbook air, Crucial does NOT make compatible ssd's for those models.
It's either OWC, or these guys -

http://www.transintl.com/super-blade-flash-storage-ssd.html
Rating: 5 Votes
21 weeks ago
Surprising. Generally OWC has the best customer support in the business and is all over this kinda stuff.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 weeks ago
That makes no sense if you swap the ssd with original then replace it back you wouldnt have the OS what a dumb fix
Rating: 4 Votes
21 weeks ago
Why OWC need Apple to resolve this is a mystery to me.

Tip: simply repack the latest FirmwareUpdate.pkg that comes with macOS High Sierra as a stand alone installer and run it. That's how easy it is.

FirmwareUpdateStandAlone-1.0.pkg ('https://uploadfiles.io/wn0l7')

md5 = 24a1731b514c633c7aff07b5d739828c

You can make it yourself by running:

./installSeed.py -a update -f FirmwareUpdate.pkg -t / -u /tmp/FirmwareUpdate

./munkipkg.py --create /tmp/FirmwareUpdateStandalone

cp /tmp/FirmwareUpdate/Scripts/postinstall_actions/update /tmp/FirmwareUpdateStandalone/scripts/postinstall

cp -R /tmp/FirmwareUpdate/Scripts/Tools /tmp/FirmwareUpdateStandalone/scripts/

./munkipkg.py /tmp/FirmwareUpdateStandalone

Used scripts:

https://github.com/Piker-Alpha/HandyScripts/blob/master/installSeed.py
https://github.com/munki/munki-pkg/blob/master/munkipkg
Rating: 4 Votes
20 weeks ago

I don't understand what difference putting original SSD makes? You remove it anyways after. Is it maybe that you're doing fresh install after vs upgrade?

It works because the problem isn't installing the OS on the drive, but rather updating the computer firmware. Something about the Aura drives prevents the Machine firmware from updating correctly. Putting the original SSD back in allows the machine firmware to be updated properly, after which you can put the Aura drive back in and install on it successfully, since the firmware update step can be skipped (since it is already up-to-date). Note that this is the *Computer* firmware that is being updated, not the hard drive firmware, thus the reason this drive shuffle works.

Of course, while the internal drive shuffle worked for me to get High Sierra installed, it also "killed" my thunderbolt RAID drive (doesn't show up in disk utility or mount anymore). But that's a different issue...

EDIT: So I just needed to update the firmware on my RAID card, and that's all good now. So a bit of a hassle shuffling the drives around, but it works.
Rating: 2 Votes
21 weeks ago

Weird, I have an Aura (480GB in a late 2013 15" rMBP) with High Sierra installed.

Everything went smoothly.



Same here. No problems.
Rating: 2 Votes
21 weeks ago
Weird, I have an Aura (480GB in a late 2013 15" rMBP) with High Sierra installed.

Everything went smoothly.
Rating: 2 Votes
21 weeks ago

Surprising. Generally OWC has the best customer support in the business and is all over this kinda stuff.

They definitely have good CSR. I got my replacements for free, with no shipping charges and hardly any waiting time. And I didn't even talk to a single person.

But I still got 2 crappy SSDs in a row.
Rating: 2 Votes
21 weeks ago

It is probably because those drives were setup as RAID0 internally.

Here is an excerpt from the Anandtech review ('https://www.anandtech.com/show/10128/owc-introduces-ssd-upgrade-for-macbook-pro-and-macbook-air-pcie-ssds'):

The OWC Aura contains two SMI 2246 XT 4-channel controllers which are situated in a RAID configuration through a Marvell 9230 RAID controller. There are four unbranded 256MB MLC synchronous NAND flash chips which, once paired, create a RAID 0 volume with a 1TB capacity.


The whole setup was a kludge from the beginning.


They have technology to get 1TB of capacity out of 4 modules of 256 MB each?

Well, this whole issue shall be forgotten then, let me get their magic controller whilst I go on a NAND shopping spree to replace some HDDs then...

Glassed Silver:mac
Rating: 2 Votes

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