A Note On High Sierra Compatibility with Third Party SSDs

Some users have reported compatibility issues with third party SSDs when attempting to install or run macOS 10.13 High Sierra. In testing, we have identified a related issue with our Aura SSDs. Apple is aware of these issues and we are working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible. Thus far we believe the issue is limited to Aura SSDs  for only these Mac models:

  • 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)

The number of OWC customers affected by this issue is limited, but we take every issue very seriously. We have sent communication to our customers that purchased these specific SSD models, and have been working directly with any customers affected. For those who have not attempted to upgrade yet, we recommend using macOS 10.12.x Sierra or earlier on your OWC Aura SSD.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra, feel free to contact our award-winning customer service team.

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  • I purchased the 1TB within a year and I didn’t get any email contact from OWC, and I have to google why I can’t install the new Mac OS then I found because of the OWC 1TB SSD…

  • I am not so sure what awards OWC is winning for their support, but so far I am not impressed.

    I brought this issue up to the Support team the day the Beta became available to developers and they were completely unaware.

    You would think that a manufacturer of hardware would have not only had advanced information on this, but would also have been proactive enough to publish the incompatibility between the OS and their hardware.

    Not to mention the fact that they clearly do not address what the issues are or regularly update this blog.

  • Probably OWC has no idea how to fix this bug.
    My problem iż 2TB Aura on Mac Pro, i do not know how but i installed HS first edition, but no one next update is visible at Apple Store , trying full install not work, not trying yet with mixing oryginal ssd

  • I mentioned this issue some time ago to OWC tech support and have not heard any news at all yet. I read two weeks ago on an online forum that a fix was in the works. Is it?

  • ” We have sent communication to our customers that purchased these specific SSD models, and have been working directly with any customers affected”

    Not true. Purchaser of 1TB Aura SSD. I have heard nothing from MacSales or OWC.

    • I have a MacPro (mid 2012) with the 500gb Accelsior as my boot up. I see 2013 Macs have issues.. does this model as well?

  • Apple states that the issue is with the firmware, and should be addressed by the SSD manufacturer. Their engineers hope for a fix on the next update.

  • OWC Aura tip with #MacPro and #HighSierra: High fan / no boot w/ original SSD means you forgot to reinstall the two screws for the power tap

    • I was also with a Mercury Electra, but finally got it to work. Reformatted the disk using the High Sierra disk utility on an external drive, and did a clean install.

  • Having the same problem with the High Sierra upversioning. I have tried to reinstall the original Apple SSD and upgrade the SSD to High Sierra. That portion of the process works, but when I went to reinstall the Aura SSD, the system will not boot. When I use command-R to get to the boot menu that contains disk utility, disk utility cannot “see” the SSD. I suspect it is possible the SSD is damaged in some way. Fortunately I have an exact copy of all my data prior to this debacle of an up versioning. Is there a way to erase the SSD, install El Capitan, and then clone my data back on to the SSD?

    • I have exactly the same issue. I was finally able to use the original SSD to install High Sierra, but the 4TB OWC Aura is completely unrecognized when I reinstall it, just as it was before the swap of the original SSD. This means I’m completely unable to use this machine, as I deliberately purchased the smallest possible stock SSD while simultaneously purchasing the Aura.

      • I had to have OWC replace my 2Tb Aura. I reinstalled the original Apple SSD updated the system to High Sierra, installed the new Aura, used command R on boot, then selected my time machine backup to restore my original volume that has El Capitan. This seems to work now, though I have not updated the Aura OS to High Sierra as I am not confident about compatibility

      • I think the issue is that the install of High Sierra without the updated EFI firmware may damage the Aura SSD making the volume unreadable. This is the problem I had. Hence necessitating a replacement Aura since there was no way to restore or repair the original Aura

  • I think it’s time for OWC to step up and offer refunds to AURA SSD customers for a product that doesn’t work. This is BS that they cannot support customers that want to upgrade their OS.

    • This should be a warranty claim since I purchased my drive in March of this year. Let’s see how the award winning service stands up to true customer satisfaction –

  • This was posted by “Abton” over at Crucial and I was wondering if it may be applicable to us OWC users? Has anyone tried this?

    Re: Upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra fails when using a Crucial BX100 SSD

    Finally got macOS 10.13 to install, but it’s not easy.

    Clone the existing 10.12 install to a external USB HDD (using Carbon Copy Cloner).
    Boot from the USB drive.
    Install 10.13 onto the USB drive (very slow, but it works).
    Boot into 10.13 from the USB drive to check it is working.
    Erase the internal SSD and set it to be an APFS volume.
    Clone the 10.13 install from the USB drive back onto the internal SSD.
    Boot from the internal drive and ensure it’s all working.

    Total time to install – approx 6 hours due to all the cloning to an external USB 2.0 drive.

    Doing this meant the High Sierra installer doesn’t do the firmware check on the internal SSD drive and fail. But I can format the SSD as APFS from within 10.13 and then clone back to it which seems to be working perfectly.

    Not exactly happy that I have to do this on what was sold as a ‘100% compatible’ drive, but at least I have it working.


    • I’ve been trying to get APFS to work on my OWC AURA since HS beta 1. After many attempts with beta one, the only way for me to get HS to run on my Mac Pro 2013 was to install it on an older Mac Pro and then clone it to the original 256gb SSD that came in the Mac Pro 2013. I then connected the cloned drive to my Mac Pro 2013, booted off of the 256 and cloned it to the HFS+ formatted Aura in the Mac Pro 2013. This has worked fine to get High Sierra working on my Mac Pro 2013 but would not startup on an APFS volume. I’ve tried everything imaginable to get HS to run off of an APFS volume on my Mac Pro 2013. I was able to Partition my Aura into two 480gb drives, one HFS+ and the other APFS, clone my install disk to both volumes and the APFS startup volume appears as an option in my Startup Disk preference, letted me select the APFS volume but when I reboot, it always reverts over to the HFS+ volume.

      I believe this APFS problem has more to do with the way OWC designed these drives. I read they are created similar to a Raid 0 drive using multiple SSD’s that trick the Mac Pro into thinking it is one SSD.

      Unfortunately, I think the only way to get around this is for OWC to develop a firmware fix or a startup driver that loads before the System. I am not an engineer, just my opinion.

  • High Sierra bricked my Mac Pro 2013 with a 4TB OWC Aura drive. The “solution” to reinstall the original SSD doesn’t work, as I also get the high speed fan and black screen. I’m extremely unhappy, as this is one of two identical machines that I rely on for critical work. (the other one wasn’t upgraded, but is 90 miles away). I’m really not interested in excuses or further workarounds–this has to be fixed immediately.

    • Also have a Mac Pro (2013) and OWC 4TB Aura (not cheap) and got bricked as well. I notice they are still selling this drive and not one mention of the problems with HS.

  • The solution suggested by OWC for my Mac Pro (2013) and 1TB Aura SSD, while a bit of extra work, worked for me. I reinstalled the original Apple 256GB SSD which I was using in an external Aura case and installed macOS High Sierra. Then I reinstalled the OWC 1TB Aura SSD. Then macOS High Sierra installed and works perfectly. However, the macOS High Sierra Supplemental (17a405) failed to install correctly. A Restore (start up with Option Command R) did the trick.

    In addition, I had no problem upgrading to macOS High Sierra on my 2011 11″ MacBook Air with an OWC 480GB Aura SSD upgrade.

    • I tried the same process but reinstalling the original Apple SSD (which works fine as an external drive) led only to a black screen and high fan.

      • I tried the same as well. No problem with the install of High Sierra on the Apple SSD, but when the Aura was re-installed and the system rebooted, all I got was the progress bar (which eventually stalled out and the system powered off).

    • I do not have the original Apple SSD so I am SOL. I tried with a flash drive and that didn’t work. I have a 4TB Aura SSD on a fairly new MacPro trash can.

  • I just upgrade my 2012 MacPro tower to High Sierra, now it won’t boot up. It tries, gets halfway through then chirps, and reboots, and goes through this same cycle over and over again. This is my primary post production workstation, and I can’t afford to have it not up and running.

    My OS is on a 240GB OWC Mercury Accelsior E2 PCI Express SSD.

  • I too have not received any communication from OWC about this issue and consider that attempt at spin to be a blatant lie. And IF I get a reply to this post I’m sure it will be that they’re in touch with Apple daily (another lie???) and a fix is due shortly.

    Without a due date “shortly” has no meaning or relevance. I’m so disappointed with OWC about their handling of this. OWC really needs to appreciate the severity of the damage to their reputation by a) the issue, b) the lack of a timely solution, and c) lying about their handling of it (communication with customers directly? NOPE!)

    Add me to the list of lost customers.

  • As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I didn’t get an email but I just received a response as I submitted an email to OWS. Here is one quote that is disturbing:
    “We have not completed testing with High Sierra/ APFS yet so I could not confirm if it will be supported by all of our products. When we have more information available about compatibility and what will and will not work with 10.13 we will list it in our blog: https://blog.macsales.com/
    So contrary to what OWC always brags about, it sounds like they may tell me that my expensive Aura drive for my relatively new Mac Pro will have me stuck at Sierra. I hope this is not the case and just tell those who trusted OWS, too bad so sad.

  • I have worked with OWC (Macsales) for some time and have always held them in high regard. Some of us identified this problem while running the beta program of High Sierra. What’s troubling to me is that other than the communications I’ve sent to macsales I have not received any from macsales. The underlying problem is the raid construction that allowed macsales to use multiple smaller SSD modules to create these Aura drives. Macsales needs a basic lesson in public relations and needs to own up to having this serious problem, provide more information on what is actually going on to solve it and not obfuscate when it comes to postings on the blog, or suggesting they’ve sent out communications that never happened. To say that automatically formatting to Apple File System is a bug, surprises me, since Apple clearly stated that was part of High Sierra and was a feature.

    • Bernie , I couldn’t have said it better. I have spent multiple thousands of dollars at MacSales over the years. They have completely lost my loyalty for sure. I am actually astonished at the way they are handling this. I never would have expected this from a company I held in such high regard for so many years.

  • I bought a new SSD from OWC for my 2010 Mac Pro about a week ago. Have attempted every possible way to install High Sierra on it, and it freezes after the first three files are installed. Its not an Aura disk, its a Mercury Electra according the the packing slip. Does anyone know if this disk is known to have problems with High Sierra also, and what I can do about it? I’d be happy to install Sierra and be done with it, but unfortunately Apple has made that unavailable.

  • Like everyone else who has commented, I just confirmed that you have my correct email address, and i was not contacted about this problem. Please let your customers on this site know when you estimate you will have a fix for this problem, and also please let us know how many customers you did, in fact, notify about this problem. It would seem from the comments that the statement above about notifying your customers may be incorrect and perhaps even fraudulent. You can correct this issue by being forthcoming with the required information.

  • Bear in mind that Apple has released a brand new filesystem that has virtually NO developer documentation as to it’s inner workings versus the copious amounts of documentation and years of experience that other developers have contributed to the community on HFS(+) and have a little empathy. I suspect Crucial, SanDisk, Samsung and other players in this market are all going to have to issue firmware updates for their SSDs at some point or wait for Apple to fix issues in a point release of HS. The release of APFS is not trivial in any way, shape or form and blindly updating is the surest way to misery. Check out macintouch.com or simply Google about APFS…anyone running a non-stock configuration is almost certain to have issues. High Sierra can be installed without converting to APFS as well, although that is not necessarily a solution for this particular problem. Also, login to your OWC account and make sure you have a valid e-mail address on file for them. E-mail can’t get to you if it’s incorrect. Lastly, check your SPAM quarantine/Junk Mail settings to see if the e-mail is in there. I find that mass mailings get caught no matter how the Subject is worded or how innocuous the sender.

    • My Crucial SSD updated to High Sierra without any problems. It has to do with the Aurora being non-standard and appearing to be a raid to the hardware, from what I have read.

  • I have a MacBook Air 6.2 mod 2013 with a 480 GB OWC Aura SSD, and I have not received Andy informations about the problem with updating from 10.12.6 ti 10.13.
    Please information me what to do.

    • Hi, Soren. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are working with Apple on a daily basis to resolve the issue. We expect a resolution relatively quickly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our customer support team.

  • I have read OWC blog comment with interest and cannot believe that an organisation can make such a statement as ‘we have sent communications to customers that purchased specific SSD models and have been working directly with any customers affected’. Well I have been a customer of OWC for a number of years and bought the Aura SSD, as yet I have not received any communication with OWC. It doesn’t take much to spin a story but this ‘plate has dropped of the stick’ and reputation always damage has begun. I would really appreciate an update on the issue.

    • Hi, Tom. Sorry for the inconvenience. We are working with directly with Apple to resolve the issue. We expect a resolution relatively quickly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our customer support team.

  • I’m another one affected by this Aura/10.13 compatibility issue. I was able to back down to 10.12.6 but lost months of work due to some unknown glitch in Time Machine.

  • I have the same problem with early 2014 mba 6.2. Not received any comm whatsoever. I’m a veteran gadgeterian. I like to be early adapter and know that it comes with the price. When aura sad disk 512gb came I bought one for $400. Enjoyed overcoming the problems in installing and specially with bootcamp.
    Now it is not compatible with the new high Sierra. I am sure that OWC will overcome with a bios upgrade for the “fake raid” issue. But it is not reliable enough for me anymore. So now I have not so reliable external ssd drive for $400. I can give a long list of drawer gadgets that cost money even more that this one. HTC 8x windows cost $600. Complete trash now. That’s life guys. Some are better than others. But I never will buy anything from HTC. This disk failed on me before. So bye bye OWC altogether.

    • Now it died completely. Cant format it to use even as an external drive with Envoy. I opened a ticket. Lets see what I can do with support.

  • No communication from OWC about the issue has been received. Own 4TB Aura for Mac Pro late 2013. Please advise through email when/how this is resolved.

    • Hi, Richard. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are working with directly with Apple daily to resolve the issue. We expect a resolution relatively quickly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our customer support team.

  • I have a Mac Pro Late 2013 with an Aura 1T SSD installed. Like everyone else here I can’t install High Sierra. I too have not been contacted unfortunately. Please post a fix soon.

  • I have a 480GB OWC Aura in a MacBookAir6,2 (early 2014.) I also have not received any communication from OWC regarding this.

    • Hi, Erik. We are working with directly with Apple to resolve the issue. We expect a resolution relatively quickly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our customer support team. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

  • I have OWC Aura SSD and contrary to what you said, received no correspondence from OWC. In fact, I have emailed OWC with no response.

  • It appears that those of us that bought the Aura SSD are stuck with Sierra. I have a 4tb in my Mac Pro. I also did not get anything from OWC concerning the problem.

  • I have contacted you on several occasions about my 2013 MacBook pro with aura ssd and the impossibility of installing apfs and high sierra. I certainly HAVE NOT received any communications from you nor have you been ‘working directly’ with me aside from a snotty chat that told me that ‘we don’t work with betas’. last week we were told to use an install procedure requiring my original SSD which I can’t do because the external enclosure YOU SUPPLIED originally has failed and can’t be recognized. Other suggested methods to install high sierra on this machine have left me with a non functional machine, that I have to boot from an external drive!
    my favorite part of all this is, until today, owc has not acknowledged this problem, and gleefully told us in this blog that there are NO problems with high sierra and aura ssds.

  • I own a 1 TB aura SSD on an MacPro. Please send me informations about a fix, that can enable the use of high sierra. Thank you…

  • I have purchased internal SSD’s for both my Mac Pro’s a 1TB for late 2013 model and an Accelsior for my older Mac Pro. I haven’t received any correspondence from OWC attempting to notify me about the HS installation problem. OWC certainly had plenty of time to warn their customers about the problem, considering the beta has been out for a couple month. Obviously they don’t care about their customers. I spent the better part of two days trying to get macOS HS installed, so I am a little pissed that they knew of the problem and neglected to tell us.

  • I too have a late 2013 Mac Pro with a 1GB Aura SSD installed. Could you please ensure I’m placed on the email list so that you may inform me of any ‘fix’ that is devised. Thank you.

  • Please send me the Communications you referenced, and any future ones, so I have something to read while I sit and wait for Apple to help you rectify this situation.

    Just exactly how are you “working directly with any customers affected”? I’ve called multiple times and sent an email support request. I’m not sure that sending the automated email response counts as “working directly with any customer affected”.

  • I have a Mac Pro Late 2013 with an Aura SSD installed. Tech support indicated to wait until High Sierra Ver. 11.01 before upgrading. How would I know the 11.01 update is available without 11.0 being installed?

    • Steve, you could check in regularly at MacUpdate.com. They post most software updates, including hose from Apple, usually as soon as they are available. That’s how I keep track of my stuff. Of course you won’t know for sure if the 10.13.1 update solves this particular problem unless you follow this blog as well.

  • High Sierra installs successfully on an external 240 GB Mercury Extreme 6G SSD, however APFS is not enabled, installing as HFS+. (iMac i5 27″ Retina, late 2015). An Apple or OWC problem?

  • Like Mark Cutler, I too have a 2013 with an Aura SSD installed. I also purchased my my Aura disk directly from OWC. I never received any notification from OWC concerning the problems which have been identified with these drives. Request you send me any and all emails concerning this problem.

  • Resubmitting as I first submitted before seeing the checkboxes below: I have a MacPro (Late 2013) with a 2 TB Aura SSD purchased directly from OWC. I have not received any email communication about the High Sierra installation issue. I did waste an entire afternoon trying to update, without success. Please send me the email I should have received, and please be sure I receive any updated information.

  • I have a MacPro (Late 2013) with a 2 TB Aura SSD purchased directly from OWC. I have not received any email communication about the High Sierra installation issue. I did waste an entire afternoon trying to update, without success. Please send me the email I should have received, and please be sure I receive any updated information.

  • i purchased a OWCSSDACL6G.S
    OWC Accelsior S: PCIe to 2.5″ 6Gb/s SATA SSD Host Adapter. And installed a SanDisk 1TB SSD on it to use as my boot drive. Have had no problems until trying to install 10.13 on it. I also have a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4095 MB graphics card. The install goes without any errors, then boots back into 10.12.6 I have done this a few times without any errors but still no 10.13 Please help me. Cheers

  • This problem also affects the OWC Envoy Pro EX USB 3.0 Portable SSD which is an external Aura drive. Disc Utility incorrectly identifies this drive as a spinning HD not a SSD. I was able to install 10.13 on the drive as HFS+ but it will not convert to APFS.