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.


  • I brought a OWC 480GB Mercury Extreme® Pro 6G SSD 2.5″ Serial-ATA 7mm Solid State Drive and when I update to High Sierra start to work really slow and then the computer stop recognize any drive (even if i connect ir via USB)

  • I brought a 1TB Aura SSD for my mothers MacBook Air 2012 model.
    I believe it tried to automatically update her to High Sierra and then failed. I believe this problem extends further then just 2012 models.

  • High Sierra has released an update to 10.13.2。 Excuse me, Aura SSD has a new driver firmware?can be converted to apfs format file system, if not, or to stay at 10.12.6

  • Hello from Austria – I just came upon this place after failing to install HS on my Mac Pro 2013 with a 4TB Aura installed – as apparently everyone else with the same or similar setup. Looking forward to have this issue fixed in the same professional way OWC usually fixes issues…….

  • Any word on an update yet? When will this be resolved? Thank you.

  • Same thing happened on my MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012). Two times I ended up with a corrupted hard drive since installing High Sierra. The first time I ended up with the MBA not being able to locate an internal drive (Disk Utility could see both the main drive and recovery partition but could not mount them). Last night, the MBA now gets halfway through the boot up process but then shuts off. Both occurred on the reboot following an OS update restart.

  • I have had two instances of the OWC upgraded SSD in my MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012) becoming corrupted. I had it installed in the last year or two. No problems until I moved to High Sierra. Both problems occurred on the second boot following an update (i.e. not the restart following an update install).

  • On the same boat in regards to this issue and only JUST found this announcement. Hoping for a speedy fix too. This has been a problem for so long now. Some updates and feedback would be nice.

    Thanks OWC.

  • There is a new update (6 December 2017) !! Please, if someone is willing to check whether it works, let us know something!!

    My device: MacPro (Late 2013)

    • Noper, my $2000 plus OWC again, died like a big dog when I attempted it. If you look at the details of what is fixed there is no mention of any update to SSD. For new people coming in, you get the impression the fix is imminent while in fact there has been nothing done in months and knew about it in beta.

  • My MacPro 2010 Quad Xeon is having major issues with both of my OWC SSD drives – Mercury Pro Extreme 6G 250Gb – the problem happened immediately after upgrading to High Sierra – would be nice if you had emailed in advance – i have 2 of these? please help.

  • May you be so kind to tell me whether will or will not have got a solution for all of us in the following days or the next update, please? I have been waiting for a long time…

  • There is no problem to clean install HS on ANY OWC Aura drive in ANY possible MB Air / Retina config . Formated APFS , of course . Whole process take aprox. 30 minutes to be on clean HS with really simple hack. Tested especially on MB Air mid 2013 too.

    • Does this simple hack also work on a late-2013 MacPro with an OWC Aura SSD? If so, can you tell us more, or link us to a page that explains how to do this? I have managed to upgrade to HS, but not with APFS so far.

  • A friend is selling a Aura SSD 1TB from his Mac Pro 2013. I’m toying with the idea of getting it as I’m still running El Capitan and might upgrade to Sierra at some point, I can then pass on High Sierra for a bit on the off chance somebody has a simple upgrade path in the future.

    BUT, assuming they don’t and this issue persists, can the Aura SSD 1TB For Mac Pro be mounted in an external housing that I can tag along with my Mac Book Pro 13 Retina as an external drive??

    • Steve,
      Yes you can, but the edge slot of the drive is Apple proprietary not standard M.2. Googling external enclosure for Apple SSDs points at a few pages of OWC links. OWC may be the only one that sells compatible external enclosures due to the slot pinout.

  • MacSales,
    It’s been over 2 months since the release of HS, are you any closer to finding the solution? My company IT will soon REQUIRE High Sierra for tool compatibility and security (despite the little root issue recently found).
    I have not received any update since the initial email stating there was an issue. This is not really working directly with affected customers and being disingenuous is not a direction you should be going. I dropped $1600 on your product.
    If the best answer turns out to be that the Aura, HS, and MacPro(6,1) are not 100% compatible (where not having APFS is a showstopper). Then so be it, just state the fact and move on. Of course, the “move on” depends on how well you want to handle the PR firestorm of dissatisfied customers.

    • I would add to your comment that the beta to HS was available even few months before the release and the problem was identified well before the release date. So actually it has been 4-5 months. The fact that people posted workaround (with first install on original ssd) indicates that it’s not compatibility issue. It should be just firmware upgrade step before the os installation.

      • I am happy to say that I found a solution for the High Sierra/OWC Aura Drive 480 GB conflict. I called the OWC Tech support after I spent numerous hours with Apple Tech support options, and there is an update fix that the OWC technician walked me through. The install took a considerable amount of time, with some hick-ups and false completion signals, but it eventually completed successfully. Let the technician walk you through it, since there are a couple of tricky instructions, until the install step, and be patient with the process.

  • Please keep me posted on the progress with apple on The Aura Pro X firmware

  • I have an Aura 2 tb installed in late 2013 Mac Pro. I, too, am unable to update to 10.13. Please advise by email when fix is available.

  • Dear Madam or Sir,
    “We have sent communication to our customers that purchased these specific SSD models, and have been working directly with any customers affected”.
    Really ? Not for me !
    Please let me know when I will be able to take advantage of High Sierra on my SSD Aura 1 Tb.
    Thank you.
    Alain Pilorget

  • I have the Mac Pro (late 2013) and have been unable to upgrade to macOs 10.13 High Sierra. What can be done? How long a wait? You have been responsive and great, don’t fail now.

  • Does anyone at OWC monitor or interact on this blog or do you just enable it as a place where customers can share their pain and disatisfaction as your ignore the issue? Having been an OWC customer for many years your lack of engagement with your customers here has really reduced my previously sterling opinion of you as a company. Buck up on this OWC and at least keep us current that you and Apple are working on this with some indication of when next we’ll see an update from you (preferably a solution)!

    • Hi, Todd.

      We apologize for the frustration. We don’t have any updates as far as specific timeframes, but we are still hard at work with Apple on the issue with some third party SSDs. When we do have an update, we will certainly be sharing it here.

  • I got no email notice of High Sierra problem. I got many sales promotion emails from OWC Larry. I am staring at a big [?] now, won’t boot.

  • In accordance with owc guidelines, I swapped the OWC Aura SSD from the Mac Pro and replaced the original Apple 512GB SSD, and then successfully installed macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and confirm that the file system has been converted to APFS. I did a backup and then re-installed OWC Aura SSD, the recovery is smooth, but the file system is still HFS +, the file system can not be converted to APFS regardless of the cloning or recovery, and macOS 10.13 High Sierra can only be run under HFS +. I think it is OWC Aura SSD firmware is not compatible, waiting for the new firmware may be very far, I am frustrated, looking forward to improving support as soon as possible

  • Please let me know when there is an official solution for the “High Sierra installation on an Aura SSD” problem. I put a 1 Tb Aura SSD on a mid-2013 MacBook Air about a year ago, and High Sierra installations always fail with a “firmware problem” error message.

  • The aurora SSD I had installed in my 2015 MBP 15 seems to have caused a similar issue. I have gotten “Couldn’t Complete Copy” errors whether trying to upgrade by the app, or installed from USB. Now my system is useless and wont install or power on.

    • Hi Steve, that’s not good, my sympathy. Have you tried “internet recovery”? (alt-cmd-r during startup) I used this alone while doing these (clean install) updates because everything else failed one way or another (MacPro not Macbook) I also first re-installed the original SSD, clean installed HS on that, removed it re-installed Aura and then clean installed HS to that. The theory being that this process updates the firmware somewhere which then allows the Aura update to proceed. Humble apologies if this doesn’t help. Anthony

  • How come there is no solution. I think I will return to you the SSD and buy another one at the Apple Store. My MacBook Air Mid 2012 is not working since I upgraded to High Sierra. I dont have the old SSD. :-(

  • Not sure where my earlier post went to but I did the workaround and it worked BUT now the 10.13.1 update is not installing which I’m sure is related to this. Be sure to do a back up before updating to High Sierra!

    • MacPro Late 2013 Aura SSD. Now running 10.13.1
      Achieved this by re-installing the original SSD, installing High Sierra, reinstalled Aura SSD and installed High Sierra. That was it.
      Yes many backups and great care all done very slowly with full erase and installs, but looking back it worked exactly as “documented” which supports the thesis that installing the original SSD allows a firmware update to complete, which then allows everything to run smoothly with the Aura SSD.
      I observe that ANY Apple SSD may suffice, such as one borrowed if the original is no longer available because it is the firmware update that it facilitates that matters, not the rest of the associated OSX install.

  • Although I don’t appreciate the time it has taken to not get an update to this issue I did do the workaround listed by other users and it worked flawlessly. Took 2 hours from start to finish but shouldn’t have to come to this.

  • Same problem here. OWC Aura SSD 500GB
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) running 10.12.6 cannot get past the firmware error when trying to upgrade to High Sierra.
    Any news on a fix?

    • I don’t have time to deal with workarounds that might or might not work. I’ll stick with Sierra until there is a resolution. My problem is the lack of transparency. C’mon OWC, give us a real update. Whose problem is this to fix, yours or Apple’s? Where are you in the process of fixing it? What is an estimated date you will have this resolved? Is there any possibility it can’t be fixed? Please be responsible and give us some real information. Thanks!

    • I gave up waiting for a fix. Even contacted support, and have not heard back.

      Using original SDD method worked for me.

      I have Air, 11″, model 6,1 (late 13 or early 14). I put the original SSD in, did an internet recovery, and installed high sierra. Took original SSD out and put OWC Aura 500GB in, and updated to high sierra and it worked without any trouble. Did a backup before just to be careful.

  • The Work Around Process, worked great for me.
    OWC Aura 4TB installled. re-install apple 1TB,
    cmd+R, ran Disk utility (Erase), installed High Sierra.
    Shutdown, re-install OWC Aura 4TB, cmd+R, ran Disk utility Re-install OS High Sierra, when it restarted, it was still running Sierra, went to app store open/loaded High Sierra and ran install again, that was it. Did not need to rebuild from Time Machine, everything was there and working great, just like it was, running High sierra (10.13.1). Man that is a load -off me.

  • It’s working now. If you try to install it will launch a firmware update. Once you do that… it allowed me to finally install High Sierra on my tower Aura SSD drive.

  • I have a 2013 Late Mac Pro (6 Core) with OWC Aura 4TB installled.

    I got tired of waiting for an official fix. So I just went with the confirmed workaround: swapping OWC Aura SSD with the origial Apple SSD back and forth.

    I can also confirm the workaround REALLY works. I had misgivings since so many complained about their Mac Pro getting bricked and all.

    Yeah, the nightmare became reality when my Mac Pro seemd to have gone nuts with its fan shrieking.

    But I realized that I forgot to put back those power screws (not sure what they call them, those screws that connect Aura’s power cables to Mac Pro’s board.) Those are easily forgotten if you hurry. When I put them back on, everything went ok. It was logical: it should just work since it’s like not having installed the OWC SSD in the first place. No boot with shrieking fan? Check your screws.

    Well, if you have sold your original Apple SSD, you might be out of luck.

    But if you do have the Apple SSD, at least you have a choice: wait for an offical fix that might never come or just invest a couple of hourse of elbow grease.

    • One thing you should also consider is if you have any bootable external drives or RAIDs, if you have them with any OSX version other than High Sierra on those drives, those external drives will not be able to read files on your High Sierra drives. For this reason, I opted to keep El Capitan for now. Has anyone experience with installing High Sierra on HDD drives?

  • I have a MacBook Pro 17″ (Late 2011) – MacBookPro8,3. I installed an OWC Mercury Electra 3G MAX SSD 1TB hard drive back in 2014. I tried the macOS High Sierra update several times by myself and with the assistance of several Apple Specialists over chat and on the phone. Eventually that had to do call me back so that they can have some of their engineers look into my particular issue. One issue was the EFI firmware not updating, or something like that. When I would boot into CMD+R or CMD+OPT+R, it would want to install OS X Lion. Eventually I was able to update this portion of the EFI and now when I boot to Recovery I can install macOS Sierra, however, I attempted an upgrade again to macOS High Sierra and it gave me the same firmware verification error. The latest Apple Specialist has set up an appointment to a local Apple Store so they can try something out. Total number of hours spent trying to get macOS High Sierra… 10 hours. Good luck to the rest of you trying to figure this out.