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.


  • 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.