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The March 2015 update of Apple's 11" MacBook Air features fifth generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, resulting in slightly increased performance and battery life.

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How do I update firmware so new hard drive will work?

I am replacing the hard drive in my macbook air because the old one failed. I have installed the new drive but OS X Utilities can't see the new drive because I think the firmware needs to be updated. An instruction in the new hard drive package says:

"Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra (or later macOS) must be installed on the host computer before installing the Aura Pro X SSD. These versions included an EFI firmware update for your host computer. Without this update, your new Aura X Pro will not cunction once installed."

How do I update this so the computer can see the new drive? The old drive did not work so I am not sure how that would be an option.

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How about leveraging Internet recovery! Then you can install the older OS onto the drive first so you can then update the firmware Or download the OS installer and then install the older OS onto a USB thumb drive to then run the firmware updater and Disk Utility to prep the drive.

How to reinstall macOS using either Command (⌘)-R or Shift-Option-Command-R. To prep a USB Thumb drive follow this guide: How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive

Keep in mind High Sierra will upgrade the GUID Journaled file system to the newer GUID APFS. If you don’t want that you’ll need to install Sierra and stay with it. Or edit the OS installer script How to Skip Converting to APFS When Installing macOS High Sierra

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I thought this would be a possibility, and I started the computer in recovery mode, but it seems the computer cannot see the new drive without the firmware update in place. I think the bootable external drive is going to be the way to go.

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I have the exact same issue. The computer cannot see the new drive without the firmware update in place.

Did the external drive method work?

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Where you guys able to get this resolved?

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OWC offered a firmware updater back when I posted this answer. The current way now is to use Internet recovery installing the OS on an external drive to then boot up with to then run the OS installer (High Sierra) to get the systems firmware updated.

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I've figured a workaround. I hope this helps everyone who had the same problem as me with a broken original SSD in the MacBook. What I used is another MacBook and an external SSD.

Connect the external SSD to the second macbook. Download the full Catalina installer from Apple. Double click and select the SSD as drive. Press install and wait until the macbook restarts. Hold the alt button and boot in original drive. When booted disconnect the SSD.

Connect the SSD to your macbook you wish to upgrade the firmware. Hold alt and let it boot on the SSD. The install will fail at the end but that is ok. Shut the macbook down, connect your new internal SSD and boot. Start internet recovery and guess what: your new SSD works!

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After 24hours research. Its totally working.

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At what point in this process is the firmware of the "old" macbooks efi being updated? Also for clarity, wherever you mention SSD above, do you mean "new ssd in the enclosure"? I have a mid 2013 macbook air never updated past Sierra with a dead original drive and only an OWC drive which is the scenario being discussed here.

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@antonpaulic - For any macOS newer than High Sierra your system will go through a few cycles during the install process. The first two will upgrade the core EFI and if needed and the second will update Gatekeeper which is Apples anti malware imbedded service with new signatures. The third one will be upgrading your file system from HFS+ to APFS. After that the OS is installed and if you select it Migration Assistant so you can copy back on from backup or your original drive your stuff.

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@danj I'm referring to the "workaround" method above as I am in a stuck scenario. Original drive is dead, macbook air was on sierra (Never upgraded to high sierra) and the only drive I have is an OWC upgrade drive which is not seen by the firmware because it wasn't upgraded to High Sierra. In the workaround, I don't see where the efi firmware is being upgraded to allow it to see the new replacement ssd.

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@antonpaulic - What confused you is there are two parts the ability of the system to boot up under APFS and the other is the ability of the OS to access the drive via the new device driver held within it.

The OS installer is doing both! To get you going you need to create a bootable macOS drive using the Internet recovery option and a USB thumb drive 32GB is all you need or some other drive which you can format.

Now once you get into the Internet recovery use the menu to gain access to disk utility and format the drive with GUID and a Journaled file system. Once done launch the OS installer and point to the USB drive to install the OS onto it. It makes no difference what it is. So once done you should be then able to boot up under the USB drive.

Now the tricky part as we now need a second thumb drive to prep up under High Sierra or newer. I recommend going with Mojave and then upgrade from there. Download from here macOS Mojave, once it finishes the download before you run the installer exit and locate the installer in the apps folder. Copy it over to the second drive which you likewise formatted with GUID and a journaled file system. Now follow this How to create a bootable installer for macOS

Now use this second drive to boot up under and you should be able to =format your OWC drive and install the OS onto it!

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I had the same problem and analysed it deeply. The problem is that Macbook has too old firmware to boot from the OWC drive. If you run High Sierra or above (installer or installed system on external disk or recovery image), it will recognise the disk correctly. Upgrading firmware on Macbook however, required that it is first installed on the internal drive on a special EFI partition, and then system reboots, and it upgrades firmware during boot. Of course it will not upgrade the firmware, because after reboot it will not see the internal drive. So this is a chicken-egg problem.

The solution is to install original Apple internal drive (or another drive that works with old firmware) and to update firmware either by installing High Sierra or newer OS or manually using “bless” command. Then the Apple drive can be removed and OWC drive installed and it should work fine. OWC claims it has a drive rental service, but I haven’t checked it. I bought a 128GB used Apple drive for the firmware upgrade.

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You have the right idea! But in this case the custom SSD the system had died! So the there is no means to plug it in.

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And what is the "Bless Command?"

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@clubheaven - The easiest way is to use the startup command Option (⌥) which enables the Startup Manager so you can select the proper boot up drive. Then once booted go into your Preference Startup Disk settings. Otherwise you'll need to open up a terminal session to run the bless within the shell.

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

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