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A1708/EMC 3164 — Released June 2017, this entry-level MacBook Pro retains its traditional function keys (as opposed to the OLED Touch Bar).

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Manually upgrade the SSD firmware?

As there is a Apple Service Program regarding the SSD Firmware in the A1708 Non-TouchBar-MacBook Pros 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) Solid-State Drive Service Program, I was wondering, if there is any way to do this Firmware upgrade yourself.

Since this Apple Service Program is only valid 3 years after purchase, most machines will probably not be eligible for it anymore.

When I read the text from Apple correctly, it is just an issue with the firmware on the SSD - it reads: “A technician will run a utility to update your drive firmware which will take approximately one hour or less.” So it should be possible to do it yourself, even if you might lose all you data in the process.

But since I could not find anything so far, I would like to ask you guys, if you know how or where to get the firmware upgrade for these SSDs.

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What is your MacBook's serial number?


Any place I can find the manual firmware update? I'm facing this problem right now.


@Bryan Burkhardt - Sorry Apple has not offered it and I haven't seen anyone else offering it.


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While the text implies this is a slam dunk easy as pie firmware update it is not!

You need a second system which is running the special tool code connected to your Mac via an internal JTAG connector which needs to be soldered on!

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Unless your system has been in a drawer it’s likely it would have failed by now.

After checking the systems S/N if it was in need I would still make an appointment with the nearest Apple Store or ship it to Apple for repair.

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Hi Dan! Thanks a lot for sharing this information!

So I'm guessing, Apple would take the SSD out and flash the fw in another machine, since there is no way, Apple would solder on the connector in "one hour or less" as they state for the service.

My case is a little more complicated. The original 128GB SSD in my macbook worked fine, but I bought a used 256GB. That one has already used up 16% of it's "spare blocks" and I get random shutdowns even above 50% battery, since I installed it, which someone on the Apple Support Forums also linked to that SSD Firmware Repair Program.

I'm not sure, what Apple would to if I asked them to check this issue now. The time frame for the Service Program has expired in may case as well.

Plus: Since all the damange, Apple has caused to this device so far (had to be repaired once due to failing keyboard, came back broken, was repaired again. It now works, but they managed to brake both screw threads for the screws for the right speaker), I dont want to let them work on it again.


@NebukadV - No they likely won't take the SSD module out, Its just easier for them to replace the logic board and ship it back the full logic board to the repair depot.

If the system is locally fixed. Apple Store or larger resellers who have someone with micro soldering expertise will just solder on the needed JTAG connector otherwise they will use a spare system (if they have it) which has the connector to then refresh the SSD's firmware from the special system.

I'll warn you they base the repair on the systems S/N so as you upgraded the SSD you'll likely get what your system originally had - Ouch!

As your SSD is already running on fumes its time to just bite the bullet and just get a new SSD. Given the level of wear your SSD use, its likely to great for the size you have. Either it's too full or your work flow demands more RAM (using Virtual RAM) or has the need for a larger cache or scratch space usage.

Time to get 512 GB/1 TB for your replacement SSD

Apple Custom 512GB SSD

Apple Custom 1TB SSD


Why is it easier for them to take the logic board out instead of the SSD? The SSD needs 2 screws to be undone, then it can be taken out. The Logic board needs at least 5 screws, tons of cables and possibly other components as well.

But I guess you're right - the best thing would be to upgrade to an original 512GB SSD. However, I can't bring myself to spent 250€ on a 512GB SSD, when similarily specced ones can be had for 80€.


Its the limitations of how Apple does things based on the level of store, many smaller stores just ship the system out to the repair dept. The medium sized stores will just replace the logic board. In either case you'll get the original sized SSD unit.


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@NebukadV Based on your situation, I would recommend installing a new SSD yourself. As for a new SSDs, you have two options: A Fledgling Feather SSD from iFixit or an OWC SSD.

Fledging Feather M17 SSD Görseli


Fledging Feather M17 SSD


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Both of these don't use the Proprietary Apple (22+34 Pin) Interface but instead just a regular M.2 interface. As far as I know, this can lead to higher power consumption (at least in standby) and/or sleep/wake failures. For that, I could also just but the adapter for 5€ on eBay and then any other 2242 M.2 NVME SSD, but I'm not sure, how much the mentiones issues would bother me.


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This firmware update is just to the SSD. And as an AASP technician I can honestly say, it’s extremely easy. I have done it many times. The firmware itself does not take long to update, but then an OS needs to be installed since it wipes the SSD clean, which is probably where the “hour or less” comes from. I could swear I saw that they made this tool available to consumers since it’s very similar to making a bootable USB installer for macOS and anyone who is remotely tech savvy should be able to do it themselves if they have a spare USB drive and some common sense.

I will see if I can hunt it down somewhere. It sounds like in your case you may need a different SSD regardless, but just for anyone else who may stumble into this.

EDIT: The link in my internal resources is public facing, but I cannot find anywhere where it’s actually linked to the public. I will dig a little deeper.

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Thanks for taking a look into it - greaty appreciated!

This information is greatly different form Dans response - I'm really interested in the outcome.

I know there is another SSD firmware update available on the Apple Website, but that is for an older system.


@NebukadV Yes, I wonder if Dan was referring to board firmware or soldere, which would require the process he listed. But SSD firmware can be done differently, at least in this case. It's probably advised by Apple to be brought to them because in some cases, the firmware updater will specifically list that drive replacement is necessary rather than firmware. So in the case that this is the outcome you would already be somewhere that could be handled.

I am still employed by an Apple Service provider so I don't want to risk my employment by distributing proprietary information, but as I said, the actual link is publicly accessible if you have the direct URL, I am almost certain I saw it linked somewhere, I just don't recall where. I even checked the Apple update page for manual updates and there are older firmwares, but not this one.

Does the drive pass Apple diagnostics? (press and hold D at power on)


@flannelist - Believe me I have looked high and low for this firmware as I had two systems which needed it (after I had repaired them for other things)

The Apple Support download site doesn't offer it Apple Downloads for this system

When I took them to my local Apple Store the genius took them in the back and told me he needed to add the JTAG connector to the logic board to then connect his system to program the SSD as he didn't have a spare system to pop the SSD into. Once he did one system he then swapped out the SSD to do the other. That was a few years ago so it's possible they have a newer way.

So you have me scratching my head here on what you say you see but can't offer.


@danj Definitely could have changed, but wow. That sounds like a pain. And like something they wouldn't have trained their people on based on what I know of the training get from them. But I can see why they would want to streamline it if that's what it used to take.

And I also looked at that page under that model to see if it was listed. The link I have is from internal systems, I just copied the link to the .dmg from within GSX into a browser I was not logged in on. And if I could find that they disseminated it somewhere I would have no qualms about sharing. I was actually surprised to find that they didn't require any credentials for the download if you copy and paste the direct link.


Any Updates regarding the firmware


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