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johnfoster

which Macbook Air

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johnfoster    48

support is a tiny part of my day. it used to be a bigger part but I just do not have the fleet of Mac, Windows, and other devices around me to keep running. once in a while I cave to help somebody I know deal with a problem that for some reason is not easily solved. enter a MacBook Air. it decided to die like all tech does. the quote from FruitCo for a repair was $500 backed by a 90 day sort of warrantee. it was decided that putting that money toward a brand new MBA was money better spent given the roll it plays in her life. she purchased the new Mac. all was well. I offered to pull the SSD out of the old MBA, plop it into a case, make a backup of that data then send it back to her ready for importing into the new Mac. easily done?

nope.

previously I replaced a SSD in a Air made in 2012. as a side for doing the swap I got to the keep the SSD and the USB case the upgrade came with to make moving the DATA to the newly installed SSD possible. I looked up my notes, the model of that MBA was A1466. I thought it was going to be a copy, box, send slam dunk.

nope.

the steps were: open the MBA, extract the SSD, then install it into the previously used USB case… simple. but it did not work. the connectors were different. "maybe I remembered it wrong,” I thought. whatever. ordering a different SSD case based on the known model number would solve this problem. a week later it arrived. and it had the same problem as the other case. it was a different interface.

I looked it up again. the Macbook Air that I fixed early had a model number of A1466. supposedly it was built in 2012. the MBA that I was working on had this number too. why would a 2013 MBA share the SAME part number of something that was made in 2012? the two are nearly completely different. the case I had saved would not work with the SSD. the new case was never going to work.

nope.

in looking for a case to make this work I found crickets. the same case / interface kept coming up because of the shared part number. damn you A1466! so I searched by YEAR instead. found. ish. instead of 2o bucks like the case I just bought, the 2013 MBA SSD case was going to cost 7o to 1oo bucks. why? evidently, this SSD is a PCIe card. wow, right? no wonder the bender is a 1oo!

and then a search came back with a PCI card. excellent. I can drop this into a Cheese Grater. it will read it. and I can finish this project. Amazon promised two days. this report will continue tomorrow.

now, back up your damn data.

card.jpg

connectors.jpg

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TerryB    5

Great case notes John.  Keep meaning to back up more... :(

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johnfoster    48

when I hear people say, "I lost ALL my pictures." or "call me, my contacts are GONE!" or even worse, "I was on the phone with tech support for TWO days and after all that everything was… nothing." there is NO excuse for not having a backup of the things you want to make it to the future. 

backblaze is insanely cheap if you are just you.

dropbox or onedrive. free or not free. [gush about OneDrive goes here]

for the same yearly cost you can buy a external hard drive that will Time Machine.

of course we all know that wires and attached things are the suck. so spend a little more for a Wireless NAS. or DiY one. (not that this is hard. get the case. install a drive.) this thing below is something that I did not know about until just a moment ago. so I ordered one… report to the class when I get it. 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 1.10.38 PM.png

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MacCast    80

Thanks @johnfoster good stuff. I look forward to the updates.

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johnfoster    48

the 2013 Macbook Air uses a PCIe based interface for the SSD. a USB case costs between $60 and $100. this was simply too much money to pay for a thing that I will use exactly one time. yes, I could have purchased one, used it, then returned it claiming I bought the wrong case. which is the stuff of an ethics cards game. and I am not opposed to venturing this as a fix. I just do not make a practice of it. what I wanted was a one way trip. you know, get the thing, fix the problem, send the result back to where it came from. fixed is the operative word.

my search efforts paid off when I noticed something different. it was a PCI card for a PCIe SSD. it was $1o. sold. Amazon got it here in two days. I installed the SSD, shut down the cheese grater, then powered on. the Mac asked to reconfigure the PCI bus to make the SSD even faster. the third option will do that, yes please. restart. [I forgot to snap a screen shot of this interesting configuration panel. oops.]

it took about an hour for Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bit image of the SSD. 4 gee bees a minute. that seems slow given the bus speed of PCI and that the SATA drive it was going to was SATA2. it should be more like 11 gee bees. hmph. with the image copied to spinning media, I cloned the clone to another hard drive that will fly away to Texas.

there might be issues with the SSD. this would explain why the MBA behaved badly. and why the SSD was slow to copy. more testing is required.

while this seemed like it took a long time my total time on the project, not counting waiting for parts to ship or copies to happen, was about 35 minutes. most of this was spent researching which benders to buy to read the SSD.

this is the link to the bender. currently out of stock but you can use the info to find it from a different vendor.
http://amzn.to/2qhk02x

rachel_mba-06.jpg

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johnfoster    48
Posted (edited)

the bender is has NO active electronics on it. it just routes that tiny PCI bus to a normal PCI connector. this was why the USB case was so expensive. this electronics in that case has to bend PCI into USB. which is… not anything standard or cheap as far as I know.

oddly, I cannot upload anymore files. to here. click to see a gallery of the project.

 

Edited by johnfoster

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MacCast    80

Thanks for all the updates @johnfoster! Let me look into why you're being blocked on uploading files. Possibly a limit I have set in the forum settings.

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MacCast    80

Ok, I've adjusted some of the storage limits a bit so hopefully you can upload now.

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johnfoster    48

that should fix it!

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 1.19.52 PM.png

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