A list of successful iMac 27" (2012-2019) SSD upgrades

Jerma

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
3
1
Just did a bladeSSD installation on my iMac.

Device: Late 2015 27" Retina 5K - EMC2834 (3,2Ghz HDD only)
BladeSSD upgrade: none -> Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB
Adapter: ST-NGFF2013-C
Speed test: 300 - 1800 MB/s read, 300 - 1800 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.6
Location: Finland, Europe.
Issues after fresh OS install: Poor disc I/O speed, OS crashes and will not boot at all.
Sleep Issues: none.

Details:

First boot seemed to be ok. The I ran black magic disc speed test that showed read and write everything between 0 and 1200 MB/s... Then started the hangs and a few reboots "due to an error".

The same Mojave 10.14.6 OS on the BladeSSD worked perfect on an external M.2 USB enclosure without any issues what so ever. Now that the BladeSSD is in the internal slot, I get these issues...

Now it will not boot at all... stops at the same error message.

UPDATE: Opening up the iMac again revealed, that the fan connector was not seated fully, so no cooling :-(

After this was fixed, had to reboot the iMac several times and clear the parameter RAM to get the OS back up.

Now disc speed varies between around 300MB/s read/write to 1800MB/s read/write but are not very consistent and not even close to the maximum that would be possible...

I am in doubt this would be a heat issue on the BladeSSD itself. This Samsung 970 EVO Plus came without a heat sink... Anyone had similar issues ?

UPDATE 2: And it crashes :-( For a while the MAC runs ok, but disc I/O goes down. While next to an open window getting cool air, its gets a bit better. But runnin in normal room temp for about 10 minutes the MAC crashes again and will not boot. The exact same BladeSSD on an external enclosure works flawlessly. So, my conclusion is that the Blade heat protection jumps in and shuts it down and the OS crashes. Seems that the normal iMac fan is not enough to keep it cool, at least without a heatsink.

UPDATE 3: Chancing BladeSSD to ADATA XPG8200 solved the crashing issue... So the newest Samsung 970 EVO Plus has some major issues with Mojave 10.14.6 ???

Note to future updaters: Don't seal the screen with the tapes on the first test... You may need to open the iMac open a few times... Once it runs as expected, seal the screen...

Jerma.
 
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Jerma

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
3
1
OK, new try...

Device: Late 2015 27" Retina 5K - EMC2834 (3,2Ghz HDD only)
BladeSSD upgrade: none -> Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 512Gt - M.2 SSD
Adapter: ST-NGFF2013-C
Speed test: 2010 MB/s read, 2850 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.6
Location: Finland, Europe.
Issues after fresh OS install: Waking from sleep causes crash and have to reboot. Hibernate works ok.

So it seems that even on newest Mojave 10.14.6 there is still the sleep issue... Please let me know what (and how) debug information you would have to solve? this.

Update:

Configured the no sleep (sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25, standby 0) -> Hibernate works ok.

Koti-iMac:~ Marko$ /usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check

EFI Version: IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1906171551 (Boot ROM Version: 170.0.0.0.0)
Primary allowlist version match found. No changes detected in primary hashes.

Koti-iMac:~ Marko$ system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep -i "Version" | awk -F ':' '{print $1 $2}'

Boot ROM Version 170.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system) 2.33f10

Jerma.
 
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gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
173
425
Tours (France)
UPDATE 3: Chancing BladeSSD to ADATA XPG8200 solved the crashing issue... So the newest Samsung 970 EVO Plus has some major issues with Mojave 10.14.6 ???
Hi,
The 970 Evo Plus with its original firmware didn't work properly on macOS, this has been discussed in this thread :
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-2013-2014-macbook-pro-ssd-to-m-2-nvme.2034976/

It seems that the latest firmware upgrade of the 970 Evo plus solves its compatibility issues :
#4968
 

JRBuchanan

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2015
7
0
Device: Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME088LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-4570, HDD only)
Blade upgrade: none -> 1TB Crucial P1 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD - CT1000P1SSD8
CPU upgrade: i5-4570 -> i7-4771
Speed test:
OS: Mojave 10.14.6
Location: USA
Adapter: Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD Adapter
Issues after fresh OS install:
More details and problems: was really worried about removing the display, but with the
right tools everything went smoothly. I consider it almost a small miracle that the
CPU upgrade was accomplished without issue (nervous cleaning the old thermal paste
and applying new thermal paste, seating the CPU, and re-attaching the heat sink).
My biggest dissappointment is that the blade drive is not seen by the Mac. Before
installing it I formatted it as APFS and installed macOS 10.14.6 (installation performed
using an NMVe to USB adapter). I was able to boot the Mac from the blade drive while
it was attached through the USB adapter. Once installed inside the Mac with the
Sintech adapter, nothing. When I look in "System Report ..." for Hardware > NVMExpress
I get the message,

"This computer doesn’t contain any NVMExpress devices. If you installed NVMExpress devices, make sure they are connected properly and powered on."

When I use Disk Utility app and list "Show All Devices" the blade drive does not appear.
I worried that maybe I had a bad drive, so I swapped out the Crucial blade for a DATARAM SSD 1TB, PCIe M.2 2280 Internal Solid State Drive 960GB, PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe
and got the same results, the Mac cannot see the blade drive installed internally.

Does anyone have any suggestions? One other question: when the blade drive is
plugged into the Sintech adapter and then into the NVMe socket on the motherboard
the whole assembly is just a little too long to secure it with a mounting screw. I
fudged it by driving the screw in at an angle. The assembly is stable and secure, but I
think there must be a better way of doing this. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

UPDATE (09/25/2019): I tried a different Sintech adapter to see if perhaps my original one was bad. My iMac still does not detect the NVMe drive. I also popped out (and then replaced) the little watch battery since that was recommended on a little card that came with the new Sintech adapter. I'm still looking for advice on other things to try.

UPDATE (10/09/2019): I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but I figured out my problem with the blade drive. I had not inserted the Sintech adapter far enough into the port on the motherboard of the iMac. I opened the iMac up one more time, removed the blade drive from the Sintech adapter, pushed the Sintech adapter by itself into the port on the motherboard until I heard and felt a satisfying "click". Then I inserted the blade drive in the Sintech adapter and it fit perfectly and aligned with the hole for the retaining screw to secure the drive. Reassembled everything, formatted the drive, installed Mojave, and am currently in the process of restoring my files from a Time Machine backup. If all goes well I will upgrade to Catalina in a few days (after testing and creating a new backup).
 
Last edited:

Khaleal

macrumors regular
Aug 24, 2013
169
67
Device: Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME088LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-4570, HDD only)
Blade upgrade: none -> 1TB Crucial P1 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD - CT1000P1SSD8
CPU upgrade: i5-4570 -> i7-4771
Speed test:
OS: Mojave 10.14.6
Location: USA
Adapter: Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD Adapter
Issues after fresh OS install:
More details and problems: was really worried about removing the display, but with the
right tools everything went smoothly. I consider it almost a small miracle that the
CPU upgrade was accomplished without issue (nervous cleaning the old thermal paste
and applying new thermal paste, seating the CPU, and re-attaching the heat sink).
My biggest dissappointment is that the blade drive is not seen by the Mac. Before
installing it I formatted it as APFS and installed macOS 10.14.6 (installation performed
using an NMVe to USB adapter). I was able to boot the Mac from the blade drive while
it was attached through the USB adapter. Once installed inside the Mac with the
Sintech adapter, nothing. When I look in "System Report ..." for Hardware > NVMExpress
I get the message,

"This computer doesn’t contain any NVMExpress devices. If you installed NVMExpress devices, make sure they are connected properly and powered on."

When I use Disk Utility app and list "Show All Devices" the blade drive does not appear.
I worried that maybe I had a bad drive, so I swapped out the Crucial blade for a DATARAM SSD 1TB, PCIe M.2 2280 Internal Solid State Drive 960GB, PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe
and got the same results, the Mac cannot see the blade drive installed internally.

Does anyone have any suggestions? One other question: when the blade drive is
plugged into the Sintech adapter and then into the NVMe socket on the motherboard
the whole assembly is just a little too long to secure it with a mounting screw. I
fudged it by driving the screw in at an angle. The assembly is stable and secure, but I
think there must be a better way of doing this. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
If you have the latest BootROM then it has to be the adapter
 

JRBuchanan

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2015
7
0
If you have the latest BootROM then it has to be the adapter
Here is what the "Hardware Overview" says:

Boot ROM Version: 139.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system): 2.15f7

Can you confirm this is the latest firmware? I was afraid it might be the adapter. I will try a different adapter.
 

ipadawan

macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2019
18
0
I did update the FW of the EVO 970 Plus and it did works well. So far so good, but still yet a low read and write.

Some knows how I can update my firmware of my 2014 iMac 15.1 from 228.0000 to 230.0000?
What OS ( High Sierra/Mojave ) updater did do that?
 

Jerma

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
3
1
I did the Samsung 970 EVO Plus firmware upgrade earlier today. Afterwards i did not even make it to the end of a carbon copy before the iMac crashed... twice. So seems the firmware upgrade did not help.

After swapping back the ADATA Blade, the disk R/W speeds droppen to half. Systems settings show that the PCI lanes have dropped from 4 to 2. Clearing the settings RAM on boot does not help.

EDIT: Opened up the iMac (again) and took out the BladeSSD Sintech adapter. I placed some tape to isolate it from the motherboard connector housing... also took out the motherboard battery for an hour or so (and replaced with a new one). PCIe lanes are again back to normal 4, and write/read speeds are up to standard (about 2GB/3GB).

Hope this lasts...

Jerma.
 
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mbosse

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2015
364
88
Vienna, Austria
** UPDATE SUCESS **

Latest Security and update for "sleep" issues installed. It has now updated the BIOS and I can now SLEEP and wake. Also during startup holding the Option/Alt key down now displays ALL the drives, including the non OEM NVMe drive as proper drives instead of gray icons.

Update here: click here to download it (macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental.dmg)

Last login: Thu Aug 1 19:40:52 on console
iMac2015:~ stephen$ /usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check
EFI Version: IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1906171551 (Boot ROM Version: 170.0.0.0.0)
Primary allowlist version match found. No changes detected in primary hashes.
iMac2015:~ stephen$ system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep -i "Version" | awk -F ':' '{print $1 $2}'
Boot ROM Version 170.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system) 2.33f10
iMac2015:~ stephen$

No sleep issues at all!

Last login: Fri Aug 2 06:54:35 on ttys000
iMac2015:~ stephen$ sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0
Password:
iMac2015:~ Stephen$

No hibernate issues at all!

Thank you Apple. I can now seal my machine permanently after I change the CMOS battery and reapply new thermal compound on the CPU, GPU and GPU memory chips.


WooHoo!
@MBehr2: You still have no issues?

Thanks,
Magnus
 
Last edited:

smirk

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
657
46
Orange County, CA
Guys, I joined this thread a little late. It sounds like recently Apple updated the boot ROM, which fixed problems with third-party NVMe drives, is this correct?

Is sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0 still required, or do third party NVMe drives work flawlessly now with no side effects?

I'm looking to update a 27" late-2015 iMac to a 2TB NVMe but don't want to deal with issues. It sounds like it will work with 100% compatibility now, though... yes?

Thanks!
 

TwoH

macrumors member
May 19, 2019
51
8
Guys, I joined this thread a little late. It sounds like recently Apple updated the boot ROM, which fixed problems with third-party NVMe drives, is this correct?

Is sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0 still required, or do third party NVMe drives work flawlessly now with no side effects?

I'm looking to update a 27" late-2015 iMac to a 2TB NVMe but don't want to deal with issues. It sounds like it will work with 100% compatibility now, though... yes?

Thanks!
I haven't heard of anything new with the boot ROM? Still think the terminal command is required..
 

MBehr2

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2018
31
9
Canada
Guys, I joined this thread a little late. It sounds like recently Apple updated the boot ROM, which fixed problems with third-party NVMe drives, is this correct?

Is sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0 still required, or do third party NVMe drives work flawlessly now with no side effects?

I'm looking to update a 27" late-2015 iMac to a 2TB NVMe but don't want to deal with issues. It sounds like it will work with 100% compatibility now, though... yes?

Thanks!
Read my documenting postings in this thread. The only change I noticed was this:

1. macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental.dmg that I installed from my posted link (August 1, 2019):

Hashes:
MD5 7b20cdfcccadb82f1f894a4d4daf3621
SHA-1 945d3a7efe3c647357fc6d1f18a9c5f16472fb34
SHA-256. 9d5110b4380378d6f64ea04ee6f8245b97e1d86c4e1fb9b36d12a67b0ec19e6c
954,791,166 bytes (954.8 MB on disk)

2. macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental.dmg that now exists at the link (September 2019):

Hashes:
MD5 340b6ea0912d7274728ac6f8bdb66f52
SHA-1 8bce22601af959bb27f3c9e029cffe99eba8803e
SHA-256 829a08da79f3a1a699753dcf4a71e97337a0d49b4dec80ca2d6a4aa90d1f48fa
1,262,252,749 bytes (1.26 GB on disk)
 

hmarold

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
8
3
Australia
Blade+HDD upgrade by hmarold

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A 3.2GHz i5-6500)
Blade upgrade: 1 TB Blade -> WD Black SN750 NVMe M.2
HDD upgrade: 4TB Seagate 3.5
Speed test:
OS: Mojave 10.14.6
Adapter: generic.
AU $4.87 29% Off | M key M.2 NGFF PCIe AHCI SSD Adapter Card for MACBOOK Air 2013 2014 2015 2017 A1465 A1466 Pro A1398 A1502 A1419 2230-2280 SSD
Location: Australia
Temperature sensor: none
Issues after fresh OS install: tthe iMac cannot wake from normal sleep unless I press the power button, had to use hibernate 25 instead and disable standby

Hi all, I've been going through this too...

Late 2015 Imac retina - with a SN750 1 TB that shows the persistent crashing when making from sleep. I've tried everything on this thread including the 10.14.6 supllenmtal update number 2 released a few days ago on a fresh install and no joy - still crashed when waking from sleep.
 
Last edited:

hmarold

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
8
3
Australia
** UPDATE SUCESS **

Latest Security and update for "sleep" issues installed. It has now updated the BIOS and I can now SLEEP and wake. Also during startup holding the Option/Alt key down now displays ALL the drives, including the non OEM NVMe drive as proper drives instead of gray icons.

Update here: click here to download it (macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental.dmg)

Last login: Thu Aug 1 19:40:52 on console
iMac2015:~ stephen$ /usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check
EFI Version: IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1906171551 (Boot ROM Version: 170.0.0.0.0)
Primary allowlist version match found. No changes detected in primary hashes.
iMac2015:~ stephen$ system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep -i "Version" | awk -F ':' '{print $1 $2}'
Boot ROM Version 170.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system) 2.33f10
iMac2015:~ stephen$

No sleep issues at all!


Last login: Fri Aug 2 06:54:35 on ttys000
iMac2015:~ stephen$ sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0
Password:
iMac2015:~ Stephen$

No hibernate issues at all!

Thank you Apple. I can now seal my machine permanently after I change the CMOS battery and reapply new thermal compound on the CPU, GPU and GPU memory chips.

WooHoo!
Didn’t work for me... :(
 

MBehr2

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2018
31
9
Canada
Didn’t work for me... :(

Did you check EFI Firmware and Boot ROM versions?

/usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check

[My result: EFI Version: IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1906171551 (Boot ROM Version: 170.0.0.0.0) ]


system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep -i "Version" | awk -F ':' '{print $1 $2}'

[My result:

Boot ROM Version 170.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system) 2.33f10 ]

What storage options did your iMac have originally?
 

hmarold

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
8
3
Australia
Did you check EFI Firmware and Boot ROM versions?

/usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check

[My result: EFI Version: IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1906171551 (Boot ROM Version: 170.0.0.0.0) ]


system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep -i "Version" | awk -F ':' '{print $1 $2}'

[My result:

Boot ROM Version 170.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system) 2.33f10 ]

What storage options did your iMac have originally?
Hi - thanks for that, id missed where to find the EFI version :)

My machine has the same as yours;

EFI Version: IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1906171551 (Boot ROM Version: 170.0.0.0.0)

It was a base model with just the 1TB spinny drive. I've added the SSD blade to the slot that was empty from factory.

I have a 2.5 Samsung’s ssd in a usb enclosure that I’ve booted from as well via usb and same result. So I’m thinking my m.2 adapter is ok.

Tonight’s job is to install the os on the conventional spinning internal drive...
 
Last edited:

hmarold

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
8
3
Australia
My fan speed is also high, was running at 1600rpm+ which was very noticeable. Using a fan controller app brought it back to normal behaviour.
 

hmarold

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
8
3
Australia
Bugger. Still does it off the conventional spinning internal drive too...

So. Does the mere presence of the ssd blade and it’s adapter create this problem even if it’s not booting from it?
 

MBehr2

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2018
31
9
Canada
Bugger. Still does it off the conventional spinning internal drive too...

So. Does the mere presence of the ssd blade and it’s adapter create this problem even if it’s not booting from it?
I'm suspecting that macOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G103) update and/or the macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental (Sep2019).dmg changed something that the macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental (Aug2019).dmg reverted.

I'm now experiencing the same wake issues that were originally fixed when I originally ran my tests with the macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental (Aug2019).dmg update. I also included the screenshots of when the iMac woke up from hibernate mode, and loaded the OS and contents back into memory from NVMe.

My next test is to try to load an earlier version of macOS Mojave BEFORE 10.14.6 (18G103) AND the original macOSUpd10.14.6Supplemental (Aug2019).dmg (954.8Mb) that came out instead of the Sep2019 one (1.26Gb).

Not impressed that Apple partially broke it after fixing it. Also, the only fix that partially remained, was being able to see all the volumes when using option/alt key when turning on and booting up the iMac.
 
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hmarold

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2011
8
3
Australia
That’s annoying... I’m going to try a “proper” sintec adapter as well though, just in case it’s my no name one playing funny buggers...

I’ll watch your experiments with interest. As it stands I’ve just set the sleep to an hour and just shut down when I’m not using it. I used to leave it on always, one of the things I loved about it was it only needed a restart every six months!
 

zkmusa

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
100
13
Dallas, TX
Successful upgrade!

Device: Late 2013 27" - ME088LL/A (3.2Ghz Blade SSD only)
BladeSSD upgrade: Apple 256GB -> Samsung 970 EVO 1TB
SATA SSD also added: Crucial MX500 1TB. Purchased drive rails and SATA cable on eBay.
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013
Speed test: 650-750 MB/s read, 650-750 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.6
Location: Texas
Issues after fresh OS install: none.
Sleep Issues: none.


Everything went surprisingly smoothly. Followed iFixit and OWC guides. My iMac was initially configured with SSD only, so I needed to buy the rails and a SATA cable in order to add on a SATA drive. Also replaced BR2032 battery during the upgrade. No sleep issues or other problems noted thus far.