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

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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The Sillie Con Valley
Using the optical drive sensor works very well and is certainly to be recommended over shortening the sensor cable.
. The word is shorting as in creating a short circuit. As in what Apple did in the 256GB 2010 SSD only version. Yes, really, they did.

I still recommend using a sensor as I did when I installed an 850 EVO in my 2010.

BTW, I never use cloning software anymore—don’t believe in it.

I do not pre-install an OS on the blade (or any drive) before installation on any iMac. Never have, never will.

I make a Time Machine backup first unless I have one already available. Then I install the raw drive. When done, I boot from a USB thumb drive, either High Sierra or Mojave and install the OS. When done, I use Apple’s Migration Assistant to restore from the Time Machine backup. This is how Apple recommends doing it.

Every time. No sleep issues. I did mention I’ve done quite a few over the years.
 
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mbosse

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2015
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. The word is shorting as in creating a short circuit. As in what Apple did in the 256GB 2010 SSD only version. Yes, really, they did.

I still recommend using a sensor as I did when I installed an 850 EVO in my 2010.

BTW, I never use cloning software anymore—don’t believe in it.

I do not pre-install an OS on the blade (or any drive) before installation on any iMac. Never have, never will.

I make a Time Machine backup first unless I have one already available. Then I install the raw drive. When done, I boot from a USB thumb drive, either High Sierra or Mojave and install the OS. When done, I use Apple’s Migration Assistant to restore from the Time Machine backup. This is how Apple recommends doing it.

Every time. No sleep issues. I did mention I’ve done quite a few over the years.
Oh, yes, shorting was the word... Did not know Apple did that ex factory.

Fully agree with everything else you wrote. A bit OT, but do you see a benefit of migrating from TimeMachine compared to migrating directly from the old Mac? Both uses migration assistant.

Magnus
 
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dobrink

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2013
98
41
Helsinki, Finland
BTW, I never use cloning software anymore—don’t believe in it.

I do not pre-install an OS on the blade (or any drive) before installation on any iMac. Never have, never will.

I make a Time Machine backup first unless I have one already available. Then I install the raw drive. When done, I boot from a USB thumb drive, either High Sierra or Mojave and install the OS. When done, I use Apple’s Migration Assistant to restore from the Time Machine backup. This is how Apple recommends doing it.

Every time. No sleep issues. I did mention I’ve done quite a few over the years.
Thank you for this information, this may actually be it! It seems that you and gilles_polysoft, who have done a lot of these upgrades are more likely to have always used a USB stick for OS X installation, rather than run internet recovery every time which would download 6GB OS X over and over again. It is indeed interesting if the OS X installation method has anything to do with how the BootRom firmware is handled. It is a possibility, and as I mentioned earlier, may have something to do with how the states of the drive are controlled. I have compiled a small test that consist of several steps in order to isolate and pinpoint if this is the solution for what is causing the problems for so many people.

@MacManSuite, @mdelrossi, @ProteoMX and everyone else who has done a blade upgrade on a 2012-2015 iMac with or without sleep issues, could you please execute the following steps:

1) hold Alt during boot to get the list of all bootable drives, describe the icon of your NVMe drive (anything different than a grey drive means that it is recognized as external)
2) system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep -i "Version" | awk -F ':' '{print $1 $2}' (this Terminal command will fetch your BootRom version)
3) sudo /usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --save -b ~/Downloads/MyBootRom.rom (this Terminal command will dump your BootRom)
4) download UEFI Tool (a free software that reads the contents of system files)
5) start UEFI Tool, in the upper menu click "File" -> "Open image file...", locate and open your dumped file under "Downloads/MyBootRom.rom". From the same upper menu click "Action" -> "Search", select the "Text" tab, untick "Unicode", tick "Case sensitive", in the text field write "NVMe" and click "OK". Double click below the line that appears "ASCII text "NVMe" found in PE32 image section at offset 2337h", then from above select the line that says "NVMe", in the Information tab to the right note the number in brackets next to "Full size: 4B4Ah (19274)".


Post the following report:

iMac: before upgrades, the list is here
OS X: installed using (internet recovery / usb stick / cloned from external drive / preinstalled before ssd upgrade)
Location:
NVMe drive:
BootRom version:
NVMe driver size:
wake problems:
yes / no

Here is my report:

iMac: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A (HDD-only)
OS X: 10.14.5, installed Mojave using internet recovery and then Software Update for the latest version
Location: Finland, Europe
NVMe drive: grey icon
BootRom version: 166.0.0.0.0
NVMe driver size: 19274
wake problems: yes

Even if you don't have all the fields filled, you can just post what you have and possibly edit/add the rest later. If the information matches up with a consistent difference between iMacs with and without issues, then this will be the single cause that we have been searching for.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
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The Sillie Con Valley
Let me add that I do not install 3 x4 blades in PCIe 2 slots (Mid 2015 iMacs and older). Cost is the main reason since those Macs are unable to take advantage of 3 x4 speed. The other reason, of course is that these are known to have sleep issues.
Thank you for this information, this may actually be it! It seems that you and gilles_polysoft, who have done a lot of these upgrades are more likely to have always used a USB stick for OS X installation,
I'm guessing that's it. I'll never know since I won't try any other way to compare.

The one thing of which I'm absolutely certain: Cloning software doesn't clone anything. It can't. It copies and that is most definitely not the same thing. CCC now claims it copies over the Repair partition as a separate action. That is not how Apple does an OS installation.

I used to use it in the OS 9–10.4 days when I'd have 28 iMacs to set up in a classroom and it worked ok—it didn't install Repair partitions but that wasn't an issue. That was then.
 

ProteoMX

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2019
15
7
Here's my report:

iMac:
iMac Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME089LL/A (3.4Ghz i5-4670) (HDD only)
OS X: installed using USB stick, then used Migration Assistant with the old drive as source.
Location: Computer bought in the US (Miami), currently in Venezuela, South America.
NVMe drive: Grey icon in Startup Disk (system preferences), but yellow when holding up ALT at boot.
BootRom version: 137.0.0.0.0
NVMe driver size: 10389
wake problems: No

Could not find the section 51116915-C34B-... you mentioned, maybe that string changes by model? The results of searching NVMe where "ASCII text "NVMe" found in PE32 image section at header-offset 2C51h".

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 13.02.09.png

EDIT: Found the correct entry, changed screenshot.
 
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WardC

macrumors 68030
Oct 17, 2007
2,728
207
Fort Worth, TX
Here you can find and discuss all the collected knowledge regarding upgrading the HDD, blade SSD and CPU of a 27" iMac 2012-2017, as well as a list of performed upgrades.

Here is a list of all 27" iMac models subjected in this thread:

Late 2012 - 13.2 - MD095LL/A (2.9Ghz i5-3470S, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2012 - 13.2 - MD096LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-3470, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2012 - 13.2 - none (3.4Ghz i7-3770, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME088LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-4570, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME089LL/A (3.4Ghz i5-4670, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2013 - 14.2 - MF125LL/A (3.5Ghz i7-4771, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2014 - 15.1 - MF886LL/A (3.5Ghz i5-4690, Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2014 - 15.1 - none (4.0Ghz i7-4790K, Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Mid 2015 - 15.1 - MF885LL/A (3.3Ghz i5-4590, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500, HDD only / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK472LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500, Fusion HDD+24GB blade / HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK482LL/A (3.3Ghz i5-6600, Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Late 2015 - 17.1 - none (4.0Ghz i7-6700K, Fusion HDD+24GB blade
/ Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Mid 2017 - 18.3 - MNE92LL/A (3.4Ghz i5-7500, Fusion HDD+32GB blade / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Mid 2017 - 18.3 - MNEA2LL/A (3.5Ghz i5-7600, Fusion HDD+32GB blade / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Mid 2017 - 18.3 - MNED2LL/A (3.8Ghz i5-7600K, Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
Mid 2017 - 18.3 - none (4.2Ghz i5-7700K, Fusion HDD+32GB blade / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
2019 - 19.1 - MRR12LL/A (3.0Ghz i5-8500, Fusion HDD+32GB blade / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
2019 - 19.1 - MRR02LL/A (3.1Ghz i5-8600, Fusion HDD+32GB blade / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
2019 - 19.1 - MRQY2LL/A (3.7Ghz i5-9600K, Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)
2019 - 19.1 - none (3.6Ghz i9-9900K, Fusion HDD+32GB blade / Fusion HDD+128GB blade / blade only)


The iMacs before 2017 cannot wake from normal sleep after upgrading the blade SSD with a non-Apple. They will either "restart because of a problem", or show a question mark icon depending on the system even produced.

There two hypothetical solutions discussed in the thread have been:
1) get the NVMe dXE driver flashed to the motherboard's SPI chip. This for the moment is only possible by hardware programming, probably with desoldering the chip.
2) flash the NVMe dXE driver using software only, which so far has proven fruitless because of the protected OS X installers.

Otherwise, the only way to prevent your iMac from crashing is to prevent your blade SSD from sleeping and use deep sleep instead (aka hibernation) by typing the following command in Terminal:
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0
(the autopoweroff can remain the default 1, since the above two commands are enough to disable normal sleep)


Regarding the HDD upgrade, because of several occasions where the OWC's temperature sensor was not needed, I have two hypothesis for why the fan-spinning-on-max-rpm issue does NOT appear:
Hypothesis 1: The newest OS X firmware has eliminated this issue so the temperature control no longer triggers the fan to spin at max rpm.
Hypothesis 2: Only when upgrading both the blade SSD and the HDD the iMac gets no temperature reading and thus the fan problem appears. Should either upgrade just the HDD on a fusion model, or on a HDD-only model in order to not need the OWC's temperature sensor.
(someone please confirm one of the above)


The tools you are going to need are color coded as follows: all, HDD, Blade, CPU.

-T8, T10 Torx screwdrivers
-wheel opening tool (€1)
-plastic card opening tool (€1) (optional)
-1-2x suction cups (€2)
-spudger tools (€1)
-tweezers (€1) (optional)
-adhesive strips (€2)


-mounting bracket (€2)
-2.5" SATA SSD (example Samsung 860 Evo)
-OWC thermal sensor (€40) (only required if changing both the Blade and HDD with non-Apple)


-adapter for the blade drive (8-13€)
-a small screw to hold the new blade drive on place (it is missing on HDD-only models)
-T5, T25 Torx s
crewdrivers
-thermal paste for the CPU and GPU (€7)
-a compatiable intel CPU from the same generation as the original


For the blade SSD upgrade it does not matter which of the three adapters you use (first, second, third), or if it is sold on ebay, amazon, or wherever else, or if it is branded as Sintech or Kalea or whatever else, they are all the same. Using an AHCI blade will never give you hibernation issues, though those are very limited and no longer manufactured. It does not mater which NVMe drive you use, except the 01.2019 released Samsung 970 Evo Plus which is not compatible with any of the adapters, so do NOT use it unless a new adapter is released.

IFixit guide for SATA HDD replacement
IFixit guide for Blade SSD replacement
IFixit guide for CPU replacement
IFixit guide for Adhesive strips application


Examples of how to report your upgrade. These two upgrades below I personally did in 02.2019:

1) HDD + CPU upgrade

Device: Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME088LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-4570, HDD only)
HDD upgrade: 1 TB SATA HDD -> 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SATA SSD
CPU upgrade: i5-4570 -> i5-4670K
Speed test: around 500 MB/s read, 500 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.3
Location: Finland, Europe
Temperature sensor: none
Issues after fresh OS install: everything is ok with the fan, OWC temperature sensor NOT required!
More details and problems >here<


2) Blade + CPU upgrade

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500, HDD only)
Blade upgrade: none -> 1TB ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro
CPU upgrade: i5-6500 -> i7-6700K
Speed test: 3000 MB/s read, 2300 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.3
Location: Finland, Europe
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013
Issues after fresh OS install: the iMac cannot wake from normal sleep, have to use hibernate 25 instead and disable standby.
More details and problems >here<


The following is a list of upgrades performed by other people, I will update the list as new entries become available:

Blade drive upgrade by Jeden87

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK472LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500, Fusion HDD+24GB blade)
Blade upgrade: 24GB Blade -> 512GB Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSD
Speed test: 2900 MB/s read, 2200 MB/s write
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013
Issues after fresh OS install: the blade drive does not wake up from sleep, have to restart, or disable sleep entirely


Blade drive upgrade by MKhan

Device: Late 2013
Blade upgrade: ?? blade -> 512GB Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSD
Speed test: 756 MB/s read, 756 MB/s write
Adapter: KALEA-INFORMATIQUE
Issues after fresh OS install: the blade drive does not wake up from sleep, have to restart, or disable sleep entirely


Blade upgrade by ssdaytona

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK472LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500, Fusion HDD+24GB blade)
Blade upgrade: 24GB Blade -> 512GB Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSD
CPU upgrade: i5-6500 -> i7-6700K
Speed test: 2930 MB/s read, 2170 MB/s write
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013 and ST-NGFF2013-C
Issues after fresh OS install: sleep issues with both adapters, have to disable sleep


Blade + HDD upgrade by jdee2wheels

Device: Mid 2017 - 18.3 - MNE92LL/A (3.4Ghz i5-7500, Fusion HDD+32GB blade)
Blade upgrade: 32GB Blade -> 1TB Samsung 970 Evo NVMe SSD
HDD upgrade: 1TB SATA HDD -> SanDisk 2TB 3D SATA III
Speed test: blade 2500 MB/s write, 2900 MB/s read, SATA SSD 450-ish
OS: Mojave 10.14.2
Adapter: Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD Adapter Card, OWC temperature sensor for SATA SSD
Issues after fresh OS install: NONE


HDD upgrade by uller6

Device: Late 2014 - 15.1 - none (4.0Ghz i7-4790K, Fusion HDD+128GB blade)
HDD upgrade: 1TB SATA HDD -> Crucial M500 2TB SSD
Speed test: 500 MB/s read, 480 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.2

Temperature sensor: none
Issues after fresh OS install: NONE - everything works perfectly


Blade + CPU upgrade by mbosse

Device: Late 2013 - 14.2 - MF125LL/A (3.5Ghz i7-4771, Fusion HDD+128GB blade)
Blade upgrade: 128GB blade -> 2TB Samsung 970 Evo NVMe SSD
Speed test: 780 MB/s read, 730 MB/s write
OS: High Sierra 10.13.6
Location: Austria, Europe
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013
Issues after fresh OS install: the blade drive does not wake up from sleep


Blade + HDD + CPU upgrade by macguru8

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500, HDD only)
Blade upgrade: none -> 500GB Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
HDD upgrade: 1TB SATA HDD -> Seagate Barracuda Pro ST4000DM006 4TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache
CPU upgrade: i5-6500 -> i7-6700K 4.00 GHz Unlocked Quad Core Skylake
Speed test: 3070 MB/s read, 2374 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.3
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C
Temperature sensor: required for the HDD

Issues after fresh OS install: the iMac cannot wake from normal sleep unless I press the power button, had to use hibernate 25 instead and disable standby


Blade +HDD upgrade by MBehr2

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK472LL/A (4.0 Ghz i7-6700K, blade only 512GB)
Blade upgrade: 512GB blade PCIe SATA -> 1TB WDS100T3X0C-00SJG0 (102000WD) PCIe NVMe (WD BLACK SN750 NVMe SSD) + a heat sink.
HDD upgrade: none -> 1TB WDC WDS100T2B0A-00SM50 (X61190WD)
Speed test: 2723 MB/s read, 2913 MB/s write
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013

Location: Canada, North America
Temperature sensor: works fine without, thus not required
Issues after fresh OS install:
sleep issues, have to disable sleep


Blade +HDD upgrade by rxs0

Device: Mid 2017 - 18.3 - MNE92LL/A (3.6Ghz i7-7700, Fusion HDD+32GB blade)
Blade upgrade: 32GB Blade -> 2TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD
HDD upgrade: 1TB SATA HDD -> 1TB Samsung 960 EVO SATA SSD
Speed test: blade 2500 MB/s write, 3000 MB/s read, SATA SSD 450-ish
OS: Mojave 10.14.4
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C with additional Kapton tape
Temperature sensor: not used
Issues after fresh OS install and restore:
NONE, no sleep or hibernate issues


Blade upgrade by MacManSuite

Device: Late 2015 - 17.1 - MK462LL/A (3.2Ghz i5-6500)
Blade upgrade: 32GB Blade -> 2TB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280
Speed test: 2700 MB/s read, 2700 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.4
Location: UK, Europe
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013 (I did have to cut this slightly so the NVMe sat flat rather then slightly bent)
Issues after fresh OS install:
sleep disabled & hibernation enabled


Blade + HDD upgrade by MacManSuite

Device: Late 2013 -14.2 (3.5Ghz i7-4771)
Blade upgrade: 128GB SDNEP 655-18378 -> Intel 660P 2TB (SSDPEKNW020T8X1)
HDD upgrade: 3TB SATA ST3000DM001 HDD -> 4TB SATA ST4000DMZ04 HDD (Cold storage)
Speed test: 750 MB/s read, 750 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.4/10.14.5
Location: UK, Europe
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013

Issues after fresh OS install: working with NO tweaks to sleep mode, no crashes when resuming. Tested under both 10.14.4 and 10.14.5 with no issue


Blade+HDD upgrade by mdelrossi

Device: Late 2014 - 15.1 (4.0Ghz i7-4790K)
Blade upgrade: 128GB Blade -> Intel 660P 1TB
HDD upgrade: HDD -> 2TB SSD Sandisk SDSSDH3-2T00-G25
OS: Mojave 10.14.5
Location: US, North America
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C
Issues after fresh OS install:
Flawless. Goes to sleep, wakes up no terminal command. Clean install, then migrated from existing T5 that I was using as main boot drive.


Blade upgrade by ProteoMX

Device: iMac Late 2013 - 14.2 - ME089LL/A (3.4Ghz i5-4670)
Blade upgrade: none -> Samsung 970 PRO 512GB (MZ-V7P512BW)
Speed test: 780 MB/s read, 738 MB/s write.
OS: Mojave 10.14.5
Location: Venezuela, South America

Adapter: Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD (came in black color, branded as RoHS)
Issues after fresh OS install: sleeps seems to be working just fine, I can hit the "Sleep" menu entry, leave the machine alone for a while and when I press the keyboard it just comes back to life and keeps working as usual


Blade+HDD upgrade by macmanss

Device: Early 2019 - 19.1 - MRR12LL/A (3.0GHz i5-8500)
Blade upgrade: 32GB Blade -> 2TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD
HDD upgrade: 1TB SATA HDD -> 1TB Samsung 840 EVO SATA SSD (old model)
Speed test: 2900 MB/s read, 2520 MB/s write
OS: Mojave 10.14.5
Adapter: Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C
Location: Sydney, Australia
Temperature sensor: none
Issues after fresh OS install:
none, sleep/wake works fine, no loud fans
[doublepost=1558543570][/doublepost]
The iMacs before 2017 cannot wake from normal sleep after upgrading the blade SSD with a non-Apple. They will either "restart because of a problem", or show a question mark icon depending on the system even produced.

There two hypothetical solutions discussed in the thread have been:
1) get the NVMe dXE driver flashed to the motherboard's SPI chip. This for the moment is only possible by hardware programming, probably with desoldering the chip.
2) flash the NVMe dXE driver using software only, which so far has proven fruitless because of the protected OS X installers.
120GB OWC SSD Upgrade in a 2011 iMac 27" 16GB of OWC RAM running MacOS 10.13.6 --- shipped to Illinois and installed by OWC.

Loud fan spinning issue...unresolved.

Could be a temperature sensor issue.

Took it to Apple store for Graphics Card failure, they upgraded it with a 2GB AMD Replacement Program.

I had to pay the ~ $426.00 work and parts fee because of a non-Apple SSD upgrade.

I have confirmed the issue is NOT Adobe Flash...

And that is about it. Fan spinning on max and HOT HOT HOT!!
[doublepost=1558543703][/doublepost]This is the only reason I purchased a new iMac. The fan issue. (Time to upgrade) :apple: -- After all it is (over 7 years old)

...and that makes it on the "Obsolete Mac Computers" list. Still love the computer and want to take care of it, and use it!
 

AlaskaMoose

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2008
1,519
891
Alaska
I'll add my experience here, as I've successfully upgraded a few iMacs to SSDs. As many of the iMac's I've dealt with have physical HDD temperature sensors controlling the HDD fan, you need to download a fan control program to prevent the fans from going crazy when you swap in the SSD. I use Macs fan control (https://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control):

Spinning drive upgrades

1)
Device:
iMac 27" Late 2009 i7
SSD upgrade: TB HDD -> Crucial M550 256 SSD
Speed test: 280 MB/s read, 250 MB/s write
OS: High Sierra 10.13.6

Temperature sensor: none - disconnected cable from old HDD
Issues after fresh OS install: HDD fan spins like crazy due to no temperature readings from HDD sensor
What to do: download Macs fan control to tame HDD fans

2)
Device:
iMac 27" Late 2014 i7
SSD upgrade: 1T Fusion Drive -> Crucial M500 2T SSD + 128 Gb Apple Blade SSD (from fusion drive)
Speed test: 500 MB/s read, 480 MB/s write
OS: High Sierra 10.14.2

Temperature sensor: none
Issues after fresh OS install: none - everything works perfectly
What to do: nothing - everything works perfectly

3)

Device: iMac 27" Late 2011 i7
SSD upgrade: 1T HDD -> Intel 330 SSD 180 Gb
Speed test: N/A
OS: High Sierra 10.13.6

Temperature sensor: none
Issues after fresh OS install: HDD fan spins like crazy due to no temperature readings from HDD sensor
What to do: download Macs fan control to tame HDD fans
I replaced the hard drive with a 1TB SSD in an early 2011 iMac 21" and installed a temperature control sensor on the SSD instead of having to control fan speeds with an app. The sensors are available at crucial.com
 

macmanss

macrumors newbie
Jan 15, 2014
14
5
Sydney
I agree with ProteoMX, if you choose a Samsung NVMe definitely get a heatsink. I've been running my 970 EVO for several days now (with a heatsink) and I've yet to see it pass 50 deg C under heavy load. Most of the time it hovers around 40-45 deg with normal usage.
 
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macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
I did a clean install of 10.14.5 via USB on the SATA drive in my 27” Late 2015 iMac to ensure the bootrom was updated to the latest version which is 166.0.0.0.0 for this iMac model.

I then did a clean install of 10.14.5 via USB with my 2TB Sabrent Rocket NVME but sill have the sleep issue. No issues with an Apple NVME SSD installed.
 

dobrink

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2013
98
41
Helsinki, Finland
27" iMacs Late 2012, Late 2013, Late 2014, Mid 2015 now crash on hibernation opposed to previously crashing on normal sleep.

Mojave 10.14.4 and 10.14.5 introduced bootrom updates for 27" iMacs Late-2012 till Mid-2015 that modified the power states of non-native blade drives and thus now those iMacs behave just like the portable macbooks 2013-2014 described in this thread. As a result, those iMacs have to run the following power settings to prevent the computer from crashing:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0
(alternatively, instead of standby 0, you can leave the standby at 1, and use for example standbydelayhigh 2592000 which equals to one month in seconds)

To summerize, Terminal commands for the different 27" iMac models:

Late 2012 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Late 2013 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Late 2014 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Mid 2015 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Late 2015 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0 (disables normal sleep)
Mid 2017 -> no issues
Early 2019 -> no issues

The first post in the thread is updated with the new information.
Thanks to @ProteoMX for running some tests on his Late 2013 iMac to investigate and confirm the issue.

Seems like Apple are doing changes all the time. Lately, there have been a lot of bootrom updates, which are applied even on machines with a 3rd party blade on them. Those updates can possibly fix all issues with NVMe blades, if Apple finds it necessary. However, if absent external pressure they will not do anything towards supporting non-Apple components!

I have already proven that even Apple Premium Service providers can install Apple NVMe blades on older machines, after of course charging tons of money. The key here is that those Apple NVMe blades will have the same issues as non-Apple ones because they are controlled by the same NVMe driver (SSD iMac models up to and including Late 2015 ship with AHCI blades, not NVMe). Therefore, what we can do is submit bug reports and when asked to provide them with a diagnostic report, we change the blade drive model with such of Apple's, as if we have paid €500-€1800 for a drive upgrade and now it crashes when sleeping (or hibernating). Only then Apple may actually do something about that NVMe power states support!
(this is also true for MacBooks 2013-2014, so if you own such machine you can do the same)

Bug reports are done from this page http://bugreport.apple.com (log in with an Apple ID), and this is the information you will need to include (with example text):

Summary:
My iMac's/MacBook's drive failed and I have got a new NVMe SSD installed by <local Apple company name> who is authorized/premium Apple Servive provider. When I put it to sleep/hibernate it crashes (here you can include "restarted because of a problem" screen, "the question mark forlder", the self-restart with two chimes before the Apple logo if hibernation issue). I am actively using the computer and therefore, I cannot at the moment take it back for diagnostics. This drive replacement was very costly and I have read on the internet that other customers are also experiencing similar issues, and that it possibly is a firmware problem.

Steps to Reproduce:
Wait for the computer to go to sleep, or click "sleep" from the drop-down list (alternatively, put the computer to sleep and wait overnight for it to enter hibernation). Consecutively, when waking, it displays the error screen.


Expected Results:
The Mac should wake up normally and resume from where I left off.

Actual Results:
The Mac doesn't wake up, but displays "Your computer restarted because of a problem. Press a key or wait a few seconds to continue starting up." error screen and then auto-restarts. I lose all unsaved documents and the program windows I was working on. (Alternatively, it displays the question mark folder and I have to shut it down and start it again OR when I press a key to wake the computer, it reboots itself by sounding the start-up chime two times).

Version/Build:
OS X Mojave 10.14.5

Configuration:
Here you can provide your Mac's model, or best the serial number. Also you can state Apple service provider has replaced the drive with an Apple NVMe SSD.
(Original Apple NVMe drives that can be included in such reports are MZ-KPW1280 655-1992, MZ-KPW2560 655-1993, MZ-KKW2560 655-1993A, MZ-KKW5120 655-1994, MZ-KKW1T00 655-1995A ,
MZ-KKW2T00 655-1996 ,or pick from this page)


However, despite all those new bootroms, the question remains, how were @gilles_polysoft and @mikehalloran able to upgrade so many blades of Late 2015 iMac models without any sleep problems afterwards. One possibility is that when they used to be doing that, the OS X they had on the USB stick contained a bootrom with full NVMe support, and after that Apple would correct this by stripping the firmware of newer OS X versions from this support.
 
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macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
27" iMacs Late 2012, Late 2013, Late 2014, Mid 2015 now crash on hibernation opposed to previously crashing on normal sleep.

Mojave 10.14.4 and 10.14.5 introduced bootrom updates for 27" iMacs Late-2012 till Mid-2015 that modified the power states of non-native blade drives and thus now those iMacs behave just like the portable macbooks 2013-2014 described in this thread. As a result, those iMacs have to run the following power settings to prevent the computer from crashing:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0
(instead of standby 0, you can leave the standby at 1, and use for example standbydelayhigh 2592000 which equals to one month in seconds)

To summerize, Terminal commands for the different 27" iMac models:

Late 2012 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Late 2013 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Late 2014 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Mid 2015 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 standby 0 autopoweroff 0 (disables hibernate)
Late 2015 -> sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 standby 0 (disables normal sleep)
Mid 2017 -> no issues
Early 2019 -> no issues

The first post in the thread is updated with the new information.
Thanks to @ProteoMX for running some tests on his Late 2013 iMac to investigate and confirm the issue.

Seems like Apple are doing changes all the time. Lately, there have been a lot of bootrom updates, which are applied even on machines with a 3rd party blade on them. Those updates can possibly fix all issues with NVMe blades, if Apple finds it necessary. However, if absent external pressure they will not do anything towards supporting non-Apple components!

I have already proven that even Apple Premium Service providers can install Apple NVMe blades on older machines, after of course charging tons of money. The key here is that those Apple NVMe blades will have the same issues as non-Apple ones because they are controlled by the same NVMe driver (SSD iMac models up to and including Late 2015 ship with AHCI blades, not NVMe). Therefore, what we can do is submit bug reports and when asked to provide them with a diagnostic report, we change the blade drive model with such of Apple's, as if we have paid €500-€1800 for a drive upgrade and now it crashes when sleeping (or hibernating). Only then Apple may actually do something about that NVMe power states support!
(this is also true for MacBooks 2013-2014, so if you own such machine you can do the same)

Bug reports are done from this page http://bugreport.apple.com (log in with an Apple ID), and this is the information you will need to include (with example text):

Summary:
My iMac's/MacBook's drive failed and I have got a new NVMe SSD installed by <local Apple company name> who is authorized/premium Apple Servive provider. When I put it to sleep/hibernate it crashes (here you can include "restarted because of a problem" screen, "the question mark forlder", the self-restart with two chimes before the Apple logo if hibernation issue). I am actively using the computer and therefore, I cannot at the moment take it back for diagnostics. This drive replacement was very costly and I have read on the internet that other customers are also experiencing similar issues, and that it possibly is a firmware problem.

Steps to Reproduce:
Wait for the computer to go to sleep, or click "sleep" from the drop-down list (alternatively, put the computer to sleep and wait overnight for it to enter hibernation). Consecutively, when waking, it displays the error screen.


Expected Results:
The Mac should wake up normally and resume from where I left off.

Actual Results:
The Mac doesn't wake up, but displays "Your computer restarted because of a problem. Press a key or wait a few seconds to continue starting up." error screen and then auto-restarts. I lose all unsaved documents and the program windows I was working on. (Alternatively, it displays the question mark folder and I have to shut it down and start it again OR when I press a key to wake the computer, it reboots itself by sounding the start-up chime two times).

Version/Build:
OS X Mojave 10.14.5

Configuration:
Here you can provide your Mac's model, or best the serial number. Also you can state Apple service provider has replaced the drive with an Apple NVMe SSD.
(Original Apple NVMe drives that can be included in such reports are MZ-KPW1280 655-1992, MZ-KPW2560 655-1993, MZ-KKW2560 655-1993A, MZ-KKW5120 655-1994, MZ-KKW1T00 655-1995A ,
MZ-KKW2T00 655-1996 ,or pick from this page)


However, despite all those new bootroms, the question remains, how were @gilles_polysoft and @mikehalloran able to upgrade so many blades of Late 2015 iMac models without any sleep problems afterwards. One possibility is that when they used to be doing that, the OS X they had on the USB stick contained a bootrom with full NVMe support, and after that Apple would correct this by stripping the firmware of newer OS X versions from this support.
Read my post above yours. I still have the same sleep issues with the latest bootrom on my 27” Late 2015. When I had an Apple MVME installed I had no issues. The 1TB Fusion model shipped with a 24GB NVME.
 

dobrink

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 4, 2013
98
41
Helsinki, Finland
The NVMe driver contained in the bootroms of iMac models up to Mid-2015 is compressed. The same driver in Late-2015 models is uncompressed, but cut in size, thus incomplete. You would have issues even with an Apple NVMe.

What was the drive model you used? Was it showing under ”NVMe express” in system preferences? Are you sure it wasn’t AHCI? For how long have you been using it?

True that the fusion Late-2015 models have a small 24GB NVMe, but it is some custom drive, behaving weirdly and its functionality cannot be used to conclude a normal NVMe’s operation. I think that this 24GB OEM drive is the only reason for the NVMe driver in Late-2015 iMac to not be compressed. However, as I mentioned, that driver is smaller than it has to be, and this fact makes me think that it only supports the smooth operation of this single small blade while keeping all other NVMes out of the picture.

Regarding your post, it is good that you tried what mikehalloran explained and installed OS X from a USB, but not internet recovery. Pity that it isn’t the fix and I am still so curious how gilles and mike used to run NVMes in Late 2015 iMacs without issues. Let’s try and solve this mystery, thus let’s please gather all the data we can, so that we can isolate the cause and reproduce their experience.

In any case, the point of my previous post was that for iMacs 2012-2015 and Macbooks 2013-2014 we must make bug reports listing Apple OEM NVMe drives as the source of the crashes, because if, based on those problems that customers ”have”, Apple would start supporting their own NVMes by including the full NVMe driver in the bootroms of the iMacs/MacBooks, then any 3rd party NVMe would work just as fine, without any issues.
 
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armandolamara

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2019
2
0
The NVMe driver contained in the bootroms of iMac models up to Mid-2015 is compressed. The same driver in Late-2015 models is uncompressed, but cut in size, thus incomplete. You would have issues even with an Apple NVMe.

What was the drive model you used? Was it showing under ”NVMe express” in system preferences? Are you sure it wasn’t AHCI? For how long have you been using it?

True that the fusion Late-2015 models have a small 24GB NVMe, but it is some custom drive, behaving weirdly and its functionality cannot be used to conclude a normal NVMe’s operation. I think that this 24GB OEM drive is the only reason for the NVMe driver in Late-2015 iMac to not be compressed. However, as I mentioned, that driver is smaller than it has to be, and this fact makes me think that it only supports the smooth operation of this single small blade while keeping all other NVMes out of the picture.

Regarding your post, it is good that you tried what mikehalloran explained and installed OS X from a USB, but not internet recovery. Pity that it isn’t the fix and I am still so curious how gilles and mike used to run NVMes in Late 2015 iMacs without issues. Let’s try and solve this mystery, thus let’s please gather all the data we can, so that we can isolate the cause and reproduce their experience.

In any case, the point of my previous post was that for iMacs 2012-2015 and Macbooks 2013-2014 we must make bug reports listing Apple OEM NVMe drives as the source of the crashes, because if, based on those problems that customers ”have”, Apple would start supporting their own NVMes by including the full NVMe driver in the bootroms of the iMacs/MacBooks, then any 3rd party NVMe would work just as fine, without any issues.
So is there any specific drive you would recommend? I have 2 Late 2015 and 2017 27" iMacs. What are your thoughts on the HAT SSDs that are running around on eBay?

Thanks for the great info.
 

ProteoMX

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2019
15
7
I did some research on HAT SSDs before upgrading my drive. They're legit products and seem to work fine but if you have the sleep issue with another NVMe drive, don't expect a HAT SSD to solve it. They will send you the drive preloaded with High Sierra so you can boot from the drive right away. On the other hand, AFAIK it's just a NVMe drive connected to an adapter similar to the ones sold by Sintech.
 

macgeek01

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2013
841
77
The NVMe driver contained in the bootroms of iMac models up to Mid-2015 is compressed. The same driver in Late-2015 models is uncompressed, but cut in size, thus incomplete. You would have issues even with an Apple NVMe.

What was the drive model you used? Was it showing under ”NVMe express” in system preferences? Are you sure it wasn’t AHCI? For how long have you been using it?

True that the fusion Late-2015 models have a small 24GB NVMe, but it is some custom drive, behaving weirdly and its functionality cannot be used to conclude a normal NVMe’s operation. I think that this 24GB OEM drive is the only reason for the NVMe driver in Late-2015 iMac to not be compressed. However, as I mentioned, that driver is smaller than it has to be, and this fact makes me think that it only supports the smooth operation of this single small blade while keeping all other NVMes out of the picture.

Regarding your post, it is good that you tried what mikehalloran explained and installed OS X from a USB, but not internet recovery. Pity that it isn’t the fix and I am still so curious how gilles and mike used to run NVMes in Late 2015 iMacs without issues. Let’s try and solve this mystery, thus let’s please gather all the data we can, so that we can isolate the cause and reproduce their experience.

In any case, the point of my previous post was that for iMacs 2012-2015 and Macbooks 2013-2014 we must make bug reports listing Apple OEM NVMe drives as the source of the crashes, because if, based on those problems that customers ”have”, Apple would start supporting their own NVMes by including the full NVMe driver in the bootroms of the iMacs/MacBooks, then any 3rd party NVMe would work just as fine, without any issues.
Yes, it was the 32GB (24GB over provisioned) Apple OEM NVME SSD that I tested with as the boot drive. My iMac was a SSD only custom order but I purchased the Apple NVME just to test. It definitely reported as NVME and I believe I posted a picture somewhere around? Maybe this thread? LOL, can’t remember and don’t feel like searching at the moment. Pretty sure you saw the post.

So you’re saying that the size of the MVME driver on Late 2015 iMacs is larger then the older iMac models but not the same as later models? Is the driver the same size as the 2015 MBP’s?
 

Woodlandjustin

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2007
36
1
On 2017 27-inch iMac, I'm going to replace both drives with SSD drives. I also have a bootable external drive - can replace the two internal drives, and then boot with the external (holding down option key) and from there install the OS on the internal PCIe M.2 drive? Or do I need to do something more complicated, like pre-install the OS on the M.2 drive before I put it in?

I've seen a lot of complicated instructions but not seen anyone mentioning about booting from external to instal the OS, so would love to hear if that would work. It would seem to me potentially simpler.
 

mdelrossi

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2005
111
56
On 2017 27-inch iMac, I'm going to replace both drives with SSD drives. I also have a bootable external drive - can replace the two internal drives, and then boot with the external (holding down option key) and from there install the OS on the internal PCIe M.2 drive? Or do I need to do something more complicated, like pre-install the OS on the M.2 drive before I put it in?

I've seen a lot of complicated instructions but not seen anyone mentioning about booting from external to instal the OS, so would love to hear if that would work. It would seem to me potentially simpler.

Works just fine. I used a T5 that I had been using as a boot drive for a while.
 
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BenMingLee

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2019
1
0
Canada
Hi everyone,

Unfortunately I just did my NVME ssd blade upgrade to my 2015 imac 27.
I already sealed the screen so I can't take the ssd blade out. So I was having sleep crashes all the time since.

What I did so far is to delete all volumes from the nvme blade, then
sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/IONVMeFamily.kext

That will allow the mac to ignore the nvm blade.
I have to keep it unloaded until Apple or someone find a solution to that.

Best Regards,
Ben.
 

Woodlandjustin

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2007
36
1
How to decide what files to put where when upgrading both PCIe and SATA?
I'm thinking the OS and apps should be on the PCIe drive for speed. I have a sample library that could be good to be on the faster PCIe also. But how do we actually go about doing that? We just start dragging and dropping folders from drive to drive? I imagine that could cause problems, and that there is a particular way of doing this.
 

mdelrossi

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2005
111
56
How to decide what files to put where when upgrading both PCIe and SATA?
I'm thinking the OS and apps should be on the PCIe drive for speed. I have a sample library that could be good to be on the faster PCIe also. But how do we actually go about doing that? We just start dragging and dropping folders from drive to drive? I imagine that could cause problems, and that there is a particular way of doing this.
What size drives are you using?

A Fusion drive will take 2 drives and make them appear as one, using the faster PCIe ssd to make the whole disk look faster.
Unfortunately when the Pcie disk fills up the read and write speeds slow down on that particular transfer, until the PCIe can offload the info onto the slower drive.

Also if one of the drives fail the entire Fusion drive fails. Losing all data.

I split my fusion drive the day I got my iMac, and that was with a 128GB ssd. If you're putting in a bigger drive in the pcie slot then I wouldn't make a fusion.

I don't know how sample files are read and written, but the Pcie slot will read and write at least 2x as fast as the sata drive.
Some people use the sata ssd for the boot and general files, and put the data that they need the fastest access to on the Pcie slot drive.

good luck.

mdr
 

Woodlandjustin

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2007
36
1
Make a Fusion Drive !;)
Really? Doesn't that double the chance of data loss? I thought it was just a cheap cheat for making a ****** cheap HDD work a bit better, rather than Apple using modern up to date technology.

What size drives are you using?
PCIe: EVO 970 1TB
SATA: EVO 860 2TB

A Fusion drive will take 2 drives and make them appear as one, using the faster PCIe ssd to make the whole disk look faster.
Yeah, but I think there's no need to have files like movies, ebooks and so on, working at PCIe speeds - they'd work fine even on HDD, so no need to be faster than the EVO 860 I think.

I split my fusion drive the day I got my iMac, and that was with a 128GB ssd. If you're putting in a bigger drive in the pcie slot then I wouldn't make a fusion.
Exactly.

I'm just unsure of actually how practically to choose what to go where and all that. Like which folders, what potential errors to avoid etc. Maybe someone has a link to info or to a thread or something? Or even better, knowledgeable experience?

To be quite honest I would not even be sure how to make the 'documents' folder on the separate drive, as dragging and dropping changes the whole heirarchy (like what 'user' that folder comes under for example) - or is that fine? That's what I mean, like an explanation of what to do and what not to do, potential pitfalls etc.?
 

rbart

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2013
326
146
France
Really? Doesn't that double the chance of data loss? I thought it was just a cheap cheat for making a ****** cheap HDD work a bit better, rather than Apple using modern up to date technology.

...
What you request is the behavior of the Fusion drive.
Data loss is not a real problem as you always have a backup.

To be honest, you will probably not notice the speed difference between 860evo and 970evo, unless in benchmarks.
 

mdelrossi

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2005
111
56
Will all your sample files fit on the pcie? Do they need to get read all the time? Like I said I'm not familiar on how sample files are used.

As a Photographer, I keep all my Libraries(not the actual RAW files) on the pcie drive as that's where all the previews get written and read from. All the other nonsense gets put on the SSD as a standard install.

Did you buy all the drives and take them out of the packaging? If not , I'd get a 2TB pcie. Install the system normally in the Sata SSD, it will be more than fast enough to boot off of and launch apps. Install your sample files on the 2TB Pcie.
 
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