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Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
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I'd suggest tracking TBWs every month for a while so that you can extrapolate the lifetime and then figure out whether or not to worry.
That didn't work for me. There many causes of this issue and it can be highly non linear. No simple explanations and much variability between users and machines for no obvious reasons. I am not the only one in that thread to have had a single massive burst.
 
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Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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Or...you could just enjoy it as it is and not worry about stuff that is almost always overblown.
In spite of my experience in the post above, I do agree with this and would never dream of crippling the user experience by booting from external to save the internal, especially on a laptop.

However the behaviour is real and I monitor it on both my M1 MBAs but I believe it will not be the life limiting feature of my machines in spite of my experience. My 20 month and 15 month old machines both show as 2% used.
 
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yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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I would like to see that too.

Also wondering if that kind of rapid SSD degradation is a MacOS problem thing, an Apple Silicon problem thing, a bad batch of SSDs or a specific usage pattern.

I asked him for a screenshot, I'll post it if he'll do it. I think it's just a usage pattern in this case. Intensive use of a swap file f.e. I've seen no swap file so far with my light usage (basically youtube and chrome) and written data average is about 15GB per 12 hrs. I turned off Spotlight though.
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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In spite of my experience in the post above, I do agree with this and would never dream of crippling the user experience by booting from external to save the internal
Well, not when money is a concern. Lightly used 1TB m.2 SSD drive is like 60$ + USB-C gen 2 enclosure for 20, and MMM1 is $500. Losing 80 after few years of using is one thing, but 500 is too much to lose for me.
 
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pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
8,834
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New Hampshire
Well, not when money is a concern. Lightly used 1TB m.2 SSD drive is like 60$ + USB-C gen 2 enclosure for 20, and MMM1 is $500. Losing 80 after few years of using is one thing, but 500 is too much to lose for me.

You could just use it and then go external if and when the internal dies.
 

Mike Boreham

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I was talking about Mac Mini )
Ok. Certainly a better case for desktop, but I would still push the boat out for a Thunderbolt external. MacOS sees external Thunderbolt drives as almost (completely?) equivalent to internal drives, (eg TRIM and SMART mentioned before), as well as being faster than USB.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
8,834
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New Hampshire
Ok. Certainly a better case for desktop, but I would still push the boat out for a Thunderbolt external. MacOS sees external Thunderbolt drives as almost (completely?) equivalent to internal drives, (eg TRIM and SMART mentioned before), as well as being faster than USB.

If you max RAM then more is cached. The difference in speed for office stuff is negligible on SSD speeds.
 

yellowhelicopter

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Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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OK, I bought a lightly used Crucial P1 M2 1TB drive for cheap + Orico M2PV-C3 USB-C 10Gbps enclosure (it's a quality cheap enclosure and really provides up to 10Gbps speed, so I can recommend it for those who can't afford Thunderbolt/USB-4 drives). Successfully made a bootable Monterey 12.5 USB drive with standard Apple Disk Utility, only to find out that system gives me the infamous "SDErrorDomain error 108" message when I actually try to boot the Mac from it.

Then I just used Carbon Copy Cloner and cloned my internal drive to the USB drive, it went smooth to my surprise and provided me with bootable drive without any problems. It works well and quick (even though boot now takes about 25s instead of 10 or so). Just don't use Samsung drives, I read they have problems with TRIM on MacOS and boot in more than a minute.

But now I have a big question. How do I update MacOS on this external drive when new update comes, just like it was an internal drive or there are going to be some problems?
 
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pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
8,834
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New Hampshire
OK, I bought a lightly used Crucial P1 M2 1TB drive for cheap + Orico M2PV-C3 USB-C 10Gbps enclosure (it's a quality cheap enclosure and really provides up to 10Gbps speed, so I can recommend it for those who can't afford Thunderbolt/USB-4 drives). Successfully made a bootable Monterey 12.5 USB drive with standard Apple Disk Utility, only to find out that system gives me the infamous "SDErrorDomain error 108" message when I actually try to boot the Mac from it.

Then I just used Carbon Copy Cloner and cloned my internal drive to the USB drive, it went smooth to my surprise and provided me with bootable drive without any problems. It works well and quick (even though boot now takes about 25s instead of 10 or so). Just don't use Samsung drives, I read they have problems with TRIM on MacOS and boot in more than a minute.

But now I have a big question. How do I update MacOS on this external drive when new update comes, just like it was an internal drive or there are going to be some problems?

I encrypt my drives, so, if I have more than one bootable, encrypted drive, macOS asks for the encryption key so that it can see the other drive. I don't provide it to keep the two drives from seeing and updating each other.
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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But now I have a big question. How do I update MacOS on this external drive when new update comes, just like it was an internal drive or there are going to be some problems?
Just like it was an internal drive. Software Update. I have not experienced the wrong drive being updated, only the one I am booted from.
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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Ok, some addition.

Earlier I used CCC to clone system from internal only because I couldn't install Monterey on external SSD by standard means (via installer). The installer seemed to copy system files just fine, then asked to reboot, and then after some progression on apple progression bar screen it somehow kept to abandon the task and rebooted back to my internal drive without finishing the installation and without any error.

Well, as it turns out, the culprit was the SSD's type of connection during installation. It was connected to USB-C previously, now I've connected it to USB-A and installation suddenly went just fine. After installation I reconnected the SSD back to USB-C port and it works fine. Don't know why it happens (I think it's a problem of the current macOS installer), but maybe the trick will help someone else.
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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Just like it was an internal drive. Software Update. I have not experienced the wrong drive being updated, only the one I am booted from.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to update the OS if CCC was used to clone the system, at least in case of Big Sur and further. These newer MacOSes should be installed "properly" for them to be able to update.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
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Unfortunately, it's not possible to update the OS if CCC was used to clone the system, at least in case of Big Sur and further. These newer MacOSes should be installed "properly" for them to be able to update.
Its not something Mike B mentions here, though I am not surprised. CCC can only clone the System Volume with Apple tool ASR which replicates both volumes in one go onto an erased destination. You're saying a System Volume created by ASR is not updatable by SU.
I don't make use of bootable clones but might do a test tomorrow to confirm.
One of the many reasons he has relegated bootable clones to legacy and best endeavours.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
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Unfortunately, it's not possible to update the OS if CCC was used to clone the system, at least in case of Big Sur and further. These newer MacOSes should be installed "properly" for them to be able to update.

Further to my first reply I have found these CCC FAQ , which is probably why I said earlier that the System Volume could be updated normally by Software Update. The second paragraph is the relevant one.

After CCC has established an initial bootable backup, will it keep the destination System volume up to date?​

No. We would like to offer this functionality, but doing so involves a tradeoff that we think most users would find unacceptable. Due to an inflexibility in Apple's APFS replication utility (ASR), we can only update the destination System volume by cloning both the System and Data volumes together with ASR, and that involves erasing the destination. Doing so would remove all snapshots on the destination, and would take quite a bit longer than an ordinary incremental backup.

Fortunately, updating the System volume on the destination is not something that you have to do frequently, nor even proactively, it's something that you can do if and when required. Simply boot your Mac from the backup volume and apply any updates via the Software Update preference pane in the System Preferences application. This is something that you could even defer until the need arises to restore from the backup.
 
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yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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Fortunately, updating the System volume on the destination is not something that you have to do frequently, nor even proactively, it's something that you can do if and when required. Simply boot your Mac from the backup volume and apply any updates via the Software Update preference pane in the System Preferences application. This is something that you could even defer until the need arises to restore from the backup.

Hmm, then I was wrong and perhaps the reason that personally I couldn't update was just that I had tried to do it while my SSD was connected via USB-C (see my post above).
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
3,302
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UK
Hmm, then I was wrong and perhaps the reason that personally I couldn't update was just that I had tried to do it while my SSD was connected via USB-C (see my post above).

I know in the early days of bootable external with Silicon that USB-A vs USB-C connection was a factor with M1 Minis, but I have only had M1 MBA and M1 MBP so no USB-A ports, and bootable externals are currently working well. It hasn't always been the case. For the first year or so of Apple Silicon creating bootable externals was a frustrating experience.
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
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I know in the early days of bootable external with Silicon that USB-A vs USB-C connection was a factor with M1 Minis
It seems it still is. I have Crucial 1TB M2 + Orico 10Gbps enclosure and Monterey 12.5(6) couldn't fully install via USB-C somehow (no errors), even though it installs fine via USB-A, works totally fine via USB-C after that, and CCC does clone via USB-C fine too. Must be a macOS installer problem.
 

Mac Hammer Fan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2004
976
298
When you try to install a MacOS from a Mac Studio to an external SSD connected to thunderbold, it fails. When you select the startup disk external ssd you get SDErrorDomain Error 108. The only solution is to connect the external SSD to an USB A port. I can confirm this works. Owners of a Mac Mini M1 will have a problem as there is no USB A port on these Macs.
 

Ifti

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2010
3,530
1,923
UK
I have never had any SSD issues with any previous max I have owned. I really don’t see the point in trying to save components. They are there to be used and will most likely exceed the useable life of the system in the first instance. Use the system as a tool to do the job you purchased it for and enjoy it without worrying about using it!!
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
156
68
Owners of a Mac Mini M1 will have a problem as there is no USB A port on these Macs.
There are 2 USB-A ports, yes macOS installs fine via USB-A to external SSD (usual ones 2.5 or M2, as native Thunderbolt drives have no problems with installation via USB-C AFAIK). Perhaps you meant Mac Books M1.

It's very strange though that it doesn't work via USB-C, maybe they fixed it in Ventura, I haven't tried USB-C install for it. But knowing Apple I very much doubt it has been fixed, it's 100% their fault, not drives or controllers.
 
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Mac Hammer Fan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2004
976
298
There are 2 USB-A ports, yes macOS installs fine via USB-A to external SSD (usual ones 2.5 or M2, as native Thunderbolt drives have no problems with installation via USB-C AFAIK). Perhaps you meant Mac Books M1.

It's very strange though that it doesn't work via USB-C, maybe they fixed it in Ventura, I haven't tried USB-C install for it. But knowing Apple I very much doubt it has been fixed, it's 100% their fault, not drives or controllers.
Apple didn't fix it with Ventura.
 
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