Help with installing and using OWC SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by historylover, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. historylover macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #1
    I purchased the OWC Mercury Aura 6G 240 GB SSD for MBA 2011, and I went through the process of installing the HD into the computer. Everything worked fine, and I was able to boot in recovery mode and trigger the Lion Internet Recovery. I got to the Mac OS X Utilities screen, and selected "restore from time machine backup", and I was able to get through the steps until it hit the "Select a Destination" screen, and it just sits there "searching for disks" (for a long time, last count, almost an hour). When I try to Reinstall Mac OS X, the same thing happens, when I need to select a disk to install Lion (ie. my hard drive), it does not show up. I will point out that I can go to disk utility and the OWC SSD shows up as a disk, so I'm assuming that the MBA can read it. Am I wrong?

    I will point out that, having never used disk utility before, and having never done this before, I was careful to reduce as much as possible static charges. I called the OWC tech support and asked them if I wanted to use the Lion Internet Recovery, if I all I needed to do was create a backup on an external through Time Machine (which I did). Is there something I am missing, some step I should have known about?

    I tried finding other answers on this forum, and I can't find a simple enough explanation (since I've never used Disk Utility), and I can't find a situation similar to mine. Any help you all can give me would me much appreciated.
     
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    NC
    #2
    Is it formatted to mac OS extended journaled? Just a thought.
     
  3. historylover thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2011
    #3
    "Is it formatted to mac OS extended journaled? Just a thought. "

    When I am in disk utility, it says that it is unformatted. However, I have no idea what extended journaled is, so I can only tell you what disk utility told me when I clicked "info". Under Partition Map Scheme, it says unformatted.
     
  4. historylover thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #5
    That worked! Well, so far. I'm at the "Restoring" part right now, so I'm waiting to see what happens. I just needed to format it, apparently!

    I hate to quibble too much, especially since someone was able to give me the information so easily, but nowhere did I see that I needed to format the hard drive before restoring it. Or if it's there, it's not a "straightforward" instruction. I guess I needed to have a bit more knowledge with all of it, but I am definitely of a mind that instructions need to be for the most basic of users.

    Maybe that's just me. Either way, I'll update with what I think of the new hard drive once my restore is done. Thank you, appleraj!
     
  5. appleraj macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2011
  6. hh83917 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #7
  7. Stein357 macrumors 6502

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    Rip City
    #8
    FWIW, it states in the install video on their website that the drive needs to be formatted.
     
  8. tastychicken macrumors member

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    Sep 30, 2008
    #9
    How is the drive? Do you notice a difference?
     
  9. fotonutz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #10
    Is it really faster after you replaced the stock SSD with the OWC SSD?

    Thinking of upgrading it if it is not too troublesome and really faster than the stock SSD that came with the MBA.

    Rgds
     
  10. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 10, 2008
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    Denver
    #11
    I can't personally say for a 2011 MBA but OWC claims about 40% faster. I installed one of these on my 2010 MBA and its noticeable faster - I could definitely believe OWCs numbers.

    I found it to be a very worthwhile upgrade as its both faster and larger than what Apple offered at the time.
     
  11. raftr macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2007
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    Ireland
    #12
    OWC just introduced a 480GB 6G blade. $1149. Too bad they didn't discount other sizes while adding it.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #13
    If you are upgrading because you want to increase capacity, that makes sense, but if you are thinking of replacing a SATA II SSD with a SATA III SSD of the same size, the upgrade is not very compelling. Even though benchmark tests do show an improvement, in day to day usage you are not likely to notice much difference unless you regularly work with large files such as when video editing.
     
  13. hh83917 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #14
    Anyone notice any difference on the battery life after installing the Aura 480gb SSD on their MBA?

    I just purchased the OWC 3G 480gb SSD, but is still waiting for the Macbook Air order to arrive so I can install it. Didn't know OWC just came out with the 6G version of the 480gb SSD. But, I felt the upgrade will be somewhat counter production as it will suck up battery life. I've read in reviews that the Aura 6G 240GB SSD decreases the battery life by 30mins or so. I assume it's the 6G SATA interface that's sucking the battery life, but I'm curious to know if the size of the drive matters as well. :confused:
     
  14. satirev macrumors 6502

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    May 23, 2010
    #15
    capacity definitely does not affect battery life.
     
  15. Smileyboy macrumors 65816

    Smileyboy

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #16
    Mine is in route too... I may have to return it to get the new upgraded one! Thanks for the news.
     
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #17
    I think it's because the 6G models use synchronous NAND while the older models use asynchronous NAND. The latter is a little bit slower but has better battery life.
     
  17. hh83917 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #19
    Thank you for the information. I found another review on the Aura 6G 240GB SSD from AnandTech as well: http://www.anandtech.com/Show/Index...ress-6g-review-a-fast-macbook-air-ssd-upgrade

    They have a chart on power usage:
    OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G= Idle:6.2W Load (Sequential Write): 19.0W
    OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G (Encrypted)= Idle:6.2W Load (Sequential Write):18.0W
    Apple Toshiba SSD= Idle:5.5W Load (Sequential Write):16.4W

    And they said "The actual impact at idle should be somewhere in the 300mW - 400mW range. For a mostly idle workload you'd probably see a 30 minute reduction in battery life."

    So if you want speed, go for the 6G Aura.

    For me, I bought the Aura 3G 480GB, and I can return it and pay just $100 more for the 6G version. But, I don't think I will do that because I felt I got the Macbook Air primarily for portability and battery life, and the core-i5/i7 processors are icing on the cake.

    Since the Aura 3G is already plenty fast when compared to the stock drives (http://www.barefeats.com/mba11_03.html), if I wanted more speed, I'd probably get the Macbook Pro with dedicated graphics.

    With the Aura 3G 480gb + portability of MBA + 7hrs good battery life= already right mix for road trips and travels for me. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Smileyboy macrumors 65816

    Smileyboy

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #20
    Thanks for the stats. Glad to see I'm not the only getting one of these.
     
  19. hh83917 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #21
    Smileyboy, when you get yours, please let us know how it works for you.

    I got the Aura 3G SSD but the MBA is still en route to arrive next week. I don't see many discussions, at least not as much as the 2.5" ones, on the Aura SSD since it's proprietarily made only for the MBA.
     
  20. raftr macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2007
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    Ireland
    #22
    Has anyone seen power intake figures for the 3G OWC blades? Are you sure only the 6G are more power-hungry?
     
  21. hh83917 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #23
    Only found the specs from OWC's website for the 3G Aura, but don't know if thats true under real use.

    Power
    Read Power2.2 Watts
    Write Power2.5 Watts
    Idle Power0.09 Watts

    For the 6G Aura
    Power
    Active Power Less than 3000mW (3.0W) expected maximum draw
    Idle PowerLess than 1200mW (1.2W)

    Found this spec on the 256MB Toshiba SSD.
    http://www.3noobs.com/toshiba-blade-x-gale-64gb-128gb-256gb-specs/
    It said "Uses 3.3V voltage" Don't know what Amp it use, so can't really calculate...

    I just installed the Aura 3G into the Macbook Air 13" 1.7 i5 and it's working great.

    I have two MBAs at home, both 2011 version but my wife have the 1.7 i5 and mine is the 1.8 i7. I've swapped her 1.7 i5 MBA SSD to the OWC Aura 3G 480GB.

    Non scientifically, between her Aura 3G in the MBA 1.7 i5 vs my MBA 1.8 i7 with stock Samsung, when both charge at 80% + same brightness setting + keyboard light off. The remaining time displayed the battery meter on the top right are about the same time. But remember one of them is a 1.8 i7, so I'm guessing the Aura 3G does use about 5 to 10 min more battery life if they CPUs are the same, maybe because its compression technology and the faster speed of the Aura 3G.
     
  22. raftr macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #24
    Thanks for the info, it looks to be taking noticeably more power. Is the performance of the 3G noticeably faster then stock Samsung?
     
  23. hh83917 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #25
    Well, I wouldn't say the 5 minutes is a "noticeably difference". When you can use the laptop for 7 hrs, 5 minutes wasn't much of a difference. Now if you say the 30minutes less battery life with the Aura 6G, then I'd agree there is a difference.

    There are speed tests, which stated that the Aura 3G is faster than the stock drives (samsung or toshiba). But, in real usage, even the supposedly toshiba drive feels plenty fast to me. So, I'd just say it will not slow down your experience. But for the 480GB storage space, I like the Aura a lot.

    I felt that even if I exchange it for the Aura 6G, I will probably have a shorter battery life and won't really notice a difference in everyday use. I'd take any SSD over regular hard drive, and might be happy even if I use the slower stock toshiba SSD. I got the Aura mainly for extra storage space and the built-in garbage collection. It can even have the same speed as the slower toshiba stock SSD and I will still buy it.
     

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