OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G SSD Review – MBA Owners Get an Upgrade Storage Choice

OS X MIGRATION AND SSD REPLACEMENT

If my less than 30 days of experience on a MBA, and having migrated this system the first time without any assistance whatsoever, provides a bit of confidence with respect to simplicity, than so be it.  I started this challenge with only the advice that Carbon Copy Cloner was free and would do the job perfectly along with the need for an external storage medium and pentolobe screwdriver.

The first step is to download and install Carbon Copy Cloner and ensure that your external drive is connected to the MBA. From there, you need to prepare your external storage medium so that it is compatible with Mac OS X. You then start Carbon Copy Cloner, choose your source (system drive) and destination disks (external drive) and hit ‘Clone’.  Once complete, your system will automatically boot from the external source so you can switch off the original SSD with the new OWC Mercury Aura Pro.

This is where the pentalobe screwdriver comes in handy and it is the only one that will successfully remove the ten screws from the base of the MBA.  Just as a heads up, only the 1.2mm pentalobe screwdriver will work and, once the back is off, a T5 Torx is needed to remove the stock SSD and replace it with the Aura Pro.  A definite plus for OWC is that they include the proper pentalobe and torx screwdrivers with all 2012 Aura Pro SSD purchases.

Once the drives have been replaced, secure the base with cover and pentalobe screws, turn the system over,   plug in the external drive and reboot.  It will restart from the external and the next thing that appears would scare the heck out of you if this were a Windows system.  Simply initialize the new drive.

We then need to format the new Aura Pro and clone the disk from the external to the Aura Pro.  Go to Launch Pad/Utilities and select Disk Utility.  Click on the OWC Aura Pro on the left and then select ‘1 Partition’ in the Volume Scheme, Format as ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled), click ‘Options’ and select the GPT partition map and ‘Apply’.  Last but not least, start Carbon Copy Cloner once again, choose your source disk (external), Destination Disk (Aura Pro) and select ‘Clone’.  Remove the external and reboot.  That’s it!

I sought out the simplest and most detailed article to assist and found it at ars technica.

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ricardoI_Les@TheSSDReviewartworksFrancis Marchesanoleonsk Recent comment authors
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renosablast
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renosablast

“there have been times when I just wanted to introduce them to my 20 oz. straight claw rip hammer” — 20-oz. claw hammer = adjustment tool / 5-lb. sledge hammer = FINE adjustment tool

Cape Dave
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Cape Dave

Those pentalobe screws turned me off big time. Les, I truly hope you have not gone over to the dark side 🙂 I am back with Lenovo with their keyboard that is 3 times better than a flat key keyboard. Looking hard at the upcoming Carbon X1.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Yes th X1 is very attractive. I have to admit that I do find myself using both the MBA and iPAD quite a bit, however, even though the mainstay of my work is on our main benches. Tempted to grab a Thunderbolt Display though….patience…

Cape Dave
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Cape Dave

I use the iPhone and much less often the ipad. But I really do not consider them macs. I love them both. But the flat keys on the mac laptops compared to the beautiful new keyboard on the Lenovo’s is no contest for me. The coming soon Lenovo 430u is also very interesting. I will be selling my current X1 to get one of the new Lenovo’s. And then, of course, slap a nice 240gb SSD in it.

leonsk
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leonsk

My new Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A-DB51 has 128GB mSATA but I need larger one. Will this OWC fit? The UX31 SSD is also a “blade” type with one screw at the end eg. AnandTech 6/3/2012 teardown of the UX21A (looks like twin of the 31A). Really have a need for the larger mSATA.

Les@TheSSDReview
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The OWC drive is made specifically for Macs. It will not work.

Francis Marchesano
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Are you certain? Have you tried this? I have been looking at the pinouts for this drive and it looks exactly the same (18-PINS). “Other” MB AIR drive, like the Toshiba, Samsung, etc. have (20-PINS) the outter (2-PINS) look as is they would prohibit the drive in being used in another NON-MB AIR system, but the OWC Aura PRO doesn’t have these (2) extra PINS (they act like blockers).

Has anyone else tried installing this OWC Aura PRO SSD in an ASUS Zenbook MOBO? Please advise. Can’t find the SanDISK U100 or the ADATA XM11. Need help!

Les@TheSSDReview
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The ONLY thing we can suggest is to follow the manufacturers compatibility listing.

artworks
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artworks

Hi How reliable are these ssd’s? amazon customer reviews were not good … poor quality after repeated replacements…not sure i want to take the risk.

Les@TheSSDReview
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We can only speak for our own experience and have one installed in one of our bench systems without any problem whatsoever.