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Upgrade your Mid 2013-2015 MacBook Pro SSD – OWC Aura Pro Kit


MacBook Pro SSD – OWC Aura Pro Kit.

 

Apple determined to prevent upgrades?

While we may complain of Apple’s never-ending march to non-upgradable products, there remain some perfectly serviceable Apple devices that can be upgraded. OWC address these with their range of SSD and RAM upgrade kits.

Amongst these gems are the late 2012 Mac Mini, 27” iMacs (RAM Only), and the subject of this upgrade, the Late 2013 MacBook Pro.

The MacBook was purchased with the maximum RAM possible (soldered and not upgradeable) and what seemed all the SSD that would be needed, 512GB

The Need To Upgrade

Fast forward to 2018 and the SSD is almost full necessitating moving files to external drives and the messing around that entails.

Having experience with OWC SSD upgrades for the earlier SATA drive MacBook, they seemed the logical place to start for this upgrade.

The OWC Aura Pro 1TB SSD Upgrade kit with Envoy Pro external drive enclosure to re-use the internal drive fitted the bill.

The kit

This kit comes with essential tools, though there is one other tool we feel should be included, a spudger to ease removal of the battery connector. Just a word of caution. Double check your model number as OWC do have several different kits

First Steps

First up, flip your MacBook over and remove the screws, paying particular attention to the two from the centre by the hinge. These have a flange.

With the cover removed, take the time for a little cleanup, removing any built-up dust. Ours was full of dust and fluff.

Before

The battery connector is under the rubber with the warning triangle to the left of the SSD

This is the tool that should be included in the kit to ease disconnection of the battery.

Spudger

Luckily we already had one in our iFixit kit.

After disconnecting the battery, remove the screw holding the SSD in place, and placing a finger on the connector to prevent strain, lift the end of the SSD and pull to remove.

Our kit came with a thermal pad on the drive. The instructions advise removing the protective film from the pad before installation.

IMG 1987

Compared to the OEM unit

IMG 1992

Again, placing a finger on the connector to prevent strain, push the connector end of the SSD in firmly to seat.

IMG 1993

Screw it down, replace the battery connector and you’re ready to re-fit the case. (We did our dust clean at this point)

With the case buttoned up, it was time to insert the old SSD in the Envoy Pro enclosure.

IMG 1995

Before and after –

Envoy After

All buttoned up and ready to go. The soft pouch is a nice touch for carrying this unit with you.

Finished

A quick CMD-R and we are in setup, and a quick install had us up and running in no time. High Sierra’s built-in Migration Assistant moved all precious files and we were away laughing. Access speeds on the OCW appear to be as good, or faster than the stock drive.

Our timing coincided with the release of the Mojave Public Beta. We installed the beta on the new drive and left High Sierra on the old 500GB for a dual boot option during the beta program.

Final Thoughts

This upgrade is a no-brainer and well within the capabilities of most users with a little care. Our experience with OWC product is first class, with a number of 3-5 year old home-build and home upgraded machines running OWC SSD’s as boot drives. An OWC SSD makes Windows boot times bearable, but that’s another story.

Difficult decisions

Like many Mac fans we’ve been lusting after the new 2018 15” MBP and had tentative plans for a buy. The problem we face is, that this ‘old’ 2.6GHz i7 now has ample fast storage and is a proven performer.

That’s a decision for another day.

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