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OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 19, 2018 12:43PM
OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs

Hi everyone,

Maybe it's me but I find it very strange that OWC doesn't sell enclosures for its Aura SSDs. A friend has an MBA with an Aura SSD in it. The drive appeared to have crapped out. After more than a year of use, the computer wouldn't even recognize it was connected. No issues booting off an external drive. Zapped the PRAM and reset the SMC but neither made a difference.

At that point, I popped the case and tried reseating the drive. Still no luck. To be sure it was the drive and not the computer itself, I swapped the Aura out for the original Apple OEM SSD. The computer booted up normally once the original drive was installed in it.

This led me to thinking... I'd like to confirm the Aura is totally dead. The OWC Envoy enclosure included with the upgrade kit is only compatible with Apple's original drive. It is incompatible with the OWC Aura. In my conversation with tech support, they confirmed the Envoy wasn't compatible with the Aura and, after asking for an alternative, I was told OWC doesn't offer _any_ enclosures that are compatible with it.

Seems kind of strange to me. It's an OWC drive. You'd think they'd offer an external box for it. What if it turns out, the Macbook Air itself was the problem and I wanted to pull the Aura and use it with a different machine. No can do. I'd have to find another compatible Macbook Air. That's annoying as heck!

Do you know of any enclosures that are compatible with OWC Aura SSDs? I'd love to have one on hand because, at some point, I may need it. Several members of my family and friends have Macbooks with OWC Aura drives in them. Would love to have the box on hand to use with one of the Aura drives in the event a machine goes kablooey or I need to pull the drive and test it.

found this on amazon.com:

[www.amazon.com]

In theory, it should work when combined with a dual connector USB cable for extra power. Should, of course, being the operative word.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2018 12:59PM by Robert M.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Buck
Date: September 19, 2018 02:08PM
I agree. I also want an enclosure for my 1TB Aura.
Shocking that the Aura doesn't work with their own enclosure.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 19, 2018 02:13PM
There are some drives that draw too much power to work in an enclosure. Such as the old 3G 960GB 2.5" SSD (which apparently was 2 x 480GB SSD's raided together internally) and some of their 2013 Mac Pro SSD's (which are also physically too large and draw extra power from the computer).

But I too have found it odd that the normal Aura SSD's don't work in the enclosure. I'm pretty sure the equivalent Transcend SSD's do work and in fact I have a Transcend enclosure and a maybe dead OWC Aura (both for 2012 MacBook Air also), so I might give it a try tonight and see.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 19, 2018 03:14PM
Gareth,

It just seems a shame that OWC, a company known for quality enclosures and drives, can't provide an enclosure for the Aura. It makes it difficult to consider an Aura now since they are actually very pricey and only appear to work in the Macbook (for which it's designed). If the computer dies, I can't just drop the drive into another box.

That said, power shouldn't be an issue if you use a USB Y cable that can provide extra juice to the box. You're getting 2 USB ports worth of power for the external drive. Maybe OWC can make a box with the appropriate internal connector for the Aura and bundle it with an appropriate USB Y cable. Seems like it ought to be easy enough.

I'm hoping OWC Larry sees this and starts looking for a solution.

Robert
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: September 19, 2018 08:19PM
Not only don't they offer enclosures for it, but they warn that putting it in an enclosure may brick it and void the warranty.



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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: MEG
Date: September 19, 2018 08:45PM
What the what?? Well, that definitely puts a wrinkle in my plans to pull the Aura out of my current MBP when I sell it and popping it an an external when I get my new one...
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: September 19, 2018 08:52PM
Quote
MEG
What the what?? Well, that definitely puts a wrinkle in my plans to pull the Aura out of my current MBP when I sell it and popping it an an external when I get my new one...

Not compatible with any external enclosure that I'm aware of, and their docs say this:

The OWC Envoy Pro enclosure is specifically designed for use ONLY with the factory SSD installed in select Apple Macintosh computers. Do NOT attempt to install or use OWC Aura or Aura Pro X SSDs in the Envoy Pro as you may damage the OWC drive, the enclosure, or both, and such damage is not covered under warranty.



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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: OWC Larry
Date: September 19, 2018 09:36PM
We are actually working on an update to this particular enclosure - but the reality is that chipsets that support PCIe M.2 AHCI configs are very few and far between. We will have enclosure support for our Aura Pro X NVME in a solution soon - and hope to have an updated version for the PCIe AHCI which will be able to support both the Apple and our OWC model gen 1 Aura PCIe SSDs. Thanks.



OWC Larry
Other World Computing
[www.macsales.com]
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 06:48AM
Larry,

Great to hear you're working on an update to the enclosure. It's really very disheartening to spend a significant amount of bucks on the drive and not be able to use it in an external box in the event the computer you used it with goes boom. If it was a less expensive drive, I'd feel differently. A drive that costs at a minimum $449? Yeah. It's an issue.

Robert
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 06:48AM
Sarcany,

OWC warns you not to put the Aura in the Envoy series enclosure. It says nothing about using the Aura in other enclosures, i.e. the one in my link. 'course, given the choice, once OWC offers a box that is compatible with the Aura, I'd choose that one over any others.

Robert
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: September 20, 2018 07:24AM
Quote
Robert M
Larry,

Great to hear you're working on an update to the enclosure. It's really very disheartening to spend a significant amount of bucks on the drive and not be able to use it in an external box in the event the computer you used it with goes boom. If it was a less expensive drive, I'd feel differently. A drive that costs at a minimum $449? Yeah. It's an issue.

Robert

Out of curiosity: if you had realized this about the drive before you bought it, would it have changed your decision to buy?



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 07:42AM
rj,

I'm not the one who bought it. And, yes, if I was the one making the purchase, this would impact the decision as to whether or not to buy it.

Robert
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: September 20, 2018 08:44AM
Quote
Robert M
rj,

I'm not the one who bought it. And, yes, if I was the one making the purchase, this would impact the decision as to whether or not to buy it.

Robert

Thanks! I'm always curious to know where folks draw the line....



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 09:20AM
rj,

I should clarify. If the drive was far less expensive - you can get 1TB 2.5" SSDs for less than $150.00 these days - I wouldn't complain nearly as much. At $449.99, an Aura is 3.5 times the price of the least expensive 2.5" model and I'd be very annoyed if I couldn't find a way to repurpose it in the event the computer it was installed in went boom.

Robert
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 20, 2018 10:18AM
I went with an Apple OEM pull from eBay when I increased storage. They were on par price range with OWC Auras, maybe a bit cheaper, I don't remember exactly. Though used, pulled Apple SSDs have slightly larger capacities (though I know there's fluidity in drive capacity designation criteria) and could be used in an external enclosure on the market. That means I could test it before putting in the 'Book.

I did purchase an OWC enclosure for this process, btw. (Tips hat to Larry)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 10:19AM by Acer.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: billb
Date: September 20, 2018 10:51AM
Seems to me OWC is straight up about the limitations of the device with ample warnings.

I really don't get whining about the limitations of a device when they've been straight up about those limitations.



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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 10:59AM
billb,

What don't you get? My complaint is perfectly valid and actually has all to do with the limitations of the drive and the enclosure. OWC has enclosures for other drives. It just doesn't make sense they don't have one for the Aura. 'course, that was before Larry's solid explanation. Now it makes sense and it's nice to hear a possible solution is in the works.

For the record, the page for the Aura 1TB _doesn't_ say it can't be used in an appropriate enclosure, i.e. possibly like the one in the link from my original post.

[eshop.macsales.com]

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 11:15AM by Robert M.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 20, 2018 11:19AM
Quote
Robert M
'course, that was before Larry's solid explanation. Now it makes sense and it's nice to hear a possible solution is in the works.

Except, OWC Larry made no mention of your drive. He was speaking of the PCIe model drives which are for 2013+ models. The MacBook Air 2012 model uses a SATA interface.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: September 20, 2018 11:39AM
Quote
Gareth
Quote
Robert M
'course, that was before Larry's solid explanation. Now it makes sense and it's nice to hear a possible solution is in the works.

Except, OWC Larry made no mention of your drive. He was speaking of the PCIe model drives which are for 2013+ models. The MacBook Air 2012 model uses a SATA interface.

oh snap smiley



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 11:45AM
Gareth,

Reread my post and Larry's post. I've been talking about an Aura that is in the mid-2012 MBA since the beginning and the fact that OWC doesn't offer an external box for it. What he did say is that they are working on an updated box for a different version of the Aura and hope to have one for the older version, too.

From Larry: "updated version for the PCIe AHCI which will be able to support both the Apple and our OWC model gen 1 Aura PCIe SSDs."

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 11:50AM by Robert M.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 20, 2018 01:06PM
Quote
Robert M
Gareth,

Reread my post and Larry's post. I've been talking about an Aura that is in the mid-2012 MBA since the beginning and the fact that OWC doesn't offer an external box for it. What he did say is that they are working on an updated box for a different version of the Aura and hope to have one for the older version, too.

From Larry: "updated version for the PCIe AHCI which will be able to support both the Apple and our OWC model gen 1 Aura PCIe SSDs."

Robert

You're just reiterated exactly what I've been saying. smiling smiley

From Larry: "updated version for the PCIe AHCI which will be able to support both the Apple and our OWC model gen 1 Aura PCIe SSDs."

"OWC model gen 1 Aura PCIe SSDs." does NOT apply to a 2012 MBA. The 2012 MBA uses a SATA interface (not PCIe), even though it is a blade style SSD. Apple didn't start using a PCIe interface until 2013. So I assume Larry is referring to the original PCIe Aura's. The Aura X is their newest PCIe SSD that's super fast.

Your original post doesn't actually say you're talking about a 2012 MBA. The only reason I knew that is because I clicked on the Amazon link and that enclosure is for a 2012 MBA. So I believe it entirely possible that OWC Larry didn't realize that either, as PCIe SSD's are more common now than the SATA ones.
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Re: OWC doesn't sell enclosures for their Aura SSDs
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 20, 2018 01:15PM
Gareth,

Touche. I thought the model I was working on had the PCIe interface. Never bothered confirming since I thought the Aura models used the same interface. My mistake on that. Oh yeah... Not my machine per say. Just one I worked on yesterday. It comes down to this: OWC needs to make enclosures for each version of the Aura drive.

If this particular MBA was mine and still had it's stock drive, I'd actually rather sell the it and buy a newer model with a higher capacity SSD than to spend what would account for 50% or more of that price just for an SSD that I can't use with anything else. Or, buy a used higher capacity Apple OEM drive. 'course, not if it costs nearly as much as an Aura. In that case, I'd go the sell the machine route.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 03:11PM by Robert M.
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