[FIXED] OSX Mavericks doesn’t recognise Intel SSD – after update from Lion

Update: Summary added so you don’t have to read my extensive rambling about the problem ๐Ÿ˜‰ For more details read here.

  • After working fine in OSX Lion, the Mavericks update & boot-stick menu didn’t see my Intel SSD (Model: SSDA2M080G2GC – Series: 310) while inside the main bay
  • Booting old Lion install in safe mode + installing 10.9 while SSD in usb hard drive case, worked fine

(My) solution

  • Installing the newest Intel firmwareย (2CV102HD -> 2CV102M3)ย from usb-stick to the SSD, while inside the SATA bay of a windows laptop -> SSD works fine again inside the Macbook

Complete original story:
Last week I tried to update my early 2011 Macbook Pro running OSX Lion (10.7) to Mavericks (10.9), the newest (free) update of Apple’s “desktop” OS. The main hard drive was exchanged 2 years ago for an Intel 80GB SSD – Model: SSDA2M080G2GC – Series: 310. As it took me over a week and 10+ hours of wondering to finally finish the whole process, I decided to write about it, in case anybody else out there has the same problem!

After trying to install the update over my current OSX version (by downloading the installer file via Appstore and executing it), my Macbook just kept hanging at the loading screen and didn’t do anything. After finding some info about theย launch options on a mac I tried some of them. In verbose mode [Command+V] I could at least get a first hint of the problem, as it showed “Still waiting for root device” every few seconds in an infinite loop. This error was again present, when I inserted my prior with Diskmaker X prepared USB-stick and booted from it. In this boot menu you have some options like installing a clean version of Mavericks, accessing a terminal command line and even the well-known Disk Utility can be started. Unfortunately in neither of these options my SSD was found!

The very odd thing at that time was, that I could still boot to my old Lion install in safe mode [Shift] and everything was running just fine. Knowing that, I could at least eliminate the possibility of a hardware damage (after reading some posts about dead hard drive cables in Macbooks). After formatting the hard drive in 3 different ways using a windows laptop and my usb hard drive case, the hard drive still didn’t show up. I only found the next oddity, namely the SSD was detected on my mac perfectly fine while inside the hard drive case. This way at least I could install a fresh version of Mavericks and run it (whilst loosing much of the performance boost).

I’ve used this workaround for almost a week know, until yesterday when I found this postย pushing me in the right direction! I found the most recent firmware update for Intel SSDs but I couldn’t get a bootable stick running with my mac (don’t ask me how the guy from Diskmaker X is doing it :). According to the discussion in this guide‘s comment section, it’s got something to do with the Intel Hardware and the Efi-Bios – I couldn’t figure out how to do it. What I could do, following that guide, was preparing my USB-stick (partition as MBR and Free Space) for the before mentioned windows laptop. Here I could launch the intel update tool just fine and tried to update the SSD in my usb case – no luck, it couldn’t find the hard drive. I’ve read before somewhere that a firmware upgrade requires the hard drive to be connected by a proper SATA connector, so I tried putting the SSD inside the windows laptop and that FINALLY did do the trick! I could update my firmware from versionย 2CV102HD toย 2CV102M3.

After applying that upgrade, thankfully the SSD was found again when inside the main bay of the Macbook and I could use it the way it’s supposed to be again. Enjoying a clean Mavericks install and all it’s improvements right now! Don’t forget to enable trim (if your drive needs it), when upgrading your hard drive to an SSD of your choice – Trim Enabler is probably the easiest way to do that.

As always thanks for reading and any kind of feedback is appreciated! Especially if you know a way to keep the windows laptop out of this! ๐Ÿ˜‰

15 thoughts on “[FIXED] OSX Mavericks doesn’t recognise Intel SSD – after update from Lion

  1. Marcus

    Thanks a lot! Have spent plenty of hours formatting and troubleshooting until I found this page. It solved my problems =D

    1. wexoo Post author

      Thank you for your comment, glad it worked for you ๐Ÿ™‚ It took me hours to figure it out as well :O

  2. MacOwner

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  3. MacOwner

    Thank you so much!! I spent two full days trying to get Mavericks installed on my mac mini with an X25-M Intel SSD in it and couldn’t get it done. Whenever I went to disk utilities, of course I saw my SSD there because the utility was Mountain Lion based. I just upgraded the firmware on my X25-M and Mavericks is currently installing flawlessly on my mac mini ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for this post!

  4. MrDudez

    I replaced my internal DVD drive on my mid 2010 Imac with an Intel 530 SSD via Caddy. It’s working flawless as a second unit but i still can’t upgrade the firmware ๐Ÿ™ I created a new partition (on the main HD) and installed Mountain Lion latest version, any tips how do i go from there? I followed the steps and created a bootable USB , SD, CD… well nothing works… are you sure the Caddy connection SATA > Mini (Micro) SATA is the problem? Notice when i was installing Mountain Lion SSD was recognised, but nothing when i use the Firmware Update USB, SD or CD… any tips? Thanks in advance!

    1. wexoo Post author

      Hi MrDudez,
      So installing mountain lion on your main HD worked, the SSD is normally found when booting from main HD in disk utility but when you try updating the Firmware of the SSD in the caddy it isn’t found? Did I understand that correctly? Have you tried putting the SSD in the main bay of the Imac and upgrade the firmware while it’s in there? I’m sorry I’ve never worked, not to mention, changed hardware on an Imac, but I hope you can do that ๐Ÿ™‚ As I’ve written above even this didn’t work for me and I had to use an older windows laptop to upgrade my SSD ๐Ÿ™

      One last question, why do you even want to upgrade the firmware of the SSD if you’re only using it as a second unit? Are you having any troubles with it or should it be the new main HD from now on?

      Best regards and good luck solving your problem!

      1. MrDudez

        Thanks for the reply. I was trying to install another OS on this SSD drive, if i partition my main disk and install Windows 8.1 (for example) it works fine, but if i try to install on the SSD the installation disk doesn’t find it. As a second unit, it works fine. Booting from the update CD or USB doesn’t work to update the SSD drive…Neither Mavericks or Lion… i guess ill have to take it off the IMAC and update it from my son’s PC.
        Thanks again for the reply, ill come back with the results.


  5. Joerg

    Made my day. I downloaded the iso to an USB drive, mounted it when booting from the Lion recovery partition, burned the ISO there to CD and updated the firmware booting from the CD. After that the Mavericks installer found the HD and continued.

  6. Tom

    I can’t thank you enough for this – never been able to update beyond lion and I thought I had tried everything. Updated the ssd firmware and it FINALLY works. Cheers!!


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