How to test if your MacBook Air SSD is recalled

How to test if your MacBook Air SSD is recalled

Summary: Apple's software patch for 2012 and 2013 MacBook Airs will test the SSD to see if it is affected by a data loss bug, which either resolves the issue, or will help you to get it replaced.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
(Image: CNET)

Apple on Friday released MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 for certain MacBook Air notebooks to address an issue that may result in data loss in "a small percentage" of 64GB and 128GB disk drives.

According to the company, most drives will get a firmware update, but others are being directed to bring their solid-state drives (SSDs) in for replacement. 

It appears that the defective SSDs are limited to MacBook Air notebooks produced last year, and are not present in the current generation (mid-2013 or Haswell) MBAs.

If you're not sure which model MacBook Air you have, do this:

  • Click on the Apple Menu in the upper-left of the menu bar

  • Click on About this Mac

  • Click on the More Info... button near the bottom of that dialog box

  • The model name will be listed at the top of the Overview pane of the System Information app
Find your MacBook Air model name

The Firmware Update 1.1 software tests your SSD, and, in the majority of cases, installs new firmware to resolve the issue. If your drive cannot be updated, Apple will replace it free of charge. 

Details of the MacBook Air Flash Storage Drive Replacement Program are available on Apple's website:

Apple has determined that certain 64GB and 128GB flash storage drives used in the previous generation of MacBook Air systems may fail. These systems were sold between June 2012 through June 2013.

If you own a 2012 or 2013 MacBook Air you can see if your SSD is affected by following these steps:

  1. Launch Mac App Store.

  2. Click on the Updates tab.

  3. If you see No Updates Available, you are not affected by the recall.

  4. If you see MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 under Updates, install it, and run it.

  5. If your SSD is affected you'll be directed to the MacBook Air Flash Storage Drive Replacement Program website, which instructs you to bring it to an Apple Retail Store, Apple Authorized Service Provider, or to contact Apple Technical Support.

  6. If your SSD isn't affected, the update installs new firmware to resolve the issue.

I tested it on my mid-2013 MacBook Air (11-inch) and it wasn't affected. If you own a mid-2012 MacBook Air, post your experience in the comments below.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • Flash drive test

    Just updated my 2012 13" MBA with firmware 1.1 successfully. Only wrinkle was that "restart" shut down but did not automatically restart, so eventually I did so manually.
    • Re: Flash drive test

      I am exactly same situation right now!! I turned my macbook on manually. I have no idea my macbook has a issues or not.. Can someone give me answer about it??
    • Disk utility

      Now I had updated to mavericks. But my disk utility always sticked at "checking extended attributed files" and stopped. Is it Normal?
  • Ya.... Sure

    Wonder how many Mac users will know how to check for this issue or even know about it.
    • Re:Wonder how many Mac users....

      A fair point. Like users of other platforms they do not visit sites such as here on ZDnet therefore they would be completely unaware. This is a prime example of why whatever platform updates should be applied as a matter of course.
    • No need to "know"

      Just install the update and it will tell you in a friendly way.

      Now, ex-Windows users might be shy of installing updates, because they know those often hose Windows... but -- with time people learn.
      • Pretty lame, danbi. It's far more accurate to say

        Just install the update and it will tell you in a friendly way.

        Now, ex-Apple users might be shy of installing updates, because they know those often hose OS X with even worse issues... but -- with time people learn.

        What? I wasn't supposed to mention that?

        Sorry, my bad.
        • Microsoft has a worse track record

          Than Apple, when it comes to updates. That is historically documented. I believe some of it was/is intentional, as it often hoses competitors products. Those are facts, putting you head up your rectal cavity, and shouting "Neener neener", will not change facts.
          I hate trolls also
          • Well, I hate trolls also

            It's true that there are issues with some updates from time to time, and that goes to the fact that Windows runs on far more hardware configurations then OS X does, so I'll agree with you on that, but not because they are "worse" at it.

            though given Apple knows precisely what hardware configurations it will be dealing with, there should be no way that any of them should have issues, yet the still do.

            I call that a worse problem.

            Also, if you didn't see the post I was responding too, then you don't understand, and shouldn't have commented.

            I'll attribute that to you not noticing it, as your colon was likely blocking your view
          • Re: It's true that there are issues with some updates from time to time

            Like, for example the Windows RT 8.1 update, which Microsoft was making for about a year and still couldn't get right?

            Given that Microsoft knew precisely what hardware configurations it will be dealing with, there should be no way that any of them should have issues, yet they still do.

            It is sad you felt offended by my post, which contains two points, both factually valid.
            Buy you chose to attack the messenger, not the points.
    • All if them. System update

      Will notify you as part of the weekly check.
    • July 2014

      Excellent point. I just this week found out about it while researching upgrading to an SSD in my wife's MacBook Pro.
  • It's a real issue

    My SSD failed 8h ago - just in time for the update? 7-10 days turnaround time for the MacBook Air. Can I buy a bigger drive? No. Can you give me the replacement drive and I'll install it? No. Thanks Apple.
    • Re: Can I buy a bigger drive?

      Of course, you can. You can also ask Apple to upgrade your macBook SSD when it is recalled.

      Or, if you insist doing it yourself, there are third party SSDs for the purpose. Always come with the necessary kit to disassemble your Mac Book, replace the drive and copy your data back.
      Check OWC for example.
      • No, at least in London they won't.

        I still don't have my MBA back. They are apparently out of drives. Don't know when they are getting one. I was promised by the Stratford store "I will get my computer back on the same day the drive arrives". They won't upgrade it for another drive, the 2 years warranty will be void if I replace it (plus they would not pay for the faulty drive). Which Apple store lets you upgrade?
  • Re: Can you give me the replacement drive and I'll install it? No....

    Its certainly a drawback the MacBook Air is non user serviceable. But at the same time I would say you have been unlucky with your SSD failing. My experience is that SSD's are inherently more reliable than HDD's as there are no moving parts.

    The reason why I continue to use and recommend the non-retina MacBook Pro. is many of the parts are user serviceable such as the RAM, Hard Drive and Battery.

    A non-retina MacBook Pro. upgraded with a 512GB Crucial M4 SSD and 8GB Crucial RAM is the Ultimate Laptop.
  • No folder issues that can't be fixed!

    I've update 2 machines from Win 8 to Win 8.1, first machine Intel Quad Q6600 and the second was an EXOPC 11.6" tablet that started it's life with Windows 7. Both were problem free and both seem to run all the programs they did before.

    Other than the Click to install I didn't touch either machine until my logon came up and they were all ready to go!
    • Woops sorry!

      Posted in the wrong feedback forum!
      MY BAD!
  • macbook air update

    We have a mid-2012 MacBook Air. I followed these steps and it was very simple and straightforward. Our SSD was not effected. Thanks for your help!
  • Apple replaced my macbook air

    My HDD crashed a couple of days before the recall was issued. I was originally told it would take 3-5 days before I would get my computer back because they were out of stock of the drive.

    I got a call from my apple store yesterday telling me that they were not going to replace the drive but they were going to give me a new computer. The best part is they upgraded it to a mid-2013 model. Also, my original laptop had 128mb flash drive and 4gb ram. They gave me one with 512mb flash drive and 8gb ram. They also gave me the applecare warranty for free.

    This is my first laptop purchase from apple and am very impressed by their customer service. I see why some people are loyal apple users.