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Had an interesting issue trying to install/upgrade to Mavericks on an Apple 4,1 Mac Pro Desktop.

It was running Snow Leopard, but if I tried to install Mountain Lion or Mavericks it would give a disk error on reboot into the installer.

I made a USB installer, booted off that, and could see that disk utility couldn’t see any drives inside the installer.

As the equipment was working fine on Snow Leopard, this wasn’t a hardware issue.

I updated the firmware on the machine to the latest version, but still the same issue.
Cleared NV ram, same.
Compared SMC revisions, AHCI firmware revisions against a good machine, everything was the same.
Checked dmesg on the machine during a Mavericks installer boot, and could see that it was having issues with wifi, then with SATA.

Boot log Mavericks - No internal SATA detected

I checked the other machine, and saw that it had a different wifi card. Bingo!
I removed the wifi card from the non-working machine, and rebooted back into the installer, and it could suddenly see the drives again.

My conclusion is that the Intel ACH10 drivers, and the Atheros ARB5X86 drivers conflict with each other in 10.8 and above. I tested in the 10.10 beta too to be sure, and had the same issue.

Something apple needs to sort out, I guess..

Interesting issue, it took me a little while to troubleshoot.

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As I have been doing quite a bit of SSD updating for people who have Air’s, I have a small collection of older smaller SSD’s lying around.

Unfortunately the form factor means that they have been pretty useless in anything but a Macbook air – until now.
I’ve been able to source some small scale production samples of MicroSata -> Sata adaptors.

Photos below:

With Macbook Air SSD in situ
MacBook Air SSD to SATA Adaptor

Front and back – not much circuitry really.
MacBook Air SSD to SATA Adaptor

13.5cm length (which means can’t really be used in a laptop, sadly)
MacBook Air SSD to SATA Adaptor

Side by side comparison with populated and unpopulated adaptor
MacBook Air SSD to SATA Adaptor

Unfortunately they’re not much use in anything but a desktop at the moment due to length (13.5cm), but it does bring new life to the ones I have 🙂

Bonus, its a crapload cheaper for Air SSD’s than “normal” SSD’s – roughly half the price, so I can update some of the random desktops on the office.

Win / win!

If anyone is interested in purchasing some, let me know, and I’ll organize some more.



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