Want to Upgrade a Mac Studio SSD? Not So Fast
Although Apple’s Mac Studio desktop computer employs proprietary solid-state drives (SSDs) modules that allow Apple to be more flexible with its manufacturing and that may possibly be changed or improved, the Mac Studio desktop computer is not a replacement for a traditional hard disc. Although some Mac Studio users were successful in adding drives, others were unsuccessful since it appears that these modules are “linked” to a certain system and cannot be used on another system. Apparently, upgrading a Mac Studio is not feasible at the present time.
Two Mac Studio desktops were obtained by the YouTube journalist Luke Miami and he attempted to transfer an SSD module from one system into a second in order for him to test the ease of upgrading such a PC. Therefore, he has failed. During his research, he accomplished the following things:
- I tried putting an SSD from one Mac Studio into another Mac Studio’s secondary SSD slot, but it didn’t work. As a result of the failure to startup, Mac Studio’s LED began to flash SOS in morse code. The fact that he utilized a MacOS-based boot disc may not be all that shocking. You would expect a PC to identify such a disc, but not be able to utilize it properly because it is encrypted. However, the system did not really boot.
- Miami also attempted booting a Mac Studio from an external SSD plugged onto the second slot, but it failed.
- However, the secondary slot could not be used to start the computer, which is weird, but it is possible that Apple’s software does not allow this for security or some other reason?
- Afterwards, Miami removed a boot disc from a Mac Studio and inserted it in the main SSD slot of a second one. The SOS lights did not come on or flicker.
- In the end, Miami did not try to install the secondary SSD from one Mac Studio into the secondary slot of another since he did not have a Mac Studio that had both slots filled out at the time.
- Even if he was unsuccessful, Miami’s effort doesn’t indicate that the Apple Mac Studio can’t be updated at all despite what he has done so far. Now, let’s look at some of the possible causes.
To begin, it should be noted that Apple’s SSD modules are not, in fact, solid-state drives. 3D NAND flash chips, power management IC (PMIC), coils, and some extra logic are included in these modules, which do not have their own controller. It is possible to connect an external SSD to an Apple SoC using a proprietary interface.
Second, Apple has used its T2 security SoC and the built-in security features of Apple Silicon SoCs for some time to encrypt data on its solid-state storage subsystems. In addition to securing the boot process and storing encryption keys, the security processor performs these and other functions.