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OWC SSDs Even Amaze The Geniuses

You just gotta love when the “über techs” in the world indirectly give your product major props. Seems as though one of our OWC SSD customers stopped by his local Apple Store to have the Geniuses check out why his MBP battery was bulging (shoulda bought one of our NuPower batteries…but I digress ;-) ) and got to showing off his OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD performance.

Perhaps the most satisfying outcome to this interaction was that while our customer feels the performance of his original Unibody MacBook Pro is now nothing less than breathtaking, it was very gratifying to know for him that “it was truly a treat to see that Apple employees had the same reaction.”

I’m not sure I’d call that “SSD envy” by those techs as much as appreciation for upgrading a machine to its ultimate capability.

So here’s hoping you have your moment of supreme acknowledgment someday….of building your machine the right way….and getting major respect for it.

Rocket Yard Contributor
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  • Like some of the others here I get hangs on waking from sleep, not hibernation. Although I have a MBP, it’s setting for “Put Hard Disks to Sleep When Possible” has been unchecked for weeks.
    I’m getting the hang on wake every day now. This started after installing the Mercury Extreme Pro with a data doubler. Never happened before. Console doesn’t seem to identify that anything has happened. No entries related to hang or even that it went to sleep (sleep:success).

    The machine is very, very fast, but the hang forces a reboot – which is inconvenient and causes data loss. I went to show a client a file yesterday and the MBP was hung. Very embarrassing. Her windows machine never does that…

    • Hi Peter….at this point we’ve forwarded your situation to be addressed by one of our lead technical support representatives. You should be expecting direct contact via email within 24 business hours.

  • Grant — The hang one wake in a Mac Pro 5,1 is the exact problem I am having. I cannot update the firmware, because there is no Mac based firmware updater. (Yes, I have contacted customer service.)

  • Final update . . . the updater that downloaded from the link has a package called MP4-360, NOT MP3-343 Field, as is instructed on the web page. That explains why my firmware says 360. In either case, the computer still freezes if I let Energy Saver put it to sleep. ANY suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Okay, quick update and apology. I finally figured out by reading the pdf in the package (had to go and install Reader) that I wasn’t trying to run the updater as administrator. THAT would be a good thing to post on the download page! After that, the installer found the drive and installed. I’m back running on the Mac side, but want to know what my System Profiler should be telling me about the drive . . . my revision says 360A13F0, but I don’t recall if that’s what it said before or not. By the way, when I downloaded the package today, the firmware did not say 343 like the site says, it said 360.

  • Jim has it right, except that for me the wait has been since early december of last year. I just want a solution to the sleep issue of my Mercury Extreme SSD in my Mac Pro 5,1 (tower.) I have several different emails from support indicating that there is a hibernate issue with the drive even after repeated attempts by me to inform them that I am talking about a Mac Pro tower and not a laptop. I bought the drive from OWC for the support and Mac compatibility. Next time I guess I can buy a drive from somebody else.

    • Hi Matt…that is disappointing to hear we didn’t listen better to the particular machine you own. Are you able to try the new firmware and then advise our CS/TS depts if that was successful?

  • Thanks, Jim.

    I do have the second internal drive still in this mini but I’ve already created multiple partitions on it so even though I have a clone, bootcamp won’t install on a pre-partitioned drive. However, there is still some room left on my SSD which is a single partition so if I can put bootcamp on IT, then download and run the updater, then destroy the bootcamp partition . . . that’s an acceptable task. Having to move all of my other data just to make a single partition again on the second drive is too much work.

  • Grant – My frustration results from the fact that I bought a product from OWC, OWC promised me a Mac based firmware updater in 3-4 weeks to resolve a hibernate issue. On this, and OWC’s reputation, I decided to keep the drive outside of the MBG window.

    Now that we are ouside of the MBG window, (and 6 weeks later), the Mac updater is now 3-4 *months* out, and I’m left with a bunch of largely unacceptable resolutions to this problem.

    I understand your frustration with your vendor. However, I didn’t buy a product from your vendor, I bought a product from you. At no time did Sandeforce promise me anything. However, you did, and you came up substantially short

  • Another question . . . can this update be run in bootcamp ON the affected drive, or does it have to be run from bootcamp on a separate drive in the same computer?

  • That page says the firmware update is current as of 03/18. Previously it was from November. Is this the fix? I don’t want to spend the untold hours required to get bootcamp running just to do this update if it’s not the final version.

    I can’t believe the ignorance of these companies who think everyone is still only running windows!!

    • Jason…all should be good now and yes…you can run the update either way…in bootcamp or on a separate drive in same computer.

  • This is both good news and bad news at the same time. Good news that the firmware update is shipping; bad news that I cannot use it, because I don’t own, nor with to buy, Windows, to update the firmware. (I bought the Mercury Extreme Pro from you because of your reputation as a Mac first company with top notch tech support.)

    FWIW, I have the drive in a Mac Pro, hibernate is disabled, and the machine still hangs when waking from sleep. (Only if the machine sleeps itself after idle, and is left to sit that way overnight.) This continues to be a frustrating, $500+ purchase.

    • We hear your frustration Mike…that’s why we’re working on our own to develop a Mac and/or even OS independent updater. I should note that no other SandForce based SSD manufacturer offers a Mac based firmware updater…

      However, you can send us your drive and we’ll do the firmware update for you. Just hit our contact us page:

  • Where is the promised firmware update that fixes hang on wake problems with the OWC Mercury Extreme?

    • Hi Mike:

      We have been testing the next firmware revision and should have news about that next week that will make you quite happy. Again for the record, the moment we realized (back in January I believe) that a very small number of Mac owners (about 10% of all of our SSDs sold) could experience a hibernation issue, we put the following on every SSD model specification page directly below the specs table:

      IMPORTANT LAPTOP USER NOTE: There have been reports of system hangs in relation to hibernation mode. We recommend not using ANY program that puts your laptop into hibernation mode when using an SSD.

      Normal, automatic sleep mode functions perfectly with no issues.

      We also highly recommend you avoid draining your battery completely (5% or less remaining charge) to avoid being automatically switched into hibernation mode by your machine’s power saving settings. If your notebook does go into hibernation mode, the machine can hang once it is plugged into an outlet or when using a charged battery as the machine comes out of hibernation mode. If you should experience this, you will need to restart your machine and any unsaved work from that session will be lost. SandForce is working on this issue and it will be addressed in a future firmware update. We will post the update on our firmware update page as soon as it becomes available.

      Actually Mike, before we do formal announcement, can tell you to check this page:

  • Huh, it looks like the 480 GB Pro option has gone away, and there’s a new (and significantly cheaper) 400 GB Mercury Extreme Pro. What happened? I was thisclose to pulling the trigger and ordering a 480 GB model.

    • Hi Roger:

      Check back Monday afternoon and you’ll see the 480GB listed again for well under $1K.

      And to anyone reading this….if you ordered a 400GB….you’ll get the 480!

  • Scott,

    Yes uncheck the “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible”

    That’s the checkbox that activates “hibernation” of the drive.

    My personal display advice is that I never use screen savers as they really don’t save anything as it’s usually better just to let the display turn off. I’ve found that by using those display setting I can extend my display’s life dramatically. I still have a Titanium PowerBook whose screen works perfectly!

    Your milage may vary.
    Best regards!

  • @Mike H

    Hey Mike- Thanks for the reply. If I’m leaving my Mac Pro on, I usually just turn the monitors off or if it’s not gonna be that long, I have the hotspot set at the upper right hand corner to start the screen saver on all the screens.

    In Prefs: it has two sliders:

    1. Put drive to slepp
    2. Put display to sleep

    Slide both the above to never?

    And the checkbox for put the hard disks to sleep when possible, uncheck that one?

    I don’t actually see any checkboxes for sleep/hibernation mode.

    Thanks again,

    O-Dub Scott

  • I’ve installed mine in a Mac Mini Server (2010) and it’s an issue not EVERY time, but it doesn’t matter whether the computer goes to sleep on it’s own after a set period of time, or it I choose Sleep from the Apple Menu . . . sometimes it’s just unresponsive and I have to force shut it down. I’ve since turned sleep off and I don’t manually set it to sleep, but I do have the screen go to sleep after just a few minutes to save energy.

    If it sounds like my issue ISN’T related to the firmware, then I have a faulty drive as this only happened after installing the SSD. I was told by tech support that it IS a known issue and should be resolved when this update appears. I really don’t like having to keep my computer turned on 24/7 as I don’t want to have to keep quitting my open apps at the end of each day.

  • Actually, set your display sleep to whatever you want. You can really shorten the life of a display keeping it on all the time. I set my display to one minute sleep, but you may want a different setting.

    On the drive sleep/hibernation mode:
    yup just turn that checkbox off.

  • Hey Michael-

    As you know, I have four OWC SSD’s REs (one as the OS) and when my computer hybernates….it won’t wake up and I have to hold the power button down.

    I had know idea it was due to the SSD’s. I thought it was yet another issue w/ the Mac Pro graphic cards (5770, 5870).

    So, do you reccomend just setting it so both the dispay and drive “never” sleep?


    O-Dub Scott

  • Just curious but if it’s a firmware issue then how come most aren’t affected?

    Are their computer a bit different spec? Different settings?

  • Hopefully they didn’t need to put the MacBook to sleep or he would have been able to show the “geniuses” how the computer will freeze due to the SSD firmware issues. Good thing it can reboot more quickly!

    • The issue you’re referring to actually isn’t with sleep, but rather with hibernation. Normal, automatic sleep mode functions operate perfectly with no issues. In the days of traditional, platter-based hard drives, laptop users often set their preferences to keep the platters from spinning when possible to save on battery life. With a SSD, it’s not necessary – as there are no moving parts. Most find that changing their power preferences alleviates the issue completely.

      While it doesn’t even affect 90% of those that have an OWC SSD (and doesn’t come into play for even fewer), it still is something that is a high priority for us. We have been working diligently on this issue and truly hope a new firmware update that solves this matter will be forthcoming from SandForce in the next several weeks.

  • I love mine: 120 GB Mercury Extreme running in a 2008 MacBook Pro using the OWC Data Doubler in place of the optical drive. But… is there any news on the firmware update supposedly in the works? A mid Feb live chat with tech support would only say – “coming soon”.

  • huh? doesn’t the unibody have an internal battery? Or did I just read that you sell nupower batteries for these machines as well?


  • Woah :D

    I wonder how much faster these drives will get with an upgrade to SATA 6Gbps. Can’t wait till I get my hands on one :)