Feather Support

FAQ

Disclaimers

Boot Camp

Data Transfer

Feather

M13

Installing your new SSD

MacBook

Doesn’t fit

Transferring your data

Unrecognized drive

Reason 1: Recovery Mode

Reason 2: Improper Installation

Reason 3: Outdated boot ROM version

Updating your firmware

Trouble waking up from sleep

Drive was working, now it’s not

Clean Install

SMC and NVRAM/PRAM Resets

That Didn’t Work

Drive is hot

Enabling TRIM

Blessing Your Drive: How can I make my computer boot up faster?

M10, M12, P12

Installing your new SSD

M10, M12 (MacBook)

P12 (MacBook)

Doesn’t fit

Transferring your data

Drive was working, now it’s not

Clean Install

SMC and NVRAM/PRAM Resets

That Didn’t Work

Drive is hot

Blessing Your Drive: How can I make my computer boot up faster?

Boot Camp Guide

 

 

Disclaimers

1. Boot Camp

While Boot Camp is compatible with our drives, it is possible to cause damage to the file system in the process. Using Boot Camp will not nullify Feather's warranty. Damage caused to the drive's file system because of Boot Camp does not qualify the drive for a warranty replacement.

2. Data Transfer

If you need to transfer data, click here. 

Feather

M13

Installing your new SSD

MacBook

 You will need the following:

-    1x Feather SSD

-    1x T5 Hexalobe Screwdriver

-    1x P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver

  1. Using the P5 screwdriver, remove all of the screws off the back of the MacBook.
    1. The two screws next to the black hinge are either longer/shorter than the rest, depending on your MacBook model. 
    2. Store these separately from the others.
  2. Pop off the back panel of the Mac, starting near the hinge.
  3. Use the T5 screwdriver to remove the SSD mounting screw and old SSD.
  4. Insert the M13 and return the mounting screw.
    1. Be sure the mounting screw goes in vertically, an angled installation suggests the M13 has not been fully inserted.
  5. Follow steps 1 through 4 in reverse.

Doesn’t fit

If you find the M13 does not fit inside your Mac, please check here and match your machine’s EMC number to the appropriate model. If you have purchased the wrong drive or there has been an error in fulfillment, please reach out to us at contact@fledging.net to begin the process of swapping for the correct drive.

Transferring your data

You will need the following: 

-    1x External Hard Drive

-    1x Personal old SSD

-    1x Feather SSD 

-    1x Installer USB (Please make a USB Installer by following the directions at the unaffiliated website here

Steps:

  1.   Plug in the external drive with your old SSD mounted internally. 
  2.   Launch Time Machine, and select the external drive as the backup disk. 
  3.   Choose "Back Up now" and wait for the back-up to finish. 
  4.   Install your Feather SSD.
  5.   Plug in the Installer USB and external drive. 
  6.   Power on the Mac, pressing Option until the chimes are heard. 
  7.   Select the USB from the boot menu. 
  8.   Select "Restore from Time Machine Backup" and follow the on-screen steps.

Unrecognized drive

There are several reasons that can lead to an undetected drive (see below)

Reason 1: Recovery Mode

Recovery mode, or internet recovery mode, is frequently used to reinstall your OS or make partitions on your drive. Unfortunately, recovery mode emulates an older OS, and does not have the necessary firmware to detect NVMe drives. Try booting up on your new drive normally first, without using recovery mode. If you still are encountering this issue, move on to Reason 2.

Reason 2: Improper installation

As the IT Crowd said it best: “have you tried turning it off and on again?”

In all seriousness, our drives are designed to imitate the design of Apple drives, but they are not identical. It’s very common for the drive to not be fully inserted on the first installation attempt. You can confirm that the drive is fully inserted by checking the SSD mounting screw. If the mounting screw is going in at an angle, or not able to fully tighten, please remove the SSD and try again. Ensure the screw goes in at a 100% vertical angle and is flush against the drive when tightened.

Reason 3: Outdated boot ROM version

This is a fancy way of saying you need a firmware update. As mentioned under reason 1, NVMe drives can’t be detected without certain firmware and your boot ROM version is indicative of whether or not your machine has this firmware. It’s fairly easy to check your machine’s boot ROM version. If you’ve got a working SSD that you can use to boot up your machine, follow the steps outlined under option A. If you don’t have a working SSD, skip to option B.

If you can boot up your machine normally, you’ll just need to navigate to your machine’s Hardware Overview:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select “About this Mac” from the drop-down menu.
  3. This will open a new window, from there click the “System Report” button.
  4. This will open your Hardware Overview, from there your boot ROM version will be displayed towards the bottom of the list.

If you cannot boot up your machine normally, you’ll need to use recovery mode and Terminal to retrieve your boot ROM version.

  1. From the off position, press POWER.
    1. Immediately after hold down COMMAND + R for several seconds until a globe appears on your screen.
  2. Choose your internet connection and wait for the OS to load.
    1. This might take several minutes depending on your internet connection.
  3. Select your preferred language from the dropdown menu.
  4. Go to the Utilities tab at the top of your screen and click Terminal.
  5. In the Terminal window type the following command: 
    1. system_profiler SPHardwareDataType
    2. Press RETURN (ENTER).
  6. This will open your Hardware Overview, from there your boot ROM version will be displayed towards the bottom of the list.

 

Once you have your boot ROM version, you can use our compatibility chart to see if your boot ROM version is up-to-date or send it to us at contact@fledging.net.

Updating your firmware

If you determine your firmware is out of date, there is only one method to get this update: performing a full clean-install of MacOS High Sierra or newer. This will require a SSD your machine can natively detect, so you’ll want a regular Apple drive. If you don’t have one, we have installation kits available that include an Apple OEM SSD and premade USB installer. 

You will need the following: 

-    1x Apple OEM SSD

-    1x Feather SSD 

-    1x USB (8GB+)

Note: These will need to be erased in this process. Be sure to back up your data before proceeding.

  1. Create a USB installer using Apple Support or one of the unaffiliated links below:
  1. With your machine off, install the Apple SSD internally and plug in the USB installer.
  2. Press POWER and hold down OPTION until you hear chimes.
  3. This should open up your drive select screen, choose the USB installer.
  4. Select the “Reinstall your Mac” option and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. After installation is complete, remove the Apple SSD and install your Feather SSD.

Trouble waking up from sleep

There is a known drivers issue that occurs when using any NVMe SSD with MacBooks from 2013 and 2014. At this time, there have been no announcements from Apple that they intend to resolve this issue. However, you can run a 1-2 Terminal commands to circumvent the issue entirely.

These commands are going to disable the deep-sleep functions, like hibernationmode and autopoweroff. Don’t worry, this will have virtually no impact on your machine’s ability to go to sleep like normal.

  1. Open Terminal by first going to your Applications folder, then the Utilities folder.
    1. Or use Spotlight (COMMAND + SPACE) to find the Terminal application.
  2. Type or copy-and-paste the following command into the Terminal window:
    1. sudo pmset hibernatemode 0 standby 0
  3. Press RETURN (ENTER).
    1. You will be asked to enter your password.
    2. You will then be alerted about changes in power consumption.
      1. Don’t fret, the only instances where you might notice a change in power consumption is when your machine is closed and unplugged for 6+ hours. In those circumstances, plan for approximately +1% battery drain per hour.

If you are using Mojave or newer as your OS, you’ll need to run an additional Terminal command:

  1. Type or copy-and-paste the following command into the Terminal window:
    1. sudo pmset autopoweroff 0
  2. Press RETURN (ENTER).
    1. Restart your machine for best results.

If you’d like to double-check that the commands took effect, type or copy-and-paste the following command into the Terminal window: pmset -g. This will display all your machine’s battery and power settings. Check and make sure there are 0’s next to hibernatemode, standby, and autopoweroff.

If you’re following the steps outlined and the settings refuse to change to 0’s, please reach out to us at contact@fledging.net and we’ll troubleshoot the issue with you personally.

Drive was working, now it’s not

If your drive was working normally and stopped functioning, there are a number of potential reasons. The bulk of these reasons are solved with a clean install of your OS onto the SSD, followed by a SMC and NVRAM/PRAM reset.

Clean Install

  1. Create a USB installer for your preferred OS using any of the following links:
    1. High Sierra
    2. Mojave
  2. Turn your machine off and leave the USB installer plugged in.
  3. Press POWER and hold down OPTION until you hear chimes.
  4. On the drive select screen, choose the USB installer you just made.
  5. Select the “Reinstall your Mac” option and follow the on-screen instructions.
    1. The tool used to make the USB installer includes a patcher tool as well. You can run this or not, it is entirely optional.

SMC and NVRAM/PRAM Resets

Your machine’s SMC (System Management Controller) stores settings in relation to power management, temperature monitoring, fan control, status lights, keyboard backlights, and a few other miscellaneous components. If your SMC is experiencing problems you might notice things like excessive fan noise, slow performance, slow battery charging, sleep/wake problems, and random shutdowns.

Fortunately, resetting SMC is incredibly simple:

Desktop Macs

  1. Disconnect the power cord
    1. Either from the Mac or from the AC outlet. 
  2. Wait 15 seconds.
  3. Plug it back in. 
  4. Then wait another 5 seconds.
  5. Turn your machine back on.

Portable Macs with non-removable batteries

  1. Shut down and unplug your Mac.
  2. On the built-in keyboard, press and hold the SHIFT + OPTION + CONTROL + POWER buttons for 10 seconds.
  3. Connect the power adapter.
  4. Turn the Mac on normally.

Portable Macs with removable batteries

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Disconnect the power cord and remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the POWER button for 5 seconds.
  4. Put the battery back in.
  5. Reconnect the power cord.
  6. Turn the Mac on normally.

PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) refers to a small amount of special, battery-backed memory in every Mac that stored information the computer needed before it loaded the operating system. Modern Macs no longer use PRAM; they instead use something called NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory). NVRAM serves approximately the same purpose as PRAM, but now contains only a few functions: your selected startup disk, speaker volume, screen resolution, time zone, and—if your Mac has crashed recently—details of the last kernel panic.

If your Mac seems to take forever to figure out which disk to boot from, if it starts up with a different screen resolution, has weird audio problems (no sound, grayed out volume control menu), or has experienced a kernel panic; resetting the NVRAM is recommended.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press POWER, then hold COMMAND + OPTION + P + R for 20 seconds.
  3. Let go and allow your Mac to continue starting normally. 
    1. If you have an older Mac that chimes at boot, hold down the keys until you hear a second startup chime. 
  4. Check the Startup Disk, Display, and Date & Time panes in your System Preferences to make sure they’re set the way you want them.

 

If you hold down COMMAND + OPTION + P + R and see nothing but a gray screen that doesn’t change for several minutes, don’t panic. Disconnect all USB devices (except your keyboard)*, hold the power button down until the Mac shuts off completely, and then press it again and immediately hold down COMMAND + OPTION + P + R.

*If that doesn’t work and you’re using an external Bluetooth keyboard, try using a USB keyboard instead.

That Didn’t Work

If you are still having trouble, this is probably a case where your machine has become convinced the drive is ‘unmounted’.

  1. Go to Disk Utility while booted from your USB installer.
  2. Select the Fledging Feather.
  3. Hit Erase in the top-middle of the Disk Utility window.
  4. Reformat the drive.
    1. If you’re using High Sierra, use MacOS Extended (Journaled) with GUID Partition Map.
    2. If you’re using Mojave+, use APFS with GUID Partition Map.

 

***If the drive won’t erase and reformat, try adding a partition to the drive. Then erase and format the drive as described above. Sometimes a machine just needs to be ‘reminded’ that it can make changes to the drive. 

Drive is hot

NVMe drives, as a whole, are faster and better than the older models. This increase in performance does come with an increase in heat produced. So while a slight increase in temperature is not uncommon, your Mac should never run hot enough to hurt. If your Mac is running very hot during standard or light use, please do the following:

  1. Open Activity Monitor by first going to your Applications folder, then the Utilities folder.
    1. Or use Spotlight (COMMAND + SPACE) to find the Activity Monitor application.
  2. Click the Disk tab
  3. Take a screenshot of the window.
    1. Press COMMAND + SHIFT + 4
    2. Then click and drag the box over the Activity Monitor window.
  4. Email the screenshot to contact@fledging.net and include:
    1. Capacity, model, purchase date, etc.
    1. A#### EMC ####, printed on the underside of most Macs.
    1. When did the issue present, how long, what applications cause it, etc.
    1. Details about the drive
    2. Your Mac’s model and EMC number.
    3. Details about the issue.

Enabling TRIM

TRIM is an ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) command that allows your operating system to inform the SSD which data blocks it can erase because they are no longer in use. This can improve the performance of the SSD and contributes to a longer SSD life. Follow the steps below to ensure TRIM is enabled on your drive.

  1. Open Terminal by first going to your Applications folder, then the Utilities folder.
    1. Or use Spotlight (COMMAND + SPACE) to find the Terminal application.
  2. Copy and paste the following command to Terminal:
    1. sudo trimforce enable
    2. The system will warn you about potential data loss. There have not been any cases of TRIM related data loss. 
  3. Press Y, then RETURN (ENTER).
  4. Your system will then reboot, and TRIM will be enabled.

 

Blessing Your Drive: How can I make my computer boot up faster?

After upgrading the storage in your Mac, the system may no longer natively recognize the SSD. This can cause the Mac to take up to 30 seconds before it boots off of the new SSD. However, you can make the system natively recognize the drive by "blessing" it. This will help improve the boot time of the system.

1. Find the name of your computer by going to Disk Utility (Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility). If there is a space in the system name, you must precede it with a backslash “\”. Check the notice below for examples of system names with spaces. Replace the bolded text in the commands below with your system name.
2. Open Terminal (Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal)
3. Type the following command (or copy paste). Press RETURN (Enter). You may be prompted for your password. Again, make sure to read the NOTICE at the end of this documentation if your drive is not named Fledging_Feather:

sudo bless --folder /Volumes/Fledging_Feather/System/Library/CoreServices/ --file /Volumes/Fledging_Feather/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi --setBoot 

4. Type the following command then press RETURN (Enter). This will complete the blessing of your drive: 

sudo bless --mount /Volumes/Fledging_Feather/System/Library/CoreServices/ --file /Volumes/Fledging_Feather/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi --setBoot

5. Turn your computer off (do not restart).

There may be a progress bar after you type your password to login, this is caused by FileVault decrypting your data.

 If you are having any problems blessing your drive, please reach out to us at contact@fledging.net 

NOTICE: System Naming Examples:

If your computer is named “Macintosh” then you will type Macintosh

sudo bless --folder /Volumes/Macintosh/System/Library/CoreServices/

If your computer is named “Macintosh HD” then you will type Macintosh\ HD

sudo bless --folder /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/CoreServices/

If your computer is named “Daniel  Computer” (there are TWO spaces in between) then you will type Daniel\ \ Computer

sudo bless --folder /Volumes/Daniel\ \ Computer/System/Library/CoreServices/

M10, M12, P12

Installing your new SSD

M10, M12 (MacBook)

 You will need the following:

-    1x Feather SSD

-    1x T5 Hexalobe Screwdriver

-    1x P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver

  1. Using the P5 screwdriver, remove all of the screws off the back of the MacBook.
    1. The two screws next to the black hinge are either longer/shorter than the rest, depending on your MacBook model. 
    2. Store these separately from the others.
  2. Remove the back panel of the Mac, starting near the hinge.
    1. Use the T5 screwdriver to remove the SSD mounting screw and old SSD.
  3. Insert the M10/M12 and return the mounting screw.
    1. Be sure the mounting screw goes in vertically, an angled installation suggests the M1/M12 has not been fully inserted.
  4. Follow steps 1 through 3 in reverse.

P12 (MacBook)

 You will need the following:

-    1x Feather SSD

-    1x T5 Hexalobe Screwdriver

-    1x P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver 

  1. Using the P5 screwdriver, remove all of the screws off the back of the MacBook.
    1. The two screws next to the black hinge are either longer/shorter than the rest, depending on your MacBook model. 
    2. Store these separately from the others.
  2. Remove the back panel of the Mac, starting near the hinge.
  3. Remove the black plastic holder located where the trackpad is. 
    1. Pinch and lift the holder to remove.
  4. Use the T5 screwdriver to remove the SSD mounting screw and old SSD.
  5. Insert the P12 and return the mounting screw.
    1. Be sure the mounting screw goes in vertically, an angled installation suggests the P12 has not been fully inserted.
  6. Follow steps 1 through 5 in reverse.

Doesn’t fit

If you find your new Feather SSD does not fit inside your Mac, please check here and match your machine’s EMC number to the appropriate model. If you have purchased the wrong drive or there has been an error in fulfillment, please reach out to us at contact@fledging.net to begin the process of swapping for the correct drive.

Transferring your data

-    1x External Hard Drive

-    1x Personal old SSD

-    1x Feather SSD

Steps:

  1. Make sure your old drive is in your machine.
  2. Plug in your external hard drive.
  3. Open Time Machine by going to your Applications folder.
    1. Or use Spotlight (COMMAND + SPACE) to find the Time Machine application.
  4.  Choose "Back Up Now".
    1. This may take a few minutes.
  5. Remove your old drive and replace is with your Feather SSD.
    1. Refer to our guide on installation if you are unsure how to do this.
  6. Power on the Mac, holding OPTION until chimes are heard.
  7. Select "Restore from Time Machine Backup" and follow the on-screen steps.
    1.  Or use Migration Assistant located in Applications if you are restoring after already setting up your new computer.

Drive was working, now it’s not

If your drive was working normally and stopped functioning, there are a number of potential reasons. The bulk of these reasons are solved with a clean install of your OS onto the SSD, followed by a SMC and NVRAM/PRAM reset.

Clean Install

  1. Create a USB installer for your preferred OS using any of the following links:
    1. High Sierra
    2. Mojave
  2. Turn your machine off and leave the USB installer plugged in.
  3. Press POWER and hold down OPTION until you hear chimes.
  4. On the drive select screen, choose the USB installer you just made.
  5. Select the “Reinstall your Mac” option and follow the on-screen instructions.
    1. The tool used to make the USB installer includes a patcher tool as well. You can run this or not, it is entirely optional.

SMC and NVRAM/PRAM Resets

Your machine’s SMC (System Management Controller) stores settings in relation to power management, temperature monitoring, fan control, status lights, keyboard backlights, and a few other miscellaneous components. If your SMC is experiencing problems you might notice things like excessive fan noise, slow performance, slow battery charging, sleep/wake problems, and random shutdowns.

Fortunately, resetting SMC is incredibly simple:

Desktop Macs

  1. Disconnect the power cord
    1. Either from the Mac or from the AC outlet. 
  2. Wait 15 seconds.
  3. Plug it back in. 
  4. Then wait another 5 seconds.
  5. Turn your machine back on.

Portable Macs with non-removable batteries

  1. Shut down and unplug your Mac.
  2. On the built-in keyboard, press and hold the SHIFT + OPTION + CONTROL + POWER buttons for 10 seconds.
  3. Connect the power adapter.
  4. Turn the Mac on normally.

Portable Macs with removable batteries

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Disconnect the power cord and remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the POWER button for 5 seconds.
  4. Put the battery back in.
  5. Reconnect the power cord.
  6. Turn the Mac on normally. 

PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) refers to a small amount of special, battery-backed memory in every Mac that stored information the computer needed before it loaded the operating system. Modern Macs no longer use PRAM; they instead use something called NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory). NVRAM serves approximately the same purpose as PRAM, but now contains only a few functions: your selected startup disk, speaker volume, screen resolution, time zone, and—if your Mac has crashed recently—details of the last kernel panic.

If your Mac seems to take forever to figure out which disk to boot from, if it starts up with a different screen resolution, has weird audio problems (no sound, grayed out volume control menu), or has experienced a kernel panic; resetting the NVRAM is recommended.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press POWER, then hold COMMAND + OPTION + P + R for 20 seconds.
  3. Let go and allow your Mac to continue starting normally. 
    1. If you have an older Mac that chimes at boot, hold down the keys until you hear a second startup chime. 
  4. Check the Startup Disk, Display, and Date & Time panes in your System Preferences to make sure they’re set the way you want them. 

If you hold down COMMAND + OPTION + P + R and see nothing but a gray screen that doesn’t change for several minutes, don’t panic. Disconnect all USB devices (except your keyboard)*, hold the power button down until the Mac shuts off completely, and then press it again and immediately hold down COMMAND + OPTION + P + R.

*If that doesn’t work and you’re using an external Bluetooth keyboard, try using a USB keyboard instead.

That Didn’t Work

If you are still having trouble, this is probably a case where your machine has become convinced the drive is ‘unmounted’.

  1. Go to Disk Utility while booted from your USB installer.
  2. Select the Fledging Feather.
  3. Hit Erase in the top-middle of the Disk Utility window.***
  4. Reformat the drive.
    1. If you’re using High Sierra, use MacOS Extended (Journaled) with GUID Partition Map.
    2. If you’re using Mojave+, use APFS with GUID Partition Map.

 

***If the drive won’t erase and reformat, try adding a partition to the drive. Then erase and format the drive as described above. Sometimes a machine just needs to be ‘reminded’ that it can make changes to the drive. 

Drive is hot

Feather models are designed to be faster and better than OEM SSDs, and do run slightly hotter. But while a slight increase in temperature is not uncommon, your Mac should never run hot enough to hurt. If your Mac is running very hot during regular or light use, please do the following:

  1. Open Activity Monitor by first going to your Applications folder, then the Utilities folder.
    1. Or use Spotlight (COMMAND + SPACE) to find the Activity Monitor application.
  2. Click the Disk tab
  3. Take a screenshot of the window.
    1. Press COMMAND + SHIFT + 4
    2. Then click and drag the box over the Activity Monitor window.
  4. Email the screenshot to contact@fledging.net and include:
    1. Capacity, model, purchase date, etc.
    1. A#### EMC ####, printed on the underside of most Macs.
    1. When did the issue present, how long, what applications cause it, etc.
    1. Details about the drive
    2. Your Mac’s model and EMC number.
    3. Details about the issue.