M13 Support

Installing Feather M13 in your MacBook

Failure to upgrade your MacBook to the right OS before restoring from the Time Machine backup can cause lots of problems. Here's how to avoid that:

  • Once your MacBook is turned on and is running on the Feather SSD, go to Apple Support, then search for the Operating System you were previously running (would be either Mojave or Catalina). 
  • Once you find the right OS, you can download it to your MacBook. 
  • Once the download is complete, you can double-click the download and follow the on-screen prompts and it will upgrade your MacBook’s OS.

Here's the installation process:

  1. Make sure your MacBook is running High Sierra or a newer OS.
  2. Backup your MacBook externally, using Time Machine.
  3. Power down your MacBook and make sure it is not plugged into the charger.
  4. Using the P5 screwdriver provided by Fledging, remove all of the screws from the back of your MacBook.
  5. Remove the back panel of your MacBook, starting near the hinge.
  6. Using the T5 screwdriver provided by Fledging, remove the SSD mounting screw.
  7. Gently pull out the old SSD.
  8. Insert Feather SSD and return the mounting screw.
  9. Place the back panel back on the MacBook and secure with screws.
  10. Press Power and let the MacBook turn on normally.
    1. If your backup was originally running High Sierra, plug in your external backup and restore your data using Migration Assistant.
    2. If your backup was originally running on Mojave, Catalina or a newer OS, upgrade to that newer OS and then plug in your external backup and restore your data using Migration Assistant.

My Mac can’t see the drive! I powered up normally, but I’m getting a flashing folder with a question mark! What do I do? 

Probable causes: Your Mac’s firmware most likely needs to be updated. But to be sure, turn your Mac off, open the back to ensure the SSD is snuggly seated in the Mac, put the back of the Mac on again, press power, and see if anything changes. No changes? Let’s look at the firmware. If you have an M13,your Mac’s firmware most likely needs to be updated. 

Can this be fixed? YES!

What’s going on? NVMe drives can’t be detected without certain firmware and your boot ROM version is indicative of whether or not your Mac has this firmware. It’s pretty easy to check your Mac’s boot ROM version. If you’ve got a working SSD that you can use to boot up your Mac, follow the steps outlined under option A. If you don’t have a working SSD, skip to option B.

Here’s how to determine if this is an issue (this typically takes 2 minutes):

Option A - If you can boot up your Mac normally, you’ll just need to navigate to your Mac’s Hardware Overview. Here’s how:

  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 toward the bottom of the list.
  5. Once you have your boot ROM version, check it against our compatibility chart to see if yours is up-to-date. If that chart doesn’t make sense, please reach out to Laura with your Mac’s boot ROM at contact@fledging.net and she will verify for you. If you have determined that your firmware needs to be upgraded, please follow the instructions in our ‘How do I upgrade my firmware?’ section.

Option B - If you cannot boot up your Mac normally, you’ll need to use recovery mode and Terminal to retrieve your boot ROM version. Don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy. Here’s where to begin.

  1. With the Mac turned off, 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: 

system_profiler SPHardwareDataType 

    1. Press RETURN (ENTER).
  1. This will open your Hardware Overview. From there, your boot ROM version will be displayed toward the bottom of the list.
  2. Once you have your boot ROM version, check it against our compatibility chart to see if your boot ROM version is up-to-date. If that chart doesn’t make sense, please reach out to Laura with your Mac’s boot ROM at contact@fledging.net and she will verify for you. If you have determined that your firmware needs to be upgraded, please follow the instructions in our ‘How do I upgrade my firmware?’ section.

How do I upgrade my firmware?

If you determine your firmware is out of date, there is only one method (with a few steps) to get this updated: with an Apple SSD, performing a full clean-install High Sierra or a newer Mac OS. 

  • If your Apple SSD is still working: you can download the new macOS, update your device, create a new backup, and then install Feather
  • If you don’t have a working Apple SSD: we have installation kits available for rent that include an Apple OEM SSD and pre-made USB installer. 

You will need the following: 

  • 1x Working Apple OEM SSD
  • 1x Feather SSD 
  • 1x USB or other external hard drive (8GB+) 

Note: The Apple OEM SSD and external hard drive will need to be erased in the upgrade process. Be sure to back up your data before proceeding.

I have everything I need. Now what?

  1. Create a USB installer using Apple Support or one of the below unaffiliated links (note: this will need to be downloaded on the external storage). Customers who rent the installation kit can skip this step.
    1. OSxDaily (Mojave)
    2. Dosdude1 (High Sierra)
    3. Dosdude1 (Mojave)
    4. Dosdude1 (Catalina)
  2. With your Mac off and unplugged, install the Apple SSD internally. Customers already using an Apple SSD can skip this step.
  3. With your Mac still turned off, plug in the external USB installer.
  4. Press ‘POWER’ and immediately hold down ‘OPTION’ until you hear chimes.
  5. This should open up your drive select screen. Choose the USB installer.
  6. Select the “Reinstall your Mac” option and follow the on-screen instructions.
  7. After installation is complete, eject the USB installer, turn your Mac off, remove the Apple SSD and install your Feather SSD.

My Mac crashes after waking up from sleep. Why is this happening? How can I stop it?

Probable causes: There is a known driver issue that occurs when using any NVMe SSD with some MacBooks. 

Is there a solution? YES.

What’s going on? By running one or two Terminal commands, you can stop the crashes. These commands disable the deep-sleep functions, like hibernation mode and auto power off, and have virtually no impact on your Mac’s ability to go to sleep like normal. 

Please note that the only instance where you might notice a change in power consumption is when your Mac is closed and unplugged for 6+ hours. In those circumstances, this could cause additional battery drain of up to 1% per hour, but this drain is not consistent in all devices, and some Mac battery lives actually improve.

Here’s what to do (takes 2 minutes):

  1. With your Mac on, open the Terminal application one of these ways:
    1. Open Finder, go to Applications folder, then Utilities folder. Terminal is in there.
    2. Use Spotlight (COMMAND + SPACE), then search for Terminal.
  2. Type or copy-and-paste the following command into the Terminal window: 

sudo pmset hibernatemode 0 standby 0

  1. Press RETURN (ENTER).
    1. You will be asked to enter your password.
    2. You will then be alerted about changes in power consumption.
  2. If you are using Mojave, Catalina, or a newer Operating System, you have one more command to input:

sudo pmset autopoweroff 0

  1. Press RETURN (ENTER).
  2. Restart your Mac.

To make sure your commands took effect, type the following command into the Terminal window:

pmset -g

This displays your Mac’s battery and power settings. If the commands took, there will be 0’s next to hibernatemode, standby, and autopoweroff.

If you’re following the steps outlined and the settings refuse to change to 0’s, or if they do change to 0’s and you still experience crashes, please reach out to Laura at contact@fledging.net and she’ll troubleshoot your issue personally.

My drive was working great, then it stopped recognizing the SSD. What's going on?

If your Mac has experienced any of the following, this is for you: 

  • Excessive fan noise
  • Slow performance
  • Slow battery charging
  • Sleep/wake problems
  • Random shutdowns
  • Takes forever to figure out which disk to boot from
  • Starts up with a different screen resolution
  • Weird audio problems (no sound, grayed out volume control menu)
  • Kernel panics

Probable Causes: Apple designed their Macs to dislike third party hardware, so on occasion, the System Management Controller (SMC) and Parameter Random Access Memory (PRAM), or Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM), need to be reset to remind your Mac that it can use the Fledging SSD and use it well.

Can I fix this? YES!

What’s going on? SMC stores settings related to power management, temperature monitoring, fan control, status lights, keyboard backlights, and a few other miscellaneous components.

PRAM (found on older Macs) refers to a small amount of battery-backed memory in every Mac that stores information the Mac needs before loading the operating system. NVRAM (on newer Macs) works basically the same as PRAM, but 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. The steps for resetting NVRAM and PRAM are the same.

Here’s what to do (takes about 5 minutes): 

Reset your SMC, using the instructions below designed for the following:

Mac, Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro

  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, using steps on our Support page.
  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.

Reset your PRAM/NVRAM following the below instructions.

  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.

I did all this. Now what? Depending on the specific issue you were facing, you may immediately see results, or you may need to give your Mac a few days to let you know whether these resets resolved the issues you were experiencing. If the issues prove themselves to be unresolved, please reach out to Laura at contact@fledging.net and she will work with you to find the solution!

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