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Adapter to save 12+16 pin ssd

So my friends macbook air a1466 is completely dead but he really wants to try and save all his photos. The mac has a 12+16 pin ssd from sandisk. I can’t seem to be able to find an adapter (preferbly in europe) which will allow me to save it. Either a M2 adapter so I can hook it up to my pc or a usb adapter.

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Well to start off with Apple did their own thing! The SSD’s Apple used are custom to their needs and are not M.2 compliant!

Here’s a good guide to review The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs You’ll see your friends system is using a Generation 3 SSD which uses a PCIe 2.0 2 lanes using AHCI.

So you’ll need this OWC Envoy Pro Portable, Bus-Powered USB 3.0 Storage Enclosure to hold the SSD. In addition you’ll need to connect it to a Mac system to gain access to the files.

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Yea thats one of the reasons I dont dable with apple, too much propriorotery stuff but a 100 bucks to access a 7 yeard old hdd? %#*@...

Are there no 12+16 pin to m2 adapters? I do have a m2 to usb adapter that I could then use to hook it up to a mac.


@curiousjoe - No such thing! Apple SSD to M.2 interface wouldn't a big enough market for anyone to create one. The reason the OWC unit is expensive is for that exact reason!

How many people need to recover their stuff? Not many! But more than anyone trying to shove an Apple SSD into a M.2 System! Also remember you can't salvage the data to a Windows or Linux system as Apple uses a different file system which is not available (APFS),

Your only other option is to find another Early 2014 MacBook Air which you can swap out the SSD and then copy off the persons stuff.


@danj yea that kinda makes sense, but still annoying that apple used proprietary connectors instead of just going with something standard...

As for the M2, if there actually was such a adapter (I saw them for the 12+16 pin version ) I was thinking I could hook one of those up to a M2 to USB adapter and then access the stuff on a different mac

And I was thinking I could swap the ssd to my old macbook air but mine is 2012 and of course uses yet another pin connector...Will probably order the OWC unit for him since he really really wanted to recover his stuff.


@curiousjoe - Ah! those SSD adapters! Sorry thats a no go!

These adapters are to allow you to place a M.2 SSD > INTO < a Mac system not the other way!

Even still these adapters are not very good! I often need to take them out as the combo of the adapter and M.2 SSD's just don't hold up!

Keep in mind this is an older system which > REQUIRES < a PCIe 2.0 x2/AHCI. It won't support the newer NVMe drive.


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I need to recover data from a SSD 12+16 pin from my Macbook Pro A1502 but I have a Windows PC. How can I do it? Will the OWC ENVOY PRO gonna work using Transmac as well?


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@Wolfgang Ybarra - Physically the OWC case will offer the needed physical connection (USB-A) which will work via an adapter to a USB-C system.

But that doesn't mean the data is accessible! Mac's has two file systems HFS+ and now APFS. TransMac (running on a MS Windows system) can only access the older HFS+ volumes. Apple has not released the needed information or licenses to access the newer APFS structures and no one has reversed engineered it to access files stored with in it (any Mac running High Sierra or newer will be running APFS).

The next issue is many people encrypt their drives and by default on the newest systems. So that too will prevent you access.

So given all of the hinderances I strongly recommend you find someone with a Mac system which you can connect your OWC Envoy case with your SSD (or just swap out the systems SSD) so you can copy off your data to a Windows compatible drive FAT file system drive.


I know of only one compatible enclosure and I have been looking for one for ages. It's buried in my favorites folder somewhere. Your best bet is an AHCI (the drive doesn't use NVME) compatible PCIe 2.0 x2 compatible m.2 to PCIe adaptor card. The controller on the SSD is a Marvell 88SS9183.


OWC Envoy case (refer to the compatibility listing) offered support for the older AHCI drive which is the only option. Even still your best bet is using another Mac as MS Windows can’t access many file types and Mac apps won’t work.


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@dlxw - Sorry this is a no go too! This allows you to use an Apple custom SSD within a Windows PC system M.2 slot. It doesn't do the reverse. And lastly macOS uses a different format (APFS) than what Windows systems use so even if you did this to try to recover the data it won't work. To add to it if the drive is encrypted then its not until the next Century will you be able to decrypted it


@Dan, have you used one? Wondering if it actually works to connect to a M.2 USB adapter.


@dlxw - Why? I don't want a Rube Goldberg machine when a simpler setup is better! Too many things can go wrong and the limitations are endless!

Early on when Apple blade SSD's where plentiful as many people upgraded their storage, some smart folks created PCI cards and adapters like the one you pointed to, allowing people a cheaper solution to gain SSD storage in their Linux/Windows PC systems as M.2 SSD's where still more expensive. There was no intent to salvage the data that was on the SSD's. Reformatting the drives for Linux or Windows was always done. Then your solution has merit! But those days have past, the cost of M.2 SSD's has dropped and as Apple no longer offers removable SSD in many of their systems the availability of cheap SSD's (small sizes only) has likewise dried up.

So then we have the case of someone trying to migrate off of a Mac to a Windows PC as they just don't want a Mac, that's cool! During the 2016/18 Butterfly keyboard mess I had a few come to me to help them with the migration. As the SSD was fixed to the logic board there is no means to take it out on the Butterfly systems and in the older systems which have removable drives unless the system was dead it also made no sense to remove the SSD either. The solution was always transferring the users data files to an external drive, then transferring the files via sneaker net to the new system or using Target Disk mode which only needed a cable running between the two working systems Understanding the Applications for Target Disk Mode.

The few cases which had a dead system that we could take the drive out we often placed the drive in a OWC Envoy case so the drive could still be used and the files restored from the drive to the new system so everything was moved over User accounts, Apps & Data.

So I restate why go with such a more expensive solution if you are trying to recover the users data?


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curious joe zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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