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Intel X25 SSD incompatible with OS X 10.8.3

A Mac with an Intel X25 series SSD may not be able to boot after installing OS X 10.8.3; however, updating the drive's firmware should help.

One common upgrade to install for older Mac systems is to replace the conventional hard drive with a high-speed SSD to reduce data access bottlenecks and greatly speed up the system. However, those who have used some of Intel's SSDs may find that they cannot successfully install OS X 10.8.3.

After applying the updates from Apple, instead of booting normally the system will simply hang at startup or show a no-entry symbol that indicates the operating system cannot boot on the available hardware configuration. Reverting to the previous 10.8.2 installation via a Time Machine backup should allow the system to boot properly; however, upon updating again, the same problem will occur, regardless of whether the App Store updater or the downloadable Combo updater is used.

If this happens to you, then you can likely fix the problem by updating the SSD's firmware.

To do this, first restore your Mac to your previous OS X 10.8.2, or earlier, installation (one option is to attach an external drive and reinstall OS X to that). Then download the latest X25 SSD firmware from Intel and burn the ISO image to an optical disc. While you can try restoring the ISO image to a USB drive or another external drive, this may not work depending on your setup. If you have replaced your optical drive with the SSD (such as shown here), then you may have to temporarily swap the optical drive back in to your system and place the SSD in the main hard-drive bay.

Next, boot to the Intel firmware updater, which should load a FreeDOS environment with instructions on selecting and updating the drive (you may have to hold the C key or Option key at startup to boot off the optical drive or select the appropriate boot drive from the boot manager). If you cannot get this to work, then one option is to use Intel's Windows-based firmware updater, which can be run with the SSD in a Windows Machine, or when booted to Apple's Boot Camp environment.

Once the firmware is updated, then you can either attempt to boot to your OS X 10.8.3 installation if it is still intact, or you can try loading OS X 10.8.2 and updating it again.

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