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Model A1419 / Late 2013 / 3.2 & 3.4 GHz Core i5 or 3.5 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac14,2

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Can I install both PCIe SSD and SSD hard drive at the same time?

i have purchased FLEANE FM13A 1TB PCIE 3,0X4 NVME and OWC 2TB 6G SSD, and I installed both on my IMAC late 2013, however, I noticed that the OWC is mounted but as storage only (like an external storage drive) while the PCIE contains all the IMAC operating system that I got from the migration process after installing it.

My intention was to use the 2TB OWC storage to boost my IMAC storage and to have the PCIE increase the boot speed of the apps.

please advise how can I fix it and if can I have both at the same time.

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@sam1968 - I’m not following you here… When you boot up your system are you able to see both drives from within Disk Utility? Both should be visible in the left column.

da

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It sounds to me like you're trying to use these drives like a fusion drive. So you'll get the speed boost of the PCIe drive, but the storage capacity of the larger SATA SSD.

But what you're seeing now is two separate drives. One with the operating system and all your migrated data, and one with nothing, but you can move files to it like you would with an external drive.

You'll need to combine them to make them into the fusion drive you're looking for. I don't know that the performance boosts from the PCIe drive will be noticable on this model with an SSD in both slots since even PCIe is not much faster than SATA. This would be a more logical method if you were using an HDD. But regardless.

You'll need to follow this guide from Apple to combine the drives the way you want. Keep in mind it will erase all the data on both drives.

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@flannelist & @sam1968 - While the file system would be flat, the storage space is only the size of the SATA drive not the total of the two drives! So in this case 2TB! Not the physical 2+1=3TB

This is both a space ($$) waste and really no performance improvement.

From a performance perspective: Hits you in both the limits of the PCIe/NVMe interface this series has PCI 2.0 and the number of lanes x2 while faster than the SATA III (6.0 Gbps) interface the OS’s overhead for Fusion Drive services mostly wastes that gain! This drive is running in compatibility mode if it’s working at all. A cheaper PCIe 2.0 x2 would have been a better choice and I would have used a 256GB drive for the Fusion Drive cache drive as being the better fit. I’m still not a lover of using M.2 drives more so in iMac’s given the work required to get to it. These drive/adapter setups are not that reliable Vs either using a real Apple or OWC SSD.

Now the better solution is to leave these as independent drives, using the Blade drive as the boot drive as well as the drive which hosts the applications as the app will be constantly need access (caching & paging) and some need scratch space which is best to leave on the blade as well. The OS also gains performance being on the Blade drive here we have it’s Caching and Virtual RAM it uses.

Then use the slower SATA interface drive for the bought media (music and vids) as well as your own creative work and most everything else.

Now to get into making things appear flat only needs the use of Aliases! Here placing them within the users folder within the blade drive or what I had done is just copy over the users home folder to second drive and then place the Alias within the Blade drive there’s a few tweaking needed to make this work which is a bit more involved within APFS.

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Agreed. I failed to mention that the storage capacity of a Fusion Drive drive is not A+B, I often see a mild increase reflected (which never made since to me, but nevertheless), but definitely not a direct sum of the two storages. Leaving them as two drives makes much more sense. The Fusion drive format was conceived of to give the HDD, which was much cheaper at the time, a speed boost with the SSD as a cache. Performance increase between these two drives in this case would be negligible, as I mentioned since both are SSDs and even in a modern config with better PCIe speeds, I'm not sure I would go down this route.

I honestly dislike the use of fusion drives in the year 2022 period. Unless you absolutely need the cost effectiveness per GB an HDD affords.

The setup you mentioned is similar to how I have my PC configured, minus the additional configuration for its appearance as one drive, which I think is less necessary in Windows. But is a "creature comfort" in either scenario.

da

@flannelist - before answering questions like this I like to get a better picture of what is being asked, hence the comment I placed in the question.

While we have focused on Fusion and dual drive configs we still have no idea what Sameer is looking for as the question doesn’t tell us.

da

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I've done the same, but only seeing the Sata SSD on disk utility. Not seeing PCIE SSD? Using disk utility I am reinstalling mac os, but looks like it is going onto SATA SSD. Why doesn't pcie ssd show up in disk utility? Is it possible, once it shows up, to install mac os on the pcie ssd and leave the SATA SSD as additional storage?

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@rosamnissenbaum - Who’s PCIe/NVMe drive are you using? This series only offers a two lane interface, so the blade drive needs to work with that limitation. Most four lane drives won’t work.

Then we have the systems macOS version to deal with. Your system needs High Sierra or newer to be running as the needed PCIe/NVMe driver is within this OS release. You also have a major change within the file system space from GUID/HFS+ to GUID/APFS so the version of the OS can be a factor as in the case of trying to use Internet Recovery as the older Sierra is the default OS version so neither the OS it’s self and the Disk Utility within it won’t work accessing the PCIe/NVMe drive.

Lastly, I really don’t recommend using M.2 SSDs with these flimsy adapters I’ve had to remove quite a few in the iMacs which given how deep you need to go makes the re-repair task more expensive and you still then need to replace the drive still again! Stick with either the original Apple or go with OWCs SSDs.

da

@danj Hi Dan, I have an issue with my Fusion drive 2TB in my late 2015 27" iMac. In 2023 I bought external ssd from Samsung which now I am using as boot disk through usb. I wanted to speed up system a little bit without opening iMac. But last week iMac started rebooting every 10-20minutes, so it is moreless useless now. It looks like ssd from fusion drive is broken, since I am unable to format/erase it or even read it. I am glad, that every data is on my external ssd, but that rebooting is so devastating.

Now I am ready to open iMac and at least try to eject internal ssd to see, if it is really the reason for all those reboots. Then I will change it, but I have got problem.

You are telling that it is better to stick with original ssd for mac, not M.2 ones, okay. But OWC Aura Pro X2 is not supported for late 2015 iMacs (wtf?). Can I use the Feather one as Sameer did? Thank you and have a nice day :)

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@polino120 - I can see why you are confused! In looking at the OWC web site for the Aura Pro X2 I see it listed for the Mid 2015 (iMac15,1), I also see the iFixit kit iMac Intel 27" (Late 2013-Mid 2015) Blade SSD Upgrade Bundle lists it as a supported drive (iMac17,1). I also know quite a few folks here have used it. Do keep in mind the 5K Late 2015 was a short lived model run which I suspect OWC just didn't test it.


As for the Feather drives they are a bit better than the adapter setup but very little! All they did is take the adapter and encase it with a M.2 drive! The image within Amazon is not what I have seen! So be careful. Where the adapter would sit is a black plastic covering in the units I've seen.


As to all of your reboots, I'm suspecting the USB drive you are using as the boot drive is just not stable at heavy use being only a USB 3.0 interface.


The best way to explain this is if your cars tires are a bit out of round so at slow speeds you might get a bit sea sick, but as you build speed your head and tail is bouncing between the ceiling of the cars roof and seat! I would use a proper Thunderbolt-2 drive. If you had a 2017 model then you would have had Thunderbolt-3 (USB-C support)

da

@danj Thank you for your reply :)

I read that some guys tried it with that OWC and iMac late 2015 and they had no problems. But when I tried to contact OWC, they told me, that they dont support it, that is all :(

Oh that is a shame with that Feather, I thought, that I finally found solution.

And with that booting ssd from usb 3 I had zero issues for last like 6 months. Suddenly they started to ocure and when I thought, that there is something wrong with that booting SSD, I tried to boot to that old fusion drive OS, and I was not able to do that.

SSD from fusion drive is unreable and unformatable, but I formated HDD from fusion drive, but I was not able to install OS to that partition, since reboot is happening every 10-20 minutes :(

da

@danj it looks like when I turned off power nap and ability to sleep hard drives, everything is suddenly running without reboots, yay! :)...and maybe not, again I got reboot after 2hrs :(

da

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Hi Saamer, do you still use that FLEANE SSD in your Mac? Is it working properly? Thanks.

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sameer shurafa sarà eternamente grato.
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