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I have a rescued mid-2013 11 inch MacBook Air working great off external USB 3 hard drive but missing its internal SSD.

They use a custom SSD, which seem to be expensive even used and aftermarket.

Are any adaptors available to install a generic SSD?

I Googled and thought I found that they do now exist, but then I realized the ones I found were the opposite, for using the SSDs from various MacBooks in other laptops etc.

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See this question: Do MacBooks support NVMe SSD drives via the use of a Sintech adapter?.

There is the Sintech adapter. It is not compatible with NVMe drives on your Mid-2013 MacBook Air, but you can use AHCI drives. They are a bit cheaper than official "Apple" drives ($0.66/GB against $0.86/GB for the cheapest drives).

  • Would such a drive and adapter fit inside my MacBook Air's case? I saw photos when I was Googling that made it look like there were external ones with some kind of cable, but I'm not sure since that seems very hacky for a Mac solution. – hippietrail Jul 9 '17 at 14:40
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    Non-apple AHCI/NVMe drives are smaller than Apple official drives. The adapter and the SSD would fit inside your MacBook Air' case, since the adapter is made for that particular use. Often, manufacters provide both external and internal products with a close name. You are looking for an internal SSD. – ncoden Jul 9 '17 at 16:48
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The air has no extra room for internal parts.

Unless the “generic SSD” is substantially smaller than the apple part, there would be no room for it. The adapter of choice would be an external adapter if you’re looking to cut costs.

External connection also simplifies things like whether the storage interface and firmware and controller are compatible.

  • Yes I'm asking about the "unless" part. Miniaturization marches on after all ... – hippietrail Jul 5 '17 at 4:22
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    @hippietrail Agreed. Apple and the air were about 5 years ahead of other vendors when that product was released. I look forward to another answer showing if/when you can get better space savings than Apple has designed into the Air form factor. Up till now, NVMe and MacBook storage isn’t physically different - just more advanced chipsets and protocol. As of today - “no extra room, no generic option” is the best information I have to provide. – bmike Jul 5 '17 at 10:44

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