I changed the motherboard of a MacBook Air A1465 11" mid 2013 because the previous one had a problem with the RAM. I boot the device in recovery mode in order to install the OS but the SSD is not recognised by the disk utility, so I search online and I find that I can see if the terminal recognises the SSD, in fact it does. I use the command diskutil list and It appears a list of disks with my SSD in it.

Then I try to use the commands "diskutil eraseDisk JHFS+ mySSD /dev/disk22", "diskutil eraseDisk /dev/disk22", "diskutil partitionDisk /dev/disk22 GPT JHFS+ New 0b" and each time the process starts but after a while I receive a Error saying: "Error: -69877: Couldn't open device". After this error the disk disappears from the disks list.

I found out that when I use the command "diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk22" I can actually see the disk in the disk utility interface, but when I try to erase it as I did before, the same error occurs.

  • Why not use DiskUtility to erase the drive from recovery boot?
    – bmike
    Jan 6, 2020 at 15:17
  • @bmike because in DiskUtility I can’t find the SSD, the only way I can see it is on the terminal
    – Guala
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:02
  • If the drive doesn’t show up, it’s a failed cable or controller or drive. Want me to put that in as an answer?
    – bmike
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:06
  • @bmike yes please 🙏🏻
    – Guala
    Jan 6, 2020 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


Some disks (like Transcent Jetdrive disks) need specific drivers and do not function under and OS older than 10.12.. Try and boot into the different options for recovery (like Command-R / Option-Command-R / Shift-Option-Command-R) and see if the disk is recognized in any of the versions.

Apple gear boots from external drives easily so you can always get a usb connector to test if the drive will work and do an erase install. Only when you have the OS loaded, put the drive in the machine.

  • This is absolutely an answer and not a comment. Welcome to Ask Different.
    – bmike
    Jan 6, 2020 at 15:15
  • @JMM Thanks so much for the answer; can you explain better what you mean with "Only when you have the OS loaded, put the drive in the machine"? You mean installing the OS on a USB and then try to erase the SSD from the OS installed on that USB?
    – Guala
    Jan 7, 2020 at 17:38
  • 1
    Hi @Guala - you can start a mac(book air) using 'netboot' - if you hold down Command-R while booting, and connect it to the internet (either through wifi or a cable) it will download a recovery OS from which you can erase / restore / install. - Command-R will install the recovery OS of the latest version your mac had before - Command-Option-R will install the latest OS that's compatible with your machine - Shift-Option-Command-R will install the version your machine shipped with (or the last one still available..)
    – JMM
    Jan 9, 2020 at 20:29
  • @JMM Thank you, I did everything you suggested but when I try to erase the SSD from the DiskUtility terminal it gives me this error "Error: -69877: couldn't open device". I'm wondering whether the SSD is damaged. The terminal recognise it but the diskutility interface doesn't.
    – Guala
    Jan 10, 2020 at 21:46
  • Annoying - you could try and erase it from the terminal - diskutil eraseDisk FILE_SYSTEM DISK_NAME DISK_IDENTIFIER - But it might indeed be that your disk is damaged :( Perhaps you have a warranty?
    – JMM
    Jan 12, 2020 at 16:39

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