Does anybody have experience with a Samsung T7 as bootdrive? I used external SSDs for about 4-5 iMacs (all different SSD brands). This time I used a fairly expensive Samsung T7 for my own iMac.

Since then I only have kernel panics for some reason and I can't find the root of it. Not clear if under load using Photoshop or just browsing the web, nothing really to narrow it down.

I tried all the steps. I also contacted apple support and got to the higher tier technical support. I bought a second T7 and as the apple support recommended this time I didn't put my data on it with time machine or anything else. I set up everything manually by hand.

And today I got the next kernel panic...

Again talked to apple support, they have no idea and assumed that maybe the power output of the USB port isn't high enough for the SSD and that the power drops cause the kernel panic. Not sure if this is a valid thing or not, I ordered now 2 different models of SSDs (one San Disk, one Intenso) and as a last step I buy (as recommended by apple support) a drive case with external power and put an internal SSD in it. Actually this is the last thing I want to do, because it's pretty big and can't be transported so easily. Lets see if that changes anything.

Now my question here is: Does anybody have an idea if the T7 (the whole product/ model) is the problem here and if there is any incompatibility? Does it draw too much power? Is there a way to monitor (without any physical hardware in between) the power going through the USB port to see if it drops? All energy saving settings are disabled, I went through about everything there is as far as settings go with the support.

Different cables, ports I have already tried.

I'm currently using the latest version of montery

Some stats:

  • 1 TB Samsung T7 (both drives I tested)
  • 2019 iMac 27" with i5 (can provide full specs when back in office tomorrow)
  • I know mine will run very hot when under load as it's very fast for me, but quite cold when idle (unlike a WD SSD I have that's always hot). Maybe it's tripping some thermal check as it's constantly in use? Might also be worth seeing if the firmware needs updating, if you can go through the faff of getting the Samsung software installed (requires kernel extensions). As for power, one would imagine the USB-C standards to be quite rigid, but who can say... Oct 6, 2022 at 19:35
  • jona: What year is your iMac? Oct 6, 2022 at 20:26
  • @DavidAnderson It's a 2019 iMac 27"
    – jona
    Oct 6, 2022 at 20:36
  • @AndyGriffiths I take a look into the firmware update, maybe that helps. My two drives are brand new of from amazon, not sure how long they lay around there and if they have very old firmware. Maybe I could use windows for the firmware update? Or will that nuke my OS install? :D
    – jona
    Oct 6, 2022 at 20:41
  • @AndyGriffiths Thermals shouldn't really be a problem. I put it on the stand of the iMac to use the iMac stand as a heat spreader and the temp (by hand) feels ok. I currently have it plugged into USB A (although also tested the C ports) because I have a dock and second monitor in the two USB C ports.
    – jona
    Oct 6, 2022 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


I am using a 500 GB Samsung T7 as the boot drive for a 2013 iMac running Catalina. Although the drive is capable of 10 Gb/s, the iMac is only capable of 5 Gb/s through the Type A port. I have also tested this drive on a 2018 Mac mini, where the drive does transfer data at 10 Gb/s through the Type C port.

I am not having any power issues, however larger capacity drives may use more power. If you think power is the problem, perhaps you could consider purchasing a powered dock.

FYI: The 2018 Mac mini has macOS installed on the internal drive and the user accounts stored on a 500 GB Thunderbolt 3 Samsung X5 drive.

  • Thanks for your reply. I use the 1TB version (should have mentioned that). The powered dock is my last option I will try because it will be really clunky with power brick etc. Power is the only thing apple support suggested, so not 100% sure if it's actually a problem.
    – jona
    Oct 6, 2022 at 20:39

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