EDIT: I had the SDD analyzed by a data restore company. They wrote that the SSD has a fatal error in its firmware / microcode (controller damage). Since it is an Apple SSD they cannot do anything about it. Do you know, if Apple itself has some measures to restore this?

ORIGINAL POST: I updated an old mid-2013/early 2014 MacBook Air (with the model identifier MacBookAir6,2) to macOS 11.7.3. After the update the MacBook Air did not start anymore. Recovery and internet recovery did not work. I now have a bootable stick and tried to install macOS Big Sur from that. Unfortunately, I can't since neither Install, nor Disk Utility or diskutil list show the SSD anymore. It did work before the update. Has this ever happened to anyone or does anyone have an idea how to get the MacBook Air to recognize the SSD again? Still have some important data on that drive. Disk Utility

diskutil list

  • According to comments made at your other question, you were going to purchase a bootable Big Sur drive on eBay. Is this the bootable stick referred to in your above question? Feb 4 at 20:12
  • Yes, that is the bootable stick I referred to.
    – gernophil
    Feb 4 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


It is likely, considering the age of the Mac, that the drive is no more, off to meet it's maker and joined the choir invisible... (ummmm sorry)

The fact that the installer, nor disk utility, don't see the MBA's drive lead me to believe this.

It is unlikely that the upgrade damaged something, rather the drive was already on its last legs and you're using it to effect an upgrade was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

While it is possible that you could take the drive out of that Mac, attach it to another and use some data recovery software to get the files you need off of it. You may have to send it off to a data recovery company. This can be expensive so I'd try the data recovery software first.

  • I also feared that this would be the case. Good thing is that I don't need the Mac itself anymore. The data would be really nice to get back, but I can also life without it :). I'll try some data recovery then.
    – gernophil
    Feb 4 at 20:42
  • Another user recently posted a similar question when upgrading to Monterey. Your answer would also apply, provided the other Mac does not have a Touch Bar. (2016 MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar have drives that are not removable.) Feb 4 at 20:44
  • That is really interesting. At least Disk Utility shows the same as with my Macbook. diskutil list howver looks a bit different (see updated pictures).
    – gernophil
    Feb 4 at 21:10
  • That shows the bootable USB stick and the RAM disks that the installer creates to do the installation (notice how small they are) The first time I saw these I was all "WTF" are those? And cooler heads explained ;-) Feb 4 at 21:20

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