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A1708/EMC 3164 — Released June 2017, this entry-level MacBook Pro retains its traditional function keys (as opposed to the OLED Touch Bar).

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Can the SSD be replaced?

can replace with other ssd

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Sadly Apple now uses a very different removable SSD from the older retina models. Here's an image of the older model custom SSD:

Block Image

Here is the late 2016 function key model's custom SSD and I suspect they are still using it in the 2017 series:

Block Image

Here's the IFIXIT teardown where you can see the full story: MacBook Pro 13" Function Keys Late 2016 Teardown

At least this model has a removable SSD! The Touch Bar models use soldered SSD chips directly on the logic board and are not upgradable!

Now the rub... It took close to three years before a 3rd party (OWC) was able to make a compatible SSD for the older retina models. So while its replaceable it may not be upgradable by a 3rd party ($$$).

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The reason OWC took 3 years to make upgrades might have been due to a lack in demand for upgrades

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Here's some good news BeetsTech has managed to get the custom drives! Here's the 1 TB version

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You can buy SSD’s for this model (A1708) on eBay. I just upgraded my 128 to 256. Used my time machine backup to reinstall OSX Mojave.

One weird thing… Machine wouldn’t boot without the screws on the bottom cover in…. Otherwise no Issues. Didn’t have to remove anything but the bottom cover to get it out.

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Can you give a little bit details what you did this? ? Appreciate your help!!

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I took the bottom off my laptop last night to check if it had the removable ssd and it did. I removed the ssd to see the part number and put it back in. Now my laptop wont boot up at all. Tried everything. Pram reset etc. I'm just wondering about your screw comment? Any suggestions?

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2017 MBP, same model as yours. Getting a bit panicked now..

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Any feedback on this? I have the same issue, my MBP won’t turn back on

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I tried to upgrade my A1708 from 128 to 256 with a A1708 256 SSD I bought off of ebay. After booting in recovery mode, the disk utility wouldn’t find the drive. I reseated the drive but it still isn’t found. I reinstalled the old drive and it works. Is the new 256 drive bad?

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Sounds like it, return it and get you money back.

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The SSD was bad (as confirmed by the seller). The seller sent a replacement drive and it worked. Thanks for your help.

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I just received a 512 from BeetsTech and I’m just looking to get some instructions before I install it on my 2017 with the 128gig factory SSD. Is there anything special that I need to do before replacing the drive with the new SSD? I know icloud holds everything but I wanted to know if I have to back anything up in particular and if its as easy as just plugging in the new drive, putting my MBP back together and starting it back up?

Thank you for your help, I am not computer expert but I am not an idiot either lol. Just want to cover all my steps before I start.

  • Josh

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I did a full Timemachine backup prior and was able to restore from Timemachine. This restored documents, photos, apps, setup, etc. It you get stuck you can always put the old drive back in.

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Did you find out if you have to do anything before you replace the ssd ? I have the file with question mark flashing and replaced my ssd and still having the file flashing at start up....

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@k_byrne - Reboot pressing the Option key to then select your boot drive, if not on the list then you need to install a fresh OS onto the SSD.

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Hi Guys,

I’ve ordered a used 512GB one of these from eBay for my 13” 2017 (A1708). Would love to have gotten a 1TB beetstech one but they’re so expensive.

Anyway, will it just be a case of starting it up in recovery mode and reinstalling? Or is there more to it than that? I have no idea what will be on it already if anything.

Thanks

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I found that you can create a bootable installer much like windows. Hopefully this will do it. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

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The answer is definitely.

You could go either with Apple own drives

or with any of the NVMe PCIe M.2 2242 or 2232 Gen3 SSD drives with the help of the HFHK N-1708A adapter.

There are some reports that only one sided 2242 / 2232 drives will fit some of the adapters though, so I would advise to ask questions before making a purchase.

Personally I use the HFHK N-1708A adapter with the Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2242 SSD which is double sided but it fits and works well.

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Got any links for those options?

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Sure thing, what size are you interested in?

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Usually 1Tb variety is more potent in terms of the write speed so great choice. But if you add into the equation the fact that you're going to update A1708, which is obsolete, spending seven hundreds (https://beetstech.com/product/macbook-pr...) on the upgrading the drive sounds a bit much imho. For Apple's drives the best price will be from AliExpress. I see that the prices fell to around 450 Euros for the 1Tb drive(https://www.aliexpress.com/item/40000007...) - search for "A1708 SSD 1Tb" there to get the best rate.

Also you could go with the adapter HFHK N-1708A (price fell to around 4 Euros for one adapter on Aliexpress https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10050012...) and any of the NVMe PCIe M.2 2242 or 2232 Gen3 SSD drive (form factor is important).

Personally I use Sabrent's Rocket SSD https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-DRAM-Less...

There is a third option - use the Sabrent's Rocket external SSD(https://www.amazon.fr/Sabrent-Rocket-Ext...), from it's specs it looks like you could work directly from it.

They even have a Thunderbolt version https://www.amazon.fr/Sabrent-Externe-Ro...

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I'd like a TB at least if possible. Thanks.

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Thanks for your input. I totally agree with your assessment on cost/benefits. I've done some looking around and can get the 1TB here in the States for $199 on eBay. Good reviews of seller and hardware so I think I'll give that a try. Thanks again!

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I upgraded the drive on my A1708 from a 1TB to a 2 TB SSD I bought off of ebay. After 2 weeks of use, when starting the computer it will no longer find the drive. It gives me the question mark folder. If I try to search for the drive it does not even show up, HOWEVER when I start the computer and reset my NVRAM it boots up fine. I have to do this every-time for it to boot up properly.

Is the new SSD drive bad? I never had any issues with start up with my OEM Apple drive.

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Go into your System Preferences Startup Disk. Make sure its set for your current drive.

Who's SSD did you go with? I often find the M.2 SSD with the adapter don't hold up well.

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