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An SSD, or Solid State Drive, is a type of storage device that uses NAND-based flash memory to store data.

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My computer can't read Apple SSD using PCIe adapter

I am trying to retrieve data from a dead MacBook Air 2012 SSD. It's a 12+6 pin SSD.

I purchased an adapter that plugs in to a PCie slot on a PC.

Here is link to one similar: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/352707107163

When I turn on the PC the light comes on on the adapter and I can see the device in disk management as Apple SSD however I am unable to access files from device. It doesn't appear in my Computer at all and I am unable to assign a drive number or initialise disk via Disk Management.

Could the issue be BIOS related? Is there a driver or need? Or is my motherboard just not compatible.

I have tried it on another PC and have had the same issue. Any advice would be grateful, thanks.

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Here's a bit more on the custom Apple SSD's: The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs


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You’re heading down the wrong path!

You need a Mac system to read the SSD as Apple’s file system APFS is not readable within a PC running Windows or Linux.

So using this adapter OWC Envoy - Portable, Bus-Powered USB 3.0 SSD Enclosure connected to a USB port of a mac system running the same or newer OS your MacBook Air used should allow you access to the files.

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Unless I’m missing something, I see two problems with this discussion so far:

1 - The SSD martywild10 is trying to access is from a 2012 MacBook Air, but the adapter at the ebay link that he cites as being ‘similar’ is for an SSD from a 2013 - 2015 MacBook Air. Is the one on ebay ‘similar but not the same’, or is it identical? If it is identical then the adapter that he purchased is unlikely to work with his SSD regardless of how the SSD is formatted.

2 - Being from a 2012 MacBook Air, that SSD would have originally been formatted with HFS+ for OS X Lion or Mountain Lion. If the MacBook Air was never updated beyond macOS Sierra then it still is HFS+. I don’t know from Windows or Linux - can either/both read a drive formatted with HFS+? If so, then putting the SSD into a correct adapter (including the OWC Envoy enclosure) should make it readable by his PC.


@dtg - I was running late and didn't fully explain the why's this is a bad direction.

Look at the link I posted for Marty in his question which goes over the different SSD interfaces Apple has used. Yes, the adapter Marty has is not designed for the SSD he has in his system. So he will need a different one. The AHCI drive his system uses is an odd duck. I haven't seen any PC PCIe adapters for it.

Even with the correct SSD the PCIe adapter still won't work with the newer macOS's. I doubt Marty has stayed with Lion, better than 90% take advantage of Apples free OS upgrades. From High Sierra and onwards the file system was altered to APFS from HFS+ by the OS installer with no means to stop it.

Most likely APFS is what he has on his system now. Both Windows and Linux don't offer access to the APFS file system as Apple has not released how the internals work and so far no one has reversed engineered it.

For arguments sake: Let's say Marty still has Sierra or older with HFS+ on the drive and let's say he had the correct PCIe adapter for the SSD for his PC. Using a Windows system would still require access to the Mac OS file system drivers for Windows which would require buying.. Linux is a bit easier as some distros offer it or you can get a free extension.

The other possibility is Marty has a Hackintosh system! Then the drivers for his hardware would be needed.

So the TDLR: Just get the OWC case for the SSD and connect it to a Mac system to gain access to the files.


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you might also need something like this http://www.catacombae.org/hfsexplorer/

you cant see apple formatted disk with PC without an HFS software

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Daniel - Sorry to say HFS file system is no longer being used in Mac's Apple has moved on to APFS in their newer OS's (Hight Sierra and newer) so this tool won't work.

Don't forget the drive might be encrypted and the files may not be workable as they don't have windows compatible version.


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