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How to upgrade your MacBook Pro Retina to a 1TB PCIe SSD

Lucas Mearian | April 18, 2016
For an extra US$50, OWC includes an upgrade kit with a PCIe adapter so you can continue using your factory-installed SSD as an external drive.

So I was forced to install the OWC SSD first. As you power up the computer, press the CMD + R keys to access the disk recovery menu. That allows you to choose the internal drive for the OS X download. But, a funny thing happened. Apple would only allow me to download Yosemite onto the new drive. So, Yosemite came first, then came the upgrade to El Capitan, which took an additional 20 minutes.

MacBook Pro Retina 
When you're finished installing the OWC Auro PCIe SSD, you can insert your factory SSD into the PCIe adapter and use it as an external drive so it doesn't go to waste. Credit: Lucas Mearian

Now that you've got OS X El Capitan on your OCW SSD, you'll need to migrate the data from your original SSD. There are several ways to do this.

You can use an updated Time Machine backup, but I prefer to simply insert the factory SSD into the OWC adapter, plug it into the USB port and then go into the Utilities  folder and select the Migration Assistant. After that, it's just a matter of selecting the source drive (your factory SSD connected via the USB 3.0 cable) and the target drive, your new OWC SSD.

I had 240GB worth of data to migrate, the process took about 45 minutes.

I can't emphasize enough what a relief it was to avoid  having to dump data off my old drive in order to free up space. With the new 1TB Aura SSD, I've got plenty of breathing room for years to come. And, if I ever decide to get a new laptop, my mid-2013 MacBook Pro will have at least as good an SSD as Apple is likely to offer any time soon.


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