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This article is a guide on the different types of drives found in Imacs , Macbooks, Macbook Pros and Macbook Air computers. The need for  this article is due the fact Apple use many different and completely proprietary drives which make the task of data recovery that much more complicated.

Solid state drives  used in data recovery  for Macs
The picture above is of the most common solid state drives found in macbooks, macbook pros, macbook air and imacs. The the interfaces on the drives are completely proprietary unlike the standard M2 interface found on modern PC motherboards.
Macbook & Macbook Pros Non- Retina  2012 & earlier

These machines use a standard 2.5 inch hard drive with a sata interface the type found in most laptops.

With these drives the normal methods of hard drive data recovery apply see here

early macbook hard drive  used in data recovery
MacBook Air (Late 2010 – Mid 2011)

This  drive uses a proprietary 6+12 pin connector, however it used an mSATA III protocol which limited transfers to 6Gb/s;

Macbook Solid State drive used for Data Recovery

Adapters exist for 6 + 12 connectors to enable recovery of data.

Data Recovery Adapter for 6 + 12 SSD
MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 – Early 2013) Retina Version

Apple began including SSDs standard in the MacBook Pro line, using a 7+17 Pin SSD connector.

Type of Macbook Pro Solid State drive with 7  + 17 connector used for data recovery

Adapters exist for these 7 + 17 solid state drives

7 + 17 SSD to Sata Adapter used for data recovery
iMac (Late 2012 – Early 2013)

The Late 2012 and Early 2013 iMacs introduced the Fusion Drive. The Fusion Drive joins a mechanical hard drive with a smaller capacity solid state drive.  The 2 physical drives are displayed  as a one logical volume, fusion frives improve file access by caching more frequently accessed files on the SSD. The majority of the files are stored on the HDD.

Failure of the SSD could cause a complete loss of the filesystem and meaning data could only be restored by performing a raw recover on the mechanical hard drive.


Data Recovery with Imac Fusion Drive

MacBook Air (Mid 2012)


mac ssd used in later models for data recovery

MacBook Air (Mid 2013 – Early 2014)

Mac Pro (Late 2013)

MacBook Pro (Late 2013 – Mid 2014)


  • These SSDs use an Apple proprietary PCIe 2.0 x2 interface.




Type of Macbook Air SSD used in data recovery

MacBook Air (Early 2015 – Mid 2017)

MacBook Pro (Early 2015 – Mid 2015)

Although these 12 + 16 ssd’s look the same as the above they performed roughly twice that as fast. They used a PCIe 3.0 protocol to the SSD, giving them the doubled read / write speeds. Adapters exist for both these SSD 12 + 16.




Type of Solid State drive for data recovery macbook Pro Non Touch

MacBook Pro (Late 2016 – Mid 2017)

In Late 2016 , Apple released two versions of its MacBook Pro laptop.

the non Touch Bar (nTB) version,

the Touchbar version.

Only the 13 MacBook Pro without a touchbar has a removable SSD although I am unaware of any adapter for this type of SSD.

All of the MacBook Pro laptops with a Touch Bar  SSD is soldered to the logic board .


data recovery macbook pro ssd

Nearly all macbooks , macbook pros and macbook air after 2018 do not have a removable SSD. So should the logic board fail data recovery becomes near impossible. It is becoming the case that prevention is the only cure so backups to the cloud or anywhere become essential.