OCZ Technology Vertex 4 in a MacBook Pro

You probably found this blog post because you, like me, bought a OCZ Technology Vertex 4 for your MacBook Pro, and it’s giving you the spinning beach ball of death (freezes up). You probably also knew that it might have firmware updates and thought that it would be a simple update, then found that it was darn near impossible. Well, here’s what I found.

Method 1.

This was the method that gave me hope. I found it when I bought my Vertex 4 from Amazon (link). A reviewer gave detailed upgrade instructions, using a bootable CD made from an image downloaded from OCZ. This almost worked for me.

Method 2.

This is OCZ’s original instructions that the author of Method 1 adapted. You create a bootable CD, and run the utility. My instructions add a little clarity to this method.

Method 3.

This method is Mac specific. It details how to create a bootable USB drive, boot into the utility, and flash the drive. I couldn’t get the .dmg image to restore to my SD card, so I’m not sure if it will upgrade you to version 1.5. Please leave comments on your success/failure.

What I did.

  1. Back up all data. (this is a non-destructive firmware upgrade, so this shouldn’t be necessary, but I wanted to play it safe)
  2. Download the Linux-based Tool from OCZ and burn it to disk. Be sure to read and heed all warnings on this page. (How to burn an .iso to a disk)
  3. Connect your Mac to power. Let’s not be reckless 🙂
  4. Connect your Mac to ethernet. It won’t work otherwise.
  5. Plug in a USB mouse. Your touchpad won’t work in the utility.
  6. Restart your computer while holding down the “option” button.
  7. When you get the boot menu, select the disc, and hit “enter”. (You may have to wait a few seconds for the disc to show up as an option)
  8. When you see the startup screen, hit “enter.” You will then boot into a lightweight version of Linux with a few menu options on the bottom. This may take a minute or so, and it may give you some warnings or errors.
  9. Click on the “OCZ_Firmware_Current_Flash” icon on the bottom. (This is where my instructions are different than Method 1. The reviewer suggests to click on the “OCZ_Mac_Firmware_Flash” update tool, but this would never work for me. It told me to set my SATA controller to AHCI mode.)
  10. This will open a terminal-like window. Follow the instructions. It will tell you your current firmware version (Mine started at 1.4), and then run the firmware flash program.
  11. You’ll be prompted to restart your computer to complete.
  12. If your firmware started at version 1.4, you’ll be updated to 1.4.1 (or something like that). You’ll need to go through the update process again to get you to firmware 1.5. Repeat steps 6 – 11.

If this method doesn’t work for you, go ahead and try the other methods. If you have a different method, post a comment.

Method 5.

Send your OCZ Vertex 4 back and get a hard drive that is more Mac friendly. I read that the Crucial SSDs work out of the box.

Helpful Links:

OCZ Technology Vertex 4. This is the exact hard drive I bought.

Hard Drive Caddy Tray. I placed the hard drive that came with my Mac (a Hitachi 512 GB)  in this tray and replaced my Superdrive with it. That way, I don’t loose storage space.

Apple USB Superdrive. Some people get an enclosure for their superdrive. I couldn’t find one with good reviews, so I got an external. You may also want to go with a Samsung or AmazonBasics external.

Crucial m4 SSD. In case you don’t want to mess with flashing firmware. 🙂



4 thoughts on “OCZ Technology Vertex 4 in a MacBook Pro

  1. thanks for the details…

    has your mbp stopped beach balling completely since the 1.5 firmware update?

    i am still gettting it sometimes but not sure whether the drive is still the cause or some other thing.. like a mountain lion issue or that it was restored from timemachine which had been upgraded from a developer preview mountain lion etc etc..

    I read earlier posts about possible time machine problems relating to this issue will happily install from fresh mountain lion if there is some evidence of it sorting things out but then otherwise unfortunately looks like case of returning it.

    its a shame as i have have two vertex’s 2 in macs which worked perfectly..

  2. Did you end up resolving the spinning beach ball issue with the Vertex4, or did you just opt for the Crucial?

  3. It could be an artifact from the Time Machine backup. I didn’t do a Time Machine backup when I installed the Vertex 4. I simply did a fresh install and manually migrated my documents.

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