OWC’s new driver adds Boot Camp support to all of its aftermarket SSD upgrades

By , May 19, 2016

OS X Bootcamp Icon

In March, Other World Computing (OWC) launched the world’s first SSD upgrade for 2013 and later MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display computers. The storage upgrades came in 480GB and 1TB flavors, and we recently showed you the install process of the 1TB OWC Aura SSD upgrade.

There was unfortunately a caveat that disallowed you to use Apple’s Boot Camp feature with the drives, which meant you were limited to installing one operating system on it at a time, or using a virtual machine instead of partitioning the drive and dual-booting your Mac.

As of today, OWC has fixed this problem with a new universal driver that enables Boot Camp on all of OWC’s SSD upgrades to date.

Bootcamp on an OWC SSD drive

As you probably remember from my review, the inability to install Windows via Boot Camp on the OWC Aura SSD drive was one of the most disappointing cons I listed, and it really was a downer because I bought my higher-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the discrete graphics card specifically to play some games with my buddies.

It was explained to me by OWC that this was a limitation of the hardware due to the fact that OWC’s Aura drive uses a RAID infrastructure. Because of this, it was recognized as an external drive rather than an internal drive, which was causing all the hubbub with Boot Camp not wanting to support the aftermarket SSD.

As of this Thursday however, OWC has announced a new driver software release OWC SSD users can install that will enable use of the Bootcamp utility on all of OWC’s SSD drive upgrades, including the following:

  • OWC Aura SSD for Mid-2013 and later MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • OWC Aura SSD for Mac Pro
  • Mercury Accelsior S
  • Mercury Accelsior E2

This is huge; not only does this enable Bootcamp on the most recent OWC Aura SSD for 2013 and later MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display, but it also enables Boot Camp on all of OWC’s previous SSD upgrades to date.

Tackling this big hurdle, the OWC Aura SSD upgrade is now a much more viable upgrade solution that lets those with only 128GB or 256GB of storage upgrade to 480GB or 1TB of storage, or lets those with 512GB of storage upgrade to 1TB of storage without losing their Boot Camp capability.

Still only one problem

The only real hurdle that remains is the OWC Aura SSD only supports 2-lane SSD performance, which means those that have 4-lane SSD performance built into their Macs, such as me, have to deal with throttled read and write speeds.

Nevertheless, those that are looking at the OWC Aura SSD from purely a storage upgrade point of view aren’t going to be bothered by this that much because any SSD is still several times faster than a traditional hard disk drive.

You’ll hardly notice the speed difference in everyday usage of the computer unless you’re a photographer or videographer that is transferring large files all the time, and even then, 2-lane SSD performance still isn’t really that “slow,” it just isn’t as fast as 4-lane SSD performance.

For those that have no idea what I am talking about with lane performance, I go over this in my review and it would be a good read if you’re interested in learning more about it.

Conclusion

If you’re running an OWC aftermarket SSD upgrade in your Mac, you could benefit from installing the new Boot Camp driver software. You can grab it from OWC’s website free of cost and start using it immediately.

Would you consider an OWC Aura SSD upgrade for your Mac now that you can officially run native Boot Camp features on it? Share below!

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  • Wayne Grant

    Was very disappointed when I installed my Mercury Accelsior E2 960GB in my Mac Pro mid 2010. The idea was to run specific design software in Bootcamp Win 10, this was obviously not possible since Bootcamp only recognizes ‘internal’ drives. Limited documentation was available describing the issue and upon contacting OWC directly they simple referred me back to the single line small print on their website. I am relieved that the driver’s now fix this issue and have successfully installed Bootcamp on the Accelsior. Why features like this are not considered from day one I would not know?. Thank you for the review