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How to upgrade to macOS Monterey

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Question: Cannot upgrade to Monterey with non-apple SSD.

I cannot upgrade from Big Sur (11.6.1) to Monterey. I was unable to do so with the beta and now that the production release is available I'm still having the same issue. When attempting to run the installer from the applications folder, it fails to restart and prompts me to launch the application again. So I created a bootable USB using createinstallmedia and that progresses further, but during the restart process, it eventually fails with a "firmware upgrade could not be installed. Compatible internal media ..." error message. It then launches the startup disk dialog and I reboot back into Big Sur.

Mac Pro, macOS 11.6

Posted on Oct 26, 2021 8:20 AM

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I ran into the same issue and contacted OWC to see if they had a firmware update available for my SSD. Talking to support, they said that it isn't the SSD that requires the firmware update, but the MacBook Pro itself, which requires an EFI update that won't be installed unless there's an Apple SSD installed. They recommended that I reinstall the original Apple SSD, then install Monterey to get the EFI update, then replace the Apple SSD with the OWC SSD, and upgrade from Big Sur 11.6.1 to Monterey. According to OWC, they've tested this fix in their lab and it works. (We'll see.)

Posted on Oct 26, 2021 11:15 AM

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Oct 26, 2021 12:56 PM in response to cymrych In response to cymrych

You can get an Apple SSD and do the firmware update and then reinstall the non-Apple SSD. That is what I did for same problem on late 2013 MP.


A while ago I replace the internal Apple SSD with an NVMe drive with adapter in my late 2013 MP. I successfully updated to Big Sur with no problem but could not update to Monterey. Could not even install Monterey on a blank external drive. Then I Googled and it appeared that an Apple internal SSD has to be installed in order to update the firmware and OS boot loader. I installed the original Apple SSD which had Mojave and updated successfully to Monterey. I then booted from my Big Sur NVMe SSD and successfully updated to Monterey. I am typing this from that OS now.


Maybe this will be resolved in a subsequent update to Monterey so you can wait and try again.

Oct 26, 2021 12:56 PM

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Oct 26, 2021 8:24 AM in response to cymrych In response to cymrych

cymrych wrote:

I cannot upgrade from Big Sur (11.6.1) to Monterey. I was unable to do so with the beta and now that the production release is available I'm still having the same issue. When attempting to run the installer from the applications folder, it fails to restart and prompts me to launch the application again. So I created a bootable USB using createinstallmedia and that progresses further, but during the restart process, it eventually fails with a "firmware upgrade could not be installed. Compatible internal media ..." error message. It then launches the startup disk dialog and I reboot back into Big Sur.




Did you contact the vendor of your "non-apple SSD" for support or insight

Oct 26, 2021 8:24 AM

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Oct 26, 2021 8:42 AM in response to leroydouglas In response to leroydouglas

I did shortly after posting this. Apparently this may similar to an issue they had when High Sierra was released in which an EFI firmware update was required. The Monterey installer will not apply the firmware update on a non-apple drive.


I’m waiting for confirmation before deciding on a course of action.

Oct 26, 2021 8:42 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Oct 26, 2021 11:15 AM in response to cymrych In response to cymrych

I ran into the same issue and contacted OWC to see if they had a firmware update available for my SSD. Talking to support, they said that it isn't the SSD that requires the firmware update, but the MacBook Pro itself, which requires an EFI update that won't be installed unless there's an Apple SSD installed. They recommended that I reinstall the original Apple SSD, then install Monterey to get the EFI update, then replace the Apple SSD with the OWC SSD, and upgrade from Big Sur 11.6.1 to Monterey. According to OWC, they've tested this fix in their lab and it works. (We'll see.)

Oct 26, 2021 11:15 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Oct 26, 2021 12:56 PM in response to cymrych In response to cymrych

You can get an Apple SSD and do the firmware update and then reinstall the non-Apple SSD. That is what I did for same problem on late 2013 MP.


A while ago I replace the internal Apple SSD with an NVMe drive with adapter in my late 2013 MP. I successfully updated to Big Sur with no problem but could not update to Monterey. Could not even install Monterey on a blank external drive. Then I Googled and it appeared that an Apple internal SSD has to be installed in order to update the firmware and OS boot loader. I installed the original Apple SSD which had Mojave and updated successfully to Monterey. I then booted from my Big Sur NVMe SSD and successfully updated to Monterey. I am typing this from that OS now.


Maybe this will be resolved in a subsequent update to Monterey so you can wait and try again.

Oct 26, 2021 12:56 PM

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Oct 26, 2021 1:30 PM in response to lllaass In response to lllaass

wow so glad i did not wipe my internal drive i updated it to Monterey first then i clean installed mac os big sur on my external 1 tb drive and updated it to Monterey , glad i kept the OS in there this is a Imac so wasn't about to tear it down and install just went with 1 tb SSD in thunderbolt 2 drive enclosure.

Oct 26, 2021 1:30 PM

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Oct 27, 2021 8:36 AM in response to Kennaugh In response to Kennaugh

Kennaugh wrote:

I have just seen a different list of eligible MBPs from Apple and the 15" late 2013 is no longer there (though I saw it on their list earlier today). They seem to have changed their mind.


Nothing has changed here...


macOS Monterey hardware requirements—

https://www.apple.com/macos/monterey/#section-router

Oct 27, 2021 8:36 AM

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Oct 27, 2021 7:06 PM in response to cymrych In response to cymrych

Use the original SSD.


I confirm the following worked great for me on my 2015 MacBook Pro 15".


1. Installed original SSD.

2. Installed fresh copy of Monterey via the USB stick onto the original SSD (it rebooted a bunch of times, indicating a firmware update).

3. Put the new SSD back in.

4. Booted off USB stick and upgraded to Monterey without a hitch.


It ***** if you don't have your original SSD but maybe you can get a cheap one off of the interwebs. Doesn't have to be big. Likely doesn't even have to be the same one that came with your unit. Most likely just *any* genuine Apple SSD.


Good luck.

Oct 27, 2021 7:06 PM

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Question: Cannot upgrade to Monterey with non-apple SSD.

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