Apple issues MacBook Air firmware update to test for SSD failures, initiates recall for affected drives

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Apple on Thursday released an update for its MacBook Air lineup meant to test the thin-and-light laptop's solid-state drive for a data loss issue and, if no fault is found, install a fresh firmware version.

Apple's MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 specifically targets mid-2012 models, a "small percentage" of which was found to have flash drives containing an unspecified issue that erases data. As noted below, if a problem is discovered and the drive cannot be update, Apple will replace the affected SSD at no cost.

From the release notes:

Apple has discovered that a small percentage of flash storage drives in these MacBook Air models have an issue that may result in data loss. This update tests your drive and, in the majority of cases, installs new firmware to resolve the issue. If your drive cannot be updated, Apple will replace it, free of charge.

It is unknown how widespread the issue may be, though a quick search of Apple's Support Communities forum reveals multiple threads pertaining to SSD failures and data loss.

Accordingly, the company announced a recall on certain 64- and 128-gigabyte flash storage drives used in MacBook Air systems sold between June 2012 and June 2013. Running the new firmware update will determine if a user's system needs a replacement.

The latest Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 can be downloaded via Apple's support downloads webpage or Software Update and is recommended for all mid-2012 MacBook Air models.