If you're reading this from a MacBook Air sold between June 2012 and June 2013, with 64 or 128 GB of storage, you might want to back up your data quick. Apple has found that a number of these notebooks suffer from faulty flash storage — which means they could go belly up at any moment.
How do you know whether you're affected? First, make sure you have a MacBook Air that fits the time frame and has either 64 or 128 gigs. Here's how:
Under the Apple menu, select "About this Mac," then "More Info..."; You'll see a screen that has your MacBook's vintage (in this case, you're looking for "mid 2012," even if you bought it in 2013). Click the Storage tab if you don't know how much internal storage you have. If you have an older MacBook Air, a very recent model, or one with 256 gigs of storage, you're in the clear.
Even if you're in the target zone (and many people are), that doesn't mean your drive is faulty — Apple says only a few percent are. If you suspect you might be an unlucky one, hit "Software Update" in the Apple menu, and see if the drive's firmware update is ready. If not, or if you're nervous about it, head to this support page and download the update manually. You'll have to restart your computer after it installs.
The updater should give you the final word on whether or not you have a faulty drive. If you do, follow the instructions on the screen that pops up (or hit this link). You'll probably have to bring your MacBook in to get a replacement drive, free of charge, naturally. If no warning comes up, you should be fine — but maybe this would be a good time to back up your photos and documents anyway, just in case.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.
First published October 18 2013, 5:36 PM