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Upgrade Your MacBook Pro USB from 2.0 to 3.0 Using ExpressCard

If you own an older MacBook Pro and thought about upgrading its USB to 3.0, it’s high time for you to take the shot. All you need is to purchase a classical ExpressCard 34 and insert it into the laptop. Thus, you will obtain two high-speed USB 3.0 ports for just a couple dozen bucks.

This is arguably the best way to get boost your MacBook Pro with the most rapid interface. It is effective enough to transfer something like 2.5 Gbps via direct connection to the system bus. The result of this action is the lightning-fast data transferring and expansion opportunities that almost have no restrictions. Videographers and photographers are the examples of professions that would benefit from using the card on their Macs.
express 34 card for mac

The thing is, older MacBook Pro laptops usually possess just USB 2.0. Which models are we talking specifically? Well, those are MacBook Pro 15” and 17”. In the first case, they should be released between February 2006 and Late 2008. The second model was in production somewhere between 2006 and June 2011. They both have an ExpressCard slot on the left side. It is possible to retrofit USB 3.0 there fast and easy.

There is just one thing the user of older MacBook Pro mentioned above needs to do in order to upgrade: to insert Nano Tech ExpressCard 34. Nano Tech is a well-known manufacturer of parts to support and upgrade outdated Apple computers. The card itself costs something around $30. It should fit in the slot of your device ideally. Fortunately, both OS X and recent macOS versions are compatible with the chipset. That is why an ExpressCard 34 may become a universal solution for you.

Still, be ready to deal with certain difficulties as there are many complaints regarding the quality of operating system’s work with the inserted ExpressCard. People who decide to upgrade their OS X to, for instance, Yosemite, find many obstacles. One of the questions sounded this way, “Why does not my ExpressCard reader work any longer with the Lexar CF Reader once upgraded to Yosemite?”

The main issue is that the kext needed for the ExpressCard to function properly isn’t signed. What is “kext”? It is Kernel Extension. It expands Mac OS X’s kernel (which is the heart of any operating system), by providing additional lines of code that load once the Apple computer launches. Apparently, ExpressCard’s kext does not have an appropriate signature. Hence, because of being unsigned, it is rejected by the installed OS X. There is a certain way to activate it, but every Mac owner should be aware of the certain risks associated with this procedure. If you wish to do it anyway, in order to activate all unsigned kext, insert the proposed code in Terminal:

sudo nvram boot-args=”kext-dev-mode=1″

Once you are done, restart your MacBook Pro. You will notice that your CF card reader works again.