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Old May 24, 2011, 01:25 AM   #1
HighSeasCaptain
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Defective OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G?

Just received my OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G today, after waiting 4 weeks and a promised delivery date of May 11. I also bought a data doubler + external enclosure for my optical drive from maxupgrades.com.

I've been dying to get this thing. Since I had nothing else to do but wait, I've been pouring over forums and blogs to know what to expect when installing this in my 2011 17" MBP. My serial indicates my laptop was built in late April (I just bought it 2 weeks ago), and from what I've read, the later builds do not have the SATA III issues. Even so, I've been on pins and needles waiting to see if this ridiculously expensive purchase will have any of the dreaded issues many 2011 MBP owners have experienced with SATA III compatibility.

I installed the drive in the main SATA III bay, leaving the optical drive in so I could install Windows 7 afterward (since Windows 7 can't be installed from an external drive). To my utter dismay, when booting up the OSX install disc and into Disk Utility -- alas, the drive wasn't there.

So then, reluctantly, I applied the OWC cable shielding kit. Booted again. No dice. At this point, I figured I was among the unlucky souls to acquire a non-working 6G link speed.

Knowing that the Mercury Extreme 6G will work without issue in the optibay (aside from 3G link speeds), I decided to put it there, since there wasn't any alternative (and to see if the drive was possibly broken). After the pain in the ass task of installing it, I boot again (this time with the stock 750GB drive in the main slot), and yet again, Disk Utility is still not recognizing the drive.

Now, am I stupid, am I doing something wrong, or is this drive dead? Is there something I should do before getting an exchange from OWC?
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Old May 24, 2011, 01:32 AM   #2
huythanhv2
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I can't remember how did I do that but can you try hook it up to a working Mac OS and try to format it with Mac OS Extended (Journaled)?
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Old May 24, 2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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How can I format it when Disk Utility won't recognize it?
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Old May 24, 2011, 02:24 AM   #4
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To update, I can see the Mercury Extreme in the system profiler when using the OSX install disc, but not Disk Utility. However, when booted into OSX from the stock drive, the Mercury Extreme does not appear in the system profiler (nor Disk Utility).

Last edited by HighSeasCaptain; May 24, 2011 at 03:57 AM.
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Old May 24, 2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by HighSeasCaptain View Post
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To update, I can see the Mercury Extreme in the system profiler when using the OSX install disc, but not Disk Utility. However, when booted into OSX from the stock drive, the Mercury Extreme does not appear in the system profiler (nor Disk Utility).
Sounds like a defective drive. Like you said, even if the drive is blank and not formatted you should be able to see it in DU.
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Old May 25, 2011, 04:45 AM   #6
ecstacy2012
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well im sorry to hear this but im glad to hear its not just me. I got two new 120gb owc 6g ssd's, I did the imac 2011 sdd install and ran into same thing it only shows if you boot into osx and find it there but when doing disk it wont show to install os nor will it show in disk utility when using disk. i noticed myself that on the left lower on disk utlity it doesnt show ssd like my other does and it says smart not supported Im not sure if that has anything to do with it but im guessing its working like a flash drive now I can transfer and use it but cannot load an os onto it nor get it to come up under disk utlity im praying we didn't get screwed after waiting so long, i got a thread going to so if you find out anything let me know ill do the same thanks!
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Old May 25, 2011, 07:14 AM   #7
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ecstacy, I was actually able to get the drive bootable into the OS. I think it has to do with our install discs (maybe).

After updating OSX on my secondary drive (which I hadn't done previously yet, like an idiot. I was fed up and didn't think it would make a difference), the drive finally appeared in Disk Utility. But like you I wasn't able to get OSX onto it. If you use Carbon Copy Cloner, you can clone your secondary drive to the SSD and, voila, you'll be able to boot to it. Hopefully Lion install disc won't have this problem so we won't have to clone our secondary drives to get a bootable OS on it.

On another note, I moved the SSD back to my main bay to test the SATA III, and I'm bummed to report high speeds but frequent hangs/beachballs. Looks like I'm one of the unlucky ones to get a bad SATA III port.

Also, the OWC shielding kit didn't work for me. When applied, it took nearly 5 minutes to boot up. When finally booted, I got 500MB/s+ write speeds and around 120MB/s read speeds with constant hangs. Without it, I get around 487MB/s write and 436MB/s reads when it's not hanging, which is about every 5 minutes.

Tried installing Windows 7 to see if possibly this is an OSX problem, but the instillation keeps failing at various points throughout the process, never getting past the "installing updates" phase during the initial instillation. I'm going to try to get my hands on another Windows 7 install disc to see maybe mine is the problem, but at this point my hopes aren't very high.

I'm going to look into getting a replacement, even though it's still a roll of the dice. According to reports and production dates, my MBP shouldn't be affected (built in late April), yet it is. If none of this works out, I'll be biting the bullet and putting it in the optibay, as that's my only option if I want to use this thing
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Old May 25, 2011, 03:56 PM   #8
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im unclear about one part you said you updated your osx on the second drive you mean like 10.6.7 or what? as my second drive is all the way up to date already. im trying cloner way now. sorry to hear you got a bum drive call owc they normally will replace it out there still in stock for the moment.
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Old May 25, 2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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What I meant was I booted into an older version of OSX on my secondary drive and hadn't done a software update so it wasn't seeing the SSD until I did.

It's not a bum drive. It's just my MBP has problems with SATA III, which is common.
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Old May 25, 2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Yea I was up all night doin this so didn't read it right. But it worked!! Thanks man that saveS me a lot of trouble I don't have any hang ups and bench shows read write in the 200mbs I thought it should be faster anyway I wanted to know, do u think It will work if I have two cloned ssd"s in there and then load osx disk to delete them raid 0 them, and then install? It seems like once delete it wouldn't read after reboot during install? also tried aja test shows 405 or above for read write now just gotta figure out this problem with osx disk.

Last edited by ecstacy2012; May 25, 2011 at 07:44 PM.
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Old May 25, 2011, 08:04 PM   #11
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You could probably RAID 0 your drives if you install OSX on an external USB hard drive and do all the work through that, then Carbon Copy Clone that drive to your array once its setup. I've never done that but it sounds like it should work. Glad to see you're up and running though man!
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Old May 25, 2011, 08:09 PM   #12
ecstacy2012
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thanks it was because of your cloner idea it worked! so big ups on that one! by the way i thought of that but it wont work will it because raiding them to do so you have to boot from external drive then raid them which im not sure if you can boot it from external hd drive, can you? i thought you couldn't with osx?
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Old May 25, 2011, 08:56 PM   #13
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I've read about people doing it before and after a quick Google search I found instructions on how to do it:

http://www.maciverse.com/installing-...ard-drive.html
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Old May 26, 2011, 02:49 AM   #14
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damn after all that finally got the external drive with osx on it but to my dismay it didn't work when booted into osx external drive it doesn't show either way internally sata drives! i contacted owc and they said when testing there owc drives the clone the drive never tried from osx disk and they weren't aware I gave them a few notes and they said they will check it out run some tests so hopefully anyone else wont have our problems and eventually i'll be able to raid! thanks for the support!
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Old May 26, 2011, 04:48 AM   #15
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I talked to OWC early morning Tuesday about this issue, so maybe their knowledge of the issue hasn't circulated through the company yet. Both of us have told them, and I can't see how there aren't more out there that have the same issue as us. What was great though is they told me that it's possible the drive is defective, and if I want they will send me an advanced replacement so I could get it in a couple days. Great company, OWC is.

Did you make sure you updated OS X on your external install?
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Old May 26, 2011, 07:02 AM   #16
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I cloned from a internal hard drive onto the SSD drive. I have two drives in my machine. Just installed the SSD booted from the backup internal and asked to initialize the new one than proceeded and CCC it over to the SSD drive. So far fine but OWC did call me and left a message about a sleep issue. I don't have one and called back left message and have not heard back my firmware is 311ABBF0

Running close to 500 read /write like 480 or so
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Old May 26, 2011, 07:07 AM   #17
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yea first thing I checked and a few other things it has the same problem as with the osx disk but of course not loading the osx disk just external I was really hoping it would work too. Yea they offer the same to me I'm hoping they get a fix as dual ssd's running at 1gb plus transfer would be nice even more so with thunderbolt coming! I get about 526/515 read write on the one drive though it is hella nice speed. Glad to hear you did the work around we have discovered (the good captain figured it out first though with carbon clone) pays tribute to the el capee town!
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Old May 26, 2011, 07:09 AM   #18
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oh Guy M I got the same call but I believe there refering to the old sata 2 drives as that is why my call said (even though this may also include sata3) I personally don't allow it to sleep and just either run it or shut down also you might want to find that Trim Enabler script that is out there heard it works pretty good so you dont have to worry bout sleep and the drive wont slow with time. Myself I'm awaiting to see how to enable trim support in lion as its coming soon.
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Old May 26, 2011, 08:59 AM   #19
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Yes no sleep issues and i have a big 30 inch NEC connected, the laptop wakes up than my monitor wakes up in a couple seconds. So perfectly normal. Also i have not added the Trim support yet and not sure i should since this has over provisioning built in. I think I will wait for Lion unless i start having issues but my numbers are great 481 reads and 479 writes so far looking good.

Yea not sure why they called seemed like the latest firmware in it. He was a little hard to understand on voice mail. But no return call so guess everything is fine.
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Old May 26, 2011, 02:19 PM   #20
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Guy, what MBP do you have? Are you having any issues with hangs/beachballs? I am

Could you enter your serial in this site http://www.chipmunk.nl/klantenservice/applemodel.html and tell me your generation, build week, and factory?

Also, OWC highly recommends against enabling TRIM with their drives. I would listen to them.
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Old May 26, 2011, 05:05 PM   #21
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Well, I received my 120GB yesterday and did a fresh install for the OS X. I have zero issues with the drive except that I am not getting any where near the advertised speed of 559MB/s read, 527MB/s write. I get around 436MB write, 467MB read speeds on a 2GB file on AJA Bench. Could it be my Mac ? I have a 2011 Macbook Pro 13" 2.7 i7 upgraded with 8GB RAM.

When I contacted OWC via email they replied :

Quote:
Thank you for contacting OWC. The transfer rates you are experiencing is within the range we expect to see for your model computer. Transfer rates vary depending upon many different things, for example the type of file, size of the file, computer's processor speed, computer's memory, etc.
Any help would be highly appreciated.
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Old May 26, 2011, 05:38 PM   #22
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In the drop down menu try the 4K resolution image size and 16GB file size and you'll probably see faster speeds. That's where I see around 500mb. Would be awesome if it was consistent and didn't hang every 5min though.
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Old May 26, 2011, 06:09 PM   #23
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In the drop down menu try the 4K resolution image size and 16GB file size and you'll probably see faster speeds. That's where I see around 500mb. Would be awesome if it was consistent and didn't hang every 5min though.
Nope, that didn't work. I'm still not hitting 500MB/s speeds.
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Old May 26, 2011, 06:14 PM   #24
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Check your speeds again after a couple days of consistent use. Every time I do the AJA benchmark they seem to get faster for me. Even so, your speeds are wicked fast. I wouldn't be complaining. I would gladly take your machine over mine since I can't even use mine reliably.
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Old May 26, 2011, 06:45 PM   #25
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Check your speeds again after a couple days of consistent use. Every time I do the AJA benchmark they seem to get faster for me. Even so, your speeds are wicked fast. I wouldn't be complaining. I would gladly take your machine over mine since I can't even use mine reliably.
SSD drives degrades the performance when you write a lot of new information on them, like installing by the first time the whole operating system and all your files.

This is corrected in windows by TRIM, that restores the intial performance.

As we are in OSX, we don't have trim support yet, but sandforce driven SSDs automatically restores the initial performance, although it takes a time. What you are feeling is that the disk is making his job.
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