Fifth SATA drive in the Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slughead, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #1
    I'm looking to put a 5th hard drive into my mac pro and I was wondering if those two extra SATA plugs on the motherboard were good to go, or if there's something I should know.

    I've checked the drive sled in the 2nd optical bay (where I plan to put my 5th drive) and it looks like it's got scew holes ready for 3.5" drives!

    The cables can run via the hole in the left front septum (looking at the front of the Mac pro) separating the PCI area from the optical/PSU area.

    I have an extra internal SATA cable an a molex Y-cable, so I could do this today if I wanted to.

    I'd like a final word on the extra sata ports though.
     
  2. Transeau macrumors 6502a

    Transeau

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    #2
    Yes, they work just fine. The 5000X chipset has 6 SATA ports. The Mac Pro currently only makes use of four of them. the other two are on the board and fully functional.

    They do not support hot plugging or port multipliers, so internal is the only way to go with them.
     
  3. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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    Colorado
    #3

    I thought I read earlier that those 2 sata ports don't work.
     
  4. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #4
    someone posted where a guy had 7 hard drives in his mac pro. so they must work
     
  5. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    He used an extra hardware RAID controller card. 1 drive to boot from, the other 6 in a RAID array!
     
  7. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

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    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #7
    I was looking to use those two spare ports for something like this, providing an external eSATA connection, so I'd be interested in hearing back if they work for you. They show up on the System Profiler anyway.

    I assume the data & power connections are together on the same SATA plug or is powering the drive internally going to be an issue?
     
  8. Transeau macrumors 6502a

    Transeau

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    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    #8

    The SATA connector supplies data only. You will have to use the spare molex connector in the optical bay to power the drive.

    Also, the ports can be used externally, but the drivers do not support hot swapping.
     
  9. slughead thread starter macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #9
    Well, the short answer is: yes, the SATA port 1 worked

    the long answer is that no SATA cable in EXISTENCE can bend at the angle necessary to fit in the space

    ....

    So I modified a SATA cable and now everything works.

    I'm posting a blog entry with pictures, I'll link to it when I'm done
     
  10. slughead thread starter macrumors 68030

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #10
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
  12. slughead thread starter macrumors 68030

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #12

    Yes, yes it would.

    Edit: Updated
     
  13. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    Kreplakistan
    #13


    Bollocks.

    The 90´ angle cable works just fine.
     
  14. timb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    #14
    Have a link to the guy who added a RAID card to his system? I'd like to do that to mine, but couldn't find a suitable card. There's also the issue of hooking into the drive sleds somehow.

    -timb
     
  15. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
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    England
    #15
    http://www.hardmac.com/news/2006-10-04/#5993
     
  16. RichP macrumors 68000

    RichP

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    Motor City
    #16
    slugheads "commentary" on his blog FTW!

    5th drive..when 4 werent enough!
     
  17. slughead thread starter macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #17

    Yeah, I verified that already (as I said in the post directly above yours)


    UPDATE (from blog): After viewing the service manual, it looks like removing the "Front Fan Assembly" (the part blocking the extra SATA ports) is a colossal pain in the ass. It involves unscrewing the memory cage (the thing that holds the memory riser boards), sliding it towards the back, rotating and lifting the processor cage out of the computer, removing a screw, and prying the assembly out very slowly, hoping to not break it. I didn't remove this assembly when doing this because I couldn't figure it out in the limited time before my attention span turned into a Fraggle Rock episode. It's hard, but not impossible, to plug in the SATA cable without taking this assembly out (again, I think I proved that). However, if you'd like to waste a whole lot of time and risk breaking the thing, Anandtech describes how to remove the apparatus in detail. Please note that the actual service manual published by Apple is not available to the public--only to certified techs
     

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