2008 24in iMac ESATA SSD Boot Problem

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Londonmitch, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Londonmitch macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
    I purchased and installed the Commell MPX-3132 in place of my Airport Card. Installation was very easy and the RAID drivers work perfectly.

    I cloned my HD to my SSD using CCC and everything shows up fine via ESATA and USB.

    When I try to boot from it via ESATA it is not recognized, but it boots perfectly from USB.

    I Booted to it via USB and installed the RAID drivers onto the SSD then tried to boot via ESATA again with no luck.

    The SSD I bought is the Corsair Force 120 and the enclosure is a Hornettek usb/esata http://www.frys.com/product/5924294?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    I haven't had a chance to test another enclosure.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Are you sure the eSATA card is bootable? Most, if not all eSATA cards for Mac Pros cannot boot OS X.
  3. Londonmitch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
    I am not sure if it's bootable. How would I find out?
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    From the manual or from the manufacturer's page.
  5. Londonmitch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
  6. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    as hellhammer says mac pro experience suggests it's almost certainly the case that the imac won't boot from the additional sata port.

    if confirmed then what you'll have to do is put the ssd on the internal sata port and the mechanical hdd on the esata port.

    you might look at cable routing to keep the ssd outside and the mechanical inside.

    one other option is to put the ssd in place of the optical drive and use the esata for another mechanical drive - say for raid with current mechanical or time machine/other backup.

    finally odd as it might sound some people have had success using an ssd as a boot drive on an external firewire 800. whilst the sustained read transfer will be limited by the firewire to around 80MB/s, you'll still see significant benefit in the random read speed - which is what the OS does mostly.

    btw - assuming from your username youre uk based - can i ask where did you source the card from and what did you pay for it incl shipping
  7. Londonmitch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
    Looked into the card and didn't see anything about it being bootable.

    I'm actually in the states and I bought the card from Global America. I think it was around $85 shipped.

    The SATA cable was connected to the logic board very close to the Airport cable that I removed. I think the best thing to do would be to swap them as you said.

    Firewire 800 will be the last resort.

    I think I saw some of the fw800 enclosures on sale for black friday so I'll keep my eye out.
  8. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    ah ok thanks. did look at that card myself a while back and couldnt find a uk stockist.

    GA would ship but iirc they wanted as much to ship as the card cost - effectively doubling the cost - too rich for me then & now :(
  9. Londonmitch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
    Got everything working. Disconnected the internal sata from the logic board and connected an esata plug and am running the ssd from it. Connected the internal sata to the mini pci card via a male to male adapter.
  10. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Could you please post some benches? It's very interesting solution for iMacs.
    I'm curious about RAID scores with this card.
  11. Londonmitch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
  12. Londonmitch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
    Here are my xbench test results. I have never run them before so I have no idea if they are accurate. Is there a better software to run them with?

    Results 238.39
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.5 (10H574)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model iMac8,1
    Drive Type Corsair CSSD-F120GB2
    CPU Test 197.17
    GCD Loop 313.06 16.50 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 158.54 3.77 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 133.04 4.39 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 305.90 53.27 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 250.41
    Computation 374.11 7.58 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 188.18 8.10 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 199.58
    System 226.81
    Allocate 310.41 1.14 Malloc/sec
    Fill 187.41 9112.50 MB/sec
    Copy 214.15 4423.14 MB/sec
    Stream 178.18
    Copy 174.92 3612.96 MB/sec
    Scale 175.79 3631.83 MB/sec
    Add 178.87 3810.41 MB/sec
    Triad 183.38 3922.89 MB/sec
    Quartz Graphics Test 215.70
    Line 185.58 12.36 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 241.09 71.98 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 206.56 16.84 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 225.75 5.69 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 228.65 14.30 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 251.53
    Spinning Squares 251.53 319.08 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 274.62
    Elements 274.62 1.26 Krefresh/sec
    Disk Test 329.57
    Sequential 196.64
    Uncached Write 268.94 165.12 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 284.76 161.12 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 94.06 27.53 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 403.18 202.64 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 1017.32
    Uncached Write 1296.51 137.25 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 529.22 169.42 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 2968.11 21.03 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1070.56 198.65 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  13. rodw macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2010
    mx3132 uk stockist

    Sorry for jumping in late but I have been trying to find others in the UK who have bought the mx3132 card either from GA or from a European supplier.

    The card is available from a UK stockist, listed at £20 (I assume Ex VAT), but they have a minimum order limit of £100, which put me off.


    If anyone else is interested in ordering from bvm maybe we can put together a group buy.

  14. emmcee macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2011
    Hey Rod - I'm in Ireland and have the same problem. I've been looking for one of these for a few days now and finally came across a German site selling them for 27 euro:


    I'm planning on replacing my HDD with a SSD and my plethora of USB drives with a DAS box full of terabyte drives. Should keep me going for a while ;)

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