2009 Mac mini eSATA upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dimme, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. dimme macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have a 2009 mac mini that I plane to do the esata upgrade. Replacing the DVD drive with a cable to connect a external 3.5" hard drive. Will the 3009 mini support a hard drive that is 3 TB, or will a 4TB work or is that pushing it.
    Thanks
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #2
    That's an interesting question. I don't know, but I suspect it would top out at 2 GB. I don't recall seeing 3TB/4TB controllers appearing until around 2011.
     
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #3
    3TB drives work fine in my 2006 Mac Pro. I don't see why it wouldn't work....
     
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #4
    would you like a ton of free parts that would allow you to build it?

    I can mail them to you via a medium flat rate box.

    I would charge 13 to ship it. As a medium flat rate costs 12-13 bucks.

    Somewhere in the old posts and threads I have done a big work up on this.

    found it

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1178755
     
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #5
    Because the Mac Pro uses a different SATA controller than does the 9400M.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    That Mini will support a 4TB hard drive without a problem.
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #7
    I ran 3tb drives with my mod via sata.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    When stating support for 4TB drives, it is meaningless to individually state support for 3TB as the number 4 is greater than the number 3.
     
  9. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Not so. If it supports 3TB drives then it has GPT support so it should most likely work with 4TB drives. If it did not support 3TB drives then it wouldn't support 4TB drives either.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    You're misreading what I'm saying. If the machine supports a 4TB drive, it will support a 3TB drive, but rarely not the other way around.
     
  11. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I have yet to see a case where a device supports 3TB drives but not 4TB. So whilst it doesn't guarantee it 3TB drives working is a strong indication 4TB drives will also work.
     
  12. philipma1957, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #12
    hey guys relax I ran it years ago before 4tb existed.

    It worked on 3tb. this is the what it was hooked up to



    http://www.sansdigital.com/towerstor/ts1ctplus.html



    at the time this unit supported only 2tb.

    it then got a firmware and did 3tb.

    my mini did 2 of these. so it ran 6tb. I then did the smaller 2.5 each raid cases from owc they had 2 1tb drives each.



    to the op give me a minute to post shots of the gear I have left over.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    You're confusing yourself. If a computer can work with a 4TB drive, it will work with a 3TB. I am not sure how I can make this simpler to understand. A computer that will work with a 3TB drive will usually work with a 4TB drive, unless the controller is an older model. There are some older SATA I chipsets that refuse to work with a 4TB drive and read them as only being 700MB. Some of the cheaper external hard drive enclosures also have this 700MB problem.
     
  14. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #14
    It doesn't matter. You made some point about controllers didn't exist until 2011 so therefore you doubted it would work. My point was they already worked in 2006, so controllers in 2009 should work as well. All Generations of Macs use different controllers, so at best we can do is speculate unless there are real world examples. Clearly others here have examples of 2009's working with 3 or 4TB drives, so that truly proves your 2011 speculation inaccurate and works well for the OP. True?
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #15
    Of course it matters, which is why I said in the second post of this thread:


    Now that others who have done it have posted I'm convinced it can be done. All I pointed out in regard to your post was that just because a Mac Pro (Intel ICH10 controller) could address 4TB it wasn't necessarily true that the Mini (Nvidia 9400M controller) could as well. I didn't say they didn't exist, I said I hadn't seen them. Indeed, my first 4TB drive came with a PCI SATA card to get around those 2TB limitations that were common on most logic board and external drive controllers that were available at the time.
     
  16. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    No I'm not confusing myself. If they have that approx 700 GB (not MB, GB. 700MB is the capacity of a CD) they have it with 3TB and 4TB disks, I believe.

    Have a look into GPT and you'll see that disks with capacity greater than approx 2.1TB require the use of GPT.

    I think you are confusing 2TB vs 3TB with 3TB vs 4TB.

    I see little reason why if a 3TB disks work there would be any reason why 4TB drives wouldn't also work.
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    First statement: If a 4TB drive works in a machine a 3TB drive will work. Reason, basic math. 4 is greater than 3. Just like if a 5TB drive works in that machine, so will a 3TB or 4TB drive.

    Second statement: Drive controllers don't read the partition format. They don't care what format the drive is. It could be all ones and the controller would treat it the same as it's just data bits to it.

    Third statement: I was correct when I said 746GB. Most controllers that fail to properly recognize a drive that is too large default to 746GB. In this state, the drive is unusable.

    Fourth statement: Some PATA and early SATA controllers from 2003/2004 cannot see or use a drive that is larger than 3TB, resulting in the drive showing up as 746GB. Remember, drive controllers do not care what's on the drive. It's all zeros and ones to it.

    Fifth statement: I'm not confusing myself. I know exactly what I'm talking about as I have to deal with this stuff very often and I have a few older drive enclosures that refuse to work with drives that are larger than 2TB or 3TB, depending on the enclosure.
     
  18. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Nothing I said contradicted 4 being greater than 3. I haven't seen any cases where 3TB drives work and 4TB ones don't however I didn't say it was impossible.
     
  19. risetovotesir macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2014
    #19
    was there a conclusion here?

    I too am interested in putting an external SATA drive onto a late 2009 Mini. Per pricing, it would appear the 3TB-4TB are the best value, but what about 6TB? Where's the limit?

    I guess, per the OP, these controllers obviously have some limit, but if as of 2006, 4TB was accessible (at least on the MacPro), where is the limit today on the nVidia? I've mostly been using this as a file server and I just bought a 13" Retina (2nd laptop since 2006 MBP 15" 1,1) so I'm not overly concerned about speed as much as consolidating storage. Would love to know what the easiest /most efficient way to add 4-8TB to one of these machines is. I see 2009 case top covers going for $15 shipped, so I don't mind drilling some holes to get the SATA cables out.

    Seagate now sells a 2.5" 9mm 2TB drive for about $100, so perhaps just two of those and the OWC optical adapter is easiest, but it would be swell to have 8TB for nearly the same price.
     
  20. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #20


    The only thing I can say is I ran 3tb and was able to use it as the boot drive.

    And I have all the parts needed for this sitting in a box.
     
  21. risetovotesir macrumors newbie

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    #21
    If you still want to get rid of those parts I'll pay you for shipping and whatever is reasonable for handling. Don't know how to PM on this forum.
     
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #22
    I will send you a pm
     

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