Adding eSata to my late 2009 iMac 27inch

wchang

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2010
7
1
Hi,

I came across a posting that you can add eSata to your imac. I understand that I can send it out to OWC and pay a fee to have them install the esata but I can not afford or have the time to ship out my imac.

Since I have a 2009 late iMac 27inch model I think I need to get a PCI/express card to additional esata ports. Do I have to forfeit my wifi card and replace it with a esata port? I am not using the wifi on the imac so I can remove that if it's necessary.

If this is the case, what PCI express sata card should I buy and what cable do I need to run from the inside of my iMac to my external hard drive? Thanks!
 
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wchang

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2010
7
1
Only the 2010 model can have it, IF you don't have an SSD.
I thought there was a way for the 21inch and 2009 models by either giving up your wifi or super drive?
 
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Londonmitch

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2010
10
0
Not sure if it works on your model but I just swapped out the airport card for the commell mpx-3132. Adds 2sata ports. I have a24in 2008 imac and it recognized it instantly. My buddy has the 2010 27in i7 and it doesn't recognize it.

Check out my post below for more info.
 
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wchang

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2010
7
1
Not sure if it works on your model but I just swapped out the airport card for the commell mpx-3132. Adds 2sata ports. I have a24in 2008 imac and it recognized it instantly. My buddy has the 2010 27in i7 and it doesn't recognize it.

Check out my post below for more info.
I found this tutorial and it seems simple enough to try. Do I need to remove the logic board or is the airport card right there once I remove the LCD?

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/imac_esata_mod2/imac_estata_mod.html
 
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wchang

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2010
7
1


From the picture above, it looks as if the airport card is right below the monitor. After I remove the front glass with a suction cup will I see the airport card in the similar spot? I purchased my iMac27 in December of 2009. Thanks!
 
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fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,476
701
(Central) NY State of mind
Not sure if it works on your model but I just swapped out the airport card for the commell mpx-3132. Adds 2sata ports. I have a24in 2008 imac and it recognized it instantly. My buddy has the 2010 27in i7 and it doesn't recognize it.

Check out my post below for more info.
Sounds interesting since I never use my airport anyway....can you point me to your post you mentioned - there was no link I could find?

Thanks
 
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wchang

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2010
7
1
Is the airport card located at the same place for the 27 inch model?
 
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Oggy

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2010
56
0
Swap Airport Card for MPX-3132

No, the card slot is at the top and it is connected to the logic board with a custom cable.

I tried to swap the airport card for MPX-3132 to get two esata ports but could not get it to work. I will install Windows and see if the card shows up. If it does than it means that the port is a true mini PCI-e and a mod for siliconimage.kext could help but if not than there is now way to get it to work.

Oggy

No Go! Even in Windows the controller doesn't show up!. So, to all of you out here thinking of upgrading an Late 2009 27" imac with MPX 3132 - DON'T! IT DOESN'T WORK!

Conclusion is that Airport card slot in Late 2009 27" imac is not true mini PCI-e.

Oggy
 
Last edited:
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chevalier433

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
510
13
No, the card slot is at the top and it is connected to the logic board with a custom cable.

I tried to swap the airport card for MPX-3132 to get two esata ports but could not get it to work. I will install Windows and see if the card shows up. If it does than it means that the port is a true mini PCI-e and a mod for siliconimage.kext could help but if not than there is now way to get it to work.

Oggy

No Go! Even in Windows the controller doesn't show up!. So, to all of you out here thinking of upgrading an Late 2009 27" imac with MPX 3132 - DON'T! IT DOESN'T WORK!

Conclusion is that Airport card slot in Late 2009 27" imac is not true mini PCI-e.

Oggy
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/imac_esata_mod2/imac_estata_mod.html Same Mac as yours
 
Comment

Oggy

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2010
56
0
No, it's not. Mine was 27". This was 21.5". Big difference! This one has the mini pci express slot on the logic board. 27" model has a separate electronic board that is connected to the main board with a cable.
 
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chevalier433

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
510
13
No, it's not. Mine was 27". This was 21.5". Big difference! This one has the mini pci express slot on the logic board. 27" model has a separate electronic board that is connected to the main board with a cable.
Bad luck.Do you know anything about my model mid 2010 i7 ?I want to make this mod...
 
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Oggy

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2010
56
0
Don't try it. It's the same thing.

Anyway, if you are not a video editor you will probably never need esata.

But even if you are, you can edit most of the stuff over FW800.
 
Comment

chevalier433

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
510
13
Don't try it. It's the same thing.

Anyway, if you are not a video editor you will probably never need esata.

But even if you are, you can edit most of the stuff over FW800.
The thing is i am a pro video editor i own Panasonic HPX-AG 371 i record and edit AVC-Intra footage so i desperately need every high speed storage available.I add an eSATA G-RAID recently but i was talking about the particular mod mini pci-e to dual sata if it working because i'm researching it.
 
Comment

icpmac

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2014
21
15
No, it's not. Mine was 27". This was 21.5". Big difference! This one has the mini pci express slot on the logic board. 27" model has a separate electronic board that is connected to the main board with a cable.
Hi, as I see a lot of people trying to achieve the same thing on his old imac 27'', and searching the net trying to see if someone has already done this, we end up here thinking it's not possible to swap the mini pci-e wifi card, I'll update with my experience: it works, you can have usb 3.0 on older imac (with some caveats).

I have an imac 27'' Quad core late 2009 (11,1). I've successfully removed the airport card and put a mini pci-e usb 3.0 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/231622104581?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT). You need a sata power cable splitter in order for the card to mount the drives, but after that, and installing the GenericUSBXHCI.kext, the card works without any problem. Drives are mounted and read/write works as fast as you expect from a usb 3 connection. Another thing is that that closing the imac is almost imposible, because the back panel expansion connector to the mini pci-e card is very rigid and it collides with the screen panel (http://www.ebay.com/itm/191306897092?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT). I'm waiting for a modded cable that hopefully will make this work, and then I'll have to drill the holes in the imac.
 
Comment

crouchingtiger

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2004
46
19
hi,

I know this is an old thread, but can you let me know if you were ever able to resolve your cable issue? Do you think a right angle adapter for the 20 pin connection coming off the mini PCI-e card would help?


Hi, as I see a lot of people trying to achieve the same thing on his old imac 27'', and searching the net trying to see if someone has already done this, we end up here thinking it's not possible to swap the mini pci-e wifi card, I'll update with my experience: it works, you can have usb 3.0 on older imac (with some caveats).

I have an imac 27'' Quad core late 2009 (11,1). I've successfully removed the airport card and put a mini pci-e usb 3.0 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/231622104581?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT). You need a sata power cable splitter in order for the card to mount the drives, but after that, and installing the GenericUSBXHCI.kext, the card works without any problem. Drives are mounted and read/write works as fast as you expect from a usb 3 connection. Another thing is that that closing the imac is almost imposible, because the back panel expansion connector to the mini pci-e card is very rigid and it collides with the screen panel (http://www.ebay.com/itm/191306897092?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT). I'm waiting for a modded cable that hopefully will make this work, and then I'll have to drill the holes in the imac.
 
Comment

icpmac

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2014
21
15
hi,

I know this is an old thread, but can you let me know if you were ever able to resolve your cable issue? Do you think a right angle adapter for the 20 pin connection coming off the mini PCI-e card would help?
Hi, Yes I solve the issue. I had to buy this cable so the height is just 7mm, but maybe a right angle adapter could work but I doubt there's just too little space in there:

http://www.moddiy.com/products/USB-...FF-Adapter-Cable-(Low-Profile-Connector).html

But you'll still have another problem to close the imac: the sata cable, even a right angle connector, it's too high and collide just as the 20-pin did. There's no slim low profile cable for an esata that I could find, so I had to remove the plastic protecting the connector header (some scissors and a LOT of patience, it's very hard to remove without damaging the wires) and have just the barebone connector that'll be around 7-8mm height and protect it with electrical tape.

Now the imac closes, still it collides and you have to push a little and put the screws in place, but now it closes and works.

Hope it helps.
 
Comment

hackertom

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2015
34
1
Hi, Yes I solve the issue. I had to buy this cable so the height is just 7mm, but maybe a right angle adapter could work but I doubt there's just too little space in there:

http://www.moddiy.com/products/USB-3.0-20%2dPin-Internal-Header-FF-Adapter-Cable-(Low-Profile-Connector).html

But you'll still have another problem to close the imac: the sata cable, even a right angle connector, it's too high and collide just as the 20-pin did. There's no slim low profile cable for an esata that I could find, so I had to remove the plastic protecting the connector header (some scissors and a LOT of patience, it's very hard to remove without damaging the wires) and have just the barebone connector that'll be around 7-8mm height and protect it with electrical tape.

Now the imac closes, still it collides and you have to push a little and put the screws in place, but now it closes and works.

Hope it helps.
hi my friend this mod works with el capitan? Can i install second internal hdd there? And the airport card?
 
Comment

icpmac

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2014
21
15
hi my friend this mod works with el capitan? Can i install second internal hdd there? And the airport card?
I've stayed in Yosemite because USB 3.0 kext for non-intel cards doesn't work (genericusbxhci). You can not keep the airport card, because this is what you replace with the mini pci-e usb 3.0 card.

You can install an internal drive in the superdrive (an SSD) and keep the internal HDD in this place, I have this setup.
 
Comment

hackertom

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2015
34
1
I've stayed in Yosemite because USB 3.0 kext for non-intel cards doesn't work (genericusbxhci). You can not keep the airport card, because this is what you replace with the mini pci-e usb 3.0 card.

You can install an internal drive in the superdrive (an SSD) and keep the internal HDD in this place, I have this setup.
My problem is how to install Windows 7. My iMAC 27" 2009 late support only DVD installation... I try other solutions but nothing happens. .
 
Comment

AnakChan

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2015
21
1
Just giving this a little bit of a thread bump. I'm particularly interested in adding USB 3.0 to my iMac 27" late 2009 (iMac11,1).

I've read that the genericusbxhci now works with El Capitan. As such I'm wondering if I can try any mini PCIe USB 3.0 card such as this which commonly available in Japan, or this 4 port USB 3.0 version. Or is the one provided by @icpmac the only recommended mini PCIe card recommended?
 
Comment

icpmac

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2014
21
15
Just giving this a little bit of a thread bump. I'm particularly interested in adding USB 3.0 to my iMac 27" late 2009 (iMac11,1).

I've read that the genericusbxhci now works with El Capitan. As such I'm wondering if I can try any mini PCIe USB 3.0 card such as this which commonly available in Japan, or this 4 port USB 3.0 version. Or is the one provided by @icpmac the only recommended mini PCIe card recommended?
The renesas should work. Is almost the same minipcie card I've used, only difference is the power connector (mine is a sata powered).

I'm pretty sure any minipcie card with apple drives could be installed instead of the airport card.
 
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