Advice needed on caddy + HDD for early 2008 MBP 17" (non-unibody)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 8-bit dust, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. 8-bit dust macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2011
    on an island
    Please advise.. So confused. Two questions.

    I want to swap out the optical SuperDrive from an early 2008 (non-unibody) 17" MacBook Pro for a caddied, second bootable HDD (second OS). I've already determined the interface to be PATA. Limiting myself to a HDD (SSD is out for reasons of cost and technological immaturity), can anyone offer recommendations on only reliable drives? Where can this theoretically caddied HDD's specs max out? Just as important is the question of where to find the right caddy? Having a hell of a time locating a caddy with a considerable amount of reviews. It kinda bites having bought into Apple JUST as they were rolling out their unibodies; most available aftermarket products serve newer toys.

    Worth noting also is that she's fresh off her warranty, thrusting her officially into my domain to do with what I need. This baby serves multipurposes: intensive photo manipulating, video/ audio producing, cross-platform programming/ web designing, .. her life has been tested thoroughly (and continues to defy death ;).

    With the addition of a second drive, I figure her life will extend even further. At least a few more years?
  2. commendatori macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2011
    I was in the same situation with my early-2008 MBP a few weeks back. I ended up taking the plunge on this HDD caddy:
    It was a perfect fit and the drive works great in it. My only complaint is there really isn't a way to secure the drive to the caddy, so I ended up taking a small strip of adhesive-backed foam and sticking it on the underside of the keyboard/trackpad half of the MBP case (being careful to not block the air vent on the HDD, of course).

    I can't really recommend a drive for you to use, as I myself just tossed in a 160GB Toshiba drive I had lying around. But I can say if you're wanting to preserve your Superdrive for external use, I bought this The drive fits perfectly, although there isn't any sort of guard/cover around the disc load slot, which is fine with me since I only use my Superdrive occasionally anyway.

    So, for less than $30, you can add an optical bay HDD and preserve your optical drive. I love my non-Unibody MBP. I bought it used for $450 a year ago and plan on sticking with it until Thunderbolt becomes more widely used.
  3. Designer Dale, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011

    Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I have that computer and can't rationalize replacing it either.

    The solution you are looking for is becoming harder to find as the pre-unibody MBPs become older. Other World Computing used to stock a Data Doubler for that machine, but they were special order and I can't find it now. Here is a link to the caddy sold by MCE. Be sure you get the right one. The model number for your machine is 4,1 (About this Mac/More Info/Model Identifier: MacbookPro4,1 is what it should read). Don't buy anything off Ebay or Amazon that isn't listed as compatible with 4,1.

    Optibay for Pre Unibody MBP on MCE Technologies


    Note: The caddy linked in commendatori's post is for the pre-'08 Santa Rosa MBP Identifier 3,2. The computers with the Penyrn chips (4,1) have the silver keys. If commendator has a 4.1 system it may have fit but couldn't be secured.
  4. 8-bit dust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2011
    on an island

    Thank you, commendatori and Dale.

    I've decided to go with MCE as Dale suggested.

    commendatori: I'd have probably gone for what you linked, although I'd always be paranoid that the hard disk would give way somehow.

    As for a HDD, there's a 60GB laying around I'll use temporarily. Ultimately, it'll house a 500GB 7200rpm with the other specs still needing research.

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