anybody replace optical drive with a hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by chill., Oct 16, 2008.

  1. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    i was wondering whether anybody replaced the optical drive with a hard drive yet. i was thinking about using a smaller/cheaper SSD for the OS and to boot, and a HDD for primary data storage.

    how would this affect:
    battery life?

    and am i right in thinking that a SSD would noticeably reduce boot time and make the OS run faster?
  2. Karpfish macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2006
    I need to replace my bottom casing and possibly superdrive due to warping and apple will not cover it for who knows what reason. I have been toying with putting in an SSD as a replacement for the superdrive because I realized that I can go without the superdrive pretty well. The only issue is that the SSDs are all SATA so i'm not sure how that would work.
  3. chill. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    according to another spec sheet i saw floating around, the optical drive for the new macbook uses a SATA connection. i just ordered the new macbook and am wondering what my options are for modding it

    sorry this doesn't help your case much :S
  4. mklnz macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Auckland, New Zealand
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Why would you do such a thing? Just get an external, no point in modding and voiding warranty (yes this is important) and having potential compatibility probems.
  6. sergev macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Going external is quite stupid when you have a internal sata port just waiting there to be used. Who uses the optical drive anyway? I don't! I just want more storage. Or perhaps two ssd's :p
    To me it looks like the data port is the same but the power port is a micro/mini sata version. That's what I can tell from the pictures. They are often used on 1.8 sata drives.
    I realy hope it isn't, because then I don't have buy an expensive adapter.
  7. dinaluvsApple macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It only voids your warranty if you break the MacBook during installation, or if the hard drive breaks the MacBook. Now that installation isn't trivial because the size of the hard drive and the size of the optical drive are not the same. You want that hard drive firmly in the right place. If some manufacturer made a hard drive in a larger form factor (using lots of empty space) that is compatible with a CD/DVD drive, that would make it easy.
  9. dinaluvsApple macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ill stick to time capsule and leave this hardware mods to u risk takers.
  10. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    These two simply don't go together. Right now good SSDs are expensive (doesn't mean all expensive ones are good though).
  11. sergev macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    You can buy caddy's for that from but if it where compatible whitout a caddy you just needed to stuff some foame or something in between, so that it doesn't wobble. You also have the mce optibay for the old macbook pro but that's not what I want and its expensive.

    One other I can't understand is that apple isn't this offering themselves. You could earn big money on this.
  12. glenberk macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    Run Windows on 2nd drive

    Instead of running Windows as a second partition on the new Macbook's main hard drive, if we replace the Optical with a second hard drive running on the sata bus, wouldn't that drive be recognized by Bootcamp? If so, this could be a great benefit.
  13. sergev macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    If the hard drive is recognized by the OS wich will probably the case you can let windows boot from that drive. Or you could make a raid 0 raid 1 set of drives. Raid 1 with two 500 Gb drives for ultimate storage protection or raid 0 with two ssd's with ultimate performance (considdering the two sata busses)
    Does anyone know the pin out of the power connetor on the optical drive?
    We are talking here about the things you could do with it, but first we find a way to make it happen right? I'm thinking you could probably make something of your one, because there is plenty of space where the optical drive goes.

    (Don't mind my english, I'm trying to put correct sentences here ;))
  14. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I'm sure many people still use the optical drive... that's why DVDs/Software are still sold on discs. When you have media on iTunes and want to backup the library so that you can reinstall the OS, don't come whining back here. It only burns on optical media, so good luck.

    But if you want to risk it, go ahead. I don't see a reason for RAID on notebooks or more storage, get an external and stick all your data there.
  15. sergev macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    It's not only about massive amounts of data. It's also about the oppurtunities provided by ssd drives. What if you want a ssd and a normal drive? An ssd is quick but doesn't provide much storage. The OS and and a few big programs and a 32 GB ssd is already filled. A 64 GB ssd with the OS your collection of programs and some critical data and its filled also.
    If you can put a secondary regular hard drive in it that problem would be solved. Say a 320 GB or a 500 GB hard disk and you have al the storage you can wish for.

    I'm noticing a lot of scared non-modding consumers here. It isn't that hard you know. I think I'll go for the caddy found on and take myself an external dvd burner!
    problem solved!

    I think I'll go for the 80 GB intel ssd with the stock drive in the place of the superdrive. Or an extra hard drive of the same size as the stock drive in a raid 1 solution. I wouldn't use raid 0 with regular drives and two ssd's are a bit to expensive for me!
  16. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    if your at a desk then go for it! OS X will probably pick up the HDD easy. if youre mobile it will add mass and suck a lot of battery! :eek:
  17. haircrime macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008
    great improvement

    --> Replacing the Superdrive with a SDD would rather reduce mass than add. Also it should be possible to reduce spinning or even shut the drive down completely to reduce power consumption when mobile.

    - Putting the Opticaldrive into an external case, to use when needed,

    - putting the stock drive into the optical space

    - and using a fast SDD as main drive for operating system and programs

    seams like a great improvement.

    The only problem is to find a way to install the drive into the newmacbook in a save and stable way. The Optibay solution for the older macbooks will not work because of the new SATA support. (

    Any other ideas?
  18. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I thought of doing this myself now that it's SATA (thanks Apple) :)

    Could be an easy mod for a SSD (velcro? :D )

    For a HD just add foam .

    You won't void the warranty as nobody will know if you don't really mark it up.

    Looks very easy and I will definitely remove the DVD to reduce mass even if I don't add something as I rarely use it and own a USB model.

    However, I haven't even bought mine yet and really can't be sure... so whatever.
  19. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
  20. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Yes this would really be a rather fun, simple mod.

    I remember I had 2 HD's in my Dell D800 a while back. Dell made a multibay that let you mount a HD in a hollow DVD drive (an enclosure).
    (BTW, the Main HD itself installed on a slide-in caddie so you could swap it in seconds (after a shutdown of course :D ) )

    As a matter of fact they may have the DVD enclosures somewhere in SATA flavor.

    But It wouldn't really be necessary in this case, I would think.
  21. haircrime macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008
    Try it out

    Can someone with a new Macbook try it out for us?

    Mine is ordered, but as know will still take a little while...
  22. gyumilly macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Very cool! I never thought that I can remove my superdrive and replace with a HDD. I might just remove to have it external so that it weighs less! Please keep us informed!
  23. Nykwil macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2002
    Boston, MA
    From a modding standpoint the new macbooks look very modifiable IMO

    There could be a market to replace the default heatsinks with copper ones. No sure though what the current ones are made with.

    But for me I probably wouldn't go past just replacing the hdd and ram.

    Everything seems so easily accessible aside from the keyboard however
  24. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    You can use the DVD drive of another mac on your network to install stuff if you need it, cant you? Or just get an external burner. (like the firewire one I bought:()

    It would be great if its possible. I'd like to put two 500gigs in it and get a 1TB portable mac!
    Probably be the same price a SSD.
  25. haircrime macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008

    2x 500 gig sounds sweet I have to admit. but I much rather prefere the combination with ssd.
    Imagine, speed of SSD, capacity of HDD.

    Best of both worlds.

    I was thinking about the additional power consumption. Does anyone have more thoughts on this.
    What would a second harddrive do to battery life?

    Is there a way to turn the superdrive (aka 2nd harddrive) off of not need when mobile?

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