DIY Optical Cage HD Mount

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by s-hatland, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. s-hatland macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2014
    Hey all,
    I'm sure some one has thought of/done this before, but for some weird reason I decided to half-heartedly document this project. I've been wanting to add another hard drive in the lower optical drive bay for some time. After seeing the ridiculous prices for a prefabbed bracket, I decided I could try it myself.

    I started off with an OLD optical drive from a G4 I used to own. Why I still have a IDE optical drive is beyond me. The reason I used an old drive was that the holes for the screws lined up perfectly with the mounting holes in the Mac Pro optical cage. I emptied the guts which just took a few screws and a fair amount of force (those things are tough!) Now I had an empty cage to work with. I marked and cut the back of the top-back of the sleeve to make it flush with the current drive in my Mac as well as making it much easier to plug the SATA cables into. I don't think this was necessary, but it was useful. Next I flipped the bottom plate of the sleeve to give it extra height, since the 2 SATA connecters on the Mac Pro were very close to each other, any extra bit to get it closer to my DVD drives port is a big help. Also, since I flipped the bottom plate, I used some small washers to make up for empty space (see pics).


    Next I assembled the empty sleeve into the optical cage to tell me where it needed to be mounted. Made a few marks, took it back apart and layed the drive on the bottom plate and traced around it. Then I transferred the screw holes using a paper pattern and drilled them out. I then realized that the SATA connecter is very thick and wouldn't clear the flat plate, so I had to cut out a rectangle in the metal on the back edge (again, see pics). Upon first mounting of the drive, it was nearly directly in contact with the plate, so I added two small washers on each screw to get it away from the plate. This also helped add a bit more height to accomodate the sparse length between the two SATA connectors.


    All in all, there was a lot of trial and error and it's UGLY as all hell. But once it's installed in the optical cage, you can't even see it. Total time was an afternoon - maybe 3 hours. Drive is running fine, temps are perfectly okay and soon I'll probably install Windows on it. Maybe.


    Anyways, just thought I'd share my idea for a completely inexpensive, albeit crude, way to add another hard drive to your Mac Pro. I'm sure it would work for an SSD as well. Hope this helps someone!
  2. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    Very interesting. Might have to try building something similar this weekend. I have a few 2.5" drives I've been meaning to just sit in my Optical Bay but if I can mount them at least somewhat properly, that might just be that much better.
  3. i-rui, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    i-rui macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010

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