Drive Failed, considering hybrid - what to look out for?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BradHatter, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. BradHatter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    A friend of my sister's is having a problem with her drive. The way it was acting, I thought for sure that the logic board was bad. When I used Scannerz to troubleshoot a problem with my SSD, they had me create a Phoenix drive on a USB flash drive, so I just plugged that into her system and tested it. I thought for sure it was going to tell me the logic board was bad or something like that, but instead it found a bunch of bad sectors in the first few gigabytes, which is where I guess most of the OS is, which I guess also explains why the system was crashing on boot.

    In any case, the drive is definitely bad and needs to be replaced. I tried to talk her into an SSD but she has tons, and I mean TONS of video, pictures, and music on it so I'm figuring she needs at least 500GB. I know some others on this site are recommending some type of new Hitachi HDs that are pretty cheap, but I was thinking, especially since she's thinking about moving to Yosemite, that maybe a hybrid HD would do the trick.

    Here are some questions:

    1. I seem to remember seeing somewhere that even though the drive is 2.5" drive, it might be too fat to fit in some systems. Is this a problem for MacBook Pro's or not. I think this might be a problem with some MacBook's but I'm not sure it's a problem with Pro's.
    2. How fast are hybrids in reality. I obviously don't expect it to be as fast as an SSD, but how much faster is it really than a regular hard drive. The new Hitachi's are supposed to be lightning fast for hard drives, but will the hybrid be noticably faster for the price difference.
    3. Recommendations, anyone???

    Thanks in advance!:D
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Buy a 750GB Samsung 840 Evo, or just buy a 512GB SSD and external storage.

    For me, I keep all my media (images, videos, movies and music) in external storage.
  3. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    I probably should have mentioned that price is also a consideration. I'm looking for something which will top out at about $125 (U.S.).
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Hmm, that's going to be tough.

    In my experience, hybrids have never worked well (at least not with OS X).

    At that price, I don't think you can get any SSD bigger than 250GB.

    I won't recommend any HDDs at all because a HDD is the reason why a computer feels slow.

    An SSD is less prone to failure because it doesn't have any spinning parts.

    Have a look at this one. 840 Evos work well, but I would recommend you sticking this into a Windows system first to run the performance restoration firmware upgrade before sticking it into a Mac.
  5. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    I think the size issue is related to MacBooks and MacBook Air's. The MacBooks had a drive slot and you pull the battery out (it was still removable then), unscrew a bracket, pull on tab and the drive slides out of the slot. It's so easy to do a child could do it, but if the drive is too fat it might not fit. I'm not sure what constitutes a "fat" drive though.

    The MacBook Air's don't use HDDs except for the very, very early models, and I think it was some sort of tiny thumb drive. They replaced them with SSDs and a lot of them look wierd, more like RAM chips with a plug on the end.

    If you haven't heard of the iFixit site, here's a link:

    There you can find lots of links, instructions, and in many cases videos showing how to do upgrades and repairs on a system. Since drive replacement is fairly common there should be lots of info.
  6. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    I'm inclined to steer totally clear of an SSD for this particular girl because she really doesn't seem to manage her system properly. I asked if she had a backup drive so she pulled out an external and I checked it and the last time she did a backup was about 4 years ago. Although SSDs don't have mechanical parts there does seem to be some evidence that they can just lose everything all at once in the right circumstances. Here are some links about this sort of stuff:

    My point with those two is that SSDs aren't infallible. I use an SSD in my own system but I'm keeping backups on a regular external hard drive. If one day the SSD loses everything or erases itself I can just use Time Machine to restore it. I'm not so certain that the girl I'm talking about takes that type of precaution.
  7. Bheleu macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2010
    What I did, was to create a fusion disk...

    I just setup a 2.06TB fusion drive on my 2008 MacBook Pro consisting of an old 60GB Vertex3 SSD I had in my Hackintosh build that never got used and a new 2TB Seagate drive I pulled out of its external case ($95 off Amazon) - 5400rpm storage. I put my CD/DVD drive in its own USB Caddy (~$12 off Amazon).

    I still have about 8 more hours to go (out of 29hours) before my Time Capsule data (from October of this year) finalizes its moved onto the newly rebuilt MacBook with Yosemite (which killed my data when I tried to upgrade). I had an error where I could not load my TimeCapsule data because my 500GB Hybrid Seagate drive supposedly did not have enough room (which is odd because that is the drive that had all the data that was backed up). I put the 500GB Hybrid into the external case that came with my 2TB drive. I will use it to shuffle things around or as an extra data dump between my mac and PC.

    Hoping I do not run into any Trim issues, which I do not believe was enabled on the ancient Vertex3 (think it has to be enabled via firmware). Once I realized all the 750GB and 1TB Hybrid drives offered by Seagate were 5400rpm, I decided to go with the 2.06TB fusion drive. I would have splurged for a new SSD but I have 2 cars falling apart on me right now. Maybe later on once I get caught up, I will do a large USB Time Capsule, backup my data - and create a bigger SSD + 2TB platter fusion drive but for now this will have to do.
  8. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    No need to stay away from ssd. The problem you mentioned can be a problem with any drive. Gently impress on her the need to do backups. Show her how and then leave it in her hands.

    Get her the most hard drive bang for her dollar, instead of trying to control the situation. That is not your job as tech help.
  9. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    I cloned her existing drive over to her external drive using Phoenix. Phoenix registered a lot of I/O errors on some of the operating system files, which explains why the system wouldn't boot. Fortunately all of her tons of data in her own users folder copied over. What I'm going to do is just do an OS re-install over the existing copy and that should restore all the stuff that was damaged in the disk crash, and then after installing the new drive, whatever it is, clone it over to the new drive.

    She says she wants to upgrade to Yosemite, but on the Yosemite section of this site there are a lot of complaints, and even worse ones in the App Store. I never thought I'd see the day the number of 1 star ratings for an OS would be almost double the 4 star ratings. A lot of people seem to be having problems with that thing, and I think I should approach this with something I'm confident will work, namely Mavericks. Let's get everything stabilized and formally backed up before we start experimenting with Yosemite.

    I haven't seen any high praise for hybrid drives yet. It would be interesting to get some stats on their real performance.
  10. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    The reviews for Mavericks (and ML and Lion) were largely the same - the one star reviews for Mavericks greatly outnumbered the four and five star ones. I think it must be some form of negativity bias: people rarely leave reviews if it just works well, but are very likely to leave a negative one if something goes wrong. Yosemite is fine, it's no less stable than Mavericks.

    I have a 1TB hybrid drive in my MBP. In all honesty, I can't really notice the difference between it and a 7200rpm drive. I'd personally go for a 500GB or 750GB standard 7200rpm drive if an SSD is out of the question. I'd seriously consider an SSD though. If she isn't backing up at the moment, SSDs are much less likely to fail than a HDD. (Of course, you should probably advise her on backup procedures etc...)
  11. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    The gist of the request seems to me to be it needs to be a big drive and it needs to be reasonably low in cost, and of course, fit. With that in mind I'd recommend the new Hitachi 2.5" drives. Their web site is as follows:

    Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get, by hard drive standards a very fast 500GB drive for just over $50. I'm fairly sure the following is the type to consider:$file/TSZ7K500_ds_v3.pdf

    For an HDD that thing is faaast. Hitachi actually offers a 2.5" enterprise class disk as well that's even bigger and faster but it ain't cheap.
  12. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    That's what I was afraid of and that's the kind of input I was looking for about hybrids.

    I just replaced an SSD that went south and it was fairly new. None of this stuff, not SSDs, not HDDs, are perfect. I'll probably just present her with the facts and strongly encourage doing backups. Justifying a $300 SSD in a system that I suspect would sell used for about $500 may be out of the question.
  13. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    See if you can still find a Seagate Momentus XT. These are 7200 RPM. The second version is 750GB. They are real self contained hybrids.

    Other hybrids are 5400 RPM, so the 750GB one should still be faster than the 1TB ones for random access.

    I had a 1st gen 500GB and the 2nd gen and they are great.
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I do not care for hybrids. I'm letting some unknown source decide what goes where? You really don't get a performance boost. I have an iMac with a fusion drive and it takes 20 minutes to image a bootable USB stick with a Casper image and the exact same process takes less than 5 on a 13" MacBook Pro with an SSD.
  15. cube, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014

    cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The average user does get a performance boost, even with only 4GB of flash, as in the 1st XT generation.

    Mainly you see the system booting faster and the most used applications starting up quickly, this is a great improvement compared to a traditional hard drive, and more so compared to 5400 RPM (which suck, even at 2TB).

    The self contained drives do not cache whole files, but the most frequently accessed disk blocks.
  16. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    I can pick up a 500GB or a 1TB Hitachi locally for $52 and $74 (U.S.) respectively. By hard drive standards, at least what we're used to in Mac's those things are screamers, and those prices are beginning to look just a little hard to ignore.

    Hitachi is claiming these are even more rugged than other drives.

    Hmmmmmmm. I wonder if there's any truth to that.
  17. 128keaton macrumors 68020


    Jan 13, 2013
    I swapped my 500GB spinner out for a Seagate SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive) and it flies. Fast boot, fast launch, fast everything.
  18. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    With the Hitachi costing so little, why not pair it with a small, say 64GB SSD and make a Fusion drive. I would think this would work, give the combined storage needed, and yet it might still come in under $100 or at least in that vicinity.
  19. FrtzPeter macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2014
    If you do a web search you can find some SSDs in the price range of $50 to $70 (US) with sizes ranging between 64GB and 128GB. I've found some SanDisk drives and Kingston. Apple is using SanDisk in some of their MacBook Air's so I assume it's a good brand. Couple that with the high speed Hitachi and I think you could get a quite capable system and still keep costs pretty low.
  20. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    I'd have to pull the optical to go the Fusion route, right?

    Would I need some kit to hold the 2.5" where the optical was or is there a way to do it without any adapters? does it matter which drive goes in which location? For example, could the SSD go where the HD is or where the optical drive is, and does it even make a difference?

    I'll probably try tackling this in the next day or so.
  21. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    It looks like cost made the decision for me. When I presented the girl with the available options, with the Hitachi being the cheapest, that's what she went for. I showed her how much faster the SSD was on my system booting but she didn't care. Once applications are loaded and the system is booted the time differences isn't really all that obvious between an SSD and a regular HD. If she does disk intensive stuff she'd notice the difference but I don't think she really cares. The system is already pretty fast anyway.

    However, I may consider a Fusion setup myself. Consider this:

    256GB SSD coupled with one of these 500GB Hitachi's. I think this thing would kick some serious butt. Right now I'm experimenting with various partitions on an external drive, and with this setup I could actually put a bunch of different OSes on the fusion and swap between them as needed.
  22. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    You can get kits for that sort of thing at places like OWC or you could just figure out a way to secure it yourself. I do know of one person (not me!!!) who used double sided sticky foam tape to secure the HDD. It seems to have worked, but I'm not sure specifically where he taped it.
  23. BradHatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    Does it make any difference whether the SSD or the HDD go into which port, meaning the standard drive port or the optical drive port?
  24. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    It's best to put the SSD in the regular SATA slot, and the HDD in the SuperDrive slot if it's early-2011 or older, because the SuperDrive SATA slot is one grade below that of the hard drive bay SATA slot.

    However, on the late-2011 and later models, it's the other way round, because both slots use SATA 3 at 6 Gbps, so leaving the HDD at its original slot means that Sudden Motion Sensor can still work.

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