Fifth SATA drive in the Mac Pro?

slughead

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
I'm looking to put a 5th hard drive into my mac pro and I was wondering if those two extra SATA plugs on the motherboard were good to go, or if there's something I should know.

I've checked the drive sled in the 2nd optical bay (where I plan to put my 5th drive) and it looks like it's got scew holes ready for 3.5" drives!

The cables can run via the hole in the left front septum (looking at the front of the Mac pro) separating the PCI area from the optical/PSU area.

I have an extra internal SATA cable an a molex Y-cable, so I could do this today if I wanted to.

I'd like a final word on the extra sata ports though.
 

Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
869
12
Alta Loma, CA
Yes, they work just fine. The 5000X chipset has 6 SATA ports. The Mac Pro currently only makes use of four of them. the other two are on the board and fully functional.

They do not support hot plugging or port multipliers, so internal is the only way to go with them.
 

macenforcer

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2004
1,248
0
Colorado
Transeau said:
Yes, they work just fine. The 5000X chipset has 6 SATA ports. The Mac Pro currently only makes use of four of them. the other two are on the board and fully functional.

They do not support hot plugging or port multipliers, so internal is the only way to go with them.

I thought I read earlier that those 2 sata ports don't work.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,883
221
Harrogate
twoodcc said:
someone posted where a guy had 7 hard drives in his mac pro. so they must work
He used an extra hardware RAID controller card. 1 drive to boot from, the other 6 in a RAID array!
 

Danksi

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2005
1,554
0
Nelson, BC. Canada
I was looking to use those two spare ports for something like this, providing an external eSATA connection, so I'd be interested in hearing back if they work for you. They show up on the System Profiler anyway.

I assume the data & power connections are together on the same SATA plug or is powering the drive internally going to be an issue?
 

Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
869
12
Alta Loma, CA
Danksi said:
I was looking to use those two spare ports for something like this, providing an external eSATA connection, so I'd be interested in hearing back if they work for you. They show up on the System Profiler anyway.

I assume the data & power connections are together on the same SATA plug or is powering the drive internally going to be an issue?

The SATA connector supplies data only. You will have to use the spare molex connector in the optical bay to power the drive.

Also, the ports can be used externally, but the drivers do not support hot swapping.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
Well, the short answer is: yes, the SATA port 1 worked

the long answer is that no SATA cable in EXISTENCE can bend at the angle necessary to fit in the space

....

So I modified a SATA cable and now everything works.

I'm posting a blog entry with pictures, I'll link to it when I'm done
 

timb

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2003
249
0
Have a link to the guy who added a RAID card to his system? I'd like to do that to mine, but couldn't find a suitable card. There's also the issue of hooking into the drive sleds somehow.

-timb
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
Macinposh said:
Bollocks.

The 90´ angle cable works just fine.

Yeah, I verified that already (as I said in the post directly above yours)


UPDATE (from blog): After viewing the service manual, it looks like removing the "Front Fan Assembly" (the part blocking the extra SATA ports) is a colossal pain in the ass. It involves unscrewing the memory cage (the thing that holds the memory riser boards), sliding it towards the back, rotating and lifting the processor cage out of the computer, removing a screw, and prying the assembly out very slowly, hoping to not break it. I didn't remove this assembly when doing this because I couldn't figure it out in the limited time before my attention span turned into a Fraggle Rock episode. It's hard, but not impossible, to plug in the SATA cable without taking this assembly out (again, I think I proved that). However, if you'd like to waste a whole lot of time and risk breaking the thing, Anandtech describes how to remove the apparatus in detail. Please note that the actual service manual published by Apple is not available to the public--only to certified techs
 
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