Hack my macbook with an esata port

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dhmarshall, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. dhmarshall macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2012
    I've got a 2.13ghz core 2 duo macbook- 5,2. It's pretty beat up and I'll never sell it so I have no reserves about cutting up the case. I'm comfortable taking apart the machine. I replaced the internal drive with an SSD and replaced the display as well. The optical drive was removed when these other modifications were done (it was broken) so there's a sata connection lying dormant in there.

    I'm in need of fast connection to an external drive that can connect to another person's PC for video editing. The USB and firewire 400 ports that the computer currently has aren't cutting it. I'd like to do things as cheaply as possible.

    What I'd like to do is create an external sata connection from the connection the optical drive used to use. I'll probably just cut a hole in the case for the connection. What adapters and cables do I need to make this work? Is it even possible?
  2. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    Technically, it is possible.
    You would need a Sata to eSata converter (which they sell for towers fro ~$19).
    Then you'd need to trim the adapter down because it would be designed for going in a PCI-E slot.
    Then cut a hole where the cd rom slot is that would allow the eSata port to protrued.
    Then find a way to bond the eSata converter to the inside of the MacBook.

    I wouldn't do it myself, but i understand the desire to customize things.

    Good Luck
  3. dhmarshall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2012
  4. thirteenthree, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

    thirteenthree macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2012
    Edited for clarity.

    If it is in fact a sata connector (unibody) then you'd probably be better off with modifying something like this, and you can order it without a drive from multiple vendors, I'm not specifically recommending ioffer:


    Unless you really know what you're doing you can make all your electrical connections within the caddy, glue or affix your port to the caddy... and if you completely screw it up you can discard the caddy and try again. Test it before you go drilling!!!

    However the adapter you posted a picture of is the IDE version of the superdrive which appears in the non-unibody MBP (and G4 Powerbook) If that is in fact what you have then you can't do what you're proposing even though the HDD is sata.

    If you have a unibody the connector on the drive will resemble this:


    The only reason I know this, is because I cut/soldered my own crossover for the power and installed a second hard drive in my unibody (without the caddy.) the SATA port is the same as a notebook HDD (or desktop HDD for that matter), the power port is slightly different, in that it is shorter than the connector in a desktop or notebook HDD. The caddy conveniently does that for you.
  5. thirteenthree, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

    thirteenthree macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2012
    Oh, wait, you said macbook. :-D

    Similar info then, except that "unibody" wouldn't apply -- I think it would be a macbook up through early 2008 that has PATA/IDE, and then SATA after that. Same drive(s), same rules for MB/MBP.

    The SATA version's connector will still resemble link #2, not your picture.

    Looking closer, apparently there IS a HDD caddy for the CD bay that bridges the PATA connection to SATA inside the caddy itself, so you can use a second SATA hdd in a PATA CD bay.


    Perhaps the SATA side of that bridge could be modified if the bridge is mac-friendly. Disclaimer though, I did not have especially good luck using PATA to SATA bridges in my older macs.
  6. dhmarshall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2012
    Thirteenthree, thanks for your response. Luckily I no longer need to go cutting up my macbook as I just ordered a refurbished macbook pro. I should be picking it up tonight.
  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010

Share This Page