Horrific OptiBay Read-Speed Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by The Tourer, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. The Tourer, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    The Tourer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #1
    Hey people... I have a serious problem and I'm offering a reward for help (see the bottom of this post).

    I have a mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro with the 2.66 GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, the nVidia GT330M (512MB VRAM) and a factory 500GB HDD (7200 RPM).

    Roughly 3 weeks ago I installed an OptiBay as follows:
    • Removed SuperDrive from Optical Bay.
    • Removed factory 500 GB, 7200 RPM drive from HDD bay.
    • Put HDD in OptiBay and installed that.
    • Put Kingston HyperMax 3K SSD (120GB) into the HDD bay.
    • Reassembled everything and installed Lion on the SSD.
    • Deleted most everything from the HDD OS X partition (also have a Windows 7 one) except for media and content.
    • Symlinked folders to the SSD home folder (iTunes, Library>Mail, etc).

    This worked like a CHARM. I was able to run everything ludicrously fast, and iTunes never had any issues at all.

    At this juncture I will point out that I have NOT done any of the SSD hacks that people like (disabling SMS, turning off hibernate and removing the sleep image, etc).

    Fast forward to last week's Mountain Lion release... I installed the shiny new OS, and upon opening iTunes that night, found that my OptiBay-HDD-hosted songs would now stop playing for 15-30 randomly in the middle and I'd see the beachball in that app (but the Play/Pause button wouldn't change from the Pause symbol). This happens anywhere from every few seconds of playback (lots of these long breaks in a row) to not for a good 6-10 minutes. Switching tracks also is sporadic, sometimes causing this issue and sometimes not.

    Then I noticed this was NOT an iTunes-only thing... Mail, which I had also symlinked to the HDD, was ludicrously slow. Clicking on a message led to a solid 0:30s-2:00m beachball-of-death-laden lag.

    That's when I realized it was a issue with the filesystem in some way (still not knowing if it was a hardware or software issue). I tested copying a large (1GB+) movie file to it, and there was no issue with that. However, copying that BACK from the HDD to the SSD resulted in an initial burst that got the copy to about 120 MB copied, then it held for roughly 0:30s-5:00m (starting to see a pattern here?) before jumping another ~100 MB, and this continued until the file was completely copied. I'm pretty sure it should not take 25-30 minutes to copy a 1 GB file over a direct SATA connection.

    In terms of what I can note through my senses, the HDD will always been spinning but I can only hear the familiar crackly-clicking sound of the arm moving to do its reads a lot whenever it's not in one of the lag periods I mentioned. The fact that it sounds like it's always spinning rules out the concept that the drive is falling asleep (this has further been verified by the fact that

    I downloaded and ran Black Magic Disk Speed Test on the SSD first (wooooooo... damn. Fire!) and then on the HDD. Write speed on the HDD was as expected based on the movie copy test... fast as ever. However, for the Read speed test, it hung at a phenomenal ZERO MB/s and never finished.

    So is this a hardware issue? Here's why I think not:
    • It still writes reliably always and reads fast SOMETIMES.
    • I can still boot to my Windows 7 partition which runs at full speed with no problems.
    • The only thing that has changed from when it WAS working until now is 10.7 -> 10.8.

    This is where I'm at now: I painstakingly waited for all the content on the HFS+ Partition on the HDD to back up to a USB external drive (took 18 hours) and erased and reformatted that HDD partition. No better. And I know it's NOT my iTunes library because of all the file system issues as listed above AND because when I pointed iTunes to the library located on my USB backup external, it worked like a charm with no lag, etc.

    Here's what I haven't tested yet that could further verify some of this:
    • Removing this HDD from the OptiBay and putting it in an enclosure (although I don't think this would make a difference seeing as Windows works fine from in here.
    • Swapping the SSD to the OptiBay and the HDD back to its original place.
    • Downgrading to Lion and seeing if the problem persists (I'd rather not, now that a lot of my content has been "upgraded" for Mountain Lion use.
    • Trying a different HDD in the OptiBay (that I don't have; I'd need to buy one), because it may be a problem with the way the OS is seeing this specific HDD.
    • Trying the SSD hacks mentioned above.
    • Clean-installing Mountain Lion on the SSD if another HDD didn't work in the OptiBay as well.

    So this is what I have to say: I'm out of ideas. I'm currently a QA Engineer by profession and have done almost (see above) every key test I can do to determine the issue, and nothing. I give up trying to figure it out by myself.


    Thanks in advance people, and I'm looking forward to what you all can come up with.

    ~ Nick
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    I would suggest you try these two since they don't cost you anything. Also, Windows and OS X are programmed differently and may be handling the hardware configuration differently, so just focus on getting it working on OS X.
    Also, if you can't resolve the issue, keep in mind that getting a FW800 (up to around 80MB/s) enclosure will usually be able to handle higher throughputs than most all current HDDs (up to around 70-80MB/s). This means that having your HDD in an external FW800 enclosure should see no speed differences vs internal (other than minor latency differences).
     
  3. The Tourer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #3
    I plan on it tonight, I just haven't had time (12 hour workdays, ugh). I'll post the results after it's done.


    I already have a FW800 drive and two USB drives (one portable, one not) that work wonderfully for storing music in iTunes. The problem is, I should not have to carry around a drive with me when I have an internal SATA connection available. I'm always on the go and I ALWAYS use iTunes, so an external solution, while working, isn't exactly optimal. :(

    Thanks for the suggestions though!
     
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #4
    While we are still discussing other options, have you looked into SD cards? They may be slower than other storage, but at 2-6 MB/s access speeds, that's more than fast enough for music (usually at 0.256 MB/s). The plus side is that the SD card will fit inside your machine for easier toting. I looked up some prices and 64GB looks to be running for around $70 USD.
     
  5. The Tourer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #5
    Very interesting idea, but it's not going to help with my 115 GB iTunes library, of which a lot is ALAC lossless.
     
  6. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #6
    128GB SD cards do exist, but are at least double the cost of the 64GB cards. The card I linked reported read and write speeds not far from what many HDDs have.
     
  7. The Tourer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #7
    Yeah, I've seen those, but at that price range, I'm already over the cost of getting a second 120GB SSD (or larger). If I'm going to buy more storage media, it's going to be in the name of size (if I need to buy a new HDD, I'll buy a 750GB/7200RPM drive).

    Seriously though, I do appreciate the suggestions! :)
     
  8. The Tourer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #8
    Update

    My first update for the afternoon... OptiBay out of the Optical Drive Bay, HDD out of the OptiBay, HDD into a USB 2.0 enclosure.

    Rebooted, plugged into USB, movie copies on and off of it with no lag or pauses at USB speeds. More evidence for the "it ain't hardware" cause.

    Leaves me with these options, now reordered to how willing I am to take them on.
    • Swapping the SSD to the OptiBay and the HDD back to its original place.
    • Trying the SSD hacks mentioned above.
    • Clean-installing Mountain Lion on the SSD if another HDD didn't work in the OptiBay as well.
    • Trying a different HDD in the OptiBay (that I don't have; I'd need to buy one), because it may be a problem with the way the OS is seeing this specific HDD.
    • Downgrading to Lion and seeing if the problem persists (I'd rather not, now that a lot of my content has been "upgraded" for Mountain Lion use.
     
  9. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #9
    This guide states that the SSD should be in the optical bay for your 2010 model, so maybe the issue has to do with the HDD in the optical bay? I think I remember reading somewhere of how OS X treats the SATA connection to the optical bay differently than the HDD bay.
     
  10. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #10
    I used to have almost the exact same setup (I had a OCZ Vertex 3, but it's the same old Sandforce 2xxx chipset). As I recall, it is a firmware issue on the SSD.

    Also, I believe the SSD won't work in the Optibay. There is an bug that SATA III thru the Optibay will fail, but it maybe worth trying to swap the two to see if Apple fixed the bug.
     
  11. The Tourer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #11
    AH YAY I was hoping somebody else with a similar issue would chime in!

    Yes, I did indeed verify the latter a few minutes ago: swapping them (SSD in OptiBay, HDD in drive bay) results in not being able to boot from ANYTHING. That includes Mountain Lion on the SSD -or- Windows 7 on the HDD. Holding "option" at boot shows them all, but choosing anything causes an instant crash shutdown.

    My next idea was to test to see if the SSD in the OptiBay could be written and read from another OS boot, so I put the HDD in the drive bay and the Optical Drive back into its place (the original factory config). Tried booting to a Snow Leopard DVD to install onto the HDD so I had something to check the SSD from, and it wouldn't boot from the DVD at all.

    As such, I've put the SSD back into the drive bay, and the optical drive into the optical drive bay. I'm taking this thing into Apple tomorrow morning and making them fix the no-DVD-boot issue and seeing if that fixes any of this, because if there's some other hardware issue causing this, they might as well fix it for me.

    That being said, here's where I'm at:
    • Checked Kingston's site, they do indeed have a firmware update but only Windows and Linux installers for it. Does this mean I can install it from Windows 7 and have it still work for Mac?
    • If worst comes to worst, F%$# IT, I'LL BUY A 512GB SSD and put all my content on it. $400 ain't too too bad.

    My question is, however, why how would the SSD's firmware issues cause the HDD to be slow at reading? Sorry, I'm a high-level programmer and have no experience with low-level stuff aside from a single class in processor architecture, lol.

    Thanks for the input man!
     
  12. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #12
    Yes, the firmware is held on the SSD drive once you install it. No guarantees a firmware install will fix things but it wouldn't hurt to try. Also make sure to backup your SSD before you apply a firmware update in case something goes wrong and it erases everything.

    It could be locking up the drive controller.
     
  13. noodile macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #13
  14. romanowired macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    #14
    Hi, I can see that this thread is old but I'm with the same problem: SSD installed on primary bay and 500Gb Sata3 HDD on the Optical Bay on a macbook pro 13 mid2009.
    The speed in SSD is great, but in HDD is close to zero. In Blackmagic speed test my SSD rates 160mb/s read and 260mb/s write, on opticalbay's installed HDD it reaches the maximum of 3mb/s, sometimes 1mb/s in both read and write.
    Have other HDD on USB enclusure that speeds 33 and 69mb/s read and write respectively.

    Did you guys solved the problem with speed in opticalbay HDD?
    before that confuguration my SSD was at the opticalbay and reading fast but only 1.5Gbits/s and I was told to put it on the primary and now it gets 3Gbits/s at system report and the speed test is almost double the speed.

    If someone could help, please give me a sign!

    cheers from Rio.
    romano
     
  15. danny221 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    #15
    Same here

    Hello,

    I am having this same issue as well, was it ever resolved?

    Thank you.

    2013 13" MBP (non-retina obviously)
    Crucial M4 512GB in main bay
    Seagate 1TB SSHD in Optibay
     
  16. SgtP3pp3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Honduras
    #16
    Same (or at least very similar problem) here.

    I have my 13" Mid 2012 MBP setup with an optibay caddy where the Superdrive used to be. I've had this setup for about 6 months. I have a 750 Gb Momentus XT set up in the main bay, and a 750Gb Toshiba HDD (from an older mac) set up in the optibay.

    All i have in the 2ndary hard drive (optibay), is my iPhoto Library and backups.

    This week while I was trying to use iPhoto I found that it was exaggeratedly slow. At first I didn't think much about it because everything else was working perfectly and I thought it was a problem with the iPhoto library needing to be restructured... but then I remembered the iPhoto library was setup in the 2nd HDD. So i started trying to access other files in the 2nd HDD, and I found that it would take forever for my mac to access those files.

    My first thought was the HDD dying, so i tried to salvage the info, but the copying over of 162 Gb would take (by OSX's estimates) 14 days to complete. So I figured screw that. I tried verifying the disk, and repairing using Disk Utility in the recovery partition, and everything would come back flawless. At this point i figured it might not be the disk after all. So i tried removing it from the optibay and setting it up as an external drive thru a USB port, and Voila! it worked.

    Now, after the initial panic of losing my info is over, i'm left wondering what the heck the problem really was. I'm thinking it might be the SATA cable, or the optibay caddy itself going bad.

    I haven't run any significant updates to OSX so I'm not ready to blame it for the problem yet. But then again, since the updates are listed to make themselves automatically, im not sure if any updates could be to blame over the last week.

    I'm going to try setting up another HDD into the optibay and see if that works, or at least try this one again. Maybe the SATA cable came loose. Or maybe it is an OSX issue.

    If anyone has any additional info on this problem please post it up. By the time I had fixed this I had already ordered a replacement SSD, and I'm thinking it might have been for nothing. Well, i guess not for nothing, but not for what I initially had planned.
     
  17. SgtP3pp3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Honduras
    #17
    Ok, so i bought a brand spanking new samsung SSD for the main bay and it works great. At this point i took the HDD out of the optibay caddy and removed all the info. Had a few read errors, but i attribute it to damaged files, and not so much hardware.

    I say this because i installed my Momentus XT into the optibay, and although this drive was working perfectly well int he main bay, now it is going really really slow. So i think this confirms its not the HDD. I dont think its software because i clean installed Mavericks on the SSD. I ran a hardware test (Apple Hardware Test), and it came back fine.

    My windows partition will not even boot up with an HDD in the optibay. So at this point i dont think its software either.

    So if its not the HDD, and its not software related, it has to be either the cable or the optibay caddy. I guess i'll send off for both and changeth em out. But i am more doubtful of the caddy thant he cable, since the cable is the original one.

    If i have any luck, i'll let u guys know.
     
  18. SgtP3pp3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Honduras
    #18
    Alright... so before shelling out more cash i decided to try out the cable by switching in my superdrive... and surprise surprise: it's working fine! I tested it playing a DVD, and it had no lag, no problems.

    So at this point I'm looking at the optibay caddy pretty suspiciously... so i set it up inside the enclosure I had for the superdrive (basically a SATA-USB fitted for a superdrive, which is in-coincidentally exactly the right size for the optibay caddy) and set up a hard drive inside the optibay and try it out on my mac...

    FML

    It works fine too.

    At this point I have absolutely no idea what the hell the problem really is.

    CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP?

    I didn't try resetting the PRAM, but i have no idea if this would be helpful at all. I could try this later... I am just not up for taking this thing apart again for the umpteenth time in the past three hours.

    Like I said before, i didn't think it was software related because i did a clean install of mavericks on the new SSD. However I did later use migration assistant to bring over mostly apps and network settings.

    Summary:
    Harddrives have extremely slow speeds when connected thru the optibay on my mac, but normal speeds when connected thru a USB. However, the same SATA connection works fine when I use it for the Superdrive. The optibay is working fine when connected to a USB thru a SATA-USB converter.
     
  19. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #19
    Swapping in the optical isn't a great test as it will sync at 1.5G max vs 3G or 6G of an HDD, could be the controller (on the logic board), or cable is only failing at the higher data rates.
     
  20. sneak3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #20
    Thats so damn weird man.

    I have a mid 2012 15" mbp which has reliable 6GB SATA for both main bay and optical bay.

    I had SSD on main bay and HDD on optical bay and I started to have all sorts of problems. Crashes, hangings, everything. I thought it was the cable too, so I booted on windows 7 and ran HD tune pro along with HD sentinel. Did some benchmarks and nothing showed up. That confirms SATA cable is fine and datadoubler is fine as well.

    Now I'll try to put the HDD on the main bay and SSD on the optical bay. Ill see what happens.

    It's a long shot but I risk saying that Apple might have pushed a system update screwing our setup...
     
  21. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #21
    Any EFI update would need installing by the owner, there hasn't been one in a while AFAIK.
     
  22. SgtP3pp3r, May 15, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2014

    SgtP3pp3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Honduras
    #22
    I think you're right. It probably is the cable, as i'm almost certain it isnt the caddy (i've been using the disk inside ALOT), without any problems. Is there any way this could be software related?

    In my case the problem started BEFORE buying the SSD, so it has nothing to do with a firmware fix for the SSD like i read in other threads. Also, when I installed the SSD, I clean installed Mavericks on it (i was on the latest update before, and am on the latest now). After the install I used migration assistant to import applications and settings. I dont know to what extent it might carry over those settings. I tried booting windows, but the problem was with the optibay in the mac, windows would hang on start up. I dont even understand why it hangs if the startup disk was the SSD, and it works perfectly fine when the optibay isnt in the mac.

    By the way, anyone know what the small switch on the side of the optibay caddy does? At this point im just curious. I saw it while fiddleling, and there are no markings, or info on what this switch does. I havent touched it either. My optibay caddy is an MCE Optibay Caddy that i bought last year off of OWC, along with an external superdrive enclosure.
     
  23. SgtP3pp3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Honduras
    #23
    Ok, so i substituted the SATA Cable and still have the same problems. I couldn't even format the drive when the caddy is inside my mac.

    I'm at wits end. The caddy works when using the drive as an external USB so i have no idea why it won't work inside my computer.

    Could this still be the caddy???
     

Share This Page