How to install a fifth hard drive in Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Fiercehairdo, May 24, 2009.

  1. Fiercehairdo macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Can anyone provide me with clear instructions on how to install a fifth hard drive into the optical bay of a 2008 Mac Pro?

    I have sourced a bracket and that bit seems clear but I'm unsure of how to connect the cables. It looks a little tricky.

    Instructions or a web link would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks!
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Just plug 'em in. If you have an IDE drive, use the stuff that is already up there for the ODDs. If you have a SATA drive, rout a SATA cable from one of the open ports on the motherboard.

    That'll do. Just don't break a cable like they did; buy an actual elbow cable.
  3. noushy macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2008
    Detroit, MI

    You can use a standard sata cable, just have to remove the fan bracket assembly which takes about 2 minutes, carefully route the wire (or wires if you use both sata connectors) to the optical bay and replace the fan assembly. The same way you install an apple raid card (or caldigit) by disassembling, will help you with the location of the screws (2 of them) and the magnetic cover on the heatsink assemblies for the cpu.

  4. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    The Caldigit card is only compatible with their solution. Their miniSAS version is only compatible with their storage only.
    You can also try Areca and it is fully compatible with 10.5.7 (apple built-in areca's driver) + it is fully copatible with any miniSAS solution.
  5. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007

    I'm in the middle of trying to do this now. It is a colossal pain in the arse! I am trying to install a SATA drive. The only extra cable I have is an internal Serial ATA cable with elbow sockets. From various info I can gather it now seems I need a "SATA to ATA/IDE adapter". Is this correct?? What cables exactly do I need to connect a fifth hard drive.

    Please help. My head hurts...:(
  6. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    A SATA cable will need to connect to the motherboard from your drive, whereas I believe there is already an IDE connection up in the second drive bay, which would make for easier cabling, but slower drive connection speeds.
  7. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    OK. I've figured out I don't need that. 'Cause I'm running a SATA cable straight into the motherboard. Right? But how do I power the HDD??
  8. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Yeah, I see now. But do I need to connect power to the drive? And if so, how?
  9. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    If it is a regular 3.5" drive, shouldn't it use the same power connector as the second optional drive would, meaning the power is already in the bay?
  10. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Well that's what I thought too. But I can't see how. I'm installing a Seagate Barrcuda 7200.11 1TB drive. As far as I can see the power supply in the optical bay is from a Molex cable (?). But I can't see anywhere that this could connect to the hard drive.
    Is there some convertor that would enable the connection.

    As you can see I am something of an amateur when dealing with the internal organs of computers...
  11. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    OK, I think I've figured it. I need a Molex to SATA connector. Does this sound right?
  12. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
  13. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    One of those cables looks like it would do the trick. Are you sure that the motherboard isn't already providing power though?
  14. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    To be honest I'm not sure. But from what I can gather there is supposed to be some Molex connection. THis guy mentions it halfway down the page:
  15. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    I know that older SATA drives have a molex power port, so maybe that is why? If your drives don't have a molex port, you will have no choice but to buy the adapter (unless there is already a SATA power plug somewhere in the case)
  16. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Thanks man. Just ordered the adaptor. Had a bit of a melt down there.
  17. Fiercehairdo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Can I just point out that this was a major pain in the arse to do. Admittedly, I'm not a computer geek but you make it sound like its a simple matter of just "plug 'em in". Dude! I had to remove the fan assembly, remove the heat sink cover, carefully route the SATA cable into all sorts of tricky areas. All the while worrying that I'm potentially damaging a very expensive piece of hardware. Not fun!
  18. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Mine is currently rigged for 6 SATA HDDs. Although I had 6 connected at first I now only have 5 connected but it will be 6 again soon.

    Here's the steps I took:
    1. Remove the case side panel,

    2. Remove all HDDs or at least the one in bay 1,

    3. Remove the CPU shroud (pry up-out and twist),

    4. Remove the dual front intake fan assembly (single screw - pull straight up),

    5. Remove the ODD cage (pull straight up),

    6. Disconnect the ODD drive,

    7. Before connecting the SATA cables to anything lace them through the hole in the front-bottom of the PSU/ODD tray thingy. It's about a 1 square inch hole and you can see some ODD cables coming up through it already. (Don't force anything - when in the right position they slide through easily!),

    8. If you used an elbow cable as one of the SATA cables then just connect the cables and take up the tension so that most of the cable is up top (be sure to use 3.0 GB/s rated cables!),

    9. If you bought straight cable connectors then you need to clip off a 1" piece of the plastic from the fan assembly. If your machine is still under warrantee this is probably not recommended. Mine was out of service and the shop didn't have elbow 3.0 GB/s cables so I just clipped mine. It's a useless piece of plastic and they actually thread and route much better with straight connector types (if you're worried about cracking the plastic by "clipping it" just use a soldering iron to melt-cut the area out),

    10. If you're installing two drives you do not need a bracket but you will need to check the drives everytime you transport your MacPro - to make sure the bottom one didn't slip forward where the ODD cage-guide could cause a short. To install two HDDs under the ODD partially replace the ODD cage and then set one HDD on the bottom of the cage pulled forward all the way and over the top of the ODD cage-guide, Set the second HDD on top of the first but pushed all the way back (this will ensure that each HDD has enough air flowing over it to remain cool. With two HDDs in place there's no space between them and the top/bottom of the cage so they won't slip around unless jared strongly),
      Make sure that the HHD is positioned over the ODD cage-guide head in such a way the it's sticking up into an empty area of the drive and not into the PWB (circuit board) area!

    11. If you're installing a single HDD under the ODD then you need to use a standard 5.25 --> 3.5" ($2.50) bracket so set the bracket, set the HDD, and partially slide the ODD cage back into place,

    12. Connect the power cables, connect the data cables you laced through earlier (I believe the data cables I used were 50 cm in length),

    13. Work backwards to reassemble your MacPro,

    14. Done.

    Keep in mind that to anyone who has worked on a PC before this is all pretty much common sense just by looking. So I can see why someone would say: Just connect the cables and go. :D


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