Install SSD into early 2009 Mac Pro - main bay or extra SATA ports?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pprior, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #1
    When I installed an SSD before, I put it into one of the drive bays using an adaptor (thus losing one of my hard drives). I later sold that SSD and now have 4 normal hard drives in the bays.

    I just got my intel 160gb SSD and am pumped to go home and install it, but I'm wondering if I can use one of the unused SATA ports on my machine. I don't have a nahalem machine, it's an early 2009 model.

    I don't want any problems/flakiness or issues with upgrades, so if it's a "hack" i'll just lose the extra bay.

    However if I can just run a cable and tape the SSD into place and the machine will run normally, then that's what I'll do.

    Any experience or advice appreciated.

    (I've been holding off on my SL upgrade until this drive arrived, so I plan an clean install onto it)
     
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #2
    There is NP with drawing a sata cable like that. OSX detects it NP. But for windows, you will need to install extra drivers. That is the only prob...
     
  3. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #3
    Should have made note: I never boot into windows.

    So I can run completely transparently using one of the extra SATA ports under OSX? How do I get power to the drive - does that come from the SATA cable? (silly question, but I'm not sure!)
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    As you've an '08, you need a Molex to SATA power adapter to draw power from the empty optical bay's Molex power connector. Fortunately, they're common, easy to get, and cheap. :D

    If you're not in a hurry, eBay is a good source for small quantity cable purchases, as they tend to send it via USPS. So the shipping is cheap that way. ;)
     
  5. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #5
    Well now I'm in a hurry since it's burning a hole in my hot little hands :)

    I guess there should be no problem putting it into a normal bay, doing the install and then later moving it to the extra SATA port when I get the adaptor cord. I do have an extra drive in the optical bay, so I'd need a y-cable as well, but given the very low power draw I assume that would not be a problem.
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #6
    For one of the HDD bays, you'd need an adapter. Either way, you need something. But the cable would be easier to find locally, and just mount it in the empty optical bay. An old optical drive's metal housing (one piece is all that's needed), makes a nice mount, is easy to do (drill a few holes), and is cheap (free, assuming you have an old one lying around).

    You can also use Zip Ties. :eek: :D
     
  7. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #7
    I don't have an empty optical bay - I have 2 DVD burners installed.

    I do have a 2.5" adaptor from my last SSD, so I'm going to use that temporarily until I get the extra stuff to install otherwise.

    It's so annoying that a pro workstation has only 4 bays. That is the one thing that really gripes me about the MP. My PC builds routinely had 8 bays.
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #8
    If you do not have the space in the optical bay you do not have many options left. One would be to use an empty PCB without any contacts and mount your SSD on it. Power needs to come from the optical bay or from the PCIe supply by y-cable. If your optical drives are both IDE you could accomodate two SSDs that way and keep all 4 HDDs.

    I'm going to use one SATA ODD only in my 2009 MP and will use the second bay for my Addonics 4x 2,5" internal back plane.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Zip tie it beneath one of the 3.5" HDD's then, and run the necessary cables (Molex Y power splitter with one end feeding the second optical bay, and the other a Molex to SATA power adapter), and a SATA data cable of course to one of the ODD_SATA ports. ;)

    Perhaps not the neatest cable solution on the planet, but it would work. :p
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #10
    I have just installed my SSDs in the optical bay and was a bit surprise how the 2009 is designed. It is very arkward for expansions. Basically the complete power is run into a huge connector on the logic board. Then there is a special bundle of cables from the logic board through the bulk head to the optical bay. On the logic board there are three connectors: two SATA and one micro Molex four pin. On the other side of that cable in the optical bay you have two integrated data and power connectors just like the HDD connectors.

    This is very bad for multiple SSDs in the optical bay. I need a Molex connector for my Addonics back plane and single SATA connectors. So I detached the SATA B from the logic board and fitted a separate SATA cable. from the integrated connector I got power with a special adaptor. I also threaded two more SATA cables from my Areca 1210 card to the optical bay to run three SSDs all together.

    The hole in the bulk head is much smaller than in a 2006 Mac Pro. But it is ok for three to four SATA cables.
     

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