Installing SATA DVD Drive in MacPro3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mfletcher, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. mfletcher macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009

    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro and recently the DVD Drive has started to fail on it. Specifically the drive wont eject easily. I have to press the eject button several times before it will open. Its a Pioneer model that's susceptible to this kind of problem.

    The drive is a PATA drive, and Im finding it hard to find a decent PATA replacement online. Cant find any on Newegg. I can find used PATA drives online, but Id prefer to buy a new one.

    I read somewhere that theres an additional two SATA connectors on the MacPro 3,1 mobo that I could use to connect a SATA DVD Drive to it, but are there any repurcussions to doing this? For example, if I use a SATA DVD Drive, will I still be able to use it to at boot for installation?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    I would think you could boot from it but someone else hopefully has a more certain answer. From what I understand, those ports are disabled in Boot Camp, so if you run Windows, the drive may not work.
  3. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I have done this with my Mac Pro 3,1 and yes, if I remember correctly, you can boot off it in OSX, I also believe you can do so in bootcamp, I believe the issues with the two extra SATA connectors was that you could not boot your bootcamped HD off them, but I may be wrong about that. In any event you'll need to fish a SATA cable through a small opening at the front of the case to reach the two extra SATA ports, its a bit of a PIA but it can be done. I currently have an LG Bluray burner and a HD connected to those two ports.
  4. LeicaM8 macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2012
    West Michigan
    you shouldn't have any problem slapping an ide/sata adapter on a new sata drive and hooking it up in your 3.1. The ONLY reason I don't state it unequivocably is that I've never actually done it on a MacPro 3.1, but I've used these adapters to hook up a SATA drive in a Dell Tower, to put a sata dvd burner drive in a usb ide housing, and an ide hard drive in a Dell tower with sata.

    You can buy them from TigerDirect for 20-30 bucks or get one on flea-bay for about 5 bucks.
    Note: for space reasons in the MacPro's optical bay the 'flat' low-profile version is likely to be your best bet.

    Yes, I am glad to be using a MacPro 5.1 and no longer trapped in Dell Hell!

    Richard in Michigan
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    SATA optical drive connected to the SATA ports in your 3,1 cannot be used to boot Windows discs.

    There will also be no AHCI in Windows for your SATA drive, but you wouldn't have that with an IDE drive anyway.

    There are still new PATA drives for sale. I did a search on Amazon for "ide dvd drive" and they certainly still exist.
  6. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Yeah, the IDE > SATA adapter will definitely work. There are plenty of them available. Also SATA DVD burner drives are $15-20 now. IDE is more than enough for a SATA optical drive.

    Yes, also eBay is a good place to look at as well. I'm sure you can find an IDE drive for dirt cheap. However, maybe the OP can put in a Blu-ray drive since he has to upgrade anyway.
  7. mfletcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the help - looks like I'll try the IDE/SATA adapter with a SATA drive - that way I have a greater variety of drives to choose from.
  8. mfletcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009

    So went on newegg and bought the following.

    Pioneer Blu Ray / DVD Burner

    Koutech IDE / SATA Adapter

    Installed in my MacPro 3,1 tonight. I can use the drive to read dvd's no problem at all, but as soon as I try to burn something the computer locks up hard. Im suspecting its the IDE / SATA Adapter.

    Can anyone recommend an IDE / SATA adapter that you can use in your MacPro in conjunction with a DVD Burner?
  9. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Why not simply run a SATA data cable (or 2) from the motherboard SATA plugs (there are 2 of them under the fan shroud) and directly connect your SATA BluRay burner instead of fooling around with IDE/SATA converters? The cables are cheap and it is easy to run them up through the front corner of the optical drive bay. You can also get a cheap molex-to-dual SATA-power adapter cable which will power 2 drives if you want a SSD or another HD up there as well.
  10. mfletcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009
    I could do that, but I use bootcamp and I want the drive accessible from Windows. Unfortunately the ODD sata ports are not available to windows.
  11. mfletcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009
  12. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    To re-iterate..

    The ODD ports on 3,1 Mac Pro only work with Mac OS X and booting Mac OS X installers and any Mac applications DVDs.. They WON'T work with booting non-OS X systems.

    Again, in order to make this happen you would need to set up a GRUB boot loader in Linux and order Linux to load the AHCI drivers and then you can boot into Windows. This was a firmware goof up by Apple. Apple crippled the ODD ports - another reason why they don't want you to upgrade.

    I am not sure about the ODD ports on 1,1 and 2,1 Mac Pros. Can someone shed some light on booting non-mac operating systems on those Mac Pros? Maybe Apple did not cripple the firmware on those?
  13. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    If you have a Velocity x2 card with mounted SSD for booting OS X, could you use the second (aux) SATA port on the x2 card to connect to a optical drive and have it useable/bootable in Windows?

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