Issue-free SSD/HDD dual-drive MacBook configurations

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ripcity, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. ripcity macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    It appears that swapping out the optical drive for a HDD or SSD isn't as trouble free as we mac folks would like it to be. Finding answers is even more difficult given all of the different drive configurations and two possible boot drive locations multiplies the problem. I've personally spent way too much time and money on something that was meant to be a cheap upgrade.

    Does anyone have any trouble free configurations that they can share? I can start by listing what doesn't work, problem encountered, remedies that failed:

    HDD bay:Intel 40GB x25-v
    OP bay caddy:newmodeus PATA-SATA
    OP bay drive:WD 500GB scorpio blue
    Problem:erratic drive behavior; excessive load cycling
    Failed remedies:hdapm (perhaps the PATA-SATA conversion interferes with this remedy?)

    HDD bay:WD scorpio blue 500GB
    OP bay caddy:newmodeus PATA-PATA
    OP bay drive:Transcend 16GB SLC
    Problem:erratic kernel panic upon "light" sleep when lid is closed (hibernate off)
    Failed remedies:SmartSleep, "sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0"

    What worked for you? What didn't?
  2. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    While I don't have specific experience here, I do know that the boot drive should be the one in the actual HDD slot, not the converted optical drive slot. The computer looks to that slot when waking from sleep.
  3. VictoriaStudent, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

    VictoriaStudent macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2010
    13 mid-2010 mbp, 2.66Ghz...came w/4 GB RAM and stock 320GB HDD.

    purchased 60GB OWC SSD and opti-bay data doubler. using 60GB OWC SSD as boot drive where HDD used to sit, moved 320GB stock HDD to former optic-drive spot.

    No issues. Sleep, startup, etc. all completely normal. The Mercury Extreme Pro 60GB SSD is even running the older firmware 320A13F0.
    Boot times are around 15-17 seconds or so, etc.

    ps: as an aside...about 45 days after installing the SSD...the motherboard fried and was replaced under warranty. Boot times decreased (became faster) -after- logic board replacement...and battery life significantly improved.

    before logic board replacement: LCD at lowest light setting, no wireless, and using SSD lightly (saving just very occasionally and opening programs very, very occasionally, etc) got me about 9-10 hours battery life. Now I see around 12-14 hours battery life post-logic board replacement. Also, my MBP runs much more cool-to-the-touch. This is subjective, and not exactly measured with a stopwatch or anything.
  4. ripcity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    A variation that does work

    HDD bay:empty
    OP bay caddy:newmodeus PATA-PATA
    OP bay drive:Transcend 16GB SLC
    Problem:none, though hibernatemode had to be manually be set to 0 in the file as "sudo pmset" commands in Terminal and SafeSleep were not working (i.e. after performing the "sudo pmset" commands and even installing and running SafeSleep in sleep-on-sleep mode the plist file still showed hibernatemode set to 3)
  5. SHIFTLife, Jan 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    SHIFTLife macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2008
    Dual Drive Config

    I've got a MacBook with SSD & HDD, and it's working great. My configuration is:

    MacBook 5,1 (Aluminum Unibody 13")
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600
    4GB Crucial PC3-8500 RAM (2x2GB)
    Intel X25-M 120GB SSD in Primary HDD bay (next to battery)
    Western Digital Scorpio Black 250GB (7200 RPM) in Optical Bay

    This setup has been working flawlessly for me for the past two days, and I've used the machine heavily during that time. No lag, no kernel panics, no hanging at all. For all intents and purposes, the system screams now with the SSD set up as the primary drive. I moved my profile folder to the hard drive to avoid filling the SSD to capacity, since I keep a ton of music and pictures in my profile.

    I will say, however, that while the system is fast, I expected more from the boot times. I've got a number of the new MacBook Airs at my office, and they boot up in 9-10 seconds from chime to desktop. Mine is roughly 30 seconds or so, but that's down from the 1 minute to 1:15 it used to take. Would love to have sub-10 second boot times, but what can you do? :)

    For the optical bay caddy, I bought one of these:

    Be warned, however, that this optical bay caddy is actually built to go into the UltraBay of an IBM thinkpad, and as such, needs some minor modification.

    Remove the bezel to get it to fit properly
    1. Unscrew the top metal piece, then lift up the front portions.
    2. Under there, there will be two black screws holding the bezel/faceplate on.
    3. Unscrew those two black screws, then pull the faceplate off.
    4. Screw the top metal portion of the case back on.

    Reuse the screw bracket from the back of the SuperDrive
    1. Remove the little screw bracket from the back of the SuperDrive
    2. Attach that bracket using the screws that held it to the SuperDrive to the back of the new case. (Note: you may have to use the tip of your screwdriver to widen the screw holes on the back of the new case to get the screws to start).
    3. When installing the bay module, screw the module down using the bracket you attached to the back. The module bay does not have the holes in the front of the case like the SuperDrive, so just toss those screws into the box you store your SuperDrive in (if you're not installing it in a USB enclosure).

    Since there are no screws to hold the HDD securely in the new bay module, I used a small piece of double sided tape under the front of the drive to prevent vibration.

    Hope this helps anyone reading. :)

    EDIT: One other note... I disabled the MacBook's built in sudden motion sensor (SMS) since the SSD in the main drive bay doesn't have/need the SMS. I'm pretty sure the Scorpio Black drives have one built in, so I'm not too worried about that. I also disabled "SafeSleep" to avoid writing RAM to the SSD, and deleted the sleepimage file to free up space on the SSD.

    Disable SMS:
    sudo pmset -a sms 0
    Enable SMS:
    sudo pmset -a sms 1
    Check SMS status:
    sudo pmset -g | grep sms
    Disable SafeSleep:
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    Enable SafeSleep:
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3
    Check SafeSleep status: (0 = off, 3=on/default)
    sudo pmset -g | grep hibernatemode
    Delete 'sleepimage' file:
    sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage
    sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage
  6. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    This is correct. Why even ask a question if you're not going to listen to what people answer?
  7. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    Not all Scorpio Black drives do have it. Mine doesn't, and I made sure to get one without so it wouldn't interfere with the internal sensor.
  8. thundar97 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2014
    Wait... You're saying that apple didn't give you grief about the upgrade when they were inspecting your Mac? Our did you replace all the stock innards of the Mac before heading to the apple store...?

Share This Page