Just installed my old HDD in place of the Optical Drive, have questions about Sata

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by had0ukenn, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. had0ukenn macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2013
    Running an Early 2011 MBP 13"

    16 GB Ram

    512 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD in Main bay

    Old stock 320 GB HDD via OWS Data Doubler in place of Optical Drive

    My old HDD still has some old data and OS Mt. Lion running since before I used it to clone it to my SSD. I tried booting from it and wanted to transfer some stuff from iPhotos but it became so unresponsive, very slow. I want to eventually completely reformat it so I can just use it to store media/docs/etc. but was wondering if it will become unresponsive as it is now?

    I also had some question about the 3 Gb/s and 6 Gb/s Sata for my optical drive. I know the Main bay can hold and run 6 Gb/s perfectly fine, but it is showing this for my HDD in the optical drive:

    Vendor: Intel

    Product: 6 Series Chipset

    Link Speed: 6 Gigabit

    Negotiated Link Speed: 3 Gigabit

    Physical Interconnect: SATA

    Description: AHCI Version 1.30 Supported

    Does this mean my optical drive can only run at 3 Gb/s or Is it probably because my HDD can only run at 3 Gb/s? Not sure how much of a difference it will make.
  2. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    It means that your HDD is currently connected at 3gb/s (SATA II), but the controller port supports 6Gb/s (SATA III).

    It can be connected at SATA II speeds due to a flaky cable, improperly seated cable, or simply because the HDD is a SATA II drive. I doubt it's that last one, unless Apple made it a habit of shipping those systems with a SATA II drive attached to a SATA III port (not typically their style.)

    Assuming it is a SATA III drive: Check the cable (reseat or replace.) If the issue persists, then swap out the drive.

    Also, FWIW, a single mechanical laptop drive won't be able to saturate a SATA II pipe, let alone a SATA III one. It would need to hit a transfer rate of over ~300MB/s to fill up SATA II.
  3. alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    Perhaps you could search for the HDD part number to see if it supports SATA-III speeds (6Gb/s) as most SATA laptop drives are 3 Gb/s (or slower) and most optical drives are 1.5Gb/s.
  4. had0ukenn, Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

    had0ukenn thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2013
    I just read something about how the Early 2011 MBP models came with SATA 3 but the circuitry was not designed for it, since apple didnt expect users to take out the super drive. Heres an excerpt from the article:

    "BACKGROUND: A few months after the release of the Early 2011 MacBook Pro, Apple quietly changed the top speed of the optical bay SATA port, to which the SuperDrive (DVD Drive) is connected, from SATA-II (3 Gigabit, 3Gb/s) to SATA-III (6 Gigabit, 6Gb/s). The SuperDrive connects there at SATA-I (1.5 Gigabit) speed and Apple designed the corresponding SATA circuitry to accommodate that speed as they never imagined customers would remove the SuperDrive in order to install a high performance storage device in that location. As a result, only SATA-I and SATA-II (3 Gigabit) devices function there reliably and SATA-III devices, such as the newer 9.5mm 1TB/7200RPM and 1.5TB/5400RPM hard drives from HGST which we are addressing on this page, as well as hybrid drives, and Solid State Drives (SSDs), do not. Symptoms include: beachballing, system freezes, excruciatingly slow data transfers, and sometimes the device may not even be recognized by the system at all."

    Full article:

    Unfortunately, the HDD I'm referring to seems to be the HGST model. Does this mean my drive can only support SATA 1/2 even though it showing SATA 3?

    Edit: Actually, it seems like the article may have been a bit outdated, because this new article mentions that an EFI firmware update 2.2 fixed the issue for early 2011 MBP 13"

  5. had0ukenn thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2013
    I guess my HDD is SATA 2 - 3.0 Gb/s

    But this doesn't explain why it would be acting up. I checked these cables to make sure they were in, and they are. I actually had to replace the hard drive cable for the main bay because it was bad, but that shouldn't affect the optical drive, would it?

  6. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    It could still be the cable. The main bay cable wouldn't have anything to do with the optibay cable having issues. They would be mutually exclusive issues.

    It is possible that the optibay cable was damaged during surgery. Or the drive just may be having compatibility issues (with reference to that URL you posted above ... although I look at that with a raised eyebrow, because that company is, after all, selling a product that "fixes" the shortcoming that they describe, so I question their motives there, and as you added it was fixed with an update by Apple.. Has your system had that update applied to it? I'm assuming it has, and you're still having the problem, otherwise you probably wouldn't be asking for further help.)

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