Mac Pro Raid Card Removal Question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by alexferrari7, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. alexferrari7 macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2010
    Hello. I have an Early 2009 Mac Pro. I ordered it with the Raid Card installed to use the 15,00 rpm drive that apple offers. Well I no longer need to have that HDD speed and would much rather have bootcamp with windows. I was wondering what it takes to get rid of the raid card and HDD and just put a normal 7200 rpm drive and re install mac OS X. Is there any special wiring that needs to be adjusted? Basically I want to know if I can just take out the Raid card and 15,00 rpm HDD and put in a normal 7200 rpm Drive and re-install mac osx. Obviously without the raid card to be able to use bootcamp. I have searched up and down the net trying to find an answer. Please help. Thank You!
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    nice choice, those RAID cards are pretty bad!

    its literally as easy as it sounds. if you did not want the data/setup that you had of the RAID card - just disconnect everything and pull out the HDDs, you can then put in new 7,200rpm ones in their place. you will have to format the new drives in disk utility to HFS, etcetc.

    what were you going to do with the old 15k drives? use them still? or put them aside?
  3. alexferrari7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2010
    Thank a lot!

    I really appreciate you replying back. I'm just going to put it aside for now. I don't want to seem slow by asking this but The Raid Card Hooks up to the motherboard via a PCI-E slot and a cable. I was wondering if doing what you say just unhooking and taking out the Raid card and the HDD. Do I just leave that wire there? Its not hooked up to anything special? So I can just unplug and take out the raid card and the fast HDD and just hook up a new 7200 rpm drive. Turn on the computer, install Mac OSX and then bootcamp and it will be as though I never had the raid card installed? I ask this because this is a Primary work computer but I really need boot camp on there for a few special programs. So I want to be a sure as possible to not be in a position where I cant get it running again. I don't mean to ask Rhetorical questions. Lol. Thanks so much for the reply.
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    no problems about the replys. happy to help.

    regarding the RAID card, 15,000 RPM hard drive and wires: disconnect the hard drive and pull it out. you can then take out the data cable between the hard drive and RAID card. pull out the RAID card from the PCIe slot and then remove and power cables that were connecting to the RAID card. if the cable isn't plugging into anything, there will be no problem disconnecting it.

    regarding installation of OSX/windows: were you intending on installing both osx and windows on the same disk? there are no issues with that, but i only hope that space will be an issue for you - thats your call.

    can i just ask what programs you plan on using for Windows? are they CPU/RAM intensive? i only ask as it might be feasible for you to possibly run Virtual Machines (such as VMware/Parallels etc) which do not require a reboot into windows every time. they will virtualise an environment and run inside of OSX, saves a lot of time. they are not very practical for CPU/RAM intensive tasks though. just a thought :)

    if you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask!
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    First thing's first: the Apple RAID Pro is a complete pile of steaming, ultra-stinky crap. :eek:

    Now that's out of the way, let's proceed.... :D :p

    Removal is easy. Insert the OS X Installation disk (used later). Shutdown the system, remove the drives, remove the card, install the new SATA drive. Restart, and install OS X (formatting the disk in the process; the ability will present itself).

    But with the later post, there's some confusion as to the actual model of your system (2009 = 4,1 version). The '09 systems transfer the data over copper traces on the board, so there's no wire to the card in these systems. '08 and earlier Intel MP's, do (SFF-8087 end, aka internal MiniSAS).

    Now put all of this aside for just a second. The RAID card is NOT the problem.
    BOOT CAMP IS. It can't work with RAID in any form. But you won't need BC to use a separate disk on one of the SATA ports on the logic board.

    What this means is, you can install the SATA disk in the empty optical bay, attach it to the available cable (power + data in the 2009 systems). That cable goes to one of the SATA ports built into the chipset (ICH Controller that's part of it).

    This separation to a separate controller that's already available in the system will sort you out for a Windows installation. Get the drive physically installed, boot from the Windows DVD, and proceed as you normally would.

    Now if you've an '08 or earlier, the easiest thing to do and retain the RAID card, is to get a separate SATA card that can boot Windows. The SIL3132 cards can do this, and are quite cheap. You'd also need a Molex to SATA power cable, and a SATA data cable to get both signals to the drive (physical location is still in optical bay 2). Kit example (has both the card and the necessary cables for $14USD).

    If you pull it, just reconnect the SFF-8087 cable to the logic board, and use an HDD bay.

    This statement is what lends me to beleive that you've actually an '08 or earlier system.

    If that's the case, and you do pull the RAID card, then that cable needs to be reconnected to the logic board (upper left hand side of the logic board). It has a metal shell, and is fairly easy to spot.

    Please let us know which system you really have, as it does make a difference in this case.

    Now, as per RAID cards, if you do decide you'd like to keep a RAID system, there's much better cards out there that can boot OS X (Areca or ATTO Technology). They're faster, more reliable, can be had with more ports, work with more than one OS, and depending on the port count, can be had cheaper than the Apple RAID Pro (i.e. 4 port cards can be had for $300USD (ARC-1212 @ newegg), though typically $360 for that card. And it's equiped with a single SFF-8087 connector, so you can plug the cable mentioned into the card. Though you'd almost certainly need an extension cable to actually reach it, which is another $75 from MaxUpgrades.

    Even then, it's still cheaper, and it kicks the crap out of Apple's garbage. :D
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    i dont think thats the issue thats concerning him. i think he just wants to get rid of the RAID (from what i can tell its a 1 drive RAID?), and install windows + osx on the one disk (2 partitions).
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    This is what led me to think the way I did, and post accordingly. ;)

    It gave me the clear understanding that the issue was the inablility to run Boot Camp on the array attached to the card (which isn't possible, nor is it with a software based array). That's where a separate controller is needed.

    There may be another way to get it done as well, assuming the system is an '08 or earlier model (i.e. get a breakout cable <example>, and attach it to the SFF-8087 port on the logic board, and one of the SATA ends into the Windows disk located in the empty optical bay).

    Then just get a Molex to SATA power cable to get power to it. Done, and the RAID card is still in tact (if that's what's desired).
  8. vtfix, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    vtfix macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2013
    california, united states
    removing the raid card

    here is the exact steps your need to take.

    1. remove the first hard drive
    2. you will see a black screw holding the fan casing on the mother board. remove that. ( you will need a magnetic screw drivers)
    3. next to the fan ( in the bottom middle) there is a covering. lift from bottom up (put you fingers in from the mother board side)
    4. you will see a silver screw connecting to the fan casing. remove that also
    5. lift the fan casing out
    6. you will see a black plug connected tot he raid card. unplug it.
    7. remove the raid card. ( removing the 2 screws holding it in its slot)
    8. put back the pci screw to hold other cards you may have.
    9. plug the black cable that was removed from the raid card to the mother board. its in the same area. make sure it clicks and its firmly in.
    10. put the fan back in. you will notice there is a slider. make sure it is in its place.
    11. put both screws back
    12. put the cpu cooler covering back. its magnetic (from step. 3)
    13. put your hard drive back.

    you don't have to reinstall the OS. it will boot normally, if you would like to install windows then pop in a new hard drive and install it on that. this way they are seperate and manageable just in case one of them needs to be fixed one day.

    good luck.

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