macbookpro4,1 ssd in optical drive bay?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pliez, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. pliez macrumors newbie


    May 5, 2010
    I'm considering getting an ssd to install lion, windows 7 and apps for both operating systems onto ssd which will take the place of my fully functional but unused optical drive. I own a non-unibody 15" 2.4ghz core 2 duo 4gb ram with a 500gb seagate momentus hybrid drive running win7 and latest version of Snow Leopard. The plan is to use my 500gb hybrid as data storage only.
    I have a few questions:
    Is it possible to install ssd in the optical drive bay? (obviously I would need to get an internal caddy. )
    Should i install the ssd in the current hd bay and the seagate hybrid in the optical drive bay area? or keep the hybrid hd in the hd bay and put the new ssd in the optical drive bay? bearing in mind the ssd will be what the mac boots from for both operating systems?
    Can my mac support sata II & sata III? It is my understanding that SATA III has a faster connection but can my mac even take advantage of that?

    Any help would be much appreciated

  2. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    1.) Your MBP cannot take advantage of SATA III.

    2.) You can mount the SSD in either location. I have my SSD in the optical bay.

    3.) That caddy is fine, but it's rather expensive. You should be able to find something for half that price, though it might not be as attractive.

    There are advantages/disadvantages to where you mount the SSD. If you mount it in the optical bay, you won't be able to wake the computer from hibernation if you run out of battery life and data from unsaved programs will be lost. (afaik) Solution, of course, is to not run completely out of battery life OR to save things before putting the computer to sleep. I disabled hibernation mode entirely and recovered the 6GB of space on my SSD it would have otherwise taken up for the hibernation file. and in the 2 years I've had my MBP setup with double-HDDs, I've never had a problem with losing any data or running out of battery life, so it's a win-win for me (faster shutdown AND an additional 6GB of SSD space freed).

    Good luck and get ready for a 3-fold increase in speed.
  3. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    I did this with my 2010 13" MBP and it was a piece of cake. I put the SSD in the normal HDD space since I had read that placing it in the optical drive space keeps the computer from waking from sleep, and I rarely shut down. The increase in speed was incredible. Now I'm on a 2011 MBA and it isn't much faster than the SSD setup I had in the MBP. It was the best upgrade that I ever made.
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I'm not sure there are caddies made for the 4,1, and I believe the optical drive is connected by PATA, not SATA.
  5. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    For the record, the computer is not prevented waking from sleep. It's Hibernation mode that doesn't function properly. If you don't use Hibernation mode (which stores all the open program information on the SSD in a ~6GB file every time you close the clamshell) and only use sleep, putting the SSD in the optical bay makes the most sense.

    If you put the SSD in the main bay, the HDD losses shock protection, making it vulnerable to damage if dropped. You also lose SMART protection. Unless you're an avid user of Hibernation mode, I don't recommend putting the SSD in the main bay. No, put it in the Optical bay drive, disable hibernation mode and you can (1) keep peace of mind about the safety of your HDD, (2) recover 6GB of space on your SSD (and space on an SSD is still precious, and (3) enjoy faster sleeping thanks to Hibernation mode being disabled.

    The only time I don't give this advice is if you have a SATA III-capable 2011 MBP where SATA III only works in the main bay. That's a function of when you bought your 2011 (earliest models only have SATA III enabled on the main bay afaik). Those owners should mount their SSD in the main bay to take advantage of the maximum speeds their SATA III SSD can offer. But this doesn't apply to owners of MBP's prior to April 2011.

    now that would be a problem. OP, you should definitely look into this matter and clarify the type of connecter it uses.
  6. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    Good to know. I was following the advice posted here.
  7. pliez thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 5, 2010
    Thanks everyone for all the replies, really appreciate the help.

    With regards to the optical drive connector being SATA PATA, how do i find out and if it is pata then am i doomed!?


    Firmware Revision: AP12
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipping Drive)
    Cache: 2048 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
    Media: To show the available burn speeds, insert a disc and choose View > Refresh

    Thats what i got from system profiler. But i don't think that tells me anything, how can i find out, all i can say is i bought this mac from apple online on september the 22nd about 10 days before the new unibodies came out (i had seen the case on appleinsider and i wasn't a fan of spaced out keys, i like my chamfered ones!) I did have the cd drive replaced a year ago, but i suppose that doesn't make a difference.

    Any clues as to how to determine PATA or SATA would be great!



    p.s £20 seems like a bargain for an ssd enclosure? cheaper than optibay thingy?
  8. chazmuzz macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011

    I also have a MacbookPro4,1, and that's the caddy you want. I bought one about a week ago and it fits in perfectly. In my case, I put in an extra 1TB hard drive and not an SSD.

    Can anyone confirm that upgrading the 5400rpm 250GB that OSX runs off to a 128GB 3GB/s SSD will get me a three fold increase in speed? I am interested in SSD but not convinced that it will provide me with that much extra umph.
  9. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    That was the upgrade that I made, and I'd say 3x is accurate in terms of start-up and app-loading speeds. It's an obvious upgrade.
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    You may want to look at a teardown on iFixit, or crack your open and check?
  11. neenja macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
    i also have a 4,1 and its IDE PATA. I've been lookin for someone who got an optibay for their 4,1 and I'm insanely happy I found this thread this morning. I'm about to log into my ebay account and purchase the one chaz just linked to.

    Also wanted to ask, for the ones that are using an SSD currently, which one do you have? Stable so far? I'm looking to get at least 128gb ssd.

    As far as guides with installation, I believe iFixit has some good stuff on how to get the optibay and ssd in. But do you have any guides to follow on how to get the SSD to act as the bootdrive and such?

    I plan on leaving my hdd in the mainbay as recommended by adrian1480, I never hibernate my mbp and only use sleep.


    Also, whats the best way to go with the bootcamp install? I currently use win7 in a bootcamp partition for gaming.
  12. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    It's going to be very slow in the optical bay, just an FYI.
  13. neenja macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
  14. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    That won't work - your current HD is SATA. With a pre-unibody, you're almost better not noodling with a optibay, because the interface to the bay is ATA and thus slow relative to SATA. You COULD get a SATA SSD and put it in the HDD bay and then get an IDE drive for the optibay, but ATA/IDE drives are much more expensive for the capacity you get.

    For the money involved, why not just sell yours and get a unibody model? All the unibody models have SATA to both the HDD and optical drive bays.
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008

    Edit: Nevermind, misread you.
  16. pliez thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 5, 2010
    SSD AND ATA/IDE or Just accept defeat?

    hmmm, maybe i should just stop pimping out my mac! Installing my Hybrid HD has given me a taste for upgrading, plus my brothers 2011 mbp is getting an SSD in an attempt to beat my startup time, which it probably will :( an SSD would be the only way to compete! It just seems a shame seeing as i don't use the optical drive. i just bought a 500GB 7200rpm which i put in a firewire icybox from datatale (highly recommend btw) which i use for time machine so i don't really want to buy more Hardrives than i have too. so buying an IDE HD as well as an SSD is one step too far.

    huh? what are you trying to say? could you please elaborate?

    Glad this thread is helpful even if i don't end up getting an SSD at least someone is going to use the information in this thread.

    I never hibernate either although i do in windows 7 so i wonder if having the SSD in the optical bay would mean i could no longer hibernate windows 7?

    I highly recommend using twocanoes winclone application and cloning your existing bootcamp partition onto the new SSD.;main it seems the developers have stopped developing but it works fine with snow leopard, i cannot vouch for lion as don't use it yet. this site may hold the answer to that question. the second post on the following website is useful for how to use winclone


    p.s if upgrading to lion should i delete my bootcamp partition first or should i leave it? I run windows 7 home premium 64bit.
  17. neenja macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
    i dont plan on getting lion anytime soon, if ever. from what i read on reviews, it seems like lion is equivalent of vista.
  18. pliez thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 5, 2010

    Just got lion it works very well, no problems at all, just did a simple upgrade not a clean install. took about 30-40mins on my hybrid drive to do. It didn't delete my bootcamp windows 7 partition and everything works as normal. i miss spaces though, that is the only negative.


    going to install SSD on my brothers 2011 mbp 13" tonight with a clean install and then winclone transfer his bootcamp. I'll keep you updated.

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