MBP 13" Early 2011 Loud and slow after replacing optical drive with HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CEmajr, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    I have a MBP 13" early 2011 2.7GHz i7, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD.

    Due to constantly running out of space on the SSD I decided to replace the optical drive with a 1TB HDD. Took the Optical drive out and put the HDD in with no issues. Now once it booted up I noticed that everything is extremely slow and laggy. Even opening up Finder gets the loading symbol before finally opening up. The computer is also obnoxiously loud now. Not sure whether it's the fan or the HDD but it sounds like it's the HDD. Checked the activity monitor and it says that there is 12GB of free RAM so that isn't the issue. Anyone experienced this or have any ideas?

    This is the hard drive I bought

  2. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    My guess is it's because you're using a 6Gbps SATA 3 HDD in there. Since Apple decided to run a super thin cable for their SATA connection, it's hit or miss if your mbp is going to able to run at SATA 3 speeds in the optical bay. (Apple only has to certify that port for SATA 1/2 speeds as DVD drives don't run at 6 Gbps)

    Despite what many places say, the ability to run a SATA 3 drive there is really random. Most, but not all MBP 13 can do it (unfortunately, yours sounds like it can't), it's a really gamble on the mbp 15/17 as they have a much worse track record.

    The added noise is from having a mechanical HDD installed in a bay that has no vibration dampening. Notice the stock HDD location has rubber stops where the drive is mounted.

    I got around this by installing an 'old' Intel G2 160GB SATA 2 SDD in my ODD and a SATA 3 Samsung 830 256gb in the 'regular' bay.
  3. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    Yep. This. 2011 MBP's have known issues with SATA III 6Gbps drives in optibay. Find a SATA II 3Gbps drive and it should be good to go.
  4. CEmajr thread starter macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Wow that sucks. Looks like I'll have to send this one back and order another one.
  5. hamiltonDSi macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    I don't get it.
    Why is the OS laggy/slow when it's installed on the SSD which is in the main bay ?
    If the HDD is in the Optical bay it should be slow only when you are accessing files from it.
  6. CEmajr thread starter macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    I don't get it either. I guess the guys above saying the 2011 MBP had issues with 6gb/s drives were right. I returned that one and ordered a 3gb/s drive of identical size and everything is working perfectly. Feels good to have a usable computer again. Also the computer is running silently again too so no more loud noise.

    Thanks for the help guys.
  7. petey2281 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    CEmjr - I am having the same issue with computer running slow and loud. However I decided to take out the HHD and put back in the optical drive. It is still running extremely slow and loud. Did you have to do anything else to get it working properly?
  8. uller6 macrumors regular


    May 14, 2010
    Reseat the SATA cables

    I had this same issue with my 2010 MacBook Pro 13". After replacing my optical drive with a mechanical hard drive the computer was incredibly slow and loud, even though my boot drive was the ssd I had installed in the original hard drive bay.

    Solution: I took the computer apart again check to see if anything was wrong and noticed both of the sata cables were partially unseated. I took both drives back out, unplugged and plugged them back in, and then reinstalled them and out the commuter back together. Problem solved. My mbp works as it should: fast.

    Remember to reset the pram after installing the new hard drive in the optical bay slot.
  9. lmarx macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2015
    Ok, I know this is a bit late, but I'm desperate and this was the only place where I found a descriptiom of thr same problem I'm having. I also replaced the optical drive with the old HD I had and everything got sluggish and slow. I put back the optical drive but things continued to be slow, despite the fact that I'm only using my SDD now. Please, does anyone have any suggestion of how I can get things working well again? I already gave up the idea of having a second HD in my macbook, I only want it to be working fast again. Please, any help will be much appreciated (btw, mine is also an early 2011 model).


Share This Page