MCE Optibay & Intel SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by danbt79, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. danbt79 macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a 160Gb Intel X25-M (G2) SSD in my 13" Unibody. It's got plenty of room, but I can't get everything on there!

    As I'm constantly shuttling movies & TV shows between my Macbook and an external drive, I've ordered an MCE Optibay with external enclosure for the Superdrive it will replace.

    I've also ordered a 500Gb WD Scorpio Blue to go inside the Macbook, but I have a few questions regarding the sudden motion sensor and also booting:

    1) As far as I can tell the Scorpio Blue has no sudden motion sensor. The Scorpio Black has one, but I don't really want the power drain/vibration/noise of a 7200rpm drive which is only used for additional storage. Is this the case?

    2) If so, is this even relevant? Is the Sudden Motion Sensor in the Unibody something built in, or was it a feature of the stock drive?

    I found this: http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/ap...harddrive-unibody-macbook-motion-sensors.html
    Quote:
    "On a Western Digital, you do not want the free-sensor. HD Motion sensors (the ones present inside a hdd) conflict with the Macbooks Sudden Motion Sensor, therefore causing problems."

    Is this correct?

    3) If this is the case, should my strategy be to put the Scorpio Blue in the 'proper' HD bay, and the SSD in the Optibay? (Thereby gaining SMS protection for the HDD, which isn't needed for the SSD).

    4) Would this setup present any problems with booting from the SSD?

    Thanks for reading - I'm researching this myself, but I still have a window of opportunity to cancel the Scorpio Blue order and go for a Scorpio Black, so I'm hoping for a quick answer!
     
  2. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks, but that link just explains how to enable/disable the SMS. It doesn't mention if the SMS is present bus-wide (both HDD and Superdrive channels for whatever reason) - just present on the SATA channel for the HDD 'proper' bay - or even if the SMS is simply built in to the stock drive - which is the crux of the information I'm looking for!
     
  3. tenderidol macrumors regular

    tenderidol

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #4
    If you haven't already, take a look at this thread

    I believe there is a discussion of boot problems from the SSD in the caddy, SMS, etc (especially towards the end). You'll also see some cheaper, alternative solutions to MCE optibay as well (just ignore the first ghetto mod) ;)
     
  4. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Ha! That's a hardcore ghetto mod indeed - nasty!

    I'm reading the rest of the thread now - but the Optibay already shipped (yesterday) - so I think I'll stick with it.

    Thanks for the link!
     
  5. tenderidol macrumors regular

    tenderidol

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #6
    I believe the OP of that thread later replaced that "mod" with a nice looking caddy :)

    It's a bit long, but there are some useful information in there, since you'll be going through what many in that thread already done. I am still OK with the space in my Intel SSD, but I keep an eye on that thread in case I decide to ax the Super Drive one day for my original 500GB HDD.
     
  6. bware189 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #7
    That thread is an enormous beast of knowledge. I have to say that even though it touches on almost everything concerning the double storage setup in MBs, it still lacks a solution, or at least a solid explanation, for the SMS problem I've noticed. I've done some research, and have not found much This is especially concerning when booting/shutingdown windows, as keeping a drive unmounted in OSX is pretty straight forward (sudo pico augment, as I posted in the optbay thread).

    OT, if you get any information concerning this, it would be amazing if you could post your findings. Maybe we could turn this thread into a solution to the SMS problem. Thanks.
     
  7. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    Totally agree - beast of a thread! I'm going to really look in to this now and see about a final solution - I'll post it here if I do find one.
     
  8. tenderidol macrumors regular

    tenderidol

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #9
    While you guys are reading, here is another thread to make the most of your SSDs under OSX. Click me!
     
  9. bware189 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #10
    http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/fstab.html
    I rigged OSX to "unmount" my optibay partition on boot, as it does in any Unix platform. It seems as though I may need to reformat the drive, as there is some unused space that needs soaking up and the reliability of the fstab file is buggy; that is, sometimes the drive is unmounted and not spinning, but most of the time it is unmounted but spinning.

    To summarize the linux link:
    go to terminal-> type "sudo pico /etc/fstab" and press return. You should be prompted for a password. Enter it and a new interface will pop up.

    Type in:
    LABEL=Name none ntfs ro,noauto 0 0
    LABEL=Name none hfs rw,noauto 0 0

    This will make those parititons listed as "Name" unmounted on boot. Obviously, ntfs and hfs are the file systems, you can choose the appropriate ones. To finish, ctrl+o will do the trick. "Write-out" is the equivalent, if it is different in any other 10.x. I'm sure this is obvious to some of you, but for anyone who needed a walkthrough, here it is. After googling a bit I came to the conclusion that this steb-by-step can be found at:
    http://forums.macosxhints.com/archive/index.php/t-69174.html
     
  10. fehhkk macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    I have my X-25M in the regular HD bay, and a 500GB 7200rpm in an OptiBay, works great. I don't see a problem doing it the other way around, though.
     
  11. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    Looking at this I'm leaning towards the same direction as you Fehhkk, but there is a problem doing it the other way around.

    With the new Unibody's everything would work fine except hibernation (I think) - it looks like a firmware issue. You can boot from the Superdrive Bay no problem (you can boot from DVD/CD anyway after all), and sleep works fine, but it appears that resuming from hibernation the firmware just doesn't expect to look on that SATA channel for the hibernation file to load.

    Hibernation is basically a fresh boot after all, that simply loads the OS from disc in a 'better' way.

    If the firmware won't let the OS load correctly from a hibernate state, then there's not a lot we can do. If it's getting to the point where firmware has handed over to the OS, a bit of digging should reveal a setting to be toggled to let the machine know to load from the other drive - but I can't see this being the case as the OS doesn't actually 'load' after all - it's just dumped from file into RAM and picks up from where it left off.

    I don't know enough about the boot sequence, let alone the hibernation procedure to know any of this for sure though.

    My drive should arrive today/tomorrow so I'll be investigating then if I have the time.

    Anyone here who can add some more specific knowledge regarding open firmware and what it's actually doing here? How about you bware189?
     
  12. tenderidol macrumors regular

    tenderidol

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #13
    I changed the hibernation mode to keep everything in RAM without writing anything to the SSD (to decrease disk writing; plus it gave me back 4GB more disk space). The ONLY time this has a danger of loosing data is if you close the lid of your computer on battery power and let the battery drain completely (which will take more than 24 hours I believe in that state), then the content of the RAM is gone. I never use my MBP this way, and I haven't had any problems over the 4 months after changing the hibernation mode. If nothing is written to the disk, then the computer doesn't care which drive is where, etc.

    Hope this helps.

     
  13. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    Drive arrived today, everything is running perfectly. In the end I've done what tenderidol did as well.

    Here's some notes on what informed my decision. Hopefully this will help someone having to wade through that huge thread as I had to!


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I've distilled this monstrous thread
    (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=680228)
    (and a couple of hours picking google's brains!) into the following information.


    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    This is the information that was relevant for me!

    Just so you know, I use a 160GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD as my boot drive and a 500GB WD Scorpio Blue HDD as my storage drive.
    I use an MCE Optibay to support two drives.

    This information applies to the Unibody Macbook and Macbook Pros (hereafter 'Unibody').
    Information may not apply to older models.

    It appears many of the problems citied previously concern pre-Unibody machines.
    The Unibody's have a proper, grown-up SATA bus for the Superdrive Bay. Thank your NVIDIA chipset.

    This does not cover implementing RAID, but a lot of it this information should still help.
    I don't use Bootcamp, so milage may vary if you do.


    NOTES FOR NOOBS:

    SSD = Solid State Drive - the ones with flash memory inside.
    HDD = Hard Disk Drive - the ones with spinning platters inside.

    SMS = Sudden Motion Sensor. The feature that 'freezes' a drive if the laptop undergoes (you guessed it) Sudden Motion.

    HDD Bay = The standard HDD Bay in your Unibody - the one next to the battery.
    Superdrive Bay = The drive that holds the Optical Disc Superdrive. Can be replaced with a caddy (such as an OptiBay) to hold a second HDD.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    REGARDING SUITABLE DRIVES:

    1) Both the HDD Bay and the Superdrive Bay are 3Gb/s SATA.

    2) Any drive, either HDD or SSD should be a 2.5" SATA drive.

    3) See below to learn if you need a drive with an built-in SMS feature.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    REGARDING THE SUDDEN MOTION SENSOR:

    1) Only the HDD Bay benefits from the Unibody SMS. The Superdrive Bay does not.

    2) The SMS feature is built into the Unibody, not the stock drive.

    3) Hence, any HDD placed in the HDD Bay should preferably have no built-in SMS feature. (Such as a WD Scorpio Blue drive)
    See here for suitable drive: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=506

    4) Hence, any HDD placed in the Superdrive Bay (via a caddy) should preferably have a built-in SMS feature.
    (Such as certain WD Scorpio Black drives - models with serial numbers ending in 'BJKT' not 'BEKT').
    See here for suitable drive: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=477

    5) The SMS feature is not required when using an SSD in the HDD Bay.

    6) If you have an SSD (or a HDD with built-in SMS) in the HDD Bay, you can disable the SMS by following these instructions from Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1934

    7) Using a HDD with built-in SMS in the HDD Bay and leaving the Unibody SMS enabled can lead to kernel panics. Disable the Unibody SMS!
    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_Motion_Sensor


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    THERFORE, REGARDING DRIVE PLACEMENT:

    1) You can safely use either drive as your boot drive. It doesn't matter if it's in the HDD Bay or the Superdrive Bay - just set your startup disk as normal from System Preferences.

    2) There is one caveat with point 1 - namely, hibernate (safe-sleep) will no longer function if your boot drive is in the Superdrive Bay. See the section below.

    3) If you have 2 HDD drives, make sure the one in the Superdrive Bay has a built-in SMS, and the one in the HDD Bay does not. (If it does, disable the Unibody SMS feature - see above).

    4) If you have 2 SSD drives, put them anywhere and disable the Unibody SMS feature.

    5) If you have 1 HDD and 1 SSD, then:
    a) If the HDD does have a built-in SMS, it doesn't matter which drive you put where - as long as you disable the Unibody SMS.
    b) If the HDD does not have a built-in SMS, place it in the HDD Bay and put the SSD in the Superdrive Bay. Do not disable the Unibody SMS!



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    ON SLEEP & HIBERNATION.

    1) Sleep is what the Unibody does when you have lots of battery power left. The machine simply goes to 'sleep' - a low power mode where current is maintained to the RAM and it's contents persist.

    2) Hibernate is what the Unibody does when you run out of power. It writes the contents of your RAM to your startup disk, and switches 'off'.

    3) Once you plug in some power, the machine turns on and 'starts up' by reading the hibernate file from disk back into RAM - and boom, you're back where you were.

    4) This looks a lot like sleep, but takes a little longer as the hibernate file is the same size as your RAM - Gigabytes in size!

    5) Both of these features work perfectly on the Unibody's, as long as the boot drive is located in the HDD Bay.

    6) Hibernate will no longer function correctly if your boot drive is in the Superdrive Bay. You must disable hibernation using these instructions:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/53471/2006/10/sleepmode.html


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    RESULTS:

    In my case,

    1) I have my Intel SSD located in the Superdrive Bay, mounted using my MCE Optibay.

    2) I have my SMS-less Scorpio Blue HDD located in the HDD Bay and relying in the Unibody SMS.

    3) I boot from the SSD and use the HDD for additional storage.

    4) I don't use Bootcamp, I use VMWare Fusion for Windows.

    5) I can happily leave both drives permanently mounted in OSX.

    6) Sleep works perfectly, but I have had to disable hibernation.

    7) Boot time is just as quick as having the SSD in the HDD Bay.


    It's not a perfect world with a mod like an Optibay, and I figure losing hibernation gains me SMS support for my Scorpio Blue (and faster sleep times!).
    I'll trade that for having a noisy 7200rpm drive with an SMS. (Don't flame me, I wanted a Western Digital!)
     
  14. Clete2 macrumors 65816

    Clete2

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    GREAT information!
     
  15. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #16
    GREAT POST!!!

    i bookmarked this page for reference when i get my MBP. thank you.
     
  16. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    i have toyed around with spindown delays for the drives, this solves the hibernation and sleep issues.

    unfortunately there is not easy way to do that besides hardware which i made,

    but you can always force the drives never to spindown (until power is cut via sleep or hibernation).

    pass this command in the terminal to shut down disk spindown on ac or battery.

    sudo pmset -a disksleep 0

    note, this will stop the disk from spinning down until hibernation or sleep sends the command to cut the power, it will effect battery life slightly in some cases.

    maybe someone can test this out for me further, also a SMC reset may be required.
     
  17. tenderidol macrumors regular

    tenderidol

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #18
    Great summary and explanation of the SMS, HDD & SSD combination using an HDD caddy and sleep & hibernation.

    In addition, I've done one more mod to reduce repeated writing to SSD. It is explained in this post. Basically, it turns off access time recording.

    Enjoy your SSD. Let's hope that Intel and/or Apple will come up with a firmware update to enable something similar to TRIM for us Mac users. On the desktop, in addition to the TRIM under Windows7, I manually maintain the drive using the Intell SSD toolbox software.
     
  18. Reao macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #19
    Hi, I have resonantly installed a MCE Optibay and a Intel SSD in my non-unibody macbok pro. I have the SSD in my HDD bay and my HDD in the optibay. Does the non-unibody macbook pros have the SMS? if I run Macsaber it still works so I am thinking it does have it because my HDD is a 500GB WD Scorpio Blue. What is the down sides to having the SMS turned on with the SSD, and I'm guessing with no SMS there is a chances I can damage the HDD?
     
  19. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #20
    Can you comment on the speed, proc usage, and battery life when using your windows VM running with the help of the SSD?
     
  20. mattais macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #21
    regarding the issue of hibernation when the boot drive is not in the HDD bay, what about if you use a RAID 0 setup? Will hibernation still work?
     
  21. Reao macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    #22
    I too would like to know if hibernation works with a RAID 0.
     
  22. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    not reliably
     
  23. almalossi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    #24
    Found solution to hibernate issue

    I believe I have found a the cause and a solution to this issue:

    When going into hibernate mode or sleep & hibernate mode (the default) the mac is writing a sleep image to disk from where it can then resume. The issue I believe is that Mac OS is trying to be smart and is already powering down parts of your macbook (e.g. the display, the dvd drive, etc...) while writing the sleep file to your system disk in the background. An obvious problem now occurs if your system disk is where Mac OS actually expects the DVD drive to be. It is powering down the same disk it is busy writing the sleep image to.

    The easy solution to this problem is to move the location of the sleep image to the drive in the built-in HDD bay using the command:

    sudo pmset -a hibernatefile /Volumes/<volumename>/.sleepimage

    First tests suggest that this works. Try it out and let me know about your experiences.

    Edited:
    Please use with caution!!!! The manpage of pmset says
    which this solution clearly violates. However, my tests suggest that resuming from the hibernatefile on the disk in the HDD bay works even if it's not the root volume.

    AlMalossi
     
  24. mattais macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #25
    Good info. I wonder if there is a way forcing OS X to use only one of the drives in a raid array when hibernating? I suppose it's only software raid, as there is no built in controller - so OS X controls the disks in an array, meaning it could potentially access one of the drives when writing the hibernation files. That way perhaps the files can be stored to and restored from the drive in the HDD slot, after which the OS can carry on using the raid array as usual over the two drives.

    Probably possible, but certainly not easy or likely... what a ballache.
     

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