Mixed Drive Setup (SSD+HDD) in Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by diamond3, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. aaronlam macrumors newbie


    Jun 24, 2010
    What model Macbook do you have and what SSD did you get? Did you install OSX onto one of the drives already? If you put the SSD in place of the old hard drive... that shouldn't give you any problems. Pull out the caddy and see if you can boot from the SSD in the stock location.

    One a separate note... I put a OCZ SSD into a caddy replacing the optical drive for a friend this weekend (Macbook Pro Late-2008 15"). A got the Fusion drive software working... pretty neat. Seemed pretty fast but didn't have it long enough to test. Told friend to keep me posted.
  2. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    I have a White Macbook 13in late 2009. Yup I have OS X installed on the SSD and am using my macbook via that for now without the caddy connected. My laptop works perfectly fine when the caddy is not connected. The moment I connect my caddy it doesnt work.

    Nice the fusion thing seems pretty cool
  3. aaronlam macrumors newbie


    Jun 24, 2010
    Hmm. Well... not to point out the obvious... but sounds like your caddy is messing with the system. I was told they didn't matter but sounds like you are having an issue. Mine is a generic from Amazon.

    The only thing I would try just in case... maybe you did... is be sure you have formatted the hard drive in the caddy. But that doesn't sound like the issue.
  4. mrwheet macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Mid-2012 Macbook Pro optibay problems

    Hi All,

    I wonder if anyone has had problems running an SSD in an optibay on a mid-2012 Macbook Pro 15"? From everything I'd read it seemed like it would work fine, so I went ahead and installed it. I actually have two SSDs, both Crucial M4s, and put the boot drive in the HD tray and the data drive in the optibay. I use the machine for professional music/audio work and have loads of streaming sample libraries, all installed on the optibay SSD.

    The install went fine, and file transfer was lighting fast, but I noticed that the sample libraries would have spells where the sustained part of the sample (i.e., the streamed part) would get cut off, ending notes abruptly. I tested both discs pretty heavily, with the Apple hardware diagnostic and diglloyd's DiskTester, and also ran benchmarks with the Blackmagic speed tester. The only thing that seemed a bit strange was that the SSD in the optibay would occasionally get its throughput cut in half, so reads would drop from > 400 mbs right down to around 200 mbs. After a brief period it would return to normal. I didn't think much of it at first, but now I wonder...

    Anyway, eventually I'd had enough and pulled the SSD out, getting ready to take the machine in to the Apple store. To make sure I'd still be able to reproduce the problem, I gave it a test with the SSD in a rather cheap and crappy external USB 3.0 case -- not a single hiccup. So, not being able to reproduce the problem, it seemed I was a bit stumped for taking it in...

    I haven't yet managed to find anyone having problems with a configuration like mine, but I thought I'd ask, since there are a lot of people here with custom configurations. It feels somewhat possible that the streaming samplers are just particularly sensitive to fluctuations in throughput, so I've wondered about the possibility of swapping the two drives around. I'd appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks in advance.
  5. emir macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2008

    I don't personally know why your problem is happening, i don't have first hand experience but i've ordered my optibay and SSD, they're on their way. I'll do a fusion drive hack once they arrive.

    I've done some research while wandering about the idea however so i can think of something. SATA connection superdrive has is a SATA I connection whereas Hard drive bay has SATA II (SATA III in your case cause your's is 2012, mine is 2010. Your superdrive bay might have SATA II also i don't know) But if that's the case and your superdrive bay has a lower speed cable for SATA, there's nothing you can do, you just can't take the full advantage of a SATA III SSD.

    But it think you are mentioning fluctuations in read and write speeds. So i don't know exactly but SATA cable might have an effect. Also you might have broke, harmed one of the cables during install? SSD might not be a complete fit in the optibay, check connections, tighten the screws so they don't move. Possibilities are endless.
  6. mrwheet macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Thanks for the response.

    I've done this on a couple of different occasions (and done Mac repair professionally in the past), so I don't think it's a cable or anything like that. I actually did try swapping the drives and booting the system from the optibay. Total disaster. Beachballs, hanging, and so on. So, that at least tells me I'm not crazy about something with the optical bay.

    Having seen that result, I've swapped out an older 7500 rpm drive I had with an older backup of my system on it, and put that in the optical bay. I'm working on that right now and it seems basically fine - no beachballs or hangs so far... So, that kinda tells me it's either the M4 itself (or its firmware), or maybe something particularly picky about the optical bay and SSDs. I don't really believe that, though, since it probably would have come up before now on someone else's system (since this machine's been out for several months now).

    I did confirm in the system profiler that both sata channels are 6gb/s, so it's not something innate to the system. There's also no reason why they'd be different controller chip revisions (at least not that I can think of), so it seems unlikely that it's an inherent problem with the optical bay's sata channel. Which seems to narrow it down to the drive. I may see whether there's a firmware update and give that a go. After all, both of my M4s have now been dodgy in the optical bay (first the audio drive, now the boot drive), so there is at least something consistent going on...
  7. emir macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2008
    Well you've given help and answer to yourself than anybody on here could've given :D I wish i had answers like you gave yourself when i have issues. Let us know how it worked out, cheers.
  8. mrwheet macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Okay, it looks like it's fixed (fingers crossed for a few days)!

    The latest firmware from Crucial (010G) seems to do the trick on my machine. I updated both drives (which was a major pita, since I had to install the DVD drive to boot the installer iso) with the new firmware and all seems well -- haven't had a hiccup in sample playback so far. Hopefully it stays this way, as the machine is blazing fast with this setup (and no, I'm not brave/crazy enough to do the RAID 0 thing!). Fast, powerful, portable - I finally have a single-machine audio production set-up that works!
    So, for anyone in future having issues with a Crucial M4 512 running in the optibay on a mid-2012 (non-retina) Macbook Pro, the 010G (or greater) firmware seems to do the trick. Not sure what changed, since this "fix" was already done for the late-2011 models, but it seems happy now.
  9. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010

    I tried replacing it with a new caddy but same problem. Could it possibly be the logic board?

    I did mess up the sound on my logic board by accidentally attaching the headphone jack to an external speaker output.
  10. Azzin macrumors 601


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    I'm about to hit the buy button on a new 13" MBP (once the Black Friday deals appear on the UK Apple website) , so this thread will come in very handy! :D
  11. richnyc macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2012
    Thanks;) My new Crucial m4 is enroute to be put in my 2012 cMBP instead of the superdrive. Will make sure that I have the latest firmware on it;)
  12. Azzin, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    Azzin macrumors 601


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    The deed was indeed done! :p


    I've migrated all of the data from my iMac and there's currently around 150Gb free on the MBP's 750 gig drive.

    So that's all fairly straight forward, but the thing that I'm not sure about is moving data from the 750 gig drive to the the SSD (or not).

    I'm going to stick the SSD in the current HDD bay and install ML on it from scratch, so that's all good, but the question I have is then I'll have 2 x HDDs with ML on them, so how do I go about making the 750 gig drive a 'data only' drive?

    The main thing the machine will 'crunch' will be video clips in iMovie, so I'd like to have them on the SSD (presumably iMovie and iPhoto etc will get installed as standard on that drive too?)

    I've got about 220Gb in iMovie & iPhoto, so I need to understand how much space will be left if I go for a 240 gig SSD.

    The reason I'm looking at a 240 gig drive, is that they seem to offer the best 'bang for buck' in terms of capacity/performance/cost.

    So essentially, I'm thinking of having the O/S (ML) on the SSD, along with iMovie and iPhoto (and obviously all of my movies and photos) on the SSD and everything else (including my iTunes folder, which has circa 260 Gb on it's own) on the data drive.

    Also, I'll need to move things like the Downloads and Documents folder to the 750 gig HDD too (in fact the more I can move to the HDD, just leaving ML, iMovie and iPhoto on the SSD)

    I'm still new to Macs (got my iMac in January this year) and if this was a Windows PC, I'd have no problems relocating folders to another drive, so all advice is welcome.

    I'd also appreciate some recommendations for an optical bay caddy (I'm in the UK).


    [Edit] - Or...

    I have a 120 gig SSD that I could use (instead of spending £115 on a 240 gig drive), but that obviously wouldn't be enough to store the movies and photos on, so they would have to reside on the 750 gig HDD.

    Would I notice much difference in terms of performance with the 120 gig SSD as the boot drive, with the photos & movies stored on the HDD, as opposed to a 240 gig SSD with the photos and movies stored on it?

  13. Category 5 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2011
    Anyone able to confirm LATE 2011 works with SSD inthe optical bay? Mine is there now and seems okay, 6Gb/s negotiated, fast and no crashes yet but I want someone to confirm before I put the screws back on this baby. Anything I can do to test stability?

    SSD is a Vertex 4 512MB. I have a WD Black 500GB in the original HDD spot.
  14. ultra7k macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    aren't there issues when doing that? For example, when waking from sleep mode, the MBP doesn't look to the optical bay to draw data from there, causing the system to hang?

    I'm assuming you want to run OSX off the SSD?

    To be safe I just put mine in the original HDD spot, and put the HDD in the optical bay.
  15. Category 5, Dec 2, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012

    Category 5 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2011

    Hmm. Seems so. When I put my computer to sleep it doesn't wake unless I close and re-open the lid.

    EDIT - Swapped em back. Even though I'm worried about heat, covering the little air hole, and space cramming the spinning disk into a tight fit....
  16. ultra7k macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012

    I'm assuming since you'll be putting mostly data on it (ie: music, movies, documents etc) it shouldn't be spinning up all that much since the SSD will be the one opening up apps and doing the heavy lifting for the OS.
  17. Blue604 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2012
    It's not true. I have tried putting osx and bootcamp in 7200rpm wd black in optical bay, and it has no problem waking up from sleep. When I put M4 512gb in optical bay, the ssd can't be found from waking up. I think it has to be with sata3.

    i have 2009 macbook pro 13".

    it was done using 010G firmware. New 040H firmware is out for M4. But I personally think the issue is not ssd, it's more to do with MacBook Pro.
  18. maw4bc macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2009
    Anyone know if you can get a caddy tray for an early 2011 MBP at microcenter?
  19. manni macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2010
    Hi - I wonder if anyone here has experience of a SSD/HDD set up with regard to Aperture files.

    I have the chance to buy a summer 2012 cMBP with 256gb ssd from a friend. I currently have a few hundred gig of photos on my 2011 13" cMBP.

    So I was thinking I could replace the optical drive in the 15" with a 750gb hdd and use it to put my aperture library on (and maybe itunes music) and just leave everything else/transfer documents etc (I don't have many) on the SSD.

    If I did this would the aperture library then become referenced? I mean I would have the aperture app on the SSD and the library on the HDD so would aperture consider it as being on an external hdd? Does this matter? I've only ever used a straightforward set up with a single hdd so I am quite new to this.

    Is there any obvious and silly mistake in my line of thinking with this set up that I have missed? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

    Also does time machine work for backing up the entirety of a dual system, both SSD and HDD? I have a 2tb external hdd so space wouldn't be an issue.
  20. jackrabbit7986 macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2013
    optical drive have problem

    i just done the upgrade, everything work very-well

    But i have problem with the optical drive, i bought the Super Slim Usb2.o slot in DVDRW

    i plugged-in, the dish turn but seem like my Mac doesnt recognized it, I also try with the ausus Blu-ray Writer, same thing happen

    anyone have same problem with me?

    anyway to fix it ?
  21. rbrandewie macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013
    UPgrading 2009 17" MBP, (Model Identifier 5,2)

    I've upgraded countless PC's but that's been some years ago. I switched to Mac almost 4 years ago with a 2009 17" MBP, 500gb HD, 4GB Ram.

    It has become increasingly slow and sluggish and the hard drive is nearly full. I do a lot of work with Photoshop, Painter and Aperture, so I have a lot of large files.

    I am looking to upgrade to:
    OWC 8.0GB (4.0GB + 4.0GB Kit) PC-8500 DDR3 kit for iMac '09; MacBook/Pro Unibody '08-10; Mac mini '09/10

    750GB 2.5" Seagate Momentus 7200RPM SATA 9.5mm Notebook HD 16MB Cache

    240GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD Drive

    Advice or recommendations on hardware is appreciated. I have not made the purchases yet. I went with OWC's Electra SSD because of the note on their site

    I have been reading this thread and many others to determine the best way to configure this.
    It looks like I could/should put the new HDD into the original drive bay and put the SSD drive into the optical bay with a drive caddy. Am I correct in this? With my model does it matter which drive goes in which bay to get the most out of the SATA connections?
    My current HD is backed up to Time Machine on a Time Capsule.
    I would like a way to use the SSD for the Operating system and store all the large library files on the HDD. I know it's looks like it's been covered here and I will have to go thru and carefully read how best to set that up.

    Thanks for any input and advice.
    If anyone has other suggestions please.....

    Thank you
  22. gametime10 macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2006
    I have a 2012 13" MBP and have recently installed a Crucial M4 256gb SSD in the Optibay using the $10 caddy from Amazon. I then booted to the HDD and formatted the SSD. Then I booted to a Mountain Lion bootable USB stick and used Terminal to create a Fusion Drive, and reinstalled OSX on the Fusion Drive. Everything is running super smoothly... It's like having a 756gb SSD!
  23. circa7 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    So just to get this clear; I just ordered a 2012 15" MBP and am going to also pick up an SSD. The consensus is that I can and should put the SSD in my optical bay because it supports SATA III? This SSD is going to be my main drive where the system will boot from, and I will use my stock 5400rpm drive to store media files which will be in the original HDD location. Is this correct? I have gotten some mixed advice.
  24. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    So just to confirm you're running an ssd in the optibay and it's working at full speed? did you have to tweak anything to make it work because i've heard the 2012 13's didn't work well with ssd's in the optibay. Thanks in advance.
  25. gametime10 macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2006
    Yes, the SSD runs at full speed in the Optibay, and I didn't have to tweak anything. I heard that some of the early 2012 MBP's required an EFI update, but mine must've come w/ it out of the box (bought in late October).

    See attached screenshots for proof (the SSD is running at 6 Gigabit).

    Attached Files:

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