My experiences thus far with Opti-bay & SSD and self destructing MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by flingwing, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. flingwing, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010

    flingwing macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Long time reader first time poster... :rolleyes:

    So after waiting a good 20 days for my new OWC 120GB SSD to arrive I finally had the final piece to the puzzle in my upgrade plans on my early 2008 MBP (2.5Ghz, 8600M GT 512mb, etc.)

    First to go into the computer was a bump to 6GB of ram from 4GB. Although not officially supported I sourced out the reported compatible ram and all 6GB was working and addressable in 10.6.5. I didn't have any problems, my virtual machine ran noticeably faster and it was a great little memory boost.

    So continued... I trimmed my OSX and cloned it to the SSD then pulled the laptop apart. I installed the SSD in the original HD spot, removed the optical drive and installed a new WD black 500GB HD into the opti-bay.

    I then booted up and (quickest ever) and confirmed everything was hunky dory. Which overall it seemed to be, despite a seemingly random OS freeze requiring a reboot. Also, I now had a service battery indicator (less than one year old) and would shut down when saying it had around 1/2 hour of life. Then I noticed that my external monitor was showing artifacts and some generally fine scale gitteryness like problems (hmm... thought monitor must be on it's last legs)

    I had the system operational for a good 36 hours, transferring various home folders to the 2nd HD (WD Black 500GB) and creating symbolic links in terminal so that the OS would treat those folders the same for my various programs etc. (which i'll post how i did eventually as I didn't find any forum or blog posts particularity helpful...)

    I went to sleep last night and returned to my newly tweaked laptop with my morning americano and thats when the proverbial s%*# hit the fan. The display's didn't respond to input.... hmm thats unfortunate....

    reboot. Spinning icon.... spinning indefinitely....

    reboot. spinning icon.... you computer cannot boot screen. (never seen that before....)

    reboot. Black screen, no tones, steady light, won't post.

    reboot. Same thing x3.

    Another coffee

    reboot. gray screen, starts up to just about login screen then hard locks.

    reboot. black screen again, which leads me down the 8600M GT rabbit hole. Do I have a defective video card/logic board? Might explain the monitor artifacts....Well, luckily I have applecare, unluckily I'll have to replace my optical drive and original hard-drive because my apple tech was just in my computer replacing the ribbon cable responsible for keyboard and mouse.

    one last try. reboot. now i'm getting 2 beeps and 3 beeps. Memory wtf?

    reboot. i'm still getting the beeps but now my HD is making that sound like it's toast.

    I then commenced dis-assembling everything that I had done. Old HD back, optical drive back, pull the ssd and new HD. Remove the ram and replace with 4gb sticks. Put everything back together

    Reboot. Computer works perfect, no stability problems at all. Now of course I realize I've got way too many hardware changes to make this thing a cut and dry troubleshoot.

    I called MCE technologies (maker of opti-bay) and explained to them my experience. They suggested their product's board may be faulty and asked me to return it for a new one. I'm hoping that was the case, but it seems odd that it could totally corrupt me system like that.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas. I'm thinking of taking the computer in AASP and getting them to run some diagnostics on the logic board and video card, but if I can't get it to replicate those problems it doesn't seem like they'd find anything.
  2. deeesea macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2010
    Sounds likely, if it worked for a while in the previous night, there shouldn't be any reason for it not to work again in the morning, if it woudln't wake from sleep, at least a restart should have "solved" that problem seeing as you were able to boot the night before with a HDD and SSD combo.

    Try putting in a CD and seeing if your laptop will play it, if it'll play it then that means we know the 2nd sata connection on the logic board isn't knackered. and it'll limit the problem down to the optibay.

    alternatively, you could swap the parts in (optibay and what not) and not upgrade the RAM and see how that goes. Though i doubt it since it was working with the RAM for a good 36 hours.

    But that's just the hardware aspect of things. Don't know about the software and what not.
  3. flingwing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    6GB kit no good?

    Well after some more trouble shooting it doesn't seem like the 6GB ram kit wants to play nice.... starting to doubt that the opti-bay had much to do with it....

    put the SSD back in the HD bay, everything seem to be going well. I'll just have to wait and see what happens. (have since sent the opti-bay back for a new one so can't test it until it returns!)
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Doesn't that model have the 9600m video card in it? The one that's got a 100% failure rate or something?
  5. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    (off topic but I'd love to see your write-up on moving files and symbolic links and stuff... I'm about to do this with my MBP. Thanks)
  6. maddin4j macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2009
    I have the MCE OptiBay one with a SSD and a 500GB HDD. Never had to touch symbolic links.

    The only thing I did was to put my home folder onto the HDD which you can do in System Preferences. I leave applications and the OS files on the SSD to benefit from the speed.

    I had a tiny problem at the beginning with my MCE OptiBay. I don't really remember what it was but the way I fixed it was to put the SSD into the original HD bay and to put the 500GB HDD into the MCE OptiBay. I had no realy problems since then.

    Btw, I have the early 2008 MBP 15".
  7. millerb7 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    As the OP stated right in this thread, 8600m GT. 8600m GT is the card with issues. It is not 100% failure rate. My 2007 MBP has that card, not a single issue from it yet. After 4 years, I feel it's fair to say the failure rate isn't 100%. Of course you can say, oh, it will fail give it time... well duh!

    Give any card enough time and it's EVENTUALLY going to fail. To me, 4 years is a damn long time.

    I think it's safe to say that the odds of it being the 8600m card AFTER he replaced the HDD with SSD, did optibay, AND upped ram, are pretty low.
  8. flingwing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010

    Well, I confirmed that I had a bad stick of 2gb memory. I've bumped back up to 6gb and have been stable... so knock on wood... looks like 6gb on a pre unibody MBP is possible.

    Still waiting on the opti-bay, I'll let you guys know that this combo works when all is proven solid.

    Thanks for the input!
  9. flingwing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    no problem,

    the reason I looked into symbolic links is that I had download and picture folders that were massive, the other home folders being tiny in comparison. I've read about people just pointing their home folder to another drive but I'd didn't like the sound of it for a few reasons...

    its ended up working quite nicely. I used omni disk sweeper (free app) to located the largest files on my hard drive, then created copy of it on the 2nd hard drive, deleting the original and creating the link.

    I found a few posts on the topic but none of them really got down to the core of what terminal commands were needed. What I did was:

    1) copied the folder over in finder
    2) remove the original folder using the following terminal command

    sudo rm -rf /folder

    3) create the symbolic link. I found that it's best to be in the folder structure your linking to and type

    ln -s /Volumes/Folder /Folder

    /Volumes/Folder is the folder your are trying to link and /Folder is the target (which path is not necessary because your there in terminal)

    sudo is not necessary if you already used it in the rm command. you can check to see the link went through by then typing a ls -l in root of the directory you are redirecting the folder....

    Good luck
  10. kid rock macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2007
    Southend-on-sea, Essex, England
    Nice job :D

    I have the same MBP as you and tbh have been considering doing the same thing for some time.

    What RAM did you use? and how do you know that it works and uses the other 2GB of RAM?

    Does OSX detect 6GB?

    i always thought we couldnt have more than 4GB :mad:

    cheers dude

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