Problem with Optibay SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrmeister, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. mrmeister, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

    mrmeister macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    I have an SSD as my boot drive (OCZ 240gb) and i have just received a Crucial M500 960gb. I want to use the M500 as a data drive in an optibay.

    I installed everything (hardware related), booted the mac back up expecting to see the drive on my desktop - nothing.
    I went to disk utility and was relieved to see the drive there, so went to format it - it wouldn't let me...
    I decided to remove the drive, connect via USB, format (worked) and then replace back into the mac.

    Well, now it's just weird. It sees it, but not right away. It shows up on my desktop maybe up to 5 minutes after booting. If i go into disk utility, every command i try just hangs and takes ages, and reformatting/erasing still does not work.

    I tried to copy data to the drive only to find that it is read only and cannot be changed...

    I then consulted the internet and found that this is a common problem with any optibay and Sata 3 ssd.

    Now, is there anything that i can do? Or do i just return it? I am still desperate for this to work so i can use it for my work. I use a lot of sound libraries for music composition and their fairly large file sizes need to be loaded fast for efficiency.

    My macbook is a 15" late 2011, and it has 6/6 speeds on the main bay and optical bay (unlike the earlier 6/3 models). I've looked into shielding, but this only seems to work in some cases, and i really don't want to risk short circuiting my macbook with foil because of an accidental bad job...

    Please, any help?
    Would it even be possible to force Sata 2 speeds??

    Edit: Also, i have about 40 days to return the SSD. It was a lot of money so if it won't work in the way i want it to, i'll probably just return and refund it.
  2. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    Very common problem specifically with the 2011 MBP's. Try swapping positions with the drives or move one to an external case.
  3. mrmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    The Crucial works in 2 different USB enclosures on mine and a friend's '09 or '10 MBP. I don't want to take apart their Macbook though.

    I'm assuming that since it works in the USB enclosure, allows me to format and copy data over, that it would work in the main slot.

    If i were to move the smaller 240gb to the optibay, would i likely have the same problem?
  4. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    More than likely unless it is sata II. At least the bigger drive would be in the main bay. Maybe it's enough to do both jobs. I put a ssd in the main bay of my 2011 and moved the original HDD to opti-bay for data. Works well this way.
  5. mrmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    Sadly it's Sata 3
    I've just got so used to the silence and the speed. I love them both! I really don't want to go back to a spinny for data... It's a shame (and odd) that there aren't any cheap sata 2 1tb ssd's... 3GBs would still be 3-4 times faster than a regular spinny!
  6. mrmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    So has anyone had any luck with a 15" Late 2011 and an optibay ssd? Surely 2 years down the line, someone must've done something??

    I have seen a blog post where someone soldered a different Sata connection to their SSD - i am NOT willing to do this. If past experience has taught me anything, it's that i should obey all warranties i have!
  7. mrmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    I live in the UK. Sadly I can't easily get a hold of OWC products without paying a large amount on import taxes
  8. mrmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010

    Update - It works!

    I was lucky enough to have an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD already as my boot drive. OCZ have had problems with this drive on Mac's (i don't think windows, for this problem at least, but maybe) where the drive is forced at 1.5Gbps, so SATA 1.

    They have released what they call a "Bootable Toolbox", where you boot from a USB memory stick using their own Linux OS, which is used for updating OCZ SSDs. The thread for this can be found at this link -!!-OCZ-Bootable-Toolbox-Mac-Edition
    The page describes how to download, restore the disk image to a USB, how to boot, and then goes through a series of fixes like updating the firmware or secure erasing etc…

    When booted into the Linux EFI, if you close the automatic dialogue box that shows up, click anywhere on the desktop and from the popup menu select "applications > 3G/6G link speed", you are taken to a terminal window in which it recognises your OCZ SSD, asks if it is the correct drive, and asks if you want to continue. Then you select whether you want the drive to run at 3Gpbs or 6Gbps.

    In my case, the drive had no issues, and was already running at 6Gbps. What i did was force the drive to run slower (3Gbps, so SATA 2), and then shut down the linux boot.

    I took the macbook apart again, moved the Crucial M500 drive into the MAIN hard drive bay, and the now-slower OCZ drive into the OPTIBAY (DVD drive position). Note that the OCZ drive still has all of my data on, and still remains my boot drive for both Mac OSX and Windows 8, and appears to be working fine (although admittedly i haven't tried to boot Windows 8 yet, i've just been trying to sort out the new M500 with all my files).

    I booted into OSX, started up disk utility, formatted the Crucial M500 to HFS+ Journaled, and then succeeded in copying ~395GB of data to it over the course of an hour.

    I'm still not celebrating yet though, i just don't want to get happy too early and then have it fail on me because it still isn't perfect… But so far it seems to be working.

    I have seen so many posts online of people experiencing problems with the late 2011 Macbook Pros (only 15" and 17") onwards, which have 2x SATA 3 connections (main bay and dvd drive [6/6]). NO SATA 3 drive will work in the dvd drive; ONLY SATA 2 or less. If users could easily reduce the speed on one SSD, then there wouldn't be these problems, and i'm sure many more users would want to experience dual SSDs in their MacBooks.

    If you have any questions as to how i went about any part of this procedure, then please let me know as i'd like everyone to know what needs to be done in order to make dual SSDs work.
  9. gmcooper84 macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2013
    well then

    I've got a fresh 2012 macbook pro 2.5/16gb. I've had a 480gb ocz agility 3 and recently upgraded to an 840 pro in my main bay. the ocz is fully functional in my main bay and external enclosures. It is giving me trouble when I install it in the optibay. Originally it would recognize but not read/write data. I tried reformatting the drive, which failed and left the drive unformatted. I had to remove and put it in an external to reformat.

    I'm going to try the steps above to see if it works but i'd really like both to run at full speed if its possible. I've got the original 500gb apple hd but the ocz at sata2 would still be better in terms of speed and battery consumption.

    I just had the thought to install my 840pro in the optibay just to see what happens. If it runs well in the optibay then I could put the ocz back in the main bay. I don't see that happening though.

    I would definitely appreciate any input you guys have to offer. I'll report back in a few days and let you know what happens.
  10. mrmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    Hey man, glad you found this thread.

    I tried exactly that when i first got my Crucial. I had my Vertex 3 in the main bay, Crucial in the optibay. I just wanted it to be simple, move around as few things as possible. When i booted, everything came on, but the system was really sluggish - definitely not the SSD speeds i was used to.

    I got to the desktop and the crucial drive couldn't be found. Opened disk utility and got a beach ball for about 5 minutes, then it finally opened with the Crucial drive there. I tried to format it and got a load of errors, it couldn't write files (more errors), eventually i moved it to a USB, and then put it back in the optibay; i could see the file i copied, but couldn't write anything new.

    I switched the main hard drive and optibay, still no luck, then i found the OCZ toolbox and then everything above played out.

    I know it sucks, but the only way i can see this working is if you use that toolbox. Just a note - i've left my (now slower) OCZ boot drive in the optibay. It works fine, but you WILL need to go to sys prefs and choose your startup disk again, otherwise it takes longer to find the boot drive at every boot, and the little apple takes a while to appear on screen.

    I wanted my 960gb ssd to be faster for work reasons, and i can say its one of the best decisions for my laptop i've ever made. I compose music with large MIDI sound libraries, and they used to be located on an external FW800 drive. Sessions could take up to 10 minutes to load before i could start work, always at least 5 minutes. Now my sessions take up to 10 SECONDS to load, with one exception of an extremely large session that still only took 15!

    Hope it all works out for you, just post here again if you have any problems, and let us know how it goes :)
  11. slvrscoobie, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

    slvrscoobie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2013
    Just found this after installing my new 1TB HSGT drive into my opti bay to replace the apple 750gb that crashed monday morning. spent about 2 hours trying to figure out why it shows up in SATA devices but no drive is found. Looks like it is a SATA III drive, not II.
    Our freinds at MCE were able to make a (very well hidden!) adjustment boot CD to make your HGST SATA 6gbps downspeed to 3gbps and work with the non-extreme optibay:
    Did this in about 10 minutes (including opening the laptop AGAIN) and it worked flawlessly
  12. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    sata 3 in optbay is a lottery on the 2012s (had to swap my sata 3 sshdd to the good old OEM 750gb because of this, it worked but was not rock solid stable on my 2012).

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