Replacing iMac 2008 SuperDrive with SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Twimfy, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm sure questions like this have been asked before but after some extensive searching I can only find answers about the 2009 line of iMacs.

    Anyway my SuperDrive died, I bought another, fitted it and that died a few months later as well.

    I'd like to do an SSD upgrade but was wondering if it's possible to replace the SuperDrive with an SSD instead of the main hard drive?

    I know the connector is mini-PATA on the SuperDrive, can this be converted to SATA and if so will it run at the SATA-II speed supported by this Mac?

    Would be great if someone could help. Thanks.
     
  2. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #2
    It's not only the connector that is PATA, but the bus as well. It will run at PATA bus speeds.

    There was a guy who did that on here, and was so disappointed in the slow SSD speeds that I think he just took out his HDD, put the SSD in there, and then went with external HDDs. The FW800 bus speed is livable for documents and such.

    You could also replace the Superdrive with a PATA HDD, since the speed is more important on the SSD/boot drive. I was looking into doing that, but in the end I kept the Superdrive since it wasn't broken and installed an SSD where my HDD was, and ran a JBODs on the FW800 bus.

    However, I recently experimented with "fusing" my internal SSD with a 2TB external FW800 drive and made my own FusionDrive. This is another alternative and has so far given me the best user experience than any other SSD/HDD combo I have used on this machine.
     
  3. Twimfy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thanks for the in-depth answer. I figured the PATA bus might have been an issue.

    I'd be interested to know how you carried out the Fuse as it were, any instructions or a nod to a guide would be useful.

    I guess I could always do a dirty hack to mount a 2.5" drive in place of the SuperDrive, fuse the two and then run a cable out of the Mac and into the Firewire socket to keep everything internal. I've never gone so far as to take the logic board out, are the USB ports etc mounted to the board or are they connected via cables I could hijack to avoid drilling a hole in the case?

    I much prefer the idea of keeping everything inside and have no issues with modifying the case seeing as this Mac is getting on a bit. It's only a matter of time before the 8800GS dies anyway.
     
  4. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #4
    This is what I followed:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2014011/how-to-make-your-own-fusion-drive.html

    I know they sell PATA-to-SATA adapter frames that hold 2-1/2" SATA drives; you could put that in place of your Superdrive with a standard 2-1/2" SATA drive in there. It will take a bit of a hit as it's PATA, but it may still be faster than an external FW800. I'm not sure about that though.

    I will try and find the link to the post where this is all documented.
     
  5. Twimfy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Thanks.

    Talk about coincidences, just in a routine permissions and disk health check it seems my HD is failing SMART status, a more advanced scan with SMART Utility is saying the same thing; so it looks as if I'll have to do something about this sooner rather than later.

    An smallish SSD in the main bay will have to do for now as I'm on a budget, can think of doing a fusion using PATA later.
     

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