SATA PCI card drives show as external

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jelockwood, May 11, 2015.

  1. jelockwood, May 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2015

    jelockwood macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    I recently acquired a classic Mac Pro 2010 5,1 and have been upgrading it to something nearer current tech levels by upgrading the video card, upgrading the CPU chips, adding USB3, upgrading the WiFi card to 802.11ac and upgrading the Bluetooth to LE specs with full Continuity compatibility.

    This is more 'because I can' rather than a serious effort to build the fastest possible computer that ever existed. :)

    One of the things I have done successfully is to fit a Star Tech PCIe card - see which supports connecting four SATAIII 6.0Gbps drives via a single cable and I also bought via eBay the following which allows fitting drives in the standard internal drive bays but bypassing the Apple SATAII only connectors and instead using in this case the Star Tech card.

    As mentioned this is all working, the drives are connected to the Star Tech card, they are still recognised by the Mac and I can boot from them successfully, I can also see that a SATAIII SSD drive is now working at full SATAIII speeds instead of SATAII speeds, this takes it from about 240MBps to nearly 450MBps a significant improvement for a single drive and if I setup a RAID0 using two SSD drives I would get even more performance.

    The minor issue is that the drives when connected via the Star Tech PCI card are treated by the Mac (running Yosemite 10.10.3) as if they were external drives so they have an orange external drive icon and the eject button shows up next to them.

    I seem to remember reading that there is a way to tell OS X to treat them as if they were internal drives and I vaguely recall this may involve editing a plist so that the SATA interfaces are re-labeled as internal connections but I cannot find the article again.

    Does anyone know how this might be achieved?
  2. TzunamiOSX macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2009
    1. This card is a x2 so you can get up to 700 MB/s, not really useful for a second SSD in RAID 0.

    2. An external drive icon is pretty normal for a drive on a PCIe card
  3. jelockwood thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    I managed to find today the article I was remembering and it has solved the external icon issue. For the benefit of anyone interested it involves installing an additional Kext file, see this post in my case just the Marvel version was sufficient.
  4. SirrMiami macrumors newbie


    Mar 26, 2016
    Hi jelockwood, can you please help me to get this to working?
    I've tried to read the thread you've linked, but is VERY confusing and not specific enough for me.

    I have downloaded both .kext files and used "Kext Drop" to install each separate. Is that it or do I have to do more stuff?

    My internal SSD PCIe drive (RAID 10) are made of 4 drives. Is this why it's not working with the installed kext file?

    There is no specific instruction on the linked thread.
    Please advise.

  5. jelockwood thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    I used Kext Utility rather than Kext Drop. However I suspect your real issue is that if your using El Capitan or Sierra you also need to disable SIP at least as far as regards to Kext files. See
  6. SirrMiami macrumors newbie


    Mar 26, 2016
    Thank you so much.
    Yes I am on El Capitan. I will try to disable SIP and try again, this time with Kext Utility.

    So that's it, there are no other things that are needed to do?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2017 ---
    I just checked: the SIP was already disabled.. i think ive done it few months back when trying to install some plugs

    Terminal says:
    System Integrity Protection status: disabled.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2017 ---
    IT WORKED. Maybe because i used Kext Utility instead of Kext Drop.
    However, my disk is now showed as internal, so i'm happy :)

    Thanks a lot jelockwood -I appreciate it.
  7. jelockwood thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    Yeah, I have found Kext Utility to be far more reliable for installing Kexts, even if the Kext comes with its own installer. It does a better job of updating the caches of them.

    Some people have reported having to first customise some of the included config files to define entires for specific types of SATA device ID numbers but like you I found I did not need to do this.
  8. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    If all you care is the icon. Just copy and paste the icon can fix it. No need to modify the system and make it believe the drives are internal.

    Anyway, all hard drive on PCIe card are considered external in cMP.
  9. SirrMiami, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017

    SirrMiami macrumors newbie


    Mar 26, 2016
    I'm amazed that such small thing had such a big influence. I would never have guessed it on my own, so thanks.

    I even tried, on my first attempt, to install the .kext manually... that made me even more frustrated !!

    Actually, i remember trying to install some .kext files a while back, they were for making my audio to work through the HDMI output on my flashed GPU.. It took hundreds of attempts with "Kext Drop" before anything happened. So there are some issues with that app. Now I know to never depend on it again.
    Only "Kext Utility" from now on :)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 24, 2017 ---
    Well, i think it's annoying that the disk can be ejected from the Sidebar in Finder..
    especially when the drives ARE internal in the PCIe (MP 5,1)
    It's a pain in the ass if you accidentally click on it, all the time by mistake, like me.
    I rather have it to be un-ejectable in Finder and let that function only to be available via Disk Utility.

    So it's not just the icon that's a problem.
    But thanks anyway ;)
  10. SEJU macrumors newbie


    Dec 27, 2014
    I am planning on installing an SSD on a PCIe card and want to have it show up as internal.

    I am wondering if I could reenable SIP after installing the kext files.
  11. MIKX macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2004
    I don't mind that my Samsung M.2 960 EVO shows as external .. it allows me to instantly distinguish it from my three other SATA SSD's :p
  12. Matty_TypeR macrumors regular


    Oct 1, 2016
    I just swap the Icon to look internal, I have never ejected a drive yet so have no issues with the internal external debacle.
  13. cdf macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2012
    Note that a definitive solution to this issue is being worked on here. And yes, you should be able to re-enable SIP; although, there may be complications if you regularly boot into different macOS installations.
  14. verdejt macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2011
    Central Florida
    What did you use to get Wifi AC and BT 4.0LE?

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