SSD in 3.5" HDD Sled

barry.pearson

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2016
48
4
England
Hey just wondering if someone could point me in the right direction. I have a Mac Pro 2009 and my HDD is starting to fail so I was going to put in an SSD I have spare, however the ports won't line up. My main drive, also a SSD, sits inside a plastic adaptor to line up with the power and SATA ports. Does anyone know where I can get one of these in the UK? Thanks.
 

nigelbb

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2012
1,032
201
The low cost option is to hold the 2.5" SSD in place with some gaffer tape. They are so light that is all that is required.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,233
6,836
Hong Kong
Just pull the 2.5" SSD out, plug that into the lower optical bay, leave it there, zero cost, 100% safe. There is no moving parts inside the SSD, so, no need to "fix" it. There is also no power or heat issue to leave it in the optical bay.

If you can fit your plastic adaptor into the lower optical bay, you can simply put the whole thing at there, and connect the cable.
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
693
185
London, UK
I use the NewerTech adapter on my iMac, and have fitted it on a number of other Mac Minis. You can get cheaper ones but the NewerTech is very solid and I wouldn't skimp out on it.
 

DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
927
228
Rancho Bohemia, California
Just pull the 2.5" SSD out, plug that into the lower optical bay, leave it there, zero cost, 100% safe. There is no moving parts inside the SSD, so, no need to "fix" it. There is also no power or heat issue to leave it in the optical bay.

If you can fit your plastic adaptor into the lower optical bay, you can simply put the whole thing at there, and connect the cable.
I moved my optical drive to the lower optical bay, where it serves as a very nice SSD shelf upon which I rest four SSDs: two connected to the optical bay SATA ports and two connected to a PCIe SATA3 card. Power is delivered via a SATA power splitter fed from one of the optical bay power cables.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,061
334
If the bracket is being used to mount an SSD, it's hardly going to be subjected to any stresses .. it's just there to properly position the SSD. One could probably make the bracket out of well baked gingerbread and have it last just as long.

The metal ones obviously do lend a certain consistency of look, and the price is right, but for this application I wouldn't fear a plastic unit.
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
815
894
I love those "Intel Blue" coloured sleds paired with rock-solid Intel SSDs.



I went bananas and kitted my MP out with a full complement of 4 of these, in addition to 2 PCIe SM951s as boot drives for macOS and Win10.
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
815
894
Do you need to do anything special to have Windows 10 boot from the SM951?
I won't know until about 2 weeks from now. Currently, Win10 is running off an Intel because I'm waiting until Win10 "Anniversary Edition" is released to clean-install onto the SM951.

The plan is to boot off a burned official Win10 DVD, with no use of Boot Camp Assistant in OS X, and do a non-EFI install. Are you aware of any problem I might face?
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,516
6,773
Are you aware of any problem I might face?
Well I've been interested in the SM951 for Windows boot, but I've asked twice now in the big thread if anyone could verify that Windows will boot from it, and was never answered. I'm not the only one who asked. I found one guy who sort of implied that he did, but it wasn't very clear. When I directly asked him to verify, he would not answer.

I did hear back two theories. The first was that Windows won't boot from an external media source, and PCIe cards are considered to be external media on a Mac, so of course it won't work. The second theory is that Windows will boot from PCIe because even if the Mac hardware thinks of PCIe as external media, all that matters is what Windows thinks of it, and Windows does not see it as external media, so of course it will work.

I was pretty excited to see your post saying you were using SM951 with Windows, but it looks like you're not there yet, so once again I'm just shy of finding someone to verify. When you get around to trying it out, I'd appreciate verification if you get it working, and if you had to do anything special to get there.
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
815
894
Well I've been interested in the SM951 for Windows boot, but I've asked twice now in the big thread if anyone could verify that Windows will boot from it, and was never answered. I'm not the only one who asked. I found one guy who sort of implied that he did, but it wasn't very clear. When I directly asked him to verify, he would not answer.

I did hear back two theories. The first was that Windows won't boot from an external media source, and PCIe cards are considered to be external media on a Mac, so of course it won't work. The second theory is that Windows will boot from PCIe because even if the Mac hardware thinks of PCIe as external media, all that matters is what Windows thinks of it, and Windows does not see it as external media, so of course it will work.

I was pretty excited to see your post saying you were using SM951 with Windows, but it looks like you're not there yet, so once again I'm just shy of finding someone to verify. When you get around to trying it out, I'd appreciate verification if you get it working, and if you had to do anything special to get there.
Alright, I've made a todo in Things.app to report back :)

I'm inclined to think that the concept of a PCIe card being "external" is a software-level thing. OS X might be extra squirrelly about it because it's part of a single vendor world and so has a strong opinion of what constitutes a "normal" hardware setup.
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,233
6,836
Hong Kong
Well I've been interested in the SM951 for Windows boot, but I've asked twice now in the big thread if anyone could verify that Windows will boot from it, and was never answered. I'm not the only one who asked. I found one guy who sort of implied that he did, but it wasn't very clear. When I directly asked him to verify, he would not answer.

I did hear back two theories. The first was that Windows won't boot from an external media source, and PCIe cards are considered to be external media on a Mac, so of course it won't work. The second theory is that Windows will boot from PCIe because even if the Mac hardware thinks of PCIe as external media, all that matters is what Windows thinks of it, and Windows does not see it as external media, so of course it will work.

I was pretty excited to see your post saying you were using SM951 with Windows, but it looks like you're not there yet, so once again I'm just shy of finding someone to verify. When you get around to trying it out, I'd appreciate verification if you get it working, and if you had to do anything special to get there.
Even if that's considered external. Is it possible to install Windows on in via the method like installing Windows on the USB drive?
 

hartleymartin

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2016
207
47
Sydney, Australia
The only thing you need to do in the way of a 2.5" to 3.5" adaptor is ensure that it gives you the alignment of the SATA data and power lines. Quite a few of the cheap adaptors are intended for PCs which use separate cables, not ones that directly plug-in.

The other option is to just run some cables into the second optical drive bay and let it sit loose - as far as I can tell, it won't hurt the SSD, but there are other options available out there which allow you to mount a pair of SSDs in that bay. If you go down this path, consider a SATA-III PCIe Card which will give you much faster performance than the SATA-II bus on the motherboard.
 

s-hatland

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2014
149
97
if you've got access to a 3d printer, there are a few mac-pro-specific designs on thingiverse.

just another idea...
 
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