Switchable Second Drive in Optical Drive Bay

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by product26, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. product26, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #1
    I had once installed a second drive in my 13" Unibody Macbook Pro via a generic drive caddy (with built in connector adapters). Problem is, I only need the second drive when recording audio tracks in to Logic, or when booting Windows 7. I have a 64gb SSD as a system drive, and would rather not have a second mechanical drive spinning up and down when I don't really use it much.

    Here is an example of a loaded drive caddy. Note that there is enough room at the end of the drive where the slot in the MacBooks housing is located. This should be just enough room to place a switch of some sort.
    [​IMG]

    If anybody knows of a switch that might work well, please let me know. So far I am thinking of something along these lines:
    [​IMG]

    I will post updates to this thread & keep those interested updated on the project. If it works out well, I may even make more of these things for resale.

    Status
    3.21.11 Since I moved my existing optical bay drive caddy to my 27" imac (for a total of 3 internal hdds), I have ordered another one today from NY. Hopefully it will arrive within a week.

    3.27.11 A very functional compromise has been made. The drive is now in a macbook caddy with pull tab and can be disconnected internally with the computer powered off. Works GREAT! Thanks to Reflow for hooking it up with the macbook caddy!
     
  2. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    While I applaud your DIY initiative, couldn't you recognize decent power savings by buying a WD green drive and unmounting it when you don't need it? Those disks already spin down when they're not being accessed moreso than other drives, and by unmounting the drive, the OS will never access it. You could even write a script to do the unmounting and such for you if you're not friends with the cmd line...
     
  3. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #3
    Tried spinning down the drives, but it would still spin up/down during certain tasks (like opening disk utility).

    I need a 7200rpm drive for audio recording.

     
  4. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #4
    Was the drive mounted? If the drive is unmounted, then the OS shouldn't recognize it as being part of the file system, so it should not spin up.
     
  5. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #5
    Not certain, but that method was not satisfactory. Also, I'm the kinda guy where if I haven't modded it yet, I haven't had it long enough. I'd rather make it work my way.

     
  6. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

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    #6
    Then a tip of my hat to you sir. Hope your mod works out! :)
     
  7. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #7
    Here's one thought - you are adding in a point of failure - if for some reason the switch momentarily loses power whatever you are recording will be interrupted and in worst case you'll corrupt files on the drive.

    While I realize the desire to mod may be strong, I'd look at the potential costs of a switch failure on your work.
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    Do you know you can unmount a drive using disk utility?

    Having a hardware switch seems to be a horrible way to do it.
     
  9. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #9
    use an external firewire drive. unlike usb, firewire has enough bus power to run even the largest and fastest 2.5" drives, without a separate power adapter. firewire is also isochronous just like sata, and operates in dma mode, just like sata- perfect for real-time tasks like audio recording.

    and you can unplug it when not needed.
     
  10. product26, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011

    product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #10
    I use a firewire recording interface and cannot afford to lose any bandwidth. Simultaneous audio and data over firewire is just unreliable to begin with.

    I will just have to make sure it is secure and solid then, wont I?
     
  11. product26, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #11
    The point of this is to prevent me from having to crack open my MBP every time I need to do some recording work or boot in to windows. Since 95% of the time I won't need the drive I would rather have it completely disabled. & Since 99.9999999% of the time I don't need an optical drive.... I came up with an idea for a solution.


    I am set on making this work in some way. Unless you have a suggestion on how to completely disable the drive without opening the macbook po, please do not respond.
     
  12. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Seattle
  13. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #13
    Inspired by the macbook (not pro) hard drive caddy/sled, i used some gaff tape, stuck it out the cd slot. Now with the computer off, I just pull (pretty hard) and the drive slides out from the connector. Reconnecting is done with a credit card or whatever is in my wallet.

    The drive has two screws on the sides which keep it snug, and from rattling around even while disconnected.

    Now all I need is one of the macbook sleds with the pull tab.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Actually, internal failure of the switch or arcing could be an issue even with a secure mount.

    In addition, powering it off with the Mac on could cause problems as well.

    The question is, is it worth the risk to you?
     
  15. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #15
    Many thanks to Reflow for hooking me up with a macbook drive caddy/pull tab.

    I pulled the metallic shielding/casing from the drive slet. Fits right in with the black internals of the mbp.

    I still may pursue an electrical switching option as it would be easier to use.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. macmikey2 macrumors regular

    macmikey2

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Chester, PA
    #16
    I may just be stupid (feel free to agree :D), but I looked at my unibody 15" Optical slot and I can't see how a HD can even fit through there.

    Did you mod the slot as well? It's just to skinny for a drive to fit as far as I can tell.

    Mikey
     
  17. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #17
    The drive is not removable. It merely disconnects from the connector to disable. "switchable" means it can be switched off. (not swappable)
     
  18. macmikey2 macrumors regular

    macmikey2

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Chester, PA
    #18
    Ahhh... I AM stupid. LOL. Thanks. It just did not make sense. Now I get it. Cool idea actually
     

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