Utilising the hard drive sata ports.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by maximart4u, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. maximart4u macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #1
    I have an external CD drive I want to plug in via sata I have tried using the two ODD sata ports on the mainboard but my drive is simply not recognised, tried it in XP bootcamp as well.

    Is it possible to plug it into the hard drive bay satas, I have 2 bays free, looking at the back of the bays there is a black connecter which has a male sata connecter built in, I cant plug my male-male sata cable into that, and the cd drive will not connect directly to it like a hard drive, I noticed behind the bay there are black wires which go down behind the fan assembly somewhere, do these go to 4 sata ports which I can use or something?

    Any ideas anyone?

    Thanks.
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #2
    It sounds like you have a pre 2009 machine.

    All Mac Pros are not created equal. Some have EFI32 and some EFI64. Some boot ODD by IDE and some by SATA. So find out by profiler what model you have and it will be possible to sort things out.

    By activating the AHCI mode you can get windows to boot off the ODD ports of most MP models.
     
  3. maximart4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply, heres profiler overview:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
    Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: MP11.005C.B08
     
  4. rtrt, Nov 11, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #5
    That would work if there's an empty HDD bay.

    Otherwise the OP would need to get an eSATA card that works in a MP. If booting isn't desired, there's cards that can be had inexpensively (based on an SIL3132 chip). Example (it's only a 2 port card, but has the ability to use jumpers to use either internal or external ports). Silicon Image has OS X drivers (works in SL too) available on thier site.

    If booting is desired, then the only bootable eSATA card I'm aware of is the HighPoint eSATA card for Mac. Expensive at $229USD, but it will boot in EFI32 or EFI64 based systems (all Intel Macs to date). The cable to the HDD bay would be far easier to deal with in terms of cost. Ugly, but inexpensive.
     
  6. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #6
    You have a 2006 Mac Pro which has two IDE and six SATA ports.The IDE ports are in the extractable ODD bay in front of the PSU. Two of the SATA ports sit directly on the logic board under the fan unit and are called ODD SATA. The other four are HDD SATA ports with headers that run data and power in the same connector.

    Your Mac Pro boots OD (CD and DVD) by IDE only. ODD booting from SATA is not enabled by the EFI firmware. Nevertheless reading and burning ODs should be possible via the SATA ports.

    The most simple way to connect is buying an IDE to SATA converter, strip the CD drive from the external case and fit it as the second drive in the optical drive bay.

    The next solution would use no adapter but run a SATA cable from one of the ODD SATA ports to the second optical bay and connect it there to the stripped CD drive. Remember you cannot boot with this solution.

    Finally you could fit an eSATA bracket in one of the PCIe slots and hook up one of your ODD SATA ports to this bracket. The CD drive would remain in the external case. Remember you cannot boot with this solution.

    A fourth solution would use one of the integrated HDD headers by fitting an extension cable which are available up to 1 m length. This isn't really recommended as the ports are not meant to be used with ODD. Remember you cannot boot with this solution.

    As previously mentioned booting Windows XP from the CD drive would be best done with the IDE adapter. With a SATA drive it is not possible.
    People who have 2008 and 2009 MPs can generally boot ODDs with SATA. To boot ODD Windows they have to install a HDD with a Windows partition and set the AHCI mode to the system. That is by no means a trivial task and has failed to work for Windows in 2008 MPs. So I will not bother you with the details.

    I forgot one more easy way of doing this. You fit an USB to SATA converter and run the CD drive on USB. THis would allow you most operations except booting Windows.

    If all you want is installing Windows you do not really need the CD drive for this. You can download an installation software from Microsoft which will enable installation from a 4 GB USB stick.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    I assumed the OP wants to keep it external, so an eSATA card may be the easiest option for physical installation.

    The issue comes down to boot capability IMO. The cheap card I linked would be able to boot a Windows disk (BIOS emulation in EFI), so it can load a Windows OS media disk as well as load a Windows HDD installation. It would even provide Hot Swap capability. ;) Quite a bit for such a low cost. :) But it only provides driver support under OS X.

    The HighPoint card can boot OS X, but is costly. And as you mention, if external isn't required, other options become available (and vary due to boot requirements). :)

    Argh... Why can't Macs be simpler for such things? :rolleyes: :apple: :p
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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  9. maximart4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #10
    Are you sure that an old EFI32 would boot SATA ODDs via the expensive HPT card? I thought that SATA booting of ODs is generally not a feature provided in EFI32.
     
  11. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #11
    No way. PCI cards do not fit in PCIe slots. Electrically and mechanically incompatible.

    With the riser card in the other thread it may be possible to connect that card but then you face two further issues.

    1. Would OS X have a driver for it?

    2. You still cannot boot CDs because of EFI restrictions.
     
  12. maximart4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I dont need to boot cds i just need to read and write to the drive. I dont really want to spend any more money, is there no way of doing it with the hardware i have?

    Regarding the card this may sound stupid but i wasnt going to plug it in to the pcie i was just going to have it conneced to the ide of the mac and sata on the cd drive, i thought it might work as a sort of bridge or converter if you get me?

    Thanks
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #13
    Highpoint's site indicates it boots, without any limitations that I've seen (no HDD = Yes, ODD = No comments). But it's a different controller, running on different firmware stored on the card.

    Think of it this way. The HDD ports will boot with either OS X or Windows, but not the ODD ports, and both are EFI32 (EFI64 in the case of the '08 models; '09's are immune to the issue from what you've posted). It seems the EFI32 isn't the cause of the ODD_SATA port debacle, but Apple's implementation for the ODD_SATA ports. It makes the most sense to me, anyway. :p

    I even checked the manual. Nothing there either. I did notice however, there is a need to update the firmware for the EFI32 based systems (apparently EFI64 is what it ships with).

    Nor will it work with Windows at all. No drivers, or Windows section in the Manual.

    The ODD_SATA ports would work with OS X. You can even boot OS X HDD's from them. But not with Windows.

    There's a PCI eSATA bracket that will attach to the ODD_SATA ports inside the machine. The ideal unit has one of the cables as a RT angle, the other is straight. OWC sells it for $25USD.

    For the same money, you can get the card I linked, and it will work with both OS's (boots Windows or Linux, and OS X via driver support). As you don't need to boot OS X from it, it will do what you want. It will run Windows boot media in a SATA optical drive, and even a Windows HDD.

    Not a lot of choices when it comes to Macs, unfortunately. EFI based firmware makes matters difficult, especially when booting OS X is required. Windows or Linux use is easier (exclusive to those OS's), as the BIOS emulation incorporated in the EFI firmware makes this much easier. You can use standard PC hardware, so long as it's PCIe based. ;)
     
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #14
    CD read/burn should be possible with the ODD SATA ports and internal fit of the CD drive. All you need is the SATA cable.

    If you fit it externally you need to buy a bracket and keep the total cable length below 1m. Just keep in mind that the drive needs to be hooked up before you boot the Mac. The ports are neither hot plug nor hot swap.

    Where do you want to connect it to an IDE interface? IDE and PCI are different bus designs!
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    I know the ODD_SATA will work with OS X. And that others have installed DVD or BluRay units and accessed them via Windows, but I thought that may have been limited to the EFI64 systems.

    Can you confirm a SATA ODD attached to the ODD SATA ports will work (non bootable) in a Windows drive on the HDD bays?
    :cool: If that's the case. :)

    I figured the OP was talking about the bracket adapter, as it uses a PCI bracket, not the actual PCIe slot that goes with it. :p

    Perhaps a SATA->IDE adapter was meant (internal installation on the IDE bus). It should then become bootable for Windows media as well as OS X media.
     
  16. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #16
    You can use any SATA ODD in a MP1,1/MP2,1 with EFI32 for read/burn with the ODD-SATA ports. You just cannot get the suckers to boot.

    I don't understand the question. The presence of a HDD with Windows boot partition in one of the HDD bays has no bearing on the matter in my view.

    No, he was talking about the PCI eSATA card he had kicking round somewhere. That thing cannot connect to an IDE interface, full stop.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    Ah. Nice to know that it's the same with the EFI32 based systems then. ;) It will help with the BluRay questions. :)

    Sorry about the confusing language. You answered it above. :)

    I couldn't make any clear sense of it, and took a stab at it, from what I did gather. Oops. :eek: :p
     
  18. maximart4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I have tried connecting with just a sata cable lots of times and the computer wont recognize it (I only need it to be recognized in windows) its as if its not even there. Am I doing something wrong?
     
  19. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #19
    So what exactly have you done?

    Stripped the drive from the external case?
    Put it into the ODD bay?
    Connected 2nd Molex power cable to drive?
    Connected SATA 90° cable to logic board ODD SATA port?
    Connected other end of SATA cable to CD drive?
    Rebooted into OS X?

    At this point in OS X the drive should should read/burn CDs. If not you have a fault somewhere.

    For Windows to have the drive read/burn you need to activate the AHCI mode of your SATA ESB2 device in the chipset. In OS X it is always activated. In Windows it is not.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=760482
     
  20. maximart4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I did exactly those steps and it isnt recognised in OS X or windows, the nearest thing to it being recognised is in system profiler, under 'Serial - ATA' the bottom one on the list shows a device connected to it with the same serial thats on the drive so it is picking up something, but it doesnt show in disk utility or anywhere under windows.

    I might try enabling AHCI in windows and see if that helps.
     
  21. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #21
    Well it is recognized then but OS X has no appropriate driver for it, which is a bit of a surprise to me. It could be an old firmware mind.

    Windows might do better once you have enabled AHCI. Try to upgrade the firmware once it is recognized and you may be luckier with OS X as well.
     
  22. maximart4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    I tried activating ahci but still the same thing, it does shop up in intel storage manager under the correct sata port but thats about it, no where else to be seen =/

    Mind you, It still does show up as an IDE device so maybe I didn't do the ahci proccess right, which intel drivers am I meant to actually use?
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #23
    What version of Windows are you running (and is it 32/64 bit)?
     
  24. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #24
    To have a look at what you did you should make a screen shot of the windows device manager. In the screen shot your IDE/ATA devices should all be displayed by clicking the plus sign there. The CD/DVD drives should also be displayed.

    You can do the screen shot with the keys "shift F14". Then paste the screen shot to the Windows Paint application and store it. You can upload it to a service like imageshack.us and display it here by copying the forum code.
     

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