WD Black2 - SSD and HDD in one 2.5 drive!

bobnugget

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 15, 2006
291
90
England
Anyone else seen this?
WD Black2 Engadget article

I searched and couldn't find any other threads. Looks awesome except for the price point... and the lack of Mac capability. This would be the ideal upgrade for a MacBook Pro non-retina - in other reviews it appears it shows up as an SSD, and after installing and enabler, the HDD is available as a separate volume. This dual volume approach would hopefully allow the drive to be used as a Fusion Drive, too. Hopefully WD will create an OS X enabler soon!
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,630
474
Estonia
If they look like 2 SATA drives behind a single connector, it should work also on Mac without any special enabler, no?
Would be also quite easy to verify with USB-to-SATA adapter or dock.

EDIT: OK, now I see the problem: despite being apparently a dual-drive, the HDD portion needs software support:
WD Black2 FAQ said:
Why is software required?
Software is required to unlock the 1 TB portion of the dual drive. The SSD portion is available to install/clone the OS to it.
 

d0nk3y

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2014
4
0
Enable on Windows and then use in a Mac?

Just wondering if anyone has tried 'enabling' this thing on a windows machine and then connecting to a Mac? Do both drives show up then?

I guess it depends on whether this 'enabling' software is just to 'unlock' the mechanical disk or if it is actually needed all the time as a system level driver to access the mechanical disk.

The language they use would suggest the former, but I suspect it will be the latter.
 

d0nk3y

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2014
4
0
Good news and Bad news

Well, it almost worked.

I connected the drive to a windows laptop via the included USB cable. The Black2 enabling software wouldn't work over USB - it demanded that the drive be in the actual laptop connected to SATA.

So, I used the included Acronis imaging software to clone the internal C: to the externally connected Black2.

Once installed and booted from, I could run the enabling software and it worked. What wasn't quite so cool is that the 1TB part of the drive doesn't actually show as a device of it's own (as I had hoped it would based on the things I'd read) - but as an extended partition on the disk - which all of a sudden was reporting as being 1120GB in size rather than 120 as it previously.

Anyways, I had the whole drive available so I jumped through all sorts of hoops converting it from a MBR partition table to a GPT one (using gdisk), creating an EFI partition in the right place & popping a Recovery partition on it - all the while leaving the 1TB HDD partition exactly where the Black2 software had put it.

It was all looking really promising actually - until I got to the last bit - actually creating the two fusion partitions with:

sudo diskutil cs create Fusion disk3s2 disk3s3

The above command ran fine for a while and eventually failed with an error on both partitions with a final "POSIX reports an Input/Output error" and no working fusion drives for me.

Poos.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,326
10,079
California
Just wondering if anyone has tried 'enabling' this thing on a windows machine and then connecting to a Mac? Do both drives show up then?
It looks like from this review you can setup the disk in Windows with the WD software like you did, then move it to OS X and format to two, HFS+ partitions and it would work fine. But look at this updated review and it appears there are actually two 500GB drives in there making up that 1TB, both using one controller. I don't think Fusion is ever going to work with that setup.

If you just set it up as a 120GB SSD then a 1TB hard drive in OS X like the article mentioned, I bet to would work fine though.
 

d0nk3y

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2014
4
0
Thanks!

Hey there WeaselBoy - reading through that second article you posted, my hope was renewed that I could make it work.

And it does!

Here's a rundown on the journey.

Many thanks!
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,326
10,079
California
Hey there WeaselBoy - reading through that second article you posted, my hope was renewed that I could make it work.

And it does!

Here's a rundown on the journey.

Many thanks!
Well written blog post. Thanks for the update.

One would think there would be a good market for these on Macs if they came out with software to at least support the basic setup.
 

RaNdOm

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2003
107
11
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I really want to do this

I really want to do this, but I'm not sure of what steps you finally took to get it all to work. I have access to several windows machines that should let me install the drive and create partitions. My plan is to put it into my Macbook Pro and set it up as a Fusion drive, but before I pull the trigger on the purchasing the drive I was hoping for a little bit more details on what is required to get it to work and an update on using the drive for a couple months. Thanks!
 

Ripcord83

macrumors member
Jun 12, 2009
48
2
Bay Area, CA
I can say that yes it does work as per what d0nk3y posted.
while not "officially" supported by WD, I have used the exact same steps on my WD Black Hybrid drive.
It's a pretty good drive.
 

HawksFan

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2011
3
0
Wake Forest, NC
Can you add more details on how you did this?

Hey Donk3y...I picked up one of the drives and now OS X is seeing the full drive with each of the partitions (3 to be exact). Can you add in a few more details on how exactly you converted it to a Fusion drive?

I have read your blog post (I agree with WeaselBoy...well done), but am just missing something when it comes to how you were able to make it a fusion drive. I am probably overlooking something really simple I am guessing.

I am not scared when it comes to terminal, but figured you may be able to speed up/simplify the process. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me on this!!
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,377
2,030
San Antonio, TX
$300 for a hybrid drive? You would have to be daft to buy this. You're pbetter off taking the hit in storage space and getting a 500GB SSD for that price.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
$300 for a hybrid drive? You would have to be daft to buy this. You're pbetter off taking the hit in storage space and getting a 500GB SSD for that price.
I must be missing something but I can't see the point of splitting a hybrid drive into its components to then setup a Fusion drive out of the separated hybrid components???? -Ah, my mistake, WD state it is a dual drive, NOT a hybrid...still nuts pricing if you are willing to externalize or ditch the optical...

Agree with you the pricing is nuts, That $$$ would more than cover the cost of separate 1TB HGST HDD and Crucial 120GB SSD and caddy to fit it in lieu of the optical....then Fusion would work as designed....
 
Last edited:

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
it appears there are actually two 500GB drives
States 2 platters, not clear whether that means two drives, that would be a total of 3 drives for the controller and seems a tad over-complicated - unless they intend it to offer a combined 120GB SSD and miniature 500GB HDD RAID 1 array....
 

HawksFan

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2011
3
0
Wake Forest, NC
In terminal and in disk utility it shows up as a single drive with three partitions. One for the SSD, one for the 1tb drive, and one for the software unlock for the 1tb. Anandtech's article states that its a single controller linked with both drives thus why it appears this way in the system. I know you can repartition it in disk utility as a single volume, but I think that will wreak havoc on things due to the software portion being removed. I like a good challenge. Worst case, I just return the drive to Amazon.

Price-wise...if you keep an eye on Amazon, you can snag this guy for as low as $175. You would have to be crazy to pay $300 on it. I agree it would be a lot easier and cost effective to run two drives in the system (especially as I have a 1tb drive already in it), but I unfortunately need the DVD drive more often than not for my job.
 

HawksFan

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2011
3
0
Wake Forest, NC
After a little tinkering and an exchange with Donk3y, I am up and running! You need to use disk utilities to "create" two partitions (the 120gb and 1tb). From there, you run the diskutil list and diskutil coreStorage protocols in terminal and you can make the fusion drive. I did run into a few issues with it where I had to create the Fusion drive multiple times, but I am running stable. Thanks again for the help Donk3y!
 

kurtbauer

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2014
1
0
Easier solution

Hi guys,

I came here googling a solution for this known issue -thank you all for your help- and i think i came up with a really easy solution.

Here's what i did:

1. install mavericks on the ssd partition in my macbook
2. add the hard drive as a secondary disk on my windows 8 computer
3. download the unlocking software, install it properly, the 1TB partition shows up
4. add the disc to my macbook, boot mavericks
5. go to disc utility, format the new 1TB partition as mac osx partition
6. it works :cool:

Hope its helpful

Best!
k
 

Nodlle

macrumors newbie
Feb 15, 2009
9
0
Hi guys,

I came here googling a solution for this known issue -thank you all for your help- and i think i came up with a really easy solution.

Here's what i did:

1. install mavericks on the ssd partition in my macbook
2. add the hard drive as a secondary disk on my windows 8 computer
3. download the unlocking software, install it properly, the 1TB partition shows up
4. add the disc to my macbook, boot mavericks
5. go to disc utility, format the new 1TB partition as mac osx partition
6. it works :cool:

Hope its helpful

Best!
k
Even easier solution worked for me. I plugged the drive into my Windows PC, installed the drivers for HDD (updated the firmware too when I was at it), plugged the drive into my Mac and was just about to boot from my USB and install Mavericks as you suggested, but instead I only opened the Disk Utility and formatted both drives (SSD and HDD) separately. All works fine for now, even managed to encrypt them both without any problem.
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,924
51
Would this drive work in a Boot Camp environment? Install OS X on the 120 GB SSD (which is all that's visible when you first get it), run Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows on the SSD as well, then once in Windows install the WD software to unlock the 1 TB HDD, and finally format the HDD with exFAT for read/write cross compatibility between operating systems.
 

ha1o2surfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2013
386
34
I imagine it's using some sort of port multiplying spec which is only supported by internal SATA controllers.
 

harcourtgees

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2014
2
0
WD Black 2

Go here to download WD Black2 Fusion and Dual Drive Configuration for Mac Installation Guide dwn.alza.cz/manual/1026
 

RaNdOm

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2003
107
11
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Any Yosemite problems

Has anyone had any problems with this drive and Yosemite? I was going to get one awhile ago, but never did. I'm thinking at this 150 price I might as well.
 

asriznet

macrumors regular
Dec 21, 2013
241
0
Singapore
Has anyone had any problems with this drive and Yosemite? I was going to get one awhile ago, but never did. I'm thinking at this 150 price I might as well.
I just ordered 1 myself, currently have my MBP using a DIY fusion drive 60GB SSD + 750GB HDD, maybe replacing current setup with this so that i can install the SSD on my 2007 Mac Mini which is my media server at home.

I think the only issue with Yosemite is that it no longer support TRIM on 3rd party SSD however you can install Trim Enabler which is a 3rd party program to bypass that issue.
 
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