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  1. #1
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    Default Installing the SSD and Optibay

    I received the last of the bits to upgrade my Late 2009 MBP.

    OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 240GB
    Macfixit Optibay drive (the cheap one)
    Macfixit USB bay for the optical drive
    8GB RAM

    It seems that something I bought also came with a little tool kit including a spudger. Can I say that is a nifty little tool for prying.



    So let the fun begin.

    It's a pretty easy process to get the MBP apart, pull out all the screws you can see and the base pops off to reveal the insides:



    The HDD is simple, just remove the two screws along the top and it levers out:



    Loose the SATA cable and your pretty much done. Swap the little screw in knobs to your new SSD, connect the SATA cable and in it levers:





    At this point I will say that the SSD must be *fractionally* wider than the Seagate XT it's replacing. It took a gentle push towards to outside edge to have it sitting flush with the mounts. Not much, but worth mentioning.

    Next was the RAM. Just push the little levers on each side apart and the top module pops out, do it again for the lower one and then install your shiny new RAM.




    Now I have done all this before, so none of that is particularly hard or interesting… The optical drive however. That's new territory as I expect it will be for most.

    Getting the HDD into the caddy was pretty straight forward and is just like it looks, remove the little plastic bit and slide the HDD onto the connector, then replace the plastic bit. It took a bit of force to get it in there, but it all seems OK.




    Getting the optical drive itself out is also pretty simple, one screw at the back and two hidden near the front. You will need to remove this little nub to get at one of the screws:



    You also need to unscrew what I assume is something to do with the WiFi or Bluetooth:



    From here the drive wiggles out pretty easily and it's a simple matter of removing the little bracket from the back of the drive the putting it all back together with your new optidrive thing:



    This particular adaptor is clearly a very cheap unit. It's very soft metal and the screws holding the WiFi module on have all but eaten the thread (or they are slightly too big). There is also no provision for the two screws that were at the front of the drive so it's being held in entirely by the ONE screw at the back.
    That said, it seems secure enough so I'm not worried.

    It's a bit fiddly to get it back into it's place. I tried it both with and without the plastic facia panel and ended up leaving it off as it was just too tight for my liking. It's also worth mentioning that you should double check the WiFu plug at the back of the drive since I had knocked it loose and had to reconnect it. While I am mentioning things, make sure you put that little nub you removed back into place too, I only realise when putting the back plate on and that screw wouldn't grab. Luckily it was the second one I put in

    Thats it, screw it all back to gather and grab your install disc.

    You optical drive can be slotted into the caddy too, it's very simple, can only go in one way and has a couple of screws that hold it from behind. Being a slot loading drive there is no front bezel so it looks like this. Again a very cheap unit, but it will get the job done I'm sure. I need to do some research to get the "DVD Activator" software since iDVD refuses to open since I no longer have an optical drive (even if it's plugged in via USB) and I have a few DVD images I would like to play back.





    At this point I would love to say I was done. But it seems that 4 hours of trouble shooting and testing led to the understanding that my new RAM was DOA. Mind you this was not before swapping out the optidrive bay for the original optical drive for one of the tests.

    Long story sort, swapping the RAM back to the old 4GB and the install ran a treat and I'm not back up and running. Being that I want to start from scratch I'm sure there is still a few hours of tinkering before I'm happy again. But even now, HOT DAMN is it fast.
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  2. #2

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    Thanks for taking the time to write this! I'll be doing pretty much the same upgrade soon, so having something to follow is nice. The Optibay is the $29 one right?
    MacBook Pro 13" 2.3gHz i5 4GB RAM; Late 2008 MacBook 2.1gHz C2D 2GB RAM; iPad 2 Wifi 16GB White; iPhone 4 Black 32GB; iPod nano 3rd gen 8GB

  3. #3

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    Thumbs up

    great post,i love this stuff,hey you know about static electricity and ram? i usually use a anti static wrist strap,otherwise it is possible to fry it accidently,its also recommended to earth yourself out by touching metal part b4 doing anything,but u probly know that anyhow,
    i always give my machine a clean too,using vacuum on lowest setting and brush attachment very carefully,making sure to prevent fans from spinning too,the amount of dust can be surprising,i also usually find room in a secure place inside the machine for a small silica gel pack to prevent moisture buildup ,but thats just me,i haint no expert,but try to be methodical with procedure and to replace screws in exact same place they wer unscrewd from etc.
    u got me all inspired to do same now,but will wait till hav cash and use two 240 g ssd,s i think,in raid o config ,if its possible.g1
    all is in the all, the all is in all,=so be nice.- haint that hard.

  4. #4
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    OK, so there seems to be another small issue...

    It seems that with the Seagate Momentus XT in the optical bay they system hangs while trying to write to it for minutes at a time. The best I got was about 650mb written before it hung.

    Swapping that for an Apple Branded 160GB 5400rpm drive and it *seemed* to have solved the problem. I managed to write 30GB worth of VM's without issue as well as 16GB of randomly sized files.

    I then tested the Momentus XT in a USB caddy and it seems to be working fine there... strange.

    I have now swapped for a Seagate 7,200rpm 500GB drive and it seems to be back to the same old problem, although in this case it doesn't seem as bad, but still not something I want to keep running

    I have tried disabling the Sudden Motion Sensor on the off chance that was causing issues to no effect. It can't be a power thing because the Apple branded drive says on it's sticker 700mA where the other two Seagate drives are 450mA and 550mA (or there abouts). Which leave me thinking maybe it's a Seagate thing, maybe it's something to do with the drive bay? Who knows.

    I'll put the Apple branded Hitachi 160GB drive in and see how that flies for a little while. Now given that my iTunes folder is over 130GB I don't know that a 160GB drive will cut it for long... That said, I can just dump all my other files on the SSD for now and just keep the iTunes library on the 160GB.

    The really sad part is I have yet to spend any serious time getting this new install up to speed with all the apps re-installed and activated (although I might hold off on activation for the moment, all things considered).
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  5. #5

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    i have installed ocz v2 120 into 2.66 15 last year,i formatted it twice using the zero pass b4 hand[always use zero pass btw] and it installed osx first go no probs,you can also use "erase free space" occasionally to keep ssd in good form,dont forget to untick in sys prefs,"put hard disc to sleep"in power saver too,and prevent computer from ever going to sleep too,sleep mode is not good for ssd,s,can also enable noatime using terminal to save writes[check ocz forum etc for info]perhaps it mite have been prudent to first install ssd [swap with original apple hdd] install osx from disc using inbuilt cd drive]then install optibay hdd and use disc util to reformat,or transfer files from usb drive etc,just a thought.hope you get it anyhow,
    all is in the all, the all is in all,=so be nice.- haint that hard.

  6. #6
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    Funny thing is, in the end I had just the SSD and the optical drive in place when I got the install done. I don't think it needed to that way and that it was all the fault of the RAM, but there it is.

    I have enable noatime and killed the sleep image for the RAM, although I haven't disabled sleep for the HDD's themselves, will get to that though.

    I'm back up and running with the 160GB drive in place and it's copying away without issue. I have moved about 70GB of data so far without issue so I'm leaning more towards Seagate dive issues... or maybe it's a 7,200rpm drives trying to go too fast vs a 5,400 rpm drive?

    I'm tempted to simply pick up a 5,400 rpm 500GB drive to throw in there to quieten the machine down since I don't need the speed so much anymore.
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  7. #7
    mitty's Avatar mitty is offline Couldn't that Chrysler have hit me instead?

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    Nice pics The_Hawk, thanks for posting those.

    Re the problem you are having with another drive... I'm wondering if this is something to do with the EFI 1.7 update. It apparently caused problems for many users who upgraded to non Apple supplied drives, for users of the MBP's which came out around June/July 2009 (My MBP 13" is one such model). I deliberately avoided installing this EFI update because of all the horror stories I'd read, particularly on the official Apple discussion forum, as I'd upgraded to a 500GB drive when I got my MBP.

    Anyway finally a few months back I bit the bullet and just installed the update, and everything works fine. Of course the same may not happen once I try an SSD which I am considering.

    How old is your MBP? It may be effected.

  8. #8
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    Mine is a Late 2009 (5,2) MBP so I believe it's in the effected pile. That said I have been running the Momentus XT (and the other 7,200rpm Seagate drive) as the primary drive for a long long while without issue. Just when it's in that secondary slot am I seeing issues.

    But in other news, holy crap does my WinXP VM load quickly under Parallels
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  9. #9
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    I left the MBP running updates last night to come back to a locked up machine this morning. At a guess I'm going to say it was the machine trying to put the HDD's to power down the HDD's to save power, so have now turned that off.

    I have tested closing the lid and opening it back up and that seems to work and goes in and out of sleep mode alright.

    In my searching I have found this DVD Drive Switcher app. It seems to let you tell the machine your superdrive is external. With this switched I can now load the DVD player... although only when the drive is physically connected. I'm still interested if anyone knows of a 100% override that doesn't require the drive to be present at all.

    It may not be relevant at all since VLC happily plays the images I have created fine without an optical drive being present. Just nice to not be locked out if I ever want to use something.
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  10. #10
    mitty's Avatar mitty is offline Couldn't that Chrysler have hit me instead?

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    Nice

    It's weird... as far as I was aware the problems were only with the primary drive, anything plugged into the DVD drive slot weren't effected by this problem.

    Not sure there's much you can do... I believe there was a rollback to EFI 1.6 but that would reduce your SATA to 1.5GB a second which would suck for your new SSD. You could try maybe another drive instead of the Seagate one. I'm using WD as my drive right now (and have been for ages) and it's fine though maybe I'm one of the lucky ones who was hit by this bug.

    Keep us up to date on how it goes

  11. #11

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    Nice article, I have often thought of doing this but get a bit scared about how hard it would be. It doesn't look too bad...

  12. #12
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    OK. So I have swapped out the 160GB drive for a shiny new Samsung 500GB 5,400rpm unit and 11GB in it seems to be copying without issues.

    The downside is that I came back to the laptop after going out for a while to find it much like I did this morning. Again it looks like the SSD fails to come out of sleep mode, not really a good thing for a laptop which never gets shut down. I don't know if it's the length of sleep or the way it goes to sleep, the apps running or what. Will keep looking into that one, the problem of course is that I need to put it to sleep then leave it alone :P

    At this point I have to say that the transfer issues are solved and if I can work out the wake problems I will be set.... I'm loving the speed but reality is that I'd almost chuck it all in if my particular MBP model is going to give me grief waking up.



    edit: Further reading seems to say certain models have issues coming out of sleep if the machine waits and puts itself to sleep. The cure being to NEVER let the machine sleep by itself. This is actually not to bad a solution for a laptop since it tends to be open when you use it and closed when your not. The only issue would be having to be aware when running on batteries that you need to manually sleep the machine or just let it eat the battery.
    Last edited by The_Hawk; 5th March 2011 at 02:24 PM.
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    Yep, the sleep issue is due to the Sandforce controllers used by most of the good SSDs (OWC, Vertex 2 etc.). It's the only reason I'm a bit hesitant of upgrading to an SSD. The solution is to simply close the lid to sleep it and turn off sleep, but I feel a premium product shouldn't have such a flaw. OWC is apparently working on a firmware update to fix the issue, let's hope that comes out soon.
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  14. #14
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    I agree that it shouldn't happen, but for my particular usage patterns it's not a huge impact since I only leave it on when doing a large encode or large download, 99% of which have now been moved to my server.

    I'm now 130GB down and it seems the new Samsung drive has just eaten the data up Now to put all the screws back in the base plate
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPadlover22 View Post
    Yep, the sleep issue is due to the Sandforce controllers used by most of the good SSDs (OWC, Vertex 2 etc.). It's the only reason I'm a bit hesitant of upgrading to an SSD. The solution is to simply close the lid to sleep it and turn off sleep, but I feel a premium product shouldn't have such a flaw. OWC is apparently working on a firmware update to fix the issue, let's hope that comes out soon.
    I too am looking to upgrade to an optibay / ssd in the v.near future... So I should stay away from ssds with sandforce controllers?

  16. #16
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

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    Sandforce performs the best... but has sleep issues in some model.
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    Sandforce is the best in performance, but has the sleep issue.

    EDIT: Same thing Hawk said
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPadlover22 View Post
    Sandforce is the best in performance, but has the sleep issue.

    EDIT: Same thing Hawk said
    I'm looking at these: Intel® Solid-State Drive 510 Series - Overview
    Nothing is mentioned about sandforce... So should I stay away? :S (Sorry im a complete ssd noob)

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    FWIW I installed a new OWC 240GB SSD into a MBP as the only drive and have never had any sleep issues with it. May just be the way I use it, but it's been absolutely stunning so far.

    Digital Dawn, If those intels are similar to Intel's previous drives then they're probably exceptional. Intel's X drives were the performance leader until the Sandforce drives, iirc.
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  20. #20
    mitty's Avatar mitty is offline Couldn't that Chrysler have hit me instead?

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    Glad you sorted the drive problem Hawk but annoying you had to buy another drive to do so. Shows not all drives are the same.

    I didn't know about this sleep issue. I won't be buying one until I know it's fixed.

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