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Old 22nd June 2010, 1:02 AM   #1
t3h Thread Starter
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Default SSD install into Optical Bay on MacBookPro

I performed this install a fair while ago, and I've been meaning to post it but haven't quite gotten around to it.

Anyway, I wanted to have a SSD in my 2010 model MBP, but I didn't want to outright replace the HDD with it. I very rarely use the optical drive in my laptop, so I decided to swap it out entirely. I've seen another install on here where a guy hacked up a cable to connect it in - but I didn't want to do that.

I knew about a thing called the MCE OptiBay that did something like this - but it's reasonably expensive. A bit of looking around found me a site called NewModeUS that has a similar device. Looking at their product guide, I found the OBHD9-SATA-SATA-NF, which is perfect.



The SSD I used was a G.Skill Falcon2 from MSY. I actually had it replacing the HDD of my old MBP before I sold it in the few days I waited for the new one to arrive.



Anyway, undo the screws on the NewModeUS adaptor, and take the top off.



Plug the SSD into the SATA port.



Flip it upside down:



and install the screws.



Now for the scary bit:



Take the back off the MacBookPro.



Undo the ribbon cable that is connected to the logic board and undo the screws on the wireless board. Then undo the 2 screws at the front of the optical drive, and the one at the back, and lift it out, unplugging it from the onboard SATA.

Unscrew the little tab from the back of it, and screw it onto the NewModeUS enclosure.



... but not that way around. Put it on the right way.



Put the wireless card back on top and do the screws up. Unfortunately, the NewModeUS enclosure lacks the two screw holes at the front, so it can't be screwed down, however, the top edge is secured by the wireless board, and it's screwed in at the back, so it's not going anywhere.



Now, dismantle a FireWire external HDD, and plug the board into a SATA optical drive, and install OS X onto the SSD



I'll post more details later, including how to have the system on the SSD and your home folder on the HDD, as well as a few benchmarks.

I can however say that the system is unbelievably responsive with all the apps on the SSD. The system boots in just under two seconds most times. Most apps launch before they rise all the way up in the Dock for the first bounce.

It'd be awesome if Apple put a SSD bay in the MBP like they have on the XServe above the drive bays. The SSD they use there is quite small, and could probably be worked into the MBP somewhere. What would also be cool is if someone made an optical drive to HDD adaptor with a port multiplier and a small 64GB SSD in the remaining space in the unit so you can have a second HDD and a SSD in the optical bay. Interestingly, though, I have heard that there are DVD drives coming with SSDs built in so you can add one and not lose your optical drive.

Also, I might add that since the grey felt just inside the optical drive is part of the case, this looks totally stock from the outside. You can even attempt to put a disk in... but it only goes in until it hits the SSD

Waking the machine from sleep or booting it is odd as well, because I'm used to hearing the optical drive initialise...
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Old 22nd June 2010, 1:14 AM   #2
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very nice work, who the hell needs optical drives these days anyway memory chips all they way I say
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Old 22nd June 2010, 1:26 AM   #3
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kudos for initially having the guts to remove the cover of your MBpro!
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Old 22nd June 2010, 11:07 AM   #4
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Here's some XBench results for the SSD:

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Old 22nd June 2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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I find it silly that Apple still call their motherboards "Logic Board" like none of the other boards in the computer deal with logic...

Nice work there. I was kind of hoping for something more ghetto though... Like sticky taping it into the old hole
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Old 22nd June 2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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actually its called the main logic board these days....

theres pretty much only one board in them anyway
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Old 22nd June 2010, 3:13 PM   #7
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ive been looking for these bays in Aus, where abouts did you order yours from?
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Old 22nd June 2010, 3:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbz View Post
ive been looking for these bays in Aus, where abouts did you order yours from?
newmodeus.com - they do ship internationally. Was $60.67 US including FedEx shipping.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 5:03 PM   #9
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very neat install, well done

i was looking at ways to put a ssd in my old dell but i dont think the bios will allow it
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Old 22nd June 2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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Nicely done, very cool mod!
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Old 23rd June 2010, 9:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tin View Post
I find it silly that Apple still call their motherboards "Logic Board" like none of the other boards in the computer deal with logic...

Nice work there. I was kind of hoping for something more ghetto though... Like sticky taping it into the old hole
Agreed with the ghetto part.

Haha, nice mod though, I might do the same with my MBPro, I hardly use the optical bay, and if I need to i can use my external one anyway.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 5:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohJoh View Post
Haha, nice mod though, I might do the same with my MBPro, I hardly use the optical bay, and if I need to i can use my external one anyway.
Yeah, it will indeed boot from USB and FireWire, so you really don't need an internal optical drive for anything.

Wonder if I can install OS X off a SD card? :P

(I've installed Win7 off a SDHC card in my desktop, as that also has no optical drive.)
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Old 23rd June 2010, 6:04 PM   #13
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^ planning to replace my optical drive with a hdd, made an image of my restore discs and 'restored' it to a sd card, works good also made images of the application disc and as well as iwork and copied it to the sd card too so i can install those after i've installed osx

question for the op, i've been hearing people have been having trouble waking up from sleep with the startup drive in the optical drive bay's sata instead of the normal location
suffering any of these troubles at all?
something to do with the startup disc having to send out the bat signal to turn on hdd's when waking up but osx only waits for it from the regular hdd sata port
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Old 23rd June 2010, 10:10 PM   #14
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Red face

I want a MacBook lol. I didn't really notice the difference between an ssd and hdd. So what are ya gonna do with the optical drive? Anyone know how to get it working with a pc?
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Old 23rd June 2010, 10:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnY View Post
suffering any of these troubles at all?
No, seems to be fine, I haven't had that issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motas View Post
So what are ya gonna do with the optical drive? Anyone know how to get it working with a pc?
I have it sitting on my desk. Might install it in a desktop.

As for getting it going in a PC, this adaptor will convert it to SATA and a molex power connector.
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Last edited by gords; 24th June 2010 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Merged posts. Please don't double-post.
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