SSD install into Optical Bay on MacBookPro

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by t3h, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. t3h

    t3h Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    Plug the SSD into the SATA port.

    [​IMG]

    Flip it upside down:

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    and install the screws.

    [​IMG]

    Now for the scary bit:

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    Take the back off the MacBookPro.

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    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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...
     
  2. DeejW

    DeejW Member

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    very nice work, who the hell needs optical drives these days anyway :) memory chips all they way I say
     
  3. the Fan-Man

    the Fan-Man Member

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    kudos for initially having the guts to remove the cover of your MBpro!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    t3h

    t3h Member

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    Here's some XBench results for the SSD:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. tin

    tin Member

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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. :thumbup: I was kind of hoping for something more ghetto though... Like sticky taping it into the old hole :D
     
  6. Renza

    Renza Member

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    actually its called the main logic board these days....

    theres pretty much only one board in them anyway :)
     
  7. gibbz

    gibbz Member

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    ive been looking for these bays in Aus, where abouts did you order yours from? :)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    t3h

    t3h Member

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    newmodeus.com - they do ship internationally. Was $60.67 US including FedEx shipping.
     
  9. dexster

    dexster Member

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    very neat install, well done :thumbup:

    i was looking at ways to put a ssd in my old dell but i dont think the bios will allow it
     
  10. ascl

    ascl Member

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    Nicely done, very cool mod!
     
  11. JohJoh

    JohJoh Member

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    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. :)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    t3h

    t3h Member

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    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.)
     
  13. vinnY

    vinnY Member

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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
     
  14. motas

    motas Member

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    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?
     
  15. OP
    OP
    t3h

    t3h Member

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    No, seems to be fine, I haven't had that issue.

    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2010
  16. motas

    motas Member

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    Oh sweet I thought it would be a weird mac plug. Interested in selling it to me? Btw it is slot load right and is it blu Ray?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    t3h

    t3h Member

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    I'd rather not sell it as a) I can stick it back in there to sell the machine / for warranty repairs, b) it's handy to have around, and I may hack it into my desktop somewhere.

    Also, no, it's not bluray. Apple doesn't seem big on that (Steve Jobs described it as "a bag of hurt"...).
     
  18. motas

    motas Member

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    Dam thought you might say that. Is Steve retarted? Everyone uses flash except apple because they don't think it's good enough. Everyone is starting to use blu Ray except apple. Stupid person he is. The ironic thing is I actually like their products. Thanks for your help.
     
  19. vinnY

    vinnY Member

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    interesting, some people claim to have some hibernation issues
    something to do with safe sleep where it copies the ram contents to the hard disk, though you can disable it to get past the problem
     
  20. OP
    OP
    t3h

    t3h Member

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    It may be that - but I disabled that anyway 1) because it takes up 8GB on the disk when you have 8GB RAM, and 2) because it then has to write it all to disk when you want to suspend...

    But then again, I didn't notice anything when I did have it on...
     

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