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Mac SATA/ATA/IDE Storage/Controller Articles/Tips/Reviews

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SATA/IDE HD/SSD Related Articles
Enabling TRIM in OS X using Chameleon SSD Optimizer, OS X Trim Enabler or Manually
(Added info on manually enabling unsupported SSD TRIM in OS X 10.9.4.) Mac OS X user reports and tips on enabling TRIM for SSDs that do not have it enabled by default. Includes Mac OS X reports on using Chameleon SSD Optimizer and OS X Trim Enabler apps, and also info on terminal commands to enable TRIM in OS X manually without using 3rd party apps. (Includes Sandforce SSD and Samsung SSD users, along with troubleshooting tips. I enabled TRIM manually on a Intel 520 Sandforce SSD in a mac Mini.)
Reminder on SATA2 Macs that Run SATA3 (6Gbps) Drives at SATA1 Speed
Mentioned several times over the years (including a note on my 2nd SSD swap in a 2012 Mac Mini) but after seeing a recent post in Apple's forums from a 2009 Mac Mini (mini3,1) owner that his new Samsung 840 EVO SSD shows a 1.5Gbps link rate (despite having a SATA2/3Gbps interface), wanted to post a reminder on the Mac models that have this problem.
MacBook Air Flash Drive Replacement Program
(Oct 2013) On Oct. 17th, Apple posted a MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 for "Mid 2012" MacBook Air models & a MacBook Air Flash Drive Replacement Program - "Apple has determined that certain 64GB & 128GB flash storage drives used in the previous generation of MacBook Air systems may fail. These were sold between June 2012 through June 2013. Apple (or an ASP) will replace affected flash drives free of charge..." (See page for details). The repair program also notes those that previously paid for a repair of the flash drive can apply for a refund.
DIY OS X Fusion Drives in Mac Pros, MacBook Pros, iMacs & Mac Minis
Reader reports on Do-It-Yourself OS X Fusion drives in Mac Minis, MacBook Pros, Mac Pros and iMacs. Includes tips on partitions, warnings on Fusion Drive repairs as well as links to DIY OS X Fusion drive Guides.
Late 2012 Mac Mini SSD swap (Intel 520) & Drive Cloning Notes
(Mar 2013) Notes on swapping my SATA2 Toshiba 512GB SSD in a Late 2012 Mini (2.3GHz core i7, ram upgraded to 16GB) for a SATA3 480GB Intel 520 series. It turned out fine with a significant performance increase. (I later enabled TRIM in OS X 10.9.3 manually using commands in the OS X terminal app. So far no issues seen with the 480GB Sandforce-based Intel 520 SSD with TRIM enabled in OS X 10.9.3 Mavericks.)
Info on iMac's HD + SSD Option w/service part info
2010 iMac owner's notes with Apple P/Ns on cables for adding a SSD to a 27in Mac with Hard Drive.  (FYI: Post Updated to include DIY Kits for adding internal SSD in 2010 and 2011 iMacs)
Jumper Settings for SATA3 Drives in older Macs with SATA1 (1.5Gb/s)
Jumper Setting Tips for Seagate and Western Digital SATA3 drives in Macs with SATA I interfaces, such as the early Intel-Based Macs and PowerMac G5 models. Without forced SATA mode reduction, the drives were not usable/recognized. SATA3 drives usually will auto-sense SATA2 interfaces but not SATA1. (FYI: There are also some SATA2 Mac models that run SATA3 Drives at SATA1 speed.)
(OK) Reports from OS X users of eSATA cards w/Port Multipler cases
After getting another mail from an eSATA card owner that didn't notice data corruption until months later I posted a request for reports from readers with _reliable_ eSATA card/Port Multiplier cases in the Apri 4th, 2011 news page.
2010 Mac Mini Server Drive Temperature Sensors Info/Pix
A past news page had some comments on special drive cables/thermal sensors in the new 2010 Mac Minis (and reminders on HD brand specific/temp sensor cables for late 09 iMacs). The takeaparts of the new 2010 Minis didn't include any info on that (but I suspect may be revised later). However a reader with a 2010 Mini server sent notes/pix on the cables/termal sensors during his dual SSD upgrade/drive swap.
Using WDidle3 to disable Head Parking w/WD Green Hard Drives
A 2008 Mac Pro owner with four 2TB WD Green HDs sent a guide on Using WDidle3 to disable Head Parking w/WD Green Hard Drives. (Personally I would not have bought Green drives for my Mac Pro internal bays...)
Tips for OS X SSD Users on Disabling Hibernate mode/deleting sleepimage file
Reminders on past tips here for SSD/Notebook users on disabling hibernate mode and deleting the sleepimage file which saves GB's of (expensive) SSD space. (i.e. 4GB ram machines saves 4GB space, etc.) Also includes a recap on disabling SMS (sudden motion sensor - not needed for SSDs) and disabling LidWake. (Update: See later article for Trim/SSD utilities.)
WD Caviar Black 1TB Benchmarks (single drive and dual-drive/RAID0)
Just a FYI that my tests of the low cost (under $60 MSRP) NewerTech 6Gbps eSATA PCIe controller card includes Drive Genius 2.2.1 BenchTest bechmark results with WD Caviar Black 1TB drives (single drive and dual-drive RAID 0). Benchmarks were run with both the NewerTech 6G card and a Sil3132 based eSATA card.

Hard Drive in a Mac Pro's Optical Drive Bay article

A reader from the UK sent notes and pix of his (pre-2009) Hard Drive in a Mac Pro's Optical Drive Bay using a heatsinked and rubber isolated drive bracket vs the X-Swing that Oliver used in his previous articles on HDs in Mac Pro Optical drive bay here. (BTW - This article and others on the subject here (since 2007) used brackets with rubber isolation for reduced noise. And the bracket this reader used also had a heatsink feature but I doubt that really matters much (but they were relatively cheap). Of course if you don't care about any of that you can do this very cheaply with the all metal 5.25in bay adapter brackets, which used to come free in retail box 3.5in HDs in the past.)

Feedback on Western Digital Scorpio (2.5in) 750GB and 640GB HDs

Reader reports on these notebook HDs from MacBook/MacBook Pro (on 750GB and 640GB) and Mini owners (640GB only due to 9.5mm height limit). I posted the request for feedback after some questions from readers about these notebook HDs.

FYI on Seagate FreeAgent Go 1TB (and 880/750GB)

Another FYI/Warning to any one looking to swap out a 1TB 2.5in drive from one of these 'portable' USB cased models. Drive is SATA but is 15mm high (too tall). Said to also be true of the FreeAgent Go 880GB and 750GB models as well. (WD Scorpio 1TB and 750GB models are 12.5mm high - but the 1TB model is literally impossible to find as of Nov. 2009.)

FYI on WD Passport 1TB (and others) NOT having SATA HD inside

Just a warning/FYI to any other reader thinking they could open up the 1TB WD Passport USB drive and use the HD inside a notebook (MacBook/MacBook Pro, etc.) - the drive inside is USB only. (Replies noted other capacity USB Passport drives were the same way - buyer beware.) I swapped it for a Toshiba USB 640GB Portable drive, which had a 9.5mm high SATA HD inside but I wonder if other mfrs will change that practice now.

Mac User reports on OCZ Vertex SSD firmware update 1.41 w/GC

Mac owner reports on OCZ's vertex v1.41 firmware update with GC (garbage collection)... some mac users were not able to update however (deja-vu...)

2009 Mac Pro RocketRAID 4320 vs Onboard SATA 4-Drive RAID0/1/10, Intel SSD Benchmarks

Early 2009 Mac Pro benchmarks of a 4-drive Seagate 1.5TB RAID array using a RocketRAID 4320 PCIe card vs Apple onboard SATA RAID. Includes RAID0, RAID1 and RAID10 Benchmarks. (Also includes some Intel X25M SSD benchmarks.)

RAID0 Stripe performance w/2 WD RE4-GP 2TB (64MB cache) HDs in Mac Pro

Post from a 2008 Mac Pro owner on RAID0 (stripe) performance with two WD RE4-GP (aka 5400rpm) drives. (These are not the 7200rpm RE4 models.)

OS X Notebook HD Load Cycle Counts (from SMART Utility)

Page on using SMART Utility for OS X (shareware) to check notebook drive "Load Cycle Counts" as well as notes on other drive SMART attributes/failing warnings, etc. (Page posted after the topic came up again recently on some drives frequently parking heads/cycling at a rate that would exceed the mfr's max cycle rating within a few months. Includes feedback from OS X users on their drive model readings with various models of Fujitsu, Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate and Toshiba 2.5in hard drives.)

Seagate Hard Drive Failures/Firmware Updates

Includes the Seagate Kbase Doc w/SN check on affected drives, firmware updates and a Guide to applying firmware updates with a Mac Pro. Also has reader reports on updates, drive failures, etc. in reply to a high number of infant failures (within a few months) reported for some models made during the last several months of 2008 in Seagate's forums. (Some dealer inventory may still include affected drives as of Jan 2009.)

Installing a SSD (Solid State Hard Drive) in a Mac Pro

Guide with Photos on installing a SSD drive in a (2008) Mac Pro system. (Also includes link to benchmark tests vs three 1TB SATA Hard Drives.)
SATA RAID Related Articles

2009 Mac Pro RocketRAID 4320 vs Onboard SATA 4-Drive RAID0/1/10, Intel SSD Benchmarks

(Oct. 2009) Early 2009 Mac Pro benchmarks of a 4-drive Seagate 1.5TB RAID array using a RocketRAID 4320 PCIe card vs Apple onboard SATA RAID. Includes RAID0, RAID1 and RAID10 Benchmarks. (Also includes some Intel X25M SSD benchmarks.)

RAID0 Stripe performance w/2 WD RE4-GP 2TB (64MB cache) HDs in Mac Pro

(Oct 2009) Post from a 2008 Mac Pro owner on RAID0 (stripe) performance with two WD RE4-GP (aka 5400rpm) drives. (These are not the 7200rpm RE4 models.)
Mac Pro 4-Drive Internal SATA RAID 0 Tests
Mac Pro user's Kona 2 and Quickbench test results with internal 4-drive RAID 0 array using Four 320GB Seagate 7200.10's (previous drive db reports noted very poor RAID performance with multi-drive 7200.10 drives, originally reported from 750GB drive owners. Seagate working on a firmware update for drives to fix this.)
SATA/IDE/ATA Controller Card Related Articles
Combo USB 3.0 + eSATA 3
Card with OS X 10.7.5
(& 10.8 w/driver update)
(Oct 2012) Reader feedback on Caldigit's Combo eSATA III (6Gb/sec) + USB 3.0 PCI express card compatible with OS X 10.7 (10.7.5 used) and info on USB 3.0 driver update for OS X 10.8/Mountain Lion. He noted Native eSATA support but a driver install required for USB 3.0 use. (We also had several reports in early Oct 2012 with Feedback on USB 3.0 Cards with OS X 10.7.5 and OS X 10.8.2)
SI3132/eSATA Cards with OS X Lion (Revisited)
(Mar 2012) Most still seem ok with using Silicon Image's 3132 drivers from mid-2010 (10.6.x release) with OS Lion (10.7.3) based on feedback in March 2012. Includes links to earlier posts from summer 2011 on GM 10.7, repeat of tips on reinstalling drivers after initial OS Install/upgrade and more. (Also notes the driverless/natively supported (in OS X 10.5 and later) NewerTech 6G SATA card still supported per early Lion reports.)
(OK) Reports from OS X users of eSATA cards w/Port Multipler cases
(Apr 2011) After getting another mail from an eSATA card owner that didn't notice data corruption until months later I posted a request for reports from readers with _reliable_ eSATA card/Port Multiplier cases in the Apri 4th, 2011 news page.
iMac eSATA Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)


(Sept 2010) iMac (intel-based) notes and pictures on swapping out the Airport card with the same 2-port SATA card for eSATA used earlier by Mini owners. (See article link below.)
Another iMac owner sent his Photo Gallery/Guide to iMac eSATA Card Install/Mod
2006-2007 Mac Mini
eSATA Card Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)


(Aug/Sept 2010) 3 Reader reports on swapping out the Mini-PCIe Airport card with a 2-port SATA card used for eSATA. Includes card info and some initial real-world benchmarks. Reports are from OS X 10.6.4 and 10.5.8 mini users.
(NOTE: 2009 and Later Minis DO NOT have a Mini-PCIe Airport card and can't do this mod. PPC Macs also do not have Mini-PCIe Airport cards.)
Review of NewerTech
eSATA 6G PCIe Controller

(No Drivers Reqd/Low-Cost)
(Jan 2010) My tests of the under $60 MSRP NewerTech 6Gbps eSATA PCIe controller card with native support, no drivers required in OS X 10.5 and later (including 64-bit support).
This review includes info on the card, benchmarks with 1TB WD Caviar Black hard drives in single-drive and Dual-drive RAID 0 configuration. Benchmarks compare my previous eSATA PCIe card - an under $20 Sil3132 model which requires a driver install. (NewerTech 6G card also supported in Windows/Bootcamp.)
  If like me, you don't need PM support, the NewerTech 6G eSATA card is well worth a look.
[Update/FYI: Per OWC, this card still has native support (no drivers reqd) in OS X 10.8.]
OS X 10.6 Tests w/Cheap eSATA PCIe and ExpressCards
My notes on testing low-cost ($20-$25) eSATA Expresscard and PCIe cards in OS X Snow Leopard with an Early 2009 17in MacBook Pro and Early 2009 Mac Pro. (Sil3132 based Expresscard/PCIe cards and a natively supported JMB360 based expresscard.) Also links to updated Sil3132 drivers for Snow Leopard - and data corruption test results w/10.6.2. (JMB360 card often fails a file integrity test with many eSATA HDs I have.)
MacBook Pro user reports on Express/34 Cards
A collection of MacBook Pro owner reports on Express/34 cards, including eSATA controllers although many other types also reported on there.
Using the Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports with an External SATA Case Kit
A Mac Pro owner's article on using the spare 2 SATA ports on the Mac Pro motherboard with Newer Tech's SATA cable kit and an external dual SATA drive case. (FYI - Includes reports on compatible (and incompatible) external cases - some ext. case bridge boards (w/multiple interfaces) are not compatible.)
DVD/CDRW and Blu-Ray Drive Related Articles
More Mac Pro Blu-Ray and DVD Burner Upgrade reports
(May 2011) Mac Pro owner reports on Blu-Ray drives (Pioneer BDR-206, LG BH10LS30, ) and Multiformat DVD burners (LG GH22NP21, Samsung SHS222LBEBSL). The Mac Pro/Pioneer BDR-206 report includes notes/screenshots on problems seen related to drive going to sleep. (Deja-Vu.) Also has info from owners of 2006-2008 Mac Pros that used one of the 2 extra onboard SATA Ports for an optical drive. (There's a previous artlcle here on Using the 2006-2008 Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports.)
Tests/Tips on Mac Pro/Pioneer BDR-205 "Disappearing Drive" issue
(Nov. 2009) After getting a report from a 2009 Mac Pro owner that his Pioneer BDR-205 drive was "disappearing" after appx 30min of time in OS X (but not windows), I suspected a drive sleep issue. The Nov. 25th, 2009 news page has replies from several other Mac Pro owners and an update from the original reader to report the problem (disabling allow drive sleep in Energy Saver seems to have helped, but see posts.)
PowerMac G3/G4 Towers
CD/DVD Burner
Installation Guide
Step-by-step illustrated guide to installing a CDROM drive in a Beige G3, 8600/9600 and Blue and White G3 or G4 system.
Tips/Misc. Other Drive Related Articles
Ext. Drive Troubleshooting Tips and Firmware Updates
A recap of tips on External/USB Drives disconnecting/sleeping (despite OS X Energy Saver settings) and mac firmware updates for some external (typically USB3) Western Digital and Seagate drive models and FYI on USB 3.0 HD dock firmware update affecting sleep support. (Plus reminder on past firmware update for Lacie Quadra D2 that added support for 3TB+ drives.)


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