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2012 MBP Optical Bay SATA Issues

9003 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Nov 6, 2013 4:15 AM by Vmc555 RSS
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Halfmoonh4 Calculating status...
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Jul 11, 2012 5:06 PM

Has anyone been able to get a SATA III storage device to work reliably on the Optical Bay SATA port on a 2012 MBP 2012 13", i5?   If so, what drive, and how does it perform (ie. MB/s speed).


Like every good geek, the 1st thing I didn't with my new MBP was add Memory and storage, replacing the main drive with an SSD and the optical drive with a big drive (mechanical storage).


System Info says the optical bay is rated at 6 Gbs (SATA III).   But, my experience is any SATA III 6Gps device you hook up to the Optical port crashes.  I've only got the Apple SATA II (3 Gbs) harddrive to work.    I've tried 3 different 6 Gbs devices: a Seagate Momentus XT 750 Hybrid, the Samsung 830 SSD, and the Vertex 4 SSD.... they all either crashed, had disk errors, failed to format, or caused a kernel panic.    They say connect at 6 Gbs in Sys Info, but all had major issues.    The 3 Gbs Apple drive says connected at 3 Gbs in System info. and runs fine. 


This is Deja Vu with my 2009 13"  MBP.  Its rated 3 Gbs (SATA II),  but my OWC 6G SSD only connects at 1.5 Gbs (half speed, ... after the fact OWC told me only the 3G models work on the 2009).  But at least it doesn't crash the machine or drive.   The difference was the SATA III Momentus XT connected at 3 Gbs and the SSD only 1.5 Gbs.  Swapping drives didn't make a difference.


The really aggregating thing about my "upgrade" from 2009 to 2011 MBP was my Seagate Momentus XT 750 that used to work great at 3 Gps speed on the '09, now crashes and doesn't work at all at 6 Gps  on the 2012 MBP.  So I had "downgrade" to the 500 Gb Apple drive to get the optical port to work


On the bright side both Samsung 830 and OCZ V4 SSD's work great on the main drive (450 MB/s read) and it boots in 10 seconds.  Yes 10 seconds!  The optical drive SATA port is a major issue for everyone ( like me ) who buys MBPs because they can trip them out, this is a real nagging issue/obstacle.   This is definitely a firmware issue that needs to be addressed by Apple. I'm hoping for a firmware update and that Apple isn't doing this intentionally.   Until that time, my advice is, don't expect a 6 Gbs drive to work.


For anyone listening, I refuse to buy a Retina Mac (no matter how good the display is) with 1) Welded in memory, 2) glued in battery, and 3) no option for 2nd drive or HD upgrade.  Please keep making MBP's with options!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4), 13" June 2012 i5
  • mr da Level 3 Level 3 (510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 5:11 PM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    I know the joy of fiddling "under the hood" with the hardware, and can appreciate your desire to do so. (Does anyone remember S100 computers? Ah, the smell of solder! )  There is also something to be said for the mbp-r - I like mine, despite its nonmodifiability (is that a word?)

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 5:31 PM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    Not going to happen. Apple only wants you to have an Optical drive in that bay. So that bay will not exist, as with the rMBP and Air models.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2012 5:58 AM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    It is not an Intel issue. Intel makes the chipset and Apple supplies the drivers/software for it. On Windows Intel does supply the base drivers/software and to my knowledge there are no problems on Windows.

  • fotogeek514 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 20, 2012 7:11 AM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    Halfmoonh4, are you talking about your above experience with your SSD in your main HD bay or the optical bay?

    I've had great performance of my Samsung 830 in the main HD bay.


    I have a Crucial M4 64GB SSD but it's SATA iii.

    I've read that SATA ii drives will work in the optical bay. I bought a Mushkin 120 GBSSD SATA ii for the opitcal bay. Going to install it today. I'll report back when I finish installs and tests.

  • fotogeek514 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:30 AM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    Ok. I decided since i was opening up the optical bay, i might as well test my Crucial C300 128 GB Sata3. I've read forums and discussions about installing a SATA3 drive in the optical bay in the Macbook Pro 13" Mid 2012. People say it shouldn't and can't be done but so far so good although my speeds aren't as high as I would like in the optical bay (Crucial C300). The speed on my Samsung 830 in the main bay seem to at 6gb/s speeds. Not sure if it's the Crucial C300 or the optical bay connection. It reads 6gb/s in system info, link speed and negotiated link speed so I don't know what to think right now. It's only been an hour so I'll report back if there's any issues.

  • fotogeek514 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:32 AM (in response to fotogeek514)

    Here are speed tests for both SSDs:

    Samsung 830 in main bay.

    Crucial C300 in opti bay.

    128 SM test.png128 C test.png

  • dvessel Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Sep 7, 2012 8:46 AM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    I've read the 13" has problems with the optical bay. This isn't very surprising as these MacBook Pro's have a history of having flaky connections. I've ran into the same problem that prevented me from setting up a stripped raid in my late 2011 MBP but it's been fixed after the Mountain Lion update. (video link with detailed notes.)

  • wischi Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 20, 2012 11:47 AM (in response to Halfmoonh4)

    All this is really strange.


    I have a Samsung 830 128GB working with no issues on my main port in a Mid 2012 13" MBP.


    But it doesn't work at all on the SuperDrive Port.


    Maybe the EFI Update fixes some of the issues, but I can't try it our right now.





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