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  • gen_ Level 2 (340 points)



    I am not in the USA. It is certainly not the case where I live. Where I live, if you go to an Apple store with aftermarket RAM, they will say, "It's probably the RAM, aftermarket RAM can make Macs act funny, do you have the original ones?" If you do they will tell you to bring it back with them installed. If you don't, they will offer to sell you some.


    It's not exactly the same as them turning you away at the door, but at the end of your visit, the same results are achieved.


    @Philip Lovegren

    That is simply untrue. They have already made themselves immune to the possible problems by saying that modifications invalidate the warranty in advance if the modification is not made my an Apple representative. Even if you can prove the hardware is not at fault, they can't prove that your installation is not at fault.


    Taken from the US iMac warranty:

    [Apple warranty  does not apply:]


    (f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple; (h)

  • Casemon Level 1 (5 points)

    Guys, please look at the topic of discussion before posting.


    This thread is about thunderbolt drives, not complaints about random RMA issues.


    Start a new thread (or better, join an existing one) if you wish to discuss things OT.





  • sbywalt Level 1 (0 points)


  • Scorpii Level 2 (235 points)

    I recently bought a new mac mini and a Western Digital 6TB thunderbolt external drive.


    Works beautifully after I repartitioned the drive[s] with Disk Utility.


    One thing I found though.


    Use the top port to plug the drive into the machine.


    When I used the bottom one, my Dell display didn't work properly. I had thought that either port would work, but it apears that they are directional.


    Hope this helps,



  • gen_ Level 2 (340 points)

    There is another solution from Other World Computing. It involves sending you iMac to them and they install a eSATA port on the bottom of the iMac. It shouldn't void the AppleCare warranty and there are a couple of options. This solution can give you 6Gb/s which is twice the data rate using the Lacie hub. The cost is $169 which includes return shipping only.


    ^^That was the comment all the Apple warranty stuff was about. Some people thought it would invalidate your warranty and some thought it wouldn't. It would however be a great alternative to TB. I for one don't care a huge amount about warranty after the first 6 months so itseems like a great upgrade to me. If you have a Pre USB3 iMac it's probably past it's year warranty anyway.

  • gbaxter Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi All,


    As an engineer working on storage in the past, I can provide a small bit of insight into the lack of Thunderbolt enclosures.


    As you may know, Intel is the legal owner of the Thunderbolt technology.  They have been *very* slow to allow parties to have access to the technology.  I worked for a very large company, and we were not able to gain access (late 2011 at the time).  The only thing that I could glean from that experience was that the Intel Thunderbolt team was a very small team, and simply could not handle all the requests. 


    The Thunderbolt technology is actually very complex and is unlike USB or eSATA.  It is much more like PCIe.  Getting cables to work at 10,000,000,000 bits per second is an exceptionally difficult thing.  One way to think of it is that Thunderbolt is about twice as fast (frequency wise) as your Microwave oven you use to heat up food!  The electronics required for making this work is literally black magic and it takes signal integrity experts to figure out how.  The electronics that I was aware of at the time (again, late 2011) was also not a single chip solution.  The solution was very expensive (if memory serves, cost of >$75 in just the silicon alone to the OEM.)  I'm not sure if anyone has yet crafted a single chip solution.  The reason for this is that it is difficult to mix ultra high speed analog technology along with ultra high speed digital technology.


    I have to wonder if there is also an intent on the part of those who have licenses to want to keep the party small. I say this because it affords the licensees a bit of price protection from cheap knockoffs.  It also preserves the quality of the experience for users.  What I mean by the latter is that I can go get a bunch of different USB 3.0 enclosures today.  But they vary widely in the speed they offer to the end user due to variances in how the hardware and software work together.  Cheap silicon = poor performance, as does cheap software.  Thunderbolt was designed to make sure that every ounce of drive performance was available on the wire to the host.  Protecting that is actually pretty important or it devalues the purpose of Thunderbolt.  Since Thunderbolt is not mainstream on PCs yet, that is remarkably important to ensuring the standard actually catches on.


    I hope that offers you all a small bit of insight into why the wait has been so long.  And indeed may be even longer.  Personally, I'm buying the smallest possible drive I can in an enclosure, and then throwing that away to put in a bigger drive.  Be warned though:  That does NOT always work.  Sometimes the drivers will only work with the particular drive that came with.  Not sure why that is.  YMMV of course.


    Best wishes to all!

  • trifero Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks for the explanarions, gbaxter.Very interesting.

  • sbywalt Level 1 (0 points)



    Thank you very much.  Your explanation is cogent and credible.  The lack of low-cost hard drive enclosures and SSD enclosures is much more understandable to me now.  Also, I will stop being upset with Apple regarding this issue.

  • Mark Dasgupta1 Level 1 (5 points)



    Like yourself, I have been looking at how to attach an eSATA RAID array to my 2011 iMac.  The LaCie seemed to fit the bill but I am a little unsure as to whether it will work on the grounds that the LaCie does not support port replication - I should add that I am no expert in thei arena, just have spent a lot of time researching on the web. This post might be of assistance.



    The poster wrote "I then contacted LaCIE, after looking at pictures of their TB/eSATA hub…looked great, has 2 TB, 2 eSATA, and even 2 USB 3.0 for good measure. It is bus powered, and looked perfect for $199, plus a TB cable….BUT NOOOO…in yet another example of short-sighted design, their two eSATA connections do not support port multiplier enclosures, they only see the first disk in a box… ARRGGGHH! AGAIN…"


    But I would be really interested to hear if you can make it work



  • gen_ Level 2 (340 points)

    A hardware RAID array would work, as the whole array presesents itself as one drive to anything beyond the SATA output.

  • sbywalt Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks gen.


    If I understand you correctly, those with hardware-based eSATA RAID arrays can use Thunderbolt to connect a RAID level 0 or RAID level 1 array because, as a hardware-based array, Thunderbolt recognizes it as a single disk.  However, if I understand you correctly (and, believe me, I hope that I misunderstood this part), those of us who are "cheepos" and have set up less expensive, but inferior, software-based RAID level 0 arrays, are pretty much out of luck, because Thunderbolt recognizes only our first disk in the array.


    Have I understood this correctly?  If so, is there any way around this?  Can I change my cheapskate tendencies and finally unloosen my purse strings and, at long last, spring for a hardware-based RAID level 0 array and connect it to my 2011 iMac?  Is there a product on the market that is an eSATA hardware-based RAID level 0 empty box, into which I could install my four, currently unused SATA drives?  (you see, I am still being a cheapskate, trying to use my existing hard drives without buying an enclosure that already contains hard drives or SSDs)


    In any case, thanks for taking the time to educate the rest of us on this matter.



  • gen_ Level 2 (340 points)

    Well unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. Hardware RAID arrays do just as hardware does and takes care of everything before delivering it all to the Mac without additional information. The Mac doen't even really know you have an Array, it just sees a single Hard Drive (with a flag or two set so it knows to tell the RAID controller to format itself rather than trying to do it for it).


    RAID 1 should be fairly easy to migrate. Worst case scenario you can just tell the RAID controller to rebuild from drive 1 and it will re-mirror your drive to the other hard drives and you'll be good. RAID 0 will most likely need a backup and reformat. This is becasue each manufacturere uses it's own method to label stripes and blocks and god knows what Apple or any other form of software RAID uses. Either way, they usually can't detect each other.

  • Scorpii Level 2 (235 points)

    Hi people.


    I recently bought a WD 6TB Thunderbolt 2 HD raid drive which I wanted to repartition.


    This was easily done with the Mac Disc Utility and I now have 6 separate "drives"


    I did check to see if I could restore the raid system under DU and it was possible as DU recognised the Thunderbolt as a raid system.


    So, is it possible to solve your raid problems by restoring the raid config with DU or using it to make a new raid configuration?





  • gen_ Level 2 (340 points)

    That WD drive probably bypassed that entirely by just including 2 sets of TB chips and either daisy chaining them internally whilst bypassing the SATA issues. Buying one of these and swapping your HDDs should work seeing as they are software RAID systems.


    It's probably easier to make a diagram to show you what's good and what isn't.






    ^^This should be fairly easy as TB supports port replication natively, even if it's daisy chaining inside your TB enclosure it's pretty similar as far as the outcome is concerned (irrespective of the price for now which would obviously be a bit high).





    ^^This on the other hand is pretty hard, as Mac doesnt natively support SATA 'daisy chaining' or port replication of any sort so a driver must be written. This is the major problem with that OWC modification that was mentioned earlier and needs a hardware RAID unit to do and RAID.





    This will always work, becasue no matter what you connect it to, hardware RAID will display itself to everything else left of the chain as 1 drive. You can of course go into your Hardware RAID settings and disable RAID and it will be just like a port replicator.


    Hope that clears things up.

  • sbywalt Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep.  Thanks gen, that clears things up.


    I think that I now understand the bottom line.


    Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems as if those of us with iMacs, who want to use an eSATA RAID Level 0 array (previously connected to a Mac G5 via a four-port SATA PCIx card, and containing a four-drive software-based RAID), and who want to connect the array to a Mac via something faster than USB 2.0 or Firewire 800, have two choices:


    (1) buy a hardware-based RAID; or

    (2) buy a Mac Pro and connect the array the same way it was connected to the G5.


    Am I correct?  I hope not, but your excellent explanation makes me fear that I am.