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Thread: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

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    Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    Good Morning All

    I plan to add several hard drives to my Mac Pro after reading what Jack and Digilloyd have written about separation/backup of OS/Apps and data.

    I want to begin by adding a SATA II backup drive in the lower optical bay and schedule a weekly copy of my boot drive using Carbon Copy. This is where I become a little confused as this area is, apparently, not generally used to mount hard drives. Is there sufficient space for a HD and are there any special drive mounts, cables or tools required in the lower optical bay?

    As money becomes available, I plan to add a three disk (raid 0) array (for scratch and data) in bays 2, 3, & 4 and finally an external disk array (raid 5) for data backup.

    Thank you all

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    Morning Paul you can use Maxupgrades optical bay rack. It will hold two 3.5 drives and than you run 2 sata cords right to the mother board. You have to take a few things off to get to the mother board but really not hard. I did this as well.
    http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/in...TOKEN=52879109

    Video to install sata cables on mother board.
    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvid...ro_2009_esata/

    Make sure it is for the right year /model on the Mac/Pro
    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvid...ro_2009_esata/
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    Hi Paul:

    The advantage of the maxupgrades adapter is it allows you to fit TWO 3.5 drives in the lower optical bay while leaving room at the top for the DVD drive. You can however fit a single 3.5 drive in the lower optical bay using a cheap 5-1/4 to 3.5 adapter insert. You then need a simple Molex to SATA power adapter if you have the older MacPro with Molex (IDE) power up top.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    Original poster here

    Many thanks Guy and Jack.

    It had not even entered my mind that two drives would fit. My Mac Pro is the eight core 2.8 Ghz model just prior to the latest Nehalam processor version. According to the Maxupgrades web site, the correct chassis kit for me is the SZ-MCMP0PT04 if I wish to keep my superdrive in the top optical bay. My boot drive is a 500Gig so a pair of enterprise class 500's would be relatively inexpensive.

    Thanks again
    Paul

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    That's the same adapter I use Paul. The only nit is I had to shim my Superdrive with a piece of business card so it would open and close smoothly.

    FWIW, the WD 640G drives are roughly the same price as the 500's and are quite a bit faster due to having denser platters. I run a pair of the WD Caviar Black (not even the enterprise ES series) in the lower optical bay in RAID-0 and they work great. My other four bays are filled with WD Caviar Blues, a lesser drive than the black, and I have all 4 of those in RAID-0 too. Been running the blacks for about 6 months, and the blues for almost a year now and am very happy with them.
    Jack
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    Re: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    Thanks Again Jack

    I found your Mac Pro performance configuration article and read it carefully, lots of good stuff in there. My requirements are probably not as severe as yours, but I may want to stripe the two new disks for the OS and applications then use my present 500 Gig boot drive as my backup image copy. Also, there are downstream implications for the future raid 0 three disk array such as using the same disks for everything to simplify the spares issue. I need to think some more.

    Paul

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro installation of a hard disk in lower optical bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Kerfoot View Post
    Also, there are downstream implications for the future raid 0 three disk array such as using the same disks for everything to simplify the spares issue. I need to think some more.
    Hi Paul:

    The only downstream consideration is that for maximum reliability in RAID, all drives should match. So for example, you don't want to mix brands or speeds or sizes. Preferably, you don't want to mix models either, but at least with software, having the exact same firmware and version of each same model drive does not seem to be critical as it is with a hardware RAID.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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