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sack
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iMac 27 Late 2009; possible to solder&activate a third internal SATA?

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Hi,

the late 2009 Model doesn't have a 3rd SATA on board, though is has the corresponding solder pads on the PCB. When I look in System Profiler, there's no 3rd empty SATA port shown (unlike in this guide, which applies for newer models).

Thus is seems there's missing more than a connector and two resistors to get a 3rd port. On the other hand i'm feeling challenged to dig deeper ever since i disassembled my iMac in order to realize I'm missing the port.

Does anyone knows more about this?

Edited by: machead3 and oldturkey03 ( ) , David Hodson ( ) , ABCellars ( )

I already reassembled it before posting. If there're only two entries of Intel 5 Series Chipset in SP it looks like a two-port-only-Chip soldered or there must be some kind of hardwired jumpers to set this. Thus there must be more to add than just the plug and two resistors (which seem to directly lead to the plug). I remember some additional empty solder pads nearby which may also need to be filled with parts... also it could be a firmware thing as well...

sack,

The chances of a jumper to open more ports are slim to none. The DATA sheet to the controller chip will tell you what it was originally designed to do and provide a schematic of the required circuit. You need the information off the chip I had previously asked for to find the DATA sheet. The big hurdles most likely be: Did Apple modify the original firmware for the controller chip and does the firmware for the Southbridge allow/have channel(s) and interrupts for another device coming from the SATA controller. Keep in mind that Apple has on a regular basis limited the available addresses to the memory controllers on their systems. Thus the Apple Intel products tend to support less RAM than the PC world enjoys from the same Northbridge chip or on systems after the Penryn, same CPU.

ABCellars,

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Dan
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While you might be able to connect another SATA device internally you still need some where to mount the device.

You risk interfering with the systems airflow causing the fan to kick in more often, besides the risk of causing something to short on the devices housing. And lastly, you void your warrantee or even a parts exchange (via Apple) if your logic bd. dies.

What are you planning to install? That you can't do externally? With a lot less hassle or risk. Just the fact you can doesn't make it smart to do.

Where one should dare to ask these kinds of questions other than at ifixit? This is not my work or only Mac, so it's more of a fun thing rather than a smart thing ;)

sack,

HA ! Is it me? Or are we starting to see more Mac system modeler junkies coming out of the woodwork ;-} Swapping like for like to get a working system is the safe thing for most of the people asking Q's here. When you start adding stuff within a system thats intended to be closed (unlike the Mac Pro tower) it can be very dicy if you've gone to far. And you do so at your own risk! That's not to say pushing the edge a little can't be beneficial. Even Apple gets some of it's ideas monitoring sites like this one to see what people are up to. Just look at the Mac Mini and the current iMacs and how they support a second HD (or SDD) internally. I'm sure feedback made it happen. I think your on the bleeding edge here, I doubt anyone has gone this far. Good Luck!

Dan,

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David Fiala
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Any news about the possible upgrade?

I have also been very interested about enabling the 3rd port ever since I tried to install additional SSD drive only to find the port missing.

Picutre of my Late 2009 27" iMac and the empty place for the third SATA port:

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Edited by: David Fiala ( )

The current iMac models offer two SATA ports (1-HD & 1-SSD). The older iMac systems did not offer a second SATA port (some people wired one to exit the case). As far as anyone going forward here I think people mostly upgraded to newer iMacs. If you are looking for a 3rd SATA port in a newer iMac thats a stretch as there just isn't any room to hold SSD, why don't you just put a larger SSD in instead.

Dan,

Dan, thanks for the reply, but I am talking about the 2009 iMac and a third SATA port, exactly as the title of this topic says so. As far as I can tell, some 2009 iMacs were shipped with third SATA solder pads in place, but no actual port. For example the iMac iFixit tore down does not have this revision of the motherboard. Now the question is, are these 2009 iMac with the solder pads able to activate this port... Because that would be something! I am attaching a picture of my Late 2009 27" iMac to my original answer, so you could see yourselves.

David Fiala,

As I stated in the original post reply I didn't think anyone had gone that far, and doing so would be risky. We are also assuming Apple even fully wired the PCB for this 3rd port. As others had commented besides the hardware aspect of the connector and some SMT chip capacitors which you can even see in your picture are missing there is firmware and the South Bridge logic that needs to support the 3rd port, and lets not forget the extra power and cooling the 3rd device would need.

Dan,

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