Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Making iMac's 2nd Hard Drive the OS disk

The answer to this question seems to be common sense, but I just wanted to make sure, since I don't know as much about the inner workings of Macs as I do PC's.

I want to know if I swap the optical drive in my iMac with a 2.5" hard drive using the ifixit adapter, can I make this new hard drive the OS disk?

I would prefer using a SSD for my OS disk to improve performance. I just was hoping I could add a SSD to this optical drive position, and install the OS on it, and use the existing 1TB drive in the main position as my storage disk. I feel this would be cheaper and more efficient.

If so, might there be any performance issues by using this secondary slot?

Am I overthinking this? Any and all help is much appreciated!

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Within the System Preferences you'll find a control panel called Startup Disk within it you can control which disks OS to boot up from (if you have two different disks each with a copy of the OS present).

Ideally you want the SSD to be using the HD's SATA interface connection Vs your optical drives slower PATA interface if you have the OS on it.

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That is exactly the info I was looking for, so thanks a lot!

That leads me to another question, which would be: Does the Optical Bay Adapter sold here by iFixit (see link below) use a SATA bus or the PATA bus? It says SATA all over the product page, but looking at the procedure for the swap, it seems to plug the existing optical drive cable directly into this part here, so its confusing as to whether or not it is just an adapter for SATA HD's to use the PATA bus, or is truly connecting to the SATA bus. When I looked at the mid-2011 iMac kit, it was running a SATA cable all the way to the back of the logic board, and no longer using the existing optical drive cable. I guess this could have just changed places since my late-2009 iMac, but just want to verify before I dive in.

Late-2009 Optical Bay HD Kit

Mid-2011 Optical Bay HD Kit

Thanks again!


Your current optical drive is a PATA drive so the HD needs to connect into it's interface on the logic board. But, you need something to convert the signals for the SATA interfaced HD you are putting in. So technically you need something to adapt the PATA I/O to SATA I/O to host the SATA HD. You don't need any cables what you need is this PATA to SATA Optical bay HD enclosure


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Kyle will be eternally grateful.
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