What hard drives are compatible with this MacBook Pro?

I have seen some similar questions on the web, but I am still confused. I have a broken A1260 Macbook Pro with a corrupt hard drive and I want to replace it with something cheap but not ridiculous, and I am not sure if SATA 6.0Gb/s works on this Mac. I have heard on the net that some are compatible while others are not, so I would like someone clear it up for me. And on the same note, are all 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s compatible with this laptop if the height is not ridiculous?

I forgot to mention that I also need help on SATA II and III compatibility on this Mac.

Thanks in advance.

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Both the A1226 & A1260 spec's a SAT I connection speed so a SATA II would work - many SATA III's claim to work (but many come here with freezing/hanging issues that trace back to the drive).

I would be seeking a warranty from your vendor that if the SATA III are problematic you are not responsible for return/restock fees.

Generally SATA drives are backward compatible one generation. Some SATA drives with manual jumper settings claim to be compatible two backward generations.

If it were me I'd not be buying 6GB/s drives - you will not actually be getting that speed anyway (it's a bit like putting a dragsters motor in a highway car - speed limit controls how fast you'll go) the drive will have to slow down to the read/write speed of the connector.

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Your not alone here in being confused with SATA

While the dialog of SATA is the same across all of the current versions, the I/O speed is not. You have the first generation of SATA (SATA I) which ran at 1.5Gb/s then soon afterwards SATA II 3.0Gb/s and now SATA III which runs at 6.0Gb/s.

Over the course of time the HD vendors have pushed forward with faster I/O drives but the system makers have lagged a bit. In addition the older systems as you have guessed here may not be able to handle these newer HD's. Some HD/SSD vendors have offered drives which auto-sense (mostly SATA II/III). Most offered a jumper to select an older compatibility mode (1.5Gb/s). To add more confusion some drives don't offer any choice other than SATA III.

What to do?

First you need to find out what your system is capable in supporting. In your case you might have a SATA I or an undocumented SATA II HD interface. Make sure you have updated the EFI firmware (to enable SATA II if your systems chipset offers it). Here's the Apple TN on how to check it and update it EFI & SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs. Depending on your version of Mac OS-X you can use Profiler or the About Mac to review your systems hardware to see what SATA speed your system has.

You will need to review the HD specs to make sure it offers SATA I or SATA II I/O speed your system is limited to. Many so called auto sensing drives have had problems. So I would speak with someone from the HD vendor to see if they have tested the given drive out on your model. And download the document from there web site on how to set any needed jumper.

Make sure to ask for the required jumper for your HD (there are a few sizes) and get a few as they are small and very easy to loose!

As to height you must not exceed 9.5mm. The current 2TB drives will not fit and some of the older 1TB drives where also too high.

Hopefully that answers your questions - Good Luck!

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Thanks a lot for the info. I really appreciate your help!


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