Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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SSD and HDD Installed but it runs super slow? Please Help!

Hi, I have a late 2011 Macbook Pro 2.2 GHZ Intel Core i7

8gb of ram. My hard drive died in my mac and I decided to replace it with an SSD and installed an HDD in the optical bay following Ifixit instructions. I booted into internet recovery and installed Mountain Lion (as it would not let me do a straight Yosemite install from a flash drive I had made on my gf's macbook, because it couldn't authenticate). After booting up and declining the usual iCloud prompts, I rebooted and installed Yosemite from the USB. It took a while, but eventually i booted up.

I moved my home folder to the HDD a 7200rpm Western Digital Black, which is in the optical bay, (the SSD is a Samsung 340 Pro and is installed in the Drive bay). Everything appears to be functioning, but it's slower that it had ever been using Yosemite on the HDD that had died. It take 35-40 seconds just to open System Preferences. I have used First aid on both drives via the Recovery and repaired permissions on both. I have reset the ram using option-command-r-p. I have booted into Safe Mode and Restarted the computer multiple times. Just opening a second safari window causes the spinning wheel to go for ten seconds or so. If anyone knows anything I can do, please help! I'm at a loss as to what I can do to fix this.

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I'm really not sure what is going on. It seems to take a very long time to load a website, but after using safari for a bit, the app doesn't seem to have a problem responding to commands, just takes way too long to load anything. System preferences is all of a sudden crazy snappy, but is giving me the spinning rainbow wheel when I try and click on a pane saying "Could not load Users & Groups preference pane." After I click "okay" and try again it loads right up. Grrr.


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Are you sure you are booting up under the SSD?

The optical drive SATA port is slower on this model which could explain things. The drive you have is a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) so it's fighting the optical drives SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) port limited throughput causing a lot of retries. Note in activity monitor the heavy CPU load for the indexer and finder tasks.

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Mine is SATA III I believe though. If I go to System information and Click on the Intel 6 series Chipset for the WD Black hard drive it says:

Intel 6 Series Chipset:

Vendor: Intel

Product: 6 Series Chipset

Link Speed: 6 Gigabit

Negotiated Link Speed: 6 Gigabit

Physical Interconnect: SATA

Description: AHCI Version 1.30 Supported

As far as I know it seems to be booting the SSD. OSX is installed on it. If I reboot and hold the option key that's the only drive that comes up, last I checked. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking at in activity monitor because they seem to change real fast, but under CPU load for finder when I'm browsing the HDD Activity monitor is using more cpu with finder only being around 8-9% (if I'm reading it right).

I appreciate your help!


For example as I'm typing this Safari was stalling giving me the rainbow spinning disk and Activity Monitor is saying under the CPU Tab all the way on the bottom that my CPU is Hovering around System: 1.23% User 1.71 and Idle 98% Occasionally the system and user jumps to 5 percent, but that's all even though I'm transfering 88gigs of music from the ssd to the hdd. Shouldn't there be more activity than that?


Sorry I just checked Memory and its saying 606 mb of memory is being used by kernel_task. I'm assuming that's the file transfer?


Yes, System Info will tell you the HD's SATA port as being 6.0 Gb/s. The rub here is the SATA port you have the HD connected to is not that port! it's the optical drives SATA port and there is a known issue with that port with Intel's Platform Controller Hub chip set. As a reference look at this OWC note in Red at the bottom of the page: Special compatibility notes related to use of this product with 6Gb/s SSDs in the following machines.


I posted an etrecheck report here:


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I had this problem also. You have to disable the power saving for the HDD like in this link:


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Sorry, wrong OS & this is a known SATA port issue of the system. Please review above answer for the details.


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