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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Format a Samsung 2TB HD - ST2000LMI003 HN-M201RAD for optical bay use

I am trying to format the 2TB ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD for use in the optical bay of my MBP 17" Early.

I have formatted it several times and used restore from a Thunderbolt external dock and it works fine.

As soon as I place it in the optical bay via the OWC Data Doubler, MBP wants to initialize the disk. It show as a master boot and not GUID. I have tried to Partition it with the Disk Utility Mac OS Extended (Journaled) option GUID. It just hangs with the words "Waiting for disk to reappear".

Is this a problem the OWC Data Doubler? Or will a 2TB drive not work in the optical bay?

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Please give us the last four figures of the serial number of the Mac you are using, there are lots & lots of MBP Early 17" machines with different BUS speeds. A link to the OWC doubler you are using wouldn't hurt either.




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

ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD:

Capacity: 2 TB (2,000,398,934,016 bytes)

Model: ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD

Revision: 2BE10001

Serial Number: S377J9AG901992

Native Command Queuing: Yes

Queue Depth: 32

Removable Media: No

Detachable Drive: No

BSD Name: disk1

Rotational Rate: 5400

Medium Type: Rotational

Partition Map Type: MBR (Master Boot Record)

S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified



Capacity: 2 TB (2,000,398,933,504 bytes)

BSD Name: disk1s1

Content: 0xEE



OWC Data Doubler Optical Bay Hard Drive/SSD Mounting Solution for all Apple MacBook & MacBook Pro 'Unibody' Models; all MacBook Models 'Late 2008' and Later. Replace your optical drive with a Hard Drive or SSD!


You have a Samsung Spinpoint drive not a Seagate drive. Seagate bought Samsung's hard drive division a few years ago so you often see people confuse the different drives.


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1 Answer

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Sadly, your system is unable to support your Samsung 2 TB hard drive SATA III (6.0 Gb/s). You see your system is running at a I/O speed thats between SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) & SATA III (6.0 Gb/s). If you reference the OWC Data Doubler doc Optical to SATA Drive Converter Bracket Solution. Slide down to the red statement:

Testing has demonstrated that Apple factory hardware does not reliably support a 6G (6Gb/s) Solid State Drive or Hard Disk Drive in the optical bay of 2011 MacBook Pros (ModeI ID8,1; 8,2; 8,3). If your OWC Data Doubler bundle comes with a 6G drive, you should ONLY install that drive in the main drive bay and utilize the Data Doubler to re-task your existing drive or install a new 3G SSD or HDD in the optical bay. PRE-2011 models can utilize a 6G drive in the optical bay, but will do so at a reduced 3G (3Gb/s) speed.

Now if we look at the spec sheet from EveryMac you see your system is a MacBookPro8,3 system.

You'll need to get a fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drive if you can find one, sorry they only go up to 1 TB.

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Thanks I am aware of the disclaimer. Back in 2013 when is bought it, I put the original Apple 750 GB Toshiba in this bay after I replaced it with a Crucial M4 SSD 512 GB in the main bay. It has worked fine up to now and just wanted to increase my second drive space. With the Toshiba in the optical I did get 6 Gb/s link speed and negotiated link speed when I looked at the system info. What does concern me that when I looked at the 2TB via Disk Utility, Partition Map Type came up as MBR and not GUID. Do you know the terminal commands to format a drive as OS Extended (Journaled) GUID?


I use Disk Utility to delete the partition and format the drive with GUID. Haven't needed to go to the command line to do it. Here is what I have on how to do it: Disk Management From the Command-Line. I don't think that will make any difference as we've never had success in this series with SATA III drives off of the optical drive SATA connector. While it may appear to work it is not reliable! Trust me I support over 100 of this units in our offices.


Thanks for the info and help Dan. I learnt a lesson here. I have put a 1 TB Toshiba drive and it mounted straight away. At least I gained 250 GB. I always use Disk Utility but trust you that it won't make any difference. My next step was to replace the Crucial 512GB with a Samsung 850 EVO or Pro 2TB SSD in the main slot as I use this laptop a lot for video editing. Not sure now. I saw an interesting comparison earlier today between putting a SSD in the Computer and then placing it in an External Thunderbolt 2 dock and the rad speeds where almost the same. Internal still slightly better. If you interested I can send you the link. Once again Thanks for your help.


I just browsed the command line link you sent me. Thanks I am going to join them. Great site thanx


We use Mac Pro's (new series) with external Thunderbolt connected RAID'ed drives for video editing and they are great! Sadly, your system can't support either Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2. You have a FireWire 800 port in your system. You also have an ExpressCard/34 port, you might be able to find a USB3 card which is a bit faster than FireWire. Sadly, I haven't seen any Thunderbolt cards.


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