Unibody Laptop Dual Drive not initializing?

Hi,

I bought the iFixit Unibody Laptop Dual Drive and installed it in a Late 2011 MBP. The hard drive installed is a Hitachi HTS72755A9E365 500GB drive. When booting the machine (running 10.11.6 on an SSD in the primary hdd slot) the computer does not even see the hard drive. After about 20 minutes, the OS automatically acknowledges that there's an un-initialized hard drive. Disk utility only shows me the option to erase the drive (not partition). When I attempt to erase it as OS X Journaled w/ GUID Partition Map (I tried all other options for funsies) disk utility either stalls on un-mounting or gives an error regarding the last block (sadly I don't recall the specific error).

I verified the hardware (iFixit Unibody Laptop dual drive sled, Hard drive, and optical drive data) in a newer model macbook pro (repartioned the drive, ran diagnostics on the drive as well) yet when i put the hardware back into my late 2011 mac, the computer sees the drive as uninitialized. I also repartitioned my SSD boot drive (I first made a time machine backup so i could restore the data) and installed a clean 10.10 image (what the newer test macbook pro was running were it worked) and get the same error. I also tried another known-good hard drive and it gets the same symptoms.

Any thoughts would be hugely appreciated!

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Sadly, it sounds like your system is not able to support the HD drive you are using here in the optical bay.

Take a look at this: OWC Data Doubler. Slide down to the very bottom and read the section in Red.

The problem is within your system not the carrier it makes no difference who's you get if your system's CPU clock is 2.3GHz, 2.4GHz, 2.7GHz, or 2.8GHz. The platform controller chip in this series can't support SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drives.

Here's the other rub! The HD bay has HD crash guard protection were as the optical drive bay does not so if you move your original Apple drive over you put it at risk in getting damaged if you bang the system.

OK, so what to do??

I would put the HD back in the original location and find a FIXED SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) SSD to put into the optical bay. You do need to be careful here as many SSD's are fixed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s). Some have auto sense technology which also won't work here either. They will be confused (acting like your HD is now) or drop down to SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) speed.

The last option which is what we went with is forgo the dual drive config and stick with a single drive setup. But instead of a traditional HD go with a hybrid! This drive is both a traditional HD and has a SSD acting as a deep cache. Then you get the benefits of both the deep storage of a HD and the faster access of a SSD.

Here is what we use: Seagate Laptop SSHD (ST1000LX001)

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Thank you so much for your insight. It's really much appreciated!

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