Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Second hard drive not working properly

So I bought a drive caddy and an SSD for my Mac,

I put the SSD in the drive bay, and moved the 1 TB drive to the caddy and replaced the optical drive.

When I power the machine on, the drive appears to be functioning properly, but when I try and open it in finder it locks up on me.

Disk utility seems to lock up on startup, and when It does eventually load it has problems verifying the drive.

When I drag a file to it, it gives me error code 50.

I figured I cheaped out on my caddy and got a faulty one. So I went and ordered the expensive OWC one.

Now the drive spins up, but refuses to function beyond that. The drive functions perfectly using a USB/SATA dock, but not inside the macbook.

I am at a loss here

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I'm a bit confused, exactly which drive are you using for a boot drive and which drive are you having issues with. There is a known issue with this machine but it is the Hard drive/IR cable. We have been able to fix this issue by going to the 2012 cable (sometimes mods need to be made to the hold down screws,

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable Image

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To add to Mayer's comment about this system often needs the HD cable replaced it also has a second issue when using an optical drive carrier.

Make sure your system is not one of these: MacBookPro8,2 and reference the special compatibility note here: OWC Data Doubler at the bottom of the page. There is a known issue with any optical drive carrier as the issue is within the system not the carrier. Your system can't support a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive in the carrier (even a dual SATA II/SATA III drive won't work). You'll need to use a FIXED SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drive in the optical carrier.

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Hey there!

Sorry to hear about the consistent issues. If the hard drive works well in other instances, the issue may be as simple as a poor SATA cable. The hard bend in the cable leads to high failure rate while removing the optical drive or replacing it with the new Dual drive. If you still have your original optical drive, I'd try putting it back in and seeing if you can get it to read. If your laptop is having issues with that, you probably have a cable issue. It's a fairly cheap part at $20, and could be the answer to your problems. Other than that, I'd try cleaning the connection on your board and making sure that your current SATA cable doesn't seem overly bent or worn.

Replacement cable: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2009 to Mid 2012) SATA SuperDrive Cable

Best of luck in your future repairs!

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2009 to Mid 2012) SATA SuperDrive Cable Image

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@mayer @soria - Alex, I've not seen the optical drive SATA cable going bad as its just not as exposed as the HD cable. Is there a newer rev version that helps with SATA III drives in this series?

We have tried everything to make a dual drive config in this series work only to find out it made no difference who's carrier you used. From what we understand the issue is within the systems logic board. The issue appears to be related to the platform controller hub (PCH) used and the clocking of the processor.

There is a second issue here besides the optical drives SATA interface the other is the HD crash guard protection is only present within the HD bay SATA connection. So I don't recommend moving the original Apple HD to the optical drive bay.

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Even still many HD drives don't have shock protection unless you order the correct version. If you do get a drive which has the protection natively then you can move it over but why? Unless the drive is a Fixed SATA II unit you'll face the optical drives SATA interface problem. Then that leaves using the optical drive bay strictly for the SSD. But its almost impossible to find a fixed SATA II SSD now (used is about it off of eBay).

Because of all of the issues here we gave up even trying to do dual drive setups and instead just went with hybrid drives (SSHD's). As SSD's are getting cheaper we are starting to replace a few of the SSHD's for SSD's. But they are still too expensive for the larger sizes we often need for the field.

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@danj Thanks for mentioning this issue! I actually hadn't run into it before. I usually deal with HD cables, batteries, and displays, so I don't deal with the the optical slot very often.

I think you're right, this does seem to fit the symptoms. The Apple firmware update fixed the primary drive, but not the optical drive. It seems that the second drive may be too good, which I didn't think was possible. Do you have any insight as to why that would be? As far as I was aware, SATA III was always backwards compatible with SATA II, so why is the board having difficulty with it?

Also, I agree that the hard drive cable is a much more common failure point, but the smaller SATA cable has a tendency to get easily damaged during removal/replacement of the second drive.

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@soria - Alex, Compatibility is always a bit of confusion here with SATA!

Lets start off talking about fixed speed drives (ones that only work at a given SATA spec). For the longest time thats what you could get and even today you often still find fixed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) SSD drives.

Lets think this like a pint and a 1/2 gal container of water. Of course a pint of water would fit into a 1/2 gal container, but! The other direction would leave you a mess ;-}

SATA is very similar the direction of compatibility is important! When SATA was being standardized it was thought people would take their old drives and put them into their new systems so thats thats the compatibility direction a SATA I drive will work in a SATA II system and a SATA I or SATA II drive into a SATA III system.

Now lets confuse you! As it turns out the drive makers wanted to sell their drives to more people hence SOME drives offer Auto SATA sense technology! But be careful! Some only do SATA II & III not SATA I.

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Others work across all of the possible SATA interfaces! So these special drives will work in older systems. The trick is reviewing the drive spec sheet. Are you confused yet ;-}

OK, now lets look at the MacBook Pro's optical drive SATA port. It is not really SATA III even though it shows up as SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) in the system profile.

Here we need to use a older fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drive as either a Fixed SATA III drive or a auto sense drive which offers SATA II or SATA III can't figure out what the system port is, and if it latches onto SATA III you'll get file corruption and/or spinning ball as the system and the drive are in a CRC checksum battle.

--- "I sent you A but you reported you got B, resend the block" ---

And it goes back into a loop until the data gets across. You'll often see the system overheat (CPU & drive) as the back and forth will push the system.

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Zakary Best will be eternally grateful.
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