iMac 27 Late 2009; possible to solder&activate a third internal SATA?
the late 2009 Model doesn't have a 3rd SATA on board, though is has the corresponding solder pads on the PCB. When I look in System Profiler, there's no 3rd empty SATA port shown (unlike in this guide, which applies for newer models).
Thus is seems there's missing more than a connector and two resistors to get a 3rd port. On the other hand i'm feeling challenged to dig deeper ever since i disassembled my iMac in order to realize I'm missing the port.
Does anyone knows more about this?
While you might be able to connect another SATA device internally you still need some where to mount the device.
You risk interfering with the systems airflow causing the fan to kick in more often, besides the risk of causing something to short on the devices housing. And lastly, you void your warrantee or even a parts exchange (via Apple) if your logic bd. dies.
What are you planning to install? That you can't do externally? With a lot less hassle or risk. Just the fact you can doesn't make it smart to do.
Any news about the possible upgrade?
I have also been very interested about enabling the 3rd port ever since I tried to install additional SSD drive only to find the port missing.
Picutre of my Late 2009 27" iMac and the empty place for the third SATA port:
So over a year has passed since this post has had any editing.
I recently lost the power supply on my 2009 iMac 27" BTO with i7 CPU.
I had ordered the parts mentioned in another internal dual hard drive upgrade article based on the 2010 iMac that DOES have the third port.
Once in the iMac, I ended up disconnecting the DVD drive Combined Power and Data cable. I used the purchased SATA dual drive power cable to power up the SDD, the and purchased Data cable plugged into the DVD Data connector and installed the SSD in the purchased replacement "Wall" component that Apple used for their dual-drive 2010 iMacs.
My motherboard also has the pads for another SATA Data connector and resistors exactly like the main Hard Drive SATA Port. I, too also considered finding the connector and chip resistors and soldering up the port.
The ultimate question is whether SATA follows the architecture of ATA where the basic controller could manage two drives, one being "Master" while the other being "Slave". With ATA, the Data was on a parallel ribbon cable and the drives needed address jumpers to work properly. With SATA, the Data lines are not shared meaning if SATA controllers intrinsically can handle two devices, it only means adding the second device and the chipset will "take care of the rest" (were it ONLY that easy). The answer lies within the details of the "5 Series" Chipset.
The "About this Mac" SATA Device Tree shows two independent chipsets. Under the chipsets, the drives are disk0s1, and disk1s1. A check of "About this Mac" on a later iMac with the third drive installed should tell definitively whether there is a third chipset or a second port to the original Hard Drive chipset.