Adding a Second Drive to a MacBook Pro 15 or 17 (Late 2011 Models)

April 11th, 2012 No Comments »

I’ve become totally addicted to Solid State Drives over the past year or so and would not go back to rotating media unless it was a life or death emergency.  It is pretty costly though so having just one SSD in your computer big enough for all your data is pretty much out of the question.  Last I checked, the biggest ones were about 500GB and that would barely be enough for me (and probably not enough). 

So, that means 2 drives in my MacBook Pro.  Luckily, there is a way to replace the built in DVD drive on both the MacBook Pro 15 and 17 with a second hard drive.  In my case, I bought the OCZ 240GB SSD and I have a 750GB 7200RPM drive also.

Question 1 – Which drive goes where?

An apple genius (yes, that is what we call them) told me that the DVD drive connector does not support the auto stop on big g-force spin down so it is best to put the rotating media there.  He also said that the DVD drive does not support power management which means the rotating media does not shut off when it is not needed.  Therefore, put the the SSD in the DVD slot and put the rotating media where the original drive was.  I suppose that should have worked, but my SSD is 6GB/sec (SATA 3) and it refused to work in the DVD slot.  Oh well.

Question 2 – How hard is it?

Well, it’s not trivial.  There are bunches of 14 year olds that have recorded videos showing you all the steps.  Let me just say, there are many many tiny little screws that are easy to drop and some wiring you have to move very carefully and still risk breaking.  I did it, but did not enjoy it.

Question 3 – Does it void my warranty?

Yes, but the Apple genius told me that normally Apple does not enforce that (and even gave me a screw that I lost in the process.

Question 4 – How do I do it?

Go to the internet, search for “MacBook Pro second hard drive catty” and you will find tons of information and videos.

Question 5 – How much does it cost?

About $50 to $100 for the drive catty to replace your DVD and about 2 hours of your time.