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Maximal HDD capacity with optical drive adapter


I want to upgrade my Macbook Pro mid 2009.

I have a Harddrive shell to put it in the Optical drive spot.

My question is what capacity can this solution handle. I have been thinking of 1TB or even more, but it would be disappointing when it wouldnt work.

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First you have a physical size limit of 9.5 mm in height and the 2.5" drive has to be able to support SATA II (3.0 Gp/s). OS-X can handle anything you can put into the system. You do want to make sure your firmware is up to date follow this Apple T/N on how to check & update EFI & SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs.

You have a few choices here:

  • Seagate offers a 1.0 TB SSHD drive (HD & SSD as a cache)
  • Toshiba (which is now in partnership with Seagate) offers both a 1.0 TB traditional & SSHD drive
  • Western-Digital offers a traditional 1.0 TB drive
  • Hitachi (which is now part of WD) offers a 1.5 TB drive.

Personally, I would go with a hybrid (SSHD) drive and not use the optical drive bay at all.

Why I recommend this is two fold: first you want to get the max out of your battery when your on the road with a dual drive setup expect 1/3 or more less time than what you're getting now. These 2nd gen. SSHD's are very good giving you the snap you want and yet not as painful as a SSD in the same size range in the pocket.

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Well, my Drive Supports 12,5mm hdds. And I dont want that SSHD, because my optical drive is broken, but I dont need it anyway, So a new harddrive in there helps me more


The optical carrier needs a 9.5mm drive, while the older MBP can support a slightly larger drive in the original HD location (swapping out your drive) I don't recommend it. The way Apple designed the case and the cooling this spare space should be unused. FYI the sheet metal cover tends to bend unlike the cut block aluminum in the uni-body units. Sorry to hear your optical drive is bad here. Don't forget power draw if you go mobile with a dual HD setup (1/3 less time, or more on batt only).


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Daniel sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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