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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini Storage Devices
If you want to use some of the new 2.5" SATA hard disks in your MacBook (or Mac mini for that matter), you'll notice that they do not show up in Disk Utility, and that you cannot even format them. They will work externally as a USB device, but will not show up when used internally. That's because the newer drives are SATA II (or SATA 2) and their higher "transfer rates" are not compatible with the Intel ICH7-M AHCI (which only support up to 1.5 GHz) used in the MacBook and Mac mini.

To be able to use your new 250GB or even 320GB drive, you have to put a jumper on the two leftmost pins (when viewed from the front, meaning the other connector pins are on the right hand side). This worked for me on a Samsung 250GB drive, as well as a Toshiba MK3252GSX 320GB drive.
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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: Cobalt Jacket on Feb 25, '08 07:52:53AM

I take this to mean that the ICH8-M chipset in the Sana Rosa chipset can support newer drives?



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: mlsmithjr on Feb 25, '08 07:56:09AM

I too am confused. If SATA-2 is incompatible with the chipset how can a jumper fix it? Does it just force operation at a lower throughput?



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: Shawn Parr on Feb 25, '08 08:18:26AM

Yes, the jumper forces the drive to use the slower SATA transfer specifications rather than the newer faster ones. This doesn't change the characteristics of the drive mechanism itself, only the speed of communication from the drive to the computer. This should only slow the drive down when it is bursting information from or to its cache, as the platters/heads can't get information fast enough to saturate the older SATA, much less the newer one.



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: lukec on Feb 25, '08 08:20:40AM

I'm confused too.

I have a 2.16Ghz macbook pro and I put an aftermarket Seagate momentus 7200.2 in it. As far as I know the drive is a Sata2 drive. Could it be that some of the newer drives won't downgrade from sata2 to sata1 automatically ? I'm using the ICH7 chipset.

So either:
1) I'm wrong about the connection speed of my drive
2) the hint is wrong about how drives negotiate connections and really the issue is not that sata2 drives are incompatible with ICH7, but that some newer drives won't support SATA1.

Luke



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: vwgtiturbo on Feb 25, '08 08:36:16AM

I am confused as well...
I have a 2.0Ghz MacBook that I bought in March of 2006, and upgraded to a SATA2 320GB Western Digital last month. I had no issues with recognizing the drive, having a system restored from Time Machine in under two hours.



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: vwgtiturbo on Feb 25, '08 08:41:56AM
Here is the link to the drive I bought:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136197

Definitely an SATA2 drive...

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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: vwgtiturbo on Feb 25, '08 08:44:39AM

I am an idiot... It was a March 2007 MacBook, not 2006...



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: vwgtiturbo on Feb 25, '08 08:55:19AM

I am an idiot... It was a March 2007 MacBook, not 2006...



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: jbarley on Feb 25, '08 08:36:40AM

In the past when I upgraded the drive in my Intel Mini with a 7200rpm Seagate,
it came with instructions and the jumper.
The jumper was needed to cap the drive at the older SATA limit (150mbps).
I followed the instructions and everything has worked fine ever since.



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SATA 2 Drives work with SATA (1)
Authored by: cycomachead on Feb 25, '08 04:43:35PM

They are made to be backwards compatible-though I can't remember where I read that...

Anyways I have a first generation 2.0Ghz core duo MacBook from July 2006 (made May-Sept 06) and a bit ago I upgraded to a Hitachi 7k200 (200GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache) which is a SATA 2 Drive. The installation couldn't be simpler. I reformatted in Disk Utility from the install disk - the process was pretty fast (faster than my old 80GB) and everything has worked fine. NOTHING BUT a great expierence.



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What's on a LaCIE Little Disk
Authored by: elmimmo on Feb 25, '08 05:52:36PM
I was intending to swap the 80GB disk in my Macbook 13" Late 2006 (first C2D models), and saw that the LaCIE Little Disks 250GB or 320GB would make a rather nice enclosure for the old one (FW400 socket + retractable USB 2.0 cable). See at http://www.lacie.com/es/products/product.htm?pid=10976

I have not find a place where it is explained what sort of HDD those enclosures are hosting, and if it is possible to take them apart and swap them without breaking the thing to bits. Anyone knows?

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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: sgothgen on Feb 25, '08 08:56:14PM

I don't know about Intel Macs as I have yet to transfer to one. - However I do have a 1.st generation iMac G5 which uses SATA. Some time ago I exchanged the standard 80G disk with a 250G Seagate (model ST3250620AS). The drive is SATA II and had a jumper inserted , that forced it to SATA I specs. On a whim I removed the jumper inserted the drive and proceeded to format it. No problems. It has performed flawlessly for the past 6 months+. Is it faster now than if it ran as SATA I - I don't know, but it works.

I am still on the fence transiting to Intel - mostly due to a lot of legacy programs I am running, but I have also avoided a lot of the grief people have had with updates. Yes I am at 10.5.2 etc.

It seems to me from commentaries on the web, that most of the problems with software updates are related to the Intel platform.... am I wrong?

peace

SG

---
One should never confuse people, especially the academically enlightened, with facts that may pollute the purity of their prejudices.



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: jmcrebbin on Apr 02, '08 12:17:49AM

My HDD recently failed in the black MacBook and I have successfully replaced it with a new Segate 7200rpm SATA2 disk which is running beautifully.

Using Software Update I was unable to update Quicktime or to 10.5.2 as the installer was 'unable to validate the package'. Downloading the DMG from Apple solved this problem -- don't use the SWU program to 'download only'; this also failed for me, so I ended up downloading the update 3 times (330MB+ each time!)



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: sbusso on Feb 26, '08 04:15:49AM

On a Macbook (april 2007) I had installed an Hitachi 5K200, not simple but I reached to install leopard on it, seems to run fine untill it freezes. have to go back to my 'old' disk.



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: tyrnight on Feb 27, '08 01:24:20PM

I have a Late 2006 Macbook Pro ICH7 and it works fine with Hitachi HTS722020K9SA00 200gb 7200rpm drive without any jumpers set. runs at sata rev1

Intel ICH7-M AHCI:

Vendor: Intel
Product: ICH7-M AHCI
Speed: 1.5 Gigabit
Description: AHCI Version 1.10 Supported

Hitachi HTS722020K9SA00:

Capacity: 186.31 GB
Model: Hitachi HTS722020K9SA00
Revision: DC4OC54P
Serial Number: #############
Native Command Queuing: Yes
Queue Depth: 32
Removable Media: No
Detachable Drive: No
BSD Name: disk0
Mac OS 9 Drivers: No
Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
Volumes:
Macintosh OS:
Capacity: 185.99 GB
Available: 104.8 GB
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk0s2
Mount Point: /



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: am5ki on Feb 29, '08 12:55:47PM

Actually, the hint is correct, but does not apply in all circumstances. The apparent confusion is caused by HDD vendors. Some SATA II HDDs will not fall back to SATA I speed unless they two pins (which pins depends on drive) are bridged by a jumper. Without the jumper present, they drives will attempt to run as SATA II speed regardless of what the SATA controller's capabilities are. When such drive is left without a jumper and then is connected to a SATA I controller, the drive will simply not work. Some of the WD (Western Digital) drives behave like that.

I have also seen drives where the SATA speed is solely controlled by the jumper setting, meaning, you get SATA I or SATA II depending on the jumper setting only and regardless of your controller, as long as the controller can handle selected speed.



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Use newer 2.5" SATA disks in a MacBook or Mac mini
Authored by: bjj08 on Oct 21, '08 10:13:23AM

I just spoke with Western Digital tech support and they said all of their SATA drives are backwards compatibile with SATA1 controllers, FYI. My Macbook has the ICH7 controller and so any drive should work.

Don't know about other brands but I'm going to spring for the WD3200BEKT.



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