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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro Desktop Macs
Need an extra MacPro hard drive sled for swapping secondary hard drives? If you do not need to swap out your primary hard drive, take it off of the sled and carefully install it permanently into the first slot without the sled. First put some thick felt on top of the grey fan box. The hard drive is supported by the grey box and felt perfectly solid in this setup. Now you have a free hard drive sled to swap drives in the other three slots -- this is better than pay $29 plus shipping.

[robg adds: While I do have a Mac Pro, I'm not going to test this hint ... I don't swap drives often enough to merit a spare sled. Looking at the interior of the machine, though, it looks as though it would work fine -- though clearly it's not the recommended drive mounting method. Proceed at your own risk...]
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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: mustang_dvs on May 19, '08 09:32:47AM
Hmph... $29 + shipping for a spare sled is still cheaper than a new hard drive, or an out-of-warranty repair.

Or, you could buy an external SATA drive dock.

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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: merosen on May 19, '08 02:50:04PM
There are 2 spare esata ports on the motherboard.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/MPQXES2/
For $25 plus shipping you have 2 external esata ports.
Easier to swap drives by unplugging a cable or 2 than taking your machine apart.

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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: tempel on May 20, '08 10:45:19AM

I had just been in a regular PC shop in Munich (Germany) where they sell such adapters with a single eSATA connector for 5 Euro, which is about 7-8 US$.

Nevertech is asking a lot of money.



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: fmaxwell on Aug 09, '09 09:27:20AM

If a $29 drive sled is a lot of money, you bought the wrong computer. That's like 1% of the purchase price of the computer. I'm not going to jury-rig a physically unattached hard drive laying on felt into a $3K computer. How clever will you feel if/when the SATA connector on the backplane breaks or the drive overhead from sitting on felt and having no airflow?



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: tempel on May 20, '08 10:50:01AM

I have a question about this: I just bought an external drive enclosure with an eSATA connector (by Revoltec), and also installed one of those eSATA connectors from the internal free SATA connectors to the back of my 8-core Mac Pro.

The problem is that the drive is not getting recognized by the Mac now (10.5.2). The enclosure came with a CD containing drivers for "MAC", but they're from 2001 and surely not Intel-adapted. And they appear to be for the USB interface (which works out of the box).

So, does someone know how to make the Mac recognize eSATA drives connected via a SATA cable adapter to the mainboard?



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: tempel on May 20, '08 12:05:34PM

Err, actually, I found that it _works_ just out of the box. But only when I have the drive connected at boot time! So, it's behaving like an internal drive that you cannot connect or remove while the Mac is running.

I wonder if there's a way to tell the OS that these two additional SATA slots on the board are to be treated like external drive connectors, allowing hot-swapping?



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: sipatel on May 24, '08 03:51:45PM

Hot swapping isn't recommended on a Mac Pro!!



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: inerlogic on May 19, '08 12:04:24PM

so the commenter suggests buying an $80 attachment when the OP posted a hint to save $30...

or you could just move your machine to a different case with support for more harddrives... oh wait... no you can't...

if apple thought you needed this ability, they surely would have built it into the machine, so clearly you don't need to swap harddrives....



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: Belisarius on May 19, '08 01:19:34PM

I think I'll file this one under "Penny Wise but Pound Foolish".



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: syzygies on May 19, '08 02:31:00PM

...or one could move the guts of the Mac Pro to a roomier case, with reasonable options for expansion. Antec's high end cases come to mind.

One doesn't have to go OSx86 to enjoy building a Mac; Apple simply wants you to start with their parts.



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Free up a spare drive sled in the Mac Pro
Authored by: fmaxwell on Aug 09, '09 09:18:01AM

An interesting suggestion, but it would be tragic to downgrade from the Mac Pro case, which is considered the finest in the industry, to something like an Antec, Chieftec, Lian Li, Vantec, etc. I've got four tower systems I built and I got the best cases available and they simply are no comparison for the Mac Pro.

Plus, nothing would fit. There aren't Antec cases with the same ports (USB, FW800, FW400, Audio, etc.] built into the front and back panels. The Mac Pro's kilowatt power supply is unlikely to screw into a PC case. The motherboard is not, to the best fo my knowledge, a PC form factor like ATX. You'd lose ALL of the drive-sleds, not just one, since it's a proprietary system that relies on the Mac Pro's case design to work. Even if you got it all crammed in there, the entire algorithm for the cooling fan control would be hosed by the changes to the airflow characteristics.

If you need to swap drives that often, get a drive dock or an external FW800 case that supports slide-in drives.



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