Second hard drive in a Macbook pro

Picture 4 (Custom)

[Reid] wrote in to show us how to add a second hard drive to his Macbook Pro. He found that he hardly ever used his DVD drive, so sacrificed it in favor of added storage. What he found was that it had a proprietary adapter that he was unable to find for sale anywhere. Making an adapter may seem like a pretty simple hack, but this could save some people considerable time. Its also worth noting that upgrading the firmware got him an 18% speed increase, so don’t ignore those updates. We don’t see too many mac hacks around here, you may recall the mac tablet hacks and the logo monitor.


  1. strider_mt2k says:

    Nice mod!

    If you don’t need the optical drive, why lug it around? There are USB externals aplenty nowadays.

  2. Zig says:

    Take a look at a “SATA HDD Caddy Adapter For Thinkpad T400″ on eBay. It has the same small SATA connector in what looks like the same position. Ya, putting x-IBM stuff in an Mac may cause it to spontaneously collapse into a black hole, but for $14 it is worth trying. #8^}

  3. Matt says:

    for people with an older non-SATA MBP, there is a more affordable solution than the MCE Optibay.

    I haven’t tried it yet, but it should do the trick.

  4. Sashmo says:

    Nice one Matt, thats exactly what I’ve been looking for. I think I’m going to order one right now…

    What do you guys think? a 320gig 7200 for $90 for main drive, and a 500gig 5400 for 90 for a second drive?

    Or should I just wait and get two 500gig 7200 when they drop in price?

  5. archer174 says:

    Nice info Matt. If you look they have part numbers for a 9.5mm SATA version as well.

  6. gm says:

    Why has the blog been flagged as “only suitable for adults”?

  7. strider_mt2k says:


    or it could be the hybrid that finnaly brings up all together!


  8. strider_mt2k says:

    Let me try this again

    or it could be the hybrid that finally brings us all together!


  9. Dave says:

    Silly Hacker,

    Macs are for Kids!

  10. draeath says:


    Because websense and friends are run by fools?

  11. Yrb says:

    A Unix system with an x86 processor, I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid that you’re an idiot.

  12. Dave says:


    Awww… Come on, I’ve been called worse by mac users. ‘freetard’ comes to mind. Of course darwin is based on ‘freetard’ programming. Too bad for me I can’t get a unix operating system on my toshiba… I guess I’m just jealous.

  13. Matt says:

    That connector looks like a limline SATA connector common on slimline SATA optical drives. AFAIK, it is not proprietary (part of the current spec) and adaptor cables can be found online and even in some computer stores (just saw some at my local Microcenter last week).

  14. Ike says:

    in macbook add 2nd harddrive he says and don’t forget to upgrade your firmware EMI to v1.7
    what is he talking about?
    firmware for the harddrives?


  15. tim says:

    Will this work in a july 2009 Macbook pro?

  16. Kelly says:

    Check this out. Comes with a FREE enclosure for your superdrive.

  17. Sh4 says:

    you can get mce optibay’s for under 20$ shipping included by typing “optibay” on ebay, got mine this way and it’s working fine with an ocz vertex 2, got sata3 so I get speeds of around 150mb/s

  18. Nathan says:

    I just checked with apple, if you do not break anything putting in the 2nd hard drive, you will not void the warranty

  19. Loz says:

    I installed a PATA ebay version but the disk is not appearing on my system. I got a replacement opti-bay but same thing happens. If I swap back the CD drive that works fine.
    Am I missing something?

  20. arno says:

    I just installed 2 OCZ vertex 3 SSD’s into my 2011 Macbook pro, but at first it would only recognize one of the hard drives, so I switched them, now it doesn’t recognize any. I am booting up from an external drive, but when I go into Disc Utilities I don’t see any other drives now. I have checked all the connections and as far as I can tell everything is hooked up right.
    Any suggestions?

    • Robert says:

      This may be late coming to you, but I had a problem shortly after installing an SSD drive. It turned out to be the ribbon cable that fails after a short time of the faster data. I had our local service replace the cable as there are no after-market options. It has worked great for several months now after the replacement. This was on the Mid 2009 MBP 13.

  21. matthew says:

    i just did this, i was wondering can i just format my old hard drive as i just want it for space or do i need to partition it or anything? thanks

  22. brandon says:

    so once you add the hard drive, how would i go about making that hard drive the main bootable drive, and move over the content from my other hard drive. without reformatting or losing anything from the first drive?

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