I no longer sell this adapter myself, but the parts are still available online / in-store, somewhere. An actual mountable-adapter is even available on eBay for next-to-nothing, today. I will update this if / when supplies change. iFixIt is an awesome resource for parts and manuals.
I DO, however, continue offering my hardware consulting expertise – and always appreciate a challenging technical side-project (e.g. disaster recovery / spills, SSD configs [will sell adapters alongside such services], back-end shell scripting, Arduino project consulting). I have many customers (former locals & internet friends alike) who are comfortable shipping their equipment to my Austin location – moon-lit solutions at whenever-to-expedited pricing.
ssd [at] installstuff [dot] com
OK, so my 13" MacBook Pro is now officially a month old - time for some upgrades...
When I purchased this computer, I was torn between having a super-fast Solid State Drive (an SSD, made primarily of non-moving microchips) versus the much higher capacity traditional platter drive (the moving-head type we've been losing for decades).
This is a legitimate dilemma . . . ultimately, I decided to purchase the smallest normal drive possible, because, let's face it: Apple charges WAY TOO MUCH for the crappy platters they haphazardly-place into their otherwise-wonderful equipment:
Seriously, who the fuck would risk having a Hitachi "Death Star" (or any 5400RPM drive, for that matter)? But I digress... I immediately pulled whatever stock crap was in my MacBook Pro and replaced it with a 200GB, 7200 RPM Seagate (similar to this 320GB Seagate). This configuration was sufficient, but after playing with Twin's similar MBP (which has a solid state drive), I realized HOW MUCH FASTER my laptop could be (more on this, later). The only problem with SSDs is that they're expensive and just don't have the capacity of RDs... OH THE DILEMMA.
After playing around with her insides, I realized a couple things:
1) I didn't really need the optical drive (Like a MacBook Air owner, I had to accept I use CDs few times per year)
2) Said optical drive operated on the SATA bus (albeit with a strange mini-adapter)
3) With disc-capabilities extracted, lots of space opened up in the MacBook Pro's solid aluminum shell.
4) Who gives a shit about warranties when you could have TWO internal SATA hard drives
You might see the problem I had in just plugging in my SSD hard drive (above): the optical drive, although on the SATA interface, uses its own unique connector, where the power connector is for some reason smooshed from the standard 15 pin setup to a custom six pin layout (who know why, but OK). Unfortunately, I couldn't find a simple Apple-proprietary-motherboard-SATA-slot to proprietary-optical-SATA-slot adapter online, so I had to make my own . . .
Yeah, it's not pretty, and yeah: I honestly didn't know if it would work, but such is life. Fortunately, this works, and YOU only need to purchase TWO adapters to install that second internal hard drive you've always wanted:
1) A Sata M/sata LP4 Adapter from Amazon
2) A standard MOLEX to 15-pin SATA power adapter from Amazon (or Fry's electronics, where I got mine for $2.00)
Now, get out your wire clippers, and cut off the orange and/or yellow wire (you may not have both) plus one of the black wires on item #2 (they're both ground...). You only need the red wire and one black wire, which will supply your new hard drive with the necessary 5 volt connection. Now, wire these to the black and red wires on item #1 (above).
OK, so before you get all excited and think you can just cram everything in there and go, please notice (above) how close the motherboard connector has to be to the hard drive connector. DO NOT JAM THE CASE BACK TOGETHER. Take note of how carefully I have routed the cables around the drive... the CD-ROM slot is a great place to tuck the cable, as it gets it out of the way AND prevents you from accidentally trying to insert a CD (I love double-whammies).
Can you imagine how relieved/excited I was to see two hard drive icons on my computer when I booted up?! Now, I have my main drive configured with an 80GB Intel device, and store things like iTunes Music, photos, movies, porno, whatever on the 200GB secondary. Why, you might ask, is this worthy of warranty-voidin' ?!
Really, it's quite simple: my SSD boot drive is SEVEN TIMES FASTER than my (already upgraded) rotary hard drive . . . but I also have enough space on my laptop to actually store all the information I probably don't actually need (280GB total). In total, I spent $8.00 on parts (plus $6.00 S/H), $200.00 on the SSD, and $100.00 on the RD. So, FOR LESS THAN APPLE CHARGES for the single 128GB SSD upgrade (which really is a POS, if you ask me), I got 280GB of reliable hard disk space. FmyWarranty!
Happy Hacking! Don't forget to upgrade your firmware EMI to v1.7 (this updates from SATA1.5 to SATA3.0). Doing so gave my hard drive an 18.3% performance boost, as tested averaging two runs each on XBench, both before and after the update. Just run Software Update, and it'll let you know if you need it or not (if nothing shows up, you've already got SATA3.0 configured).
How might this affect battery life? Well, at 92% charge, and with the display brightness at 50%, I get 4:11 remaining. At full charge, this is a little bit higher (4:45ish)... before this mod, I never saw more than 5:00 (under normal working conditions - with brightness fully reduced and no hard drive spinning it does just break the five hour mark)
Reddit user 'eyesee' points out that you can purchase frames that will brace your hacked-in disk drive to keep it from bouncing around. I must say, however, that my method above was only $12.00, and with an SSD drive and cable in place, the drive fits PERFECTLY SNUG -- one doesn't need to worry about microchips, really, so long as the original spinning drive remains in the onboard cradle. Should you desire additional protection for your dual RD setup, the case isn't a bad way to go. The more expensive configuration offers an external enclosure for that removed optical drive... if that's necessary for ya =D
This is shameless self-promotion (added after the initial surge of visitors, but so was the wiring diagram above, so eFoff): if you'd like me to add a second internal hard drive to your MacBook Pro, I'll do the hardware install for just $45.00 . . . that's a great deal to some people, and probably a rip off to others (but if you don't like opening up computers, then a GREAT DEAL). Just send me a heads up, a check, a second sata drive*, and your MacBook Pro (with a tracking #, PLEASE) and I'll return the computer to you a day after it arrives (additional $14.00 UPS).
InstallStuff - 815 Brazos St. #718A - Austin, Texas. 78701
If you need data transfers, etc. just drop me a line and we can negotiate a fair price . . . I have clients all across the USA who mail me their computers for servicing . . . if this sketches you out, then don't do it (always go with your gut feeling). ssd [at] installstuff [dot] com
No, this isn't me, and no, I wouldn't recommend using masking tape, but here's one implementation of my adventure:
Someone occasionally emails to inform me that "this idea got ripped off by some guy at [Publication Xyz]." While I appreciate the concern, imitation is both flattering and rewarding: 1) I see a surge in traffic (personal pride only, as I don't generate ad revenue) 2)
Update (over a year later): At least Apple is trying with the iMac line... trying. Heck, you could probably fit THREE drives in the MacBook Pro 15" for the same price ( I don't have this ATM, but I've spec'ed it out :[ ).
Wonderful optimization / efficiency settings for SSD users. NB: If you have an SSD & a normal HD installed, DO NOT DISABLE THE SUDDEN MOTION SENSOR (step #3).
Come explore the /r/BayArea