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I have an early 2008 A1226 15" MacBook Pro Santa Rosa (ie non-unibody), and I want to put an HDD in the optical bay (replacing my original HDD with an SSD). There are caddies like this that might do the trick, but they never specify my older (non-unibody) MacBook Pro version exactly. I'm wondering if that will actually fit, or if there's a better alternative that's fairly cheap. Optibay sells one specifically for non-unibody here but at $100 it's 5x the price.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The optical drive in a non-unibody MacBook Pro uses a PATA interface, so you would need to go with the MCE or iFixit caddy, both of which use an interconnect board to convert from SATA on the HD side to PATA on the logic board side.

The caddy on Amazon needs a SATA connection on the logic board side, so it will only work in a unibody MacBook Pro.

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Based on the pictures of that specific drive it will work. It has the screw holes on the sides. You'll need the SATA connector cable from the old drive and the brackets from the old as well.

It will look something like this.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manwhoyells/6020598352/in/photostream/

iFixIt has a caddie as well.

http://www.ifixit.com/Apple-Parts/9-5-mm-Optical-Bay-SATA-Hard-Drive-Enclosure/IF107-078

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are you sure the SATA connector and brackets from the old drive will be required with the caddy? the link says "no cables/PSU/software driver needed." this is important because I want to use the cables for my old drive with the SSD. –  jela Aug 23 '11 at 3:22
    
i don't think it will ship with the mounting brackets for the optical drive, or the optical drive flex cable. but if it does then your good to go. Neither the brackets or the flex cable is good for anything other then the optical drive itself. the HD cables aren't needed for the caddie only the cables for the old optical drive. –  jacklar Aug 23 '11 at 18:48
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After some research, wondering why non-unibody caddies should be 3-to-4 times the price, I found this site, which does an excellent job of explaining why their caddies are good and why you need a pata vs sata caddy for the non-unibody MacBook Pro.

The optical drive has a pin (or PATA interface) at the rear, instead of a card-type (or SATA interface). The enclosures look pretty much the same. Here is an overview of what I found:

  • At this time, OWC doesn't offer any non-unibody caddy
  • MCE prices theirs at $50 plus about $10 shipping
  • ifixit is $60 plus (presumably) shipping,
  • and finally this product his total cost is under $50 (including shipping).

After all this research, I think I'm still gonna wait, or look for a PATA interfaced caddy on ebay...

UPDATE: I found a non-unibody MBP drive enclosure on eBay for $12 (including shipping).
If it fits, I'm gone. If it doesn't work, I'll let you know.

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That looks like a good deal on the right part. I'm interested to hear how it works for you. –  jela Oct 30 '12 at 13:56
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In theory, this should work - the caddy appears to be the same size/shape as a regular optical drive. However, pre-univody MacBook Pros have a special set of metal brackets that screw into the ODD to hold it in place, and I'm not certain if the first product you listed will be able to accommodate them. You can see what I'm talking about in Steps 12-14 of iFixit's Optical Drive Replacement guide for this model.

I'd imagine that the one that's listed as specifically for that model would have taken this into consideration.

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