What I originally thought to be standard procedure turned out to be a living nightmare. I had a Macbook Pro Late 2011 with 128GB SSD. As I run Windows in parallel to Mac OSX, it’s not surprising I was running out of disk space. The solution? Replacing the optibay drive (DVD) with a secondary SSD disk.
As I received the brand new Intel 520 Series 180GB SSD and the OptiBay Drive Kit, I followed the guide at ifixit on how to unscrew the whole thing. At first I followed the guide carefully, but as I was doing it for the third and fourth time I learned a few shortcuts and screws that didn’t have to be unscrewed if you were willing to do some bending!
Anyway, moment of truth. I hit the power button and was surprised to see OSX booting up successfully. I popped up Disk Utility to see if my new disk was recognized, and drum roll it was! All that was left now was to format the disk and begin my new life as a disk space millionaire I thought to myself. Of course, this was where my problems began.
I still sometimes dream about the error messages “Partition failed with error. Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed”, or “Unable to write to the last block of the device”. Nothing I tried seemed to help. Even Google was letting me down. The drive was impossible to access. After some reboots, it even became invisible to disk utility, just to pop back up after some more reboots. Was something broken? The disk? The optibay?
I tried to gather some energy for a last experiment that I heard someone mentioning on a forum – switching the drives. Was the optibay drive too picky to properly work with my non-apple-recommended drive? After my sloppiest disassembly so far, the original Toshiba SSD that came with my computer was now in the optibay, and my Intel SSD was in the HDD slot.
Yet again I was surprised to see OSX booting up without any notices. Apparently the Mac was clever enough to realize my boot disk was now in the optibay. I opened up disk utility, and everything seemed like it should. I tried to create a new partition on my Intel drive, and voila – success! Now I can start my new life as a disk space mill.. wait. Something is wrong. Safari is complaining that my boot disk is full as I try to download a file. Why are programs suddenly shutting down? Why does nothing seem to get saved as I reboot the computer? I can’t even create a new text file on the desktop! Then I realized that my boot disk, now in the optibay drive, also was failing. It was in some kind of read only mode. At this moment I was mostly impressed that OSX had managed to boot up in readonly mode without me even noticing for the first few minutes.
Google was to no avail, and neither were any colleagues ;) I simply gave up. I could conclude that nothing seemed to be wrong with my new disk. It was either the optibay from MCE, or something completely unknown. At least I was confident I could just leave my new Intel in the HDD slot and use as my new primary hard drive, and put back the DVD drive into the optibay slot. 52GB richer and 6GB/S instead of 3GB/S I was pretty happy anyway. But everything else is still a mystery.