Installing a sata optical drive in a Mac Pro – Part 3:
12. Optical drive tray faceplate – Seen here in my first attempt at installing the drive, there isn’t enough of an opening for the drive tray faceplate to pass through. The disc can’t eject. So you have to remove the faceplate from the tray.
I searched online and couldn’t find any help on HOW to remove the faceplate, but it’s fairly easy. FirstÂ you have to open the drive tray. There are two ways to do this. One is to use a paperclip in the emergency eject hole. (yes that’s the technical term for it) Â Second, which is what I did, is to actually turn on the computer and use the eject function. Of course my method means that you have to finish the install and turn on the computer with the optical drive carrier not fully pushed in. You should probably go with method number 1.
Next you have to remove the tray faceplate. On my drive this was done by releasing the clips that are holding it in and sliding the plate up. It might be scary but ultimately you’re not going to be able to use the drive with the faceplate on, so don’t worry too much about breaking it. Use a flat screwdriver to wedge in and release the clips starting on one end and moving towards the other.
Once the faceplate is off you can push the carrier back into it’s bay but be careful not to disconnect any of the cables as it’s going in. This can be tricky and depending on the drive you have there might not be much room in there for all of your cables. One older drive I installed was much longer than this unit and it was very difficult to push in the carries without the cables coming free.
13. Re-install fan kit – Finally the fan kit has to be reinstalled and screwed back in. Here’s the thing to watch out for when pushing it in:
My first attempt, after installing everything and screwing everything back together, I noticed that the sata cable had came free. This is a very common when using these sata connectors. One friend of mine told me that he actually glued the cable to the motherboard so that it wouldn’t pop out. While that might sound extreme it is an option. I messed around with mine and after 5 or 10 minutes and lots of curse words finally got it plugged back in without having to take everything apart again.
Here’s the way mine looked after I got it installed correctly. This also shows WHY I went with a 90 degree cable. The flat cables stick out too far, hitting the fan. There simply isn’t enough room between the motherboard and the fan kit for the cable to fit.
During ONE early install, not having a 90 degree cable, I actually modified a cable, cutting the end so that it would bend better. While I’ve had no problems with that hacked install, I DO NOT recommend doing it. Cut cables will be more likely to have data problems.
14. Finishing up – Of course the last step is to snap the heat sink cover back on and put the side door back on. Â Upon reboot the new optical drive just shows up in system profiler. No drivers should be necessary (it’s a Mac). You will now have an eject icon in the menu bar with a pull down to choose which drive you want to eject. Â And my drive also showed up in Windows XP under VM Ware with no problems.
Let me know what you think of this guide in the comments.