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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

USB 3.0 Express Card Driver + Kext Wizard?


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MBP17•David

 
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I found, what appears to be a reasonable solution, for adding a couple of USB 3.0 ports to my mid-2010 MBP, without making it look silly, i.e. this Express Card is not sticking out, just like my current SD card reader one, so as close to built-in port(s) appearance as could be.

So far, so good. However, the card arrived, and so is an email with a driver package Not a pleasant surprise, I must say:






I would never install anything unknown on my system anyway, but the Kext Wizard and reboot instructions are particularly alarming.

Is there a trustworthy source of a driver for this card, which, I presume, will not function correctly without one?

Dvid
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cradom

 
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Seems like all that "Kext Wizard" does is set permissions on the new kexts and rebuild the cache. Pretty much same thing Onyx would do except for the new kext.
Is this from a reputable company?

Craig Domingue - resident redneck.
“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin
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MBP17•David

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cradom View Post
Is this from a reputable company?
That's the problem - it's from eBay Anyway, the seller is just that - a seller, they might not be aware, if there's a malicious component in the driver package ...

I've searched for the same card from other suppliers and didn't find any. There's a Sonnet card, but it's got that horrible square blob outside - can't stand those things not to mention, it is not practical - I have had my Sonnet multi-card reader ExpressCard34 in my MBP for four years, never had to remove it, as you can't really tell it's there - that's what I want with USB3 card too:


existing card inserted


both cards - the existing multi-card reader and the new USB3 card



As much as I want to add two USB 3.0 ports to my system, I'm not going to risk it running unknown code on the [main and only] system.

Anyone willing to examine this package on a test machine with packet sniffer and suchlike? Just to make sure it doesn't do anything nasty ... It's a small size zip file (1.3 MB), easy to email ... I'd be really grateful

Dvid
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cradom

 
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Check this out: On Orbit » Blog Archive » Adding a USB 3.0 Expresscard/34 to your MacBook Pro

Craig Domingue - resident redneck.
“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin
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MBP17•David

 
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Excellent, thank you Craig!

Exactly what I wanted: kext from a trusted source and a few lines in Terminal, knowing precisely what am I actually letting into my system. Great stuff.

It worked fine too, and I now have two USB 3.0 full-speed ports (if you look at BSD name for the drive, you'll know why I'm happy):





I also quite like the little icon in Menu Bar - so I can power down the ExpressCard when required. Neat



Thanks again, really appreciate your help

Dvid
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cradom

 
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Glad I could help.

Craig Domingue - resident redneck.
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@David:

You did notice that it doesn't work with the Yosemite beta and that you may have to wait awhile before it works with the full release of 10.10?
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MBP17•David

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
You did notice that it doesn't work with the Yosemite beta and that you may have to wait awhile before it works with the full release of 10.10?
Yes thanks, in fact some posts (and eBay seller's description too) said it might not work with mid-2010 MBP 17" at all ... I was willing to chance it, for the little money it cost.

As far as Yosemite - I'm not usually the one to jump into a new version right away, however exciting some new features might be. I actually went from 10.7.5 to 10.9.2 for my last upgrade ... also at some point I'd have to conclude that, this laptop has reached its limit of OS upgradability, most likely to happen well before Apple tells me so.

Dvid
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MBP17•David

 
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A very brief follow-up...

There are a couple of peculiarities to running this USB 3.0 Express Card and [updated to v.2.2.7] Generic USB kext:
  • There's no soft power down of connected volumes, when system goes to sleep (laptop lid down), therefore manual unmount / eject is required
  • Sometimes the card loses power momentarily, when MagSafe power lead is disconnected, resulting in volumes being ejected, while still mounted
  • Plugging and unplugging USB cables has to be done very gently - push the plug in to firmly, and the express card is ejected! Pull the cable, without holding the express card in, and it will drag the card with it. Not what you want, particularly, when there's a second drive plugged in.

Also I get a system warning: "Kernel extension is not from an identified developer" ... but still be loaded. Fine, but this only happens during CCC clone of the main volume and the path in the warning is of the backup volume. How can any kext be loaded from a backup drive? If I don't run the clone, I don't get the warning. Maybe I should boot from the clone and run 755 & root:wheel for the kext on it? Although it is a full clone, so that shouldn't be necessary ... Rather puzzled by this one.

All in all, not an entirely satisfying experience - fiddly, capricious and kind of distinctly non-Apple, if that makes sense.

I have yet to do a comparison test with FW800, to see if it is actually that much faster ON THIS MACHINE. If it is not, and somehow I suspect it might not be, I'll just get a few more WD MyPassport 2TB FW800 drives and get rid of this card ...

Dvid
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