A1181 - 2nd HDD disappears

Oct 26, 2014
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Greetings !

First I'm sorry for my approximate english...!

I got a mid-2007 A1181 Macbook, its been a really great machine, until now. I know it's pretty old hardware but I'm still hoping to get some help around.

My SuperDrive went bad and since I didn't use it often, I decided to swap it for a 2nd hard drive... you know, the setup with a optical bay containing a HDD 2,5" slot? I had a blank Hitachi 250gb HDD laying around (still running good and SMART verified) so I thought it was a good idea.

So I bought the 2nd hard drive caddy and installed it. Everything went well at first. The 2nd hard drive was recognized by OSX (10.7) and I was able to format it to HFS.

I happily started transferring some stuff to it, then, suddenly, transfers were stopped (speed 0 kb/s) for a couple minutes, then the 2nd HDD just disappeared (not only eject, but disappeared completly). OSX threw me a bad ejection message saying I didn't eject correctly. Ehhrrr.... okay?? Rebooted the Mac, the drive didn't show up again. I have to let the Macbook a couple minutes off (cool down?) then the 2nd HDD reappears.

Bleh. So I opened up the Macbook once again to check it out.

  • I thought maybe it was the optical cable to the motherboard that was bad. So I replaced it with a good one... no change.
  • Maybe it was the 2nd HDD that was bad? Tried another known-good HDD, no change.
  • Swapped my primary HDD with the 2nd HDD... same thing.

These are my Macbook specifications:
  • Macbook A1181 Mid-2007
  • Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz
  • 4Gb DDR2 RAM
  • Primary HDD: Samsung 128gb SSD
  • Second HDD: Hitachi 250GB 5200RPM
  • OSX Lion 10.7.5 fresh install

What I already did:
  • Uncheck "Disable hard drives when possible" in Energy Saver preferences
  • Add the 2nd HDD in "Privacy" of Spotlight preferences
  • Run short SMART tests (OK) but long SMART tests doesn't complete because of the unmount problem

I'm a little out of clue... do you have any ideas?

Thanks in advance :)


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
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Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
My guess is that the hard drive caddy you bought for the optical bay is probably defective or intermittent. Can you return it?
Oct 26, 2014
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Yes, that's my next guess.

But I was thinking that the caddy is such a basic and uncomplicated macbook part, that the chance of it being defective is very small. Nevertheless I'll try another one but this time I'll go for a known-good reseller.

I'll report back to see if it fixes the problem.

I saw on other forums that people had problems with SATA III HDD speeds in the 2nd HDD caddy in Macbook Pro (2009+), their HDD would unmount suddenly just like mine. They fixed their problem by downgrading the EFI from 1.7 to 1.6 to be able to limit the SATA speed to 1,5 Gb/s. I'm not so sure this solution applies to me...

Thanks again. :)

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