07-04-2018 12:09 AM
I am having troubles with this notebook by installing a second HDD in those eBay caddies, the ones that are installed within the CD/DVD drive port. I have installed this kind of things in various other notebooks.
The problem I am getting, is that the drive is recognized and can be used... but at terrible speeds. The performance on the second HDD is terrible. I installed an SSD where the original HDD was and the 1TB HDD included in the caddy, what most people tend to do and I am one of them. I made the exact same thing to another cheaper and older HP notebook using the same caddy (but 12.5mm rather than this 9.5mm) which is working as expected. After installing the caddy in the older notebook, I simply went to do the same thing to this one but without the expected results.
I think that it has something to do with the max speed for the S-ATA, something I had to change in a HP 4530s in the BIOS some years ago. I changed the speed from 600MB/s to 300MB/s (or from S-ATA III to S-ATA II, not sure but same effect). The problem here is that the BIOS is extremely simple and there is no option to change anything like that.
With this idea in mind, I tested an older HDD. It worked better, not perfect but better. With the 1TB original HDD I had speeds in the KB/s region, a really old USB flash drive is a lot faster than that. With the older 320GB I forced to install (since it is a little bulkier), I finally had speeds over 50MB/s. It is still slow but better than a USB 2.0 HDD. Then I looked around and I had another 500GB HDD from a 2015 Mac Mini (that also had an HDD->SSD swap) and I tested it, not only it fitted right but luckily it also worked with over 50MB/s transfer speeds.
Now the notebook is usable, it is still not how it is supposed to work but the very least, usable. I would much rather use the 1TB HDD and of course have the speeds it should have. As a reference, I can copy a file from the SSD to the HDD in the 4530s at >80MB/s, and that is past the cache portion that is over 200MB/s for a few seconds.
On an additional note, there is a switch on the caddy which no real information is out there as to what it could do. Anyway, I changed the position just to see if something happened but nothing better nor worse, so I changed it back since I have no idea of what it could do. Something with debugging to manufacturers is the most reasonable thing I saw. In conclusion, only the older 500GB HDD is usable.
Is it even possible to make this work as it should? I can understand that the CD/DVD drive port might not be designed to be used with an HDD, but a S-ATA port or more like, a S-ATA interface should not care of what is connected to it I suppose.
Last thing I can think of by of what I read while searching for a solution, is that the cable connecting the CD/DVD drive port to the mainboard is not S-ATA 6Gbps capable. I do not remember if this has a cable or if it is connected directly to the port but that would be more work than I am willing to do since would be pretty risky to mod it.
Any help with this would be appreciated, sorry for the long post.