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G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB not recognized on 2006 MacBook

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  • G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB not recognized on 2006 MacBook

    I bought a G.SKILL Phoenix Pro SSD 120GB FM-25S2S-120GBP2 from newegg.com in October 2010 but it is not being recognized by my 2006 MacBook (running Snow Leopard) when it is plugged directly into the SATA controller. When I plug the Phoenix Pro into a USB drive controller connected to the MacBook it is instantly recognized by Disk Utility and I'm able to format the drive and even use it as a OSX Restore destination. When I plug the same drive into the SATA controller I get the blinking folder with a question mark at startup.

    I know the 2006 MacBooks are SATA I but I've read that SATA II drives should still work on SATA I just at the lower speeds. However I've also read that some newer SATA II drives are not compatible with the SATA controllers found in the older 2006 MacBooks and Mac minis. Other older SATA I controllers have issues too but solutions like adding a jumper to the drive to clock it down to SATA I performance is not an option. So I'm not sure what to do or what is wrong.

    Has anyone had success connecting a Phoenix Pro 120GB to their 2006 or similar MacBook? If so, do I have a defective drive? If not, what is my recourse, firmware update? RMA? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    did you try booting from the SSD while connected to USB? that would confirm that the SSD and partition configuration is bootable before proceeding with testing on the internal SATA connection.

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    • #3
      spoonyfork, might as well try the new firmware 3.1 while you're at the initial stages of setup. i also will be testing on the OS X environment so will share any relevant feedback.

      http://www.gskill.us/forum/showthread.php?t=6687

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nullheap View Post
        did you try booting from the SSD while connected to USB? that would confirm that the SSD and partition configuration is bootable before proceeding with testing on the internal SATA connection.
        I was able to boot from the SSD while connected to USB.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nullheap View Post
          spoonyfork, might as well try the new firmware 3.1 while you're at the initial stages of setup. i also will be testing on the OS X environment so will share any relevant feedback.

          http://www.gskill.us/forum/showthread.php?t=6687
          I plugged the SSD into my Windows box via the USB cable. The drive was recognized by Disk Management in Windows 7. I can see the EFI system partition by the way. I ran the 3.1 ssdupdate.exe but it said "No drives found!". Can I apply the update over USB or does it have to be connected to the SATA controller? The upgrade guide doesn't say whether it has be connected to the SATA controller or not.

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          • #6
            I connected Phoenix Pro to the SATA connector in the MacBook and zapped the PRAM, but it still wouldn't boot from the drive (gray screen with blinking question mark folder).

            While the drive was still in I tried booting from the Snow Leopard DVD but Disk Utility could not find any drives other than the DVD drive itself.

            I connected the drive by USB to my Windows 7 box and verified the EFI partition exists.

            I connected the drive by USB to the MacBook and verified that the drive is marked true for bootable and proved it by booting to it while connected by the USB cable.

            I tried to update the firmware to 3.1 while connected by USB to my Windows 7 box but the updater could not find the drive even though it was showing up in Disk Management. Do I need to connect the drive directly to the SATA controller to upgrade the firmware?

            I don't want to send this drive back. Any additional suggestions would be most appreciated.

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            • #7
              spoony,

              try connecting the SSD to a free SATA port on your Win7 box and attempt to flash it. i flashed my SSD to 3.1 using the 2nd SATA port on a Win7 PC. if your mac can boot from the SSD via USB, you should be OK in terms of having a bootable partition on the SSD. 1st try to get the SSD flashed to 3.1 and then install back into the MacBook.

              120GB Phoenix Pro currently working in 2010 MacBook Pro 13" with 60GB partition for OS X 10.6.4 Snow Leopard and 60GB for Windows 7 Bootcamp. SSD took a while to boot after install and seemed to hang once after 2nd boot into OS X. Haven't done extensive testing yet.

              for additional reference, i've also tested an old core duo mac mini using a 40gb OWC SSD (should be same Sandforce 1200 controller with MP2-3.01 firmware similar to gskill FW 3.1); SSD boots fine

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              • #8
                Thank you everyone for your generous assistance, I really appreciate it. However I gave up trying to get the Phoenix Pro 120GB drive to work on my 2006 MacBook. After reading the issues with updating to the 3.1 firmware I decided all this work and worry isn't worth it. I'm sure the drive is perfectly fine but I'm disappointed that what should have worked did not. I sold the Phoenix Pro to a co-worker to use on their more modern desktop system. To owners of older MacBooks: caveat emptor!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by spoonyfork View Post
                  Thank you everyone for your generous assistance, I really appreciate it. However I gave up trying to get the Phoenix Pro 120GB drive to work on my 2006 MacBook. After reading the issues with updating to the 3.1 firmware I decided all this work and worry isn't worth it. I'm sure the drive is perfectly fine but I'm disappointed that what should have worked did not. I sold the Phoenix Pro to a co-worker to use on their more modern desktop system. To owners of older MacBooks: caveat emptor!
                  I have a late 2006 white MacBook and originally planned to get this drive until I saw your post. However, I might still be up for the challenge if your MB is older than mine. Was yours bought after Nov of 2006?
                  Last edited by jayeatworld; 11-05-2010, 03:58 PM. Reason: fixed wording of post

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                  • #10
                    Solution Found!

                    @spoonyfork what version of OSX are you running?

                    I just found a thread that got the Gskill 64GB SSD running on his old 2006 Macbook:
                    http://discussions.apple.com/message...sageID=8704582
                    Last edited by jayeatworld; 11-05-2010, 04:14 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jayeatworld View Post
                      I have a late 2006 white MacBook and originally planned to get this drive until I saw your post. However, I might still be up for the challenge if your MB is older than mine. Was yours bought after Nov of 2006?
                      I purchased my MacBook from apple.com on November 10, 2006. The model number is MA700LL/A.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jayeatworld View Post
                        @spoonyfork what version of OSX are you running?

                        I just found a thread that got the Gskill 64GB SSD running on his old 2006 Macbook:
                        http://discussions.apple.com/message...sageID=8704582
                        Thank you for posting. I am running 10.6.4. I read the deep thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=604363 and I do not believe that it applies to my circumstance.

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                        • #13
                          It just worked!

                          I went ahead an purchased the G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB drive despite the issues stated on this thread.

                          I really wanted to go SSD and this was the only drive currently available (AFAIK) that supported garbage collection.

                          Surprisingly, I did NOT run into any problems. I just plugged the SSD in where the old HDD was, booted of my Snow Leopard installer and saw the newly installed SSD in Disk Utilities. Did an erase and created a journaled partition and installed OSX.

                          Everything went smoothly and installation finished after 20 mins.

                          FYI, I also have the late 2006 macbook with model # MA700LL/A.

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