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The Seagate SSHD drives on IFIXIT needs some clarity

Hi guys,

It looks like you don't have any of the older 2.5" Seagate drives left and are now selling the newer FireCuda series.

Take a look at the specs sheets here:

Note the older model has auto sense technology so it will work in the older SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) or SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) and the current SATA III (6.0 Gb's) systems. The newer model only works within SATA III systems ;-{

I spoke with Seagate and I even tried one out sorry to say its not reliable in a SATA II or SATA I system. The reason they dropped support was there thinking was the need for it as dropped off as most people have traded up to newer systems. With the removal, the BOM cost can be lowered allowing them to have some pricing freedom.

What may have confused you is the original 3.5" SSHD drive was a fixed speed SATA III drive. The second generation intro'ed auto sense technology and the current FireCuda is also an auto sense drive (just a rebadging of the gen2 drive) so it will work in all three systems.

Seagate stated they will likely alter the design this fall at which time they will drop auto sense within it as well.

The best thing here is to put in the SATA speed in the description & pull the drive listing from the older MacBook & Macbook Pro's. You'll need to find a SATA I / II / III SSD as that is the only option for the older systems.

Here's a good reference:

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Of course, this is unrelated, but, I like to say it anyway.

If you have a dual bay system a 120/240GB SSD+HDD blow everything out. A 1TB HDD $50+$75 240GB SSD = longevity, capacity, and performance for $125. Want more storage? Make it external.


@pccheese - George, Thats not an option for many systems. Some of the older MacBook's have PATA optical drives & even if they have a SATA optical drive the port could have issues depending on the series. I have a bald spot in the back of my head after trying and failing to get dual drive to work reliably. I don't even try any more as its just to iffy for quite a few reasons.

Jumping to a SSD is the better direction and then using an external for the deep storage. The only rub here is the connection! If you're lucky you still have a FireWire drive for the systems that offer it. USB in most is only USB1 or USB2. its only when you get to the 2012 you get USB3. Thunderbolt1 & 2 are a good option but the drives are expensive and now are disappearing with the intro of Thunderbolt3 (USB-C). Now you're faced with dongle !&&*!

This is not that different within the Windows PC market either so don't be so quick to bash.


While what @danj is saying is true, you can install a second hard drive in the vast majority of laptops (if you are okay with giving up the optical drive). The problem with this is some users need the optical drive, but most only use it a handful of times and can either adapt or carry an external drive around on their person with their laptop. I would probably be okay with carrying an optical drive on my person if I knew I need it, since I only use the internal drive a few times a year, generally. Not having one isn't a major loss. I'm not using it most of the time, so I won't feel a loss by not having it available all the time anymore.

In some (not all) laptops, you can install 2 hard drives while preserving your optical drive; the options will vary based on the laptop you have (example: 2 2.5" drives, SATA and mSATA, SATA and NVMe)


@nick- I'm no expert on all of the Windows PC's and I do know of a few that offer dual drive support but most have given up the optical drive for the space it saves.

My focus was within the Mac hardware here.

Even Windows PC's have had issues when using the HD optical drive carrier depending on the age of the system and if they support a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive.


You would be correct, @danj. Most users do not use it, so they use the space for factory dual drives or larger batteries most of the time. It's a better use of the space then a 7-9.5mm optical drive that very few people use. I have suggested that someone looking for a laptop for the guide should at least look at an ODD-less system. They make no sense to have internal unless you regularly use the optical drive, which is something very few people do now. The main advantage is a thinner laptop and reduced current draw, but these ODD-less laptops are usually lighter as well.

I have an optical drive in my E6540, and I've only used it a couple of times. I would not miss it if I replaced it with a 2nd hard drive (but since the Haswell Dells generally have mSATA or AHCI PCIe SSD options, I can retain it).


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@danj I understand your trepidation about the FireCuda drives. I've installed four 3.5" 1 &2 MB drives in iMacs with SATA II ratings and three 2.5" in MacBook Pros with 3 GBs. So far I have had no issues.

I know they are not advertised as backward compatible. What have your experiences been?

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Nice job to 10K Mayer! Only very few have made it that far, yet...


@mayer - I tried a 2.5" FireCuda in a MacBook (SATA I) as well as an older MacBook Pro (SATA II). It would not format in the MacBook. I was able to get it to format & OS install in the MacBook Pro but it took a few tries. Using Drive Genius drive test showed it failed. I also verified the drive was good putting it into a SATA III system.

Keep in mind some of the older MacBook Pro's have a SATA III port that is not engaged (need the firmware update & really needs a new cable as well). Remember Apple couldn't get the needed quantiles of SATA III drives so they went with SATA II drives so if you get a virgin system which still has its SATA II drive thinking it can only support that you maybe in for a surprise! I always look at the System Report listing:

- Link Speed - 6 Gigabit

- Negotiated Link Speed: - 6 Gigabit

Thats the only way to know for sure what the system is vs what drive Apple put in. And only after I know the firmware has been updated. If I remember correctly it's the 2009 models that had the SATA II drives but could support SATA III drives.

So like most things its clear as mud as there are exceptions!


Remember this is not that many systems only the oldest models. Luckily, there are SSD's that can support SATA II / SATA III and you could always jump to a Samsung which offers full support if you need a drive in a SATA I system. True, these options are also disappearing slowly too.

I think it gets down to the fact the laptop market is moving off of HDD altogether so its tough for Seagate or the other HDD makers to offer a full lineup of drives given the economics of scale. Seagate was the last holdout for 2.5" SATA I / SATA II supported drives. Clearly they have moved on. Our loss ;-{


@danj I seriously doubt that I have tried a FireCuda in anything prior to 2009 and that may be the reason I have not run into problems. I put one in an Apple iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 21.5-Inch (Late 2009) Specs

Late 2009 - MB950LL/A* - iMac10,1 - A1311 -  2308

a couple of days ago. I had a Seagate drive original drive. I even used the original thermal sensor cable (it plugged right in), no fan issues. No format problems, installed Sierra, iLife, iWorks, MS Office 11, Symantec all with no problems and it ran great.

I'm using more of these because even finding the older SSHD drives is getting tough.


@mayer - The iMac's are different story! They can handle the 3.5" FireCuda. The FireCuda is a great drive, don't get me wrong here! In the iMac's I wouldn't have any issues (it still supports all three SATA speeds)

It's only the 2.5" FireCuda model that has the issue in the MacBook & MacBook Pro's

You're not using the 2.5" drive in the iMac's are you?? That would be an issue!


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Dan will be eternally grateful.
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