MacBook Pro 3.0Gbps SATA upgrade breaking third-party drives?

Chris Davies - Jun 26, 2009, 4:17 am CDT

The recently-released MacBook Pro firmware that promises to enable 3.0Gbps SATA connectivity has ironically been causing problems in third-party drives.  Apple released the upgrade earlier this week, after users of the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models reported that the notebooks were limited to 1.5Gbps SATA; this did not affect the speed of standard-fit hard-drives, but may have limited future performance should the user upgrade to a faster HDD or SSD.  Now, some users with third-party drives already installed are reporting frequent pauses, usage spikes and data errors with the new firmware.

Both traditional hard-drives and solid-state storage are presenting problems.  One user found his Western Digital Scorpio Blue HDD now suffers intermittent data errors and that the whole machine freezes randomly.  Meanwhile another user who has upgraded to an Intel X25-M SSD found his drive no longer works at all following the firmware update.  Some have found that re-installing the original SATA 1.5Gbps drive supplied by Apple restores the machine to working order, while others have had no luck.

Apple distanced themselves from aftermarket upgrades when they first released the firmware, warning users that they had “not qualified or offered these drives for Mac notebooks” and that “their use is unsupported.”  That seems to mean they won’t fix the issue under warranty: many who have contacted Apple Stores or technical support regarding the firmware issues have been told that “Apple is not responsible for maintaining compatibility with third-party aftermarket hardware with their firmware updates.”  However there is also talk that Apple Store “Geniuses” can roll back the firmware if there was a problem during the upgrade itself, though not otherwise.

[via Register Hardware]

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