Unlike the old MacBook Pro’s design which is somewhat of a chore to get to the hard drive. Replacing and or upgrading the hard drive in the new unibody MacBooks is a rather simple process.
The first step is obviously to acquire a hard drive, and an external enclosure. Once you have those, install the hard drive in the external USB enclosure, connect it to your Mac, and run your favorite disk cloning software. I like to use Super Duper.
Replacing the hard drive in the new Uni-body MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s is a very simple process. But what do you do if you’re like me and have an older MacBook Pro? By older, Mine is a early 2008 MacBook Pro, the first released with the multi-touch “gestures” in the track pad.
So how complicated is it? Well, that really depends on your level of “geek-ness”, and whether or not you have the right tools and a LOT of patience.
So now that I have scared off the squeamish, it’s time to get down to the “nitty gritty” and upgrade that hard drive.
- Philips Screwdriver Size #00
- T6 Torx Screw Driver
- Spudger. (Small plastic knife-like removal tool. Or Plastic Knife.
Start off by placing a soft cloth on your work surface. This will prevent any scratches to the finish of your MBP. I used a ShamWow, but you can use a regular towel. Now, take a deep breath. It’s gonna be alright…..
Remove the 4 phillips screws on the left side. (side with power connector).
Remove the 4 phillips screws on the right side. (side with DVI connector)
Remove the two phillips screws from the rear.
Flip over your Mac and remove the four phillips screws at the rear.
Once you have removed the battery, there are two phillips screws at the bottom of the battery compartment. Remove them both.
Now remove the three phillips screws that cover the memory compartment, and remove the cover.
Remove the two torx screws on either side of the RAM compartment.
Now, flip your Mac back over. Grasp the back of the upper case and begin to lift GENTLY. As it begins to come lose, move your fingers towards the front and work the upper case till it comes up. GENTLY.
When it comes up, flip the end with the trackpad up towards your monitor and let it rest. Be careful here as to not damage the keyboard ribbon cable or connector.
Use your screwdriver to GENTLY pry the HDD ribbon cable from the main board. CARFUL as to not damage the connector.
Now use your spudger to gently pry the ribbon cable from the top of the hard drive.
Remove the two torx screws from the HDD retaining bracket.
Carefully, lift out the hard drive from the left side where the retainer was and remove the ribbon cable from the HDD.
Now remove the two torx screws/rubber bumpers from the right side of the HDD.
Remove the two torx screws/HDD mounts from the left side of the HDD.
Now that the HDD is out, all you have to do is screw in the four HDD mounts on that we just removed from the left and right sides of the drive onto your new HDD and follow these directions in reverse.
Hope this helps, and until next time.
Peace out, my peeps!
One thing is for sure, and that’s if you want to see an improvement in your notebooks performance, you need to consider upgrading your hard drive from a 4800 or 5400 RPM to a 7200 RPM drive. That is, provided your laptop can support it.
I’ve recently had discussions with people about this very subject, and most don’t think they would benefit from the upgrade. See, when dealing with laptops, 7200 RPM drives have only recently become widely available and supported. Most, who come from a desktop computer, simply just assume the drives spin at the same speeds. Or that’s its not important. When the reality is, drive RPM speed is VERY important.
The truth is that the faster the drive can spin, the quicker the actuator arm can move over the platters and the faster the read write heads can do there jobs.
Below are two screen shots from HDD benchmarks I ran on my MacBook Pro with the stock 5400 RPM drive from Apple, and my 7200 RPM drive. The results are VERY impressive.
This screen shot was taken with the stock Fujitsu 5400 RPM from Apple.
This screen shot was taken with a 7200 RPM Seagate drive.
As they say, peeps! The proof is in the pudding. All of the benchmark scores are significantly faster with the 7200 RPM Seagate. But lets take this one step further. Real world application.
Back when I wrote this post, The Elgato Turbo264 HD cut my encoding times in half from 12:30 to 05:59. Re-encoding the same file a trailer from God of War 3 from E3 2009. Can upgrading the hard drive speed up video encoding times? YOU BETCHA! 5:59 to 4:07.
So there you have it, peeps! Proof that upgrading from a 5400 to a 7200 RPM drive is a GREAT way to speed up your