PermaLink Fear not! Upgrade your own MacBook Pro drive!03/19/2008 10:16 PM
It's finally done, a process made lengthier by being sick for nearly three days solid.  But the MacBook Pro now enjoys more than 300Gb of faster, cooler storage and all my stuff can once again be in one place.  You can do it, too!

The drive is in, it works, it's done.

Here's what you'll need:

  1. A non-shitty new drive. I chose the Western Digital Scorpio 320. And yes, it has to be 9.5mm SATA, because that's what's in your machine now.
  2. Bombich Software's CarbonCopyCloner version 2.3. Yes, 3.01 is out, but I like 2.3 better for this.
  3. An external drive, preferably FireWire. Of course, if you don't give a poop about the data and apps presently on your MBP, then don't worry about this.
  4. A small fine point Phillips screwdriver and (important) a T-6 Torx driver. Lowe's Hardware has a nice little $6 set that has everything from T-4 to T-14.
  5. One day.

First thing is, clone your drive to an external FireWire device. If you have only USB, then you need to repartition it to make sure it's GUID, Mac Journaled Extended, and that there's only one partition on it. Intel machines can boot from USB but they're pickier about it. Start up CCC, tell it to copy everything, tell it to repair permissions, and make the target device bootable. Then go away for a few hours while it copies everything.

Once it's done, restart your MBP and make sure you can boot from the external device and that everything looks OK.

If so, shut down and take the MBP apart. Over at ExtremeTech there's a nice slide show of what to take apart. Basically, about 20 screws and two Torx screws.

Pull the old drive, set it aside, put the new drive in.

Do NOT screw everything back together till you're sure it works.

Boot back up from your external drive, and run Disk Utility. Format the new drive as GUID, Mac Journaled Extended. Then, clone the external drive back to the internal drive. Go away for a few more hours while it does this.

When it's done, shut down, then unplug your external drive, power the MBP back up and you should now have a lot more space.

Once you're sure that everything is running right, then shut down again and put all the screws back in.

What I've noticed about this new 320Gb drive is that it's faster, but at the same time seems to generate less heat under my left hand than the old Fujitsu 100Gb drive that was in there. Heat is never good for a drive, so I am fairly sure this new drive will have a longer life and maybe allow the MBP to live longer, too. It's also quieter at startup.

What to do with your old drive? Keep it around a while in case the new drive fails. After a period of time, go online and order an external drive enclosure that supports 2.5" SATA, or give the drive to some less-fortunate owner of a MacBook or something, since a lot of MacBooks have 60Gb drives in them. Your drive will not work in older iMacs or iBooks, since they expect regular parallel ATA drives.
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