I have been wanting to upgrade my Macbook Pro with an SSD drive for awhile. My Macbook has been feeling slow for awhile – even when I cleared out hard disk space. Maybe it just needed a fresh install of OSX??
Anyway, I did some research on SSDs and which was best, fastest, good value etc. I ended up buying the Samsung 840 SSD. I did a speed test before installing it and done one since and its of course much faster. The read speed is about 10 times the speed.
At the same time, I decided to get a hard drive caddy and replace the DVD drive with the original HDD. Likely many people, I hardly ever use the DVD drive now. (And I have the option to use buy a DVD enclosure for the DVD drive I am taking out of the Mac – apparently they cost less than £10).
As well as the SSD drive, I also bought a hard drive caddy. I decided to replace the DVD drive with the original HDD drive. Since the SSD drive was 250Gb and smaller than original drive, could have done with more space. I have an external HD which I store movies etc but its nice to have stuff on the actual machine. I have lots of photos too and rather have them “with me” – my photos folder totals about 80Gb – that does include videos taken with camera/iPhone so probably several gig.
I also bought some tools from eBay – small Phillips (size #00) screwdriver and a Torx T6 screwdriver. I thought I may already have them but not quite the right size.
Anyway, the SSD drive arrived a couple days after ordering along with the tools so I installed that – very simple. Watched a YouTube video as a guide.
Luckily I was prepared and did my research and downloaded the latest firmware for the SSD. By default, OSX does not support it. Anyway, after installing SSD, I powered Mac. Thought it would asks for something but it just showed some question mark symbol.
I rebooted but this type pressed the Option key. Can’t remember exact message but I put in the DVD with the firmware. It did its thing and then I went to Disk Utility to format the drive.
I then installed a clean copy of Mountain Lion (which I had copied a bootable version of on to a flash key) and then restored from backup on TimeMachine.
Bye Bye DVD drive
The hard drive caddy arrived the next day. Watched a video on YouTube on how to do it and its a bit more complicated than changing the HDD for an SSD. There was the potential for things to go all wrong if I pulled on wires or cables but was all OK. That was until I had to remove a screw for the DVD drive. It was in a slightly awkward place and the screw seems to be stuck. It probably didn’t help that the screwdriver I bought from eBay was probably a cheap thing. I tried various things but by now was starting to scrap away at the screw and then would be been “screwed” (pun fail – sorry). I ended up popping out and buying a “proper” screwdriver. It didnt work at first, which was a bit worrying. I read online about a technique to get stuck screws out including ones which had been ‘damaged’ was to use a rubberband between the screw and screwdriver – so it could help grib the screw. Tried this but not too sure if it helped.
By now I was wondering what to do. Didn’t want to break something so thought about just giving up. And gave it a final go. Put the screwdriver into the screw carefully, made sure it was right in the grooves, pushed down firmly and turned the screwdriver slowly. It was then it started to turn. Maybe the rubberband technique thing managed to loosen it a bit, who knows. Anyway, unscrewed it and then continued with the steps and replaced the DVD drive with the HDD.
It was slightly tricky putting in the caddy with a couple wires I was worried about snapping/breaking but all OK in the end. Put the lid back on, and then powered up.
Now have a nice fast Mac with plenty of hard disk space 🙂
(Although saying that, not sure if its a coincidence or anything to do with the SSD or the HDD or something I have “done” but occasionally the mouse gets a bit sluggish. Also, it feels like the Mac is very warm. Maybe my apartment is quite warm and thats a factor but the left hand side of Mac is really warm. Anyway….)