13" MBP - Want to replace hard drive...is it really this easy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gmstudio10, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. gmstudio10 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    I have a 260G hard drive and want to replace it with a 500G. I was reading online that all I have to do is back up my drive through Time Machine (which I do anyway), pop the old one out, pop in the new one, run the installer disk and tell it to restore everything from Time Machine. Easy-peasy.
    Is it really that easy? Has anyone done this successfully? Or with horrific consequences?

    FWIW, it's a 13" MBP, purchased new in September 2009. I LOVE this thing, just want a bigger drive.

  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Yup, it's really that easy. You could also get an external enclosure to put the new drive into and then use carbon copy cloner to clone the current drive onto the new one. That would save you some time.
  3. gmstudio10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks! And then it's just like before? All my 3rd party software is there and running normally as it was before, just on a bigger drive? If so, seems almost too good to be true!
  4. C64 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2008
    Yep. Be sure to select Utilities > Restore System from Backup in the Installer, and then select the disk that has the Time Machine backup.
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Here is a video on how to replace the drive

    Best bet is to simply clone the drive first with Carbon Copy Cloner - get an enclosure to mount your drive, clone, swap, and use the old one as a backup. You can buy DIY kits with tools, software like CCC, enclosure and drive here

    This deal is pretty good, a 7200RPM 500GB drive with FW800 enclosure, cables, and software for $148 no tax and likely free ship
  6. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    Yeah, I replaced mine and it's real easy. As long as you have a basic idea what you are doing. You should be fine.
  7. gmstudio10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Wow, this seems great. Thanks for all the tips, everyone!

    Next post: "What the $%^ did I just do to my MBP?" - posted frantically from my iPhone. :)
  8. PeckhamBog macrumors 6502


    Nov 28, 2007
    I just swapped out my 160GB for a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid 320 GB on BlackBook on Tuesday night. Installed 10.6 on new drive and then restored Time Machine back up from USB external drive. Apps seemed to come across okay but all my old email was missing. Wednesday night reverted to old disk and used Carbon Copy Clone to external FireWire drive. Cloned to new drive - voilà, success - except for my Bootcamp partition and VMWare Fusion. Installed XP manually on new Bootcamp partition. Still have to get files/data from preswitch and Fusion working to complete the job. Meant to be packing tonight to go on vacation with my wife and children after work tonight! Eek!

    Not sure if I did something wrong the first time, or if the Fusion/Bootcamp/Windows thing is never straight forward.

    Certainly I can recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner for 100% satisfaction and ease if you've only got OS X on your MBP.

    PS I wanted a 500GB version but the 12 UK stockists I tried had all sold out with long lead times for any future non allocated stock.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Rather than buy an external _enclosure_ (that is, something you have to open to "get at" the drive inside), you might consider one of these:
    (various items shown for comparison)

    The one I got is this:
    ($30 shipped and it works fine)

    Then get the "bare" hard drive of your choice. I often go to newegg.com for such things, great prices and very fast shipping. Dealmac.com also keeps track of drive prices.

    Also download CarbonCopyCloner -- absolutely free, and one of the best tools out there for cloning drives.

    Then do this:
    1. Connect the dock, put in the bare drive, boot up
    2. Use Disk Utility to intialize the new drive
    3. Use CCC to "clone" the contents of your internal to the new drive
    4. IMPORTANT STEP: Restart, hold down the "option" key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the "startup manager" appears. You should now see the icon for the dock and the new drive in it. Choose to boot from this TO BE SURE that you have a "good cloned drive" BEFORE you do the swap.
    5. Now, do the swap
    6. When "closed up", try rebooting WITHOUT the dock attached. Do you get "a good boot"?
    7. If everything "looks the same" to you as before the swap, good show!!

    You can now use the old drive and the dock to be your backup drive. It doesn't really matter that it isn't the same size as the new drive -- at least until you've got more on the new drive than the old one can hold.

    In that case, you can also use CCC to do "incremental, selective" backups, choosing NOT to back up some of the material on the source drive. Yes, a little "triage" is required here (selecting that which is/is not important to you), but it works.

    And the nice thing about having the USB/SATA dock is that you can also use to mount _other_ drives if needed.
  10. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
  11. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    Welcome to Mac OS and simplicity of upgrades!
  12. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Wow, I have to say time machine sounds awesome, and I love that apparently the files are readable *without* going through time machine too-that they're just stored in a sensible directory structure on the disk :)
  13. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    I did this with my 15"(see sig)

    Only major bummer was one of the screws was really in there, I was torking it pretty hard the the screw driver slipped and make a nice long gouge in my MBP bottom. Next up I'm buying a new underside plate.

    Scratch isn't that bad, and it is on the bottom of the notebook, but that scratch makes my MBP imperfect. It won't do.
  14. gmstudio10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010

    I cringed and gasped audibly. :eek:
  15. C64 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2008
    Wow, nice! Never knew these things existed. Ordered one right away :) Great way to make backups and store data, and then safely store the HD in a drawer somewhere so nothing can happen to it.
  16. frunkis54 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2009
    Yep i use one the docks also they work great.
  17. gmstudio10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks to EVERYONE here...worked just like you all said it would. Easy and painless. This is amazing!


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