500 gb hard-drive update results

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Macloven, May 8, 2010.

  1. Macloven macrumors regular


    Aug 25, 2008
    Lots of threads on doing this task, but thought I'd share my experience if it helps someone on the fence considering an upgrade of their hard-drive.

    First gen 2.2 Intel processor with 120 gb drive too small with VMWare XP Pro partition, so purchased the 500 gb Hitachi 7200 Travelstar from Amazon. Also bought their firewire/usb harddrive case. Total to Amazon about $115. Then purchased OWC tool-kit for about $5 in case my tools didn't fit right.

    Used a thread on Extremetech.com that gave step by step pictures of how to pull the case apart and replace the drive. I printed each picture and taped the relevant screws to each page to be sure nothing got mixed up.

    Absolutely uneventful replacing the drive, and took about 45 minutes being careful watching Leno last night. A few screws they showed as phillips were actually torx, but the OWC tools had everything covered.

    On the software side, loaded the new drive into the fireware case and used Carbon Copy Clone to copy my existing drive in about 1:20. Before the clone, plugging the drive in triggered the disk utility automatically, and I formatted HFS+ journaled, which took maybe 3 minutes.

    Booted up on the new drive over firewire, and everything worked fine.
    First boot took a long time to come around, but after that, quite quick booting up.

    Subjectively everything seems much faster loading, whether programs, pictures, whatever. Much snappier. My Vmware virtual xp pro also boots up faster and snaps out of suspend way faster. All good. And no additional vibration or noise noted vs. the original Fujitsu 120gb.

    The surprising things are temperature and battery life. My machine CPU typically ran around 120 degrees F on battery, and now consistently around 110 or less degrees. HD is around 95. The other surprise is that batter life from full charge is showing about 4 hours, and I seem to be getting that while I used to get about 3. Using istat, system CPU use showing around 3-5% when idle, and used to be consistently closer to 10%.

    My old 120gb drive is now loaded in the fireware case as a backup and can still boot from it if needed.

    So...for about $120 I feel like my nearly 3 year old machine has a second life. I'd considered upgrading to the new i5 but didn't want to deal with re-installing all my programs, bootcamp issues etc and this was a great way to switch over without having to re-activate a single thing and ready to roll.

    Highly recommended if you're looking for more speed or space (and in my case cooler temps and better battery life :D )

  2. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan

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