advice on upgrading my ssd to a larger one

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LivEEviL80, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. LivEEviL80, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    LivEEviL80 macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2013
    Hello all, sorry if this is redundant, I'm sure this has been covered somewhere but the SSD buying guide thread is a bit daunting at 95 pages worth of posts.

    I recently bought a 13' cMBP from the refurb store. I love everything about it, especially the SSD, but I'm quickly realizing that I'm going to outgrow the 128 gig SSD it shipped with before long. I know I can easily go the external HD route, and I will be utilizing external hard drives anyway as I do some audio recording and production so will have to use externals for storage, backup etc. But I travel all the time as a performing musician too, so I'd also like to not have to rely on externals for my everyday music, photo and movie libraries and such. I've considered using high capacity usb 3.0 thumb drives or SD cards, but I'm worried about keeping them organized or losing them. What I'd really like is just to upgrade my internal SSD to a much bigger one, somewhere in the 500gb range.

    So I've done a preliminary bit of research, but most of what I've found are threads or youtube videos about replacing an HDD with an SSD or installing a second SSD in the superdrive bay (I want to keep my superdrive). Before I keep searching I figured I'd turn to you fine folks to see what you think. What would this process entail, how difficult is the procedure of swapping them out, what brand/type SSD's are the best/most reliable and whats the easiest way to go about re-installing OSX and all my apps and files on a new drive? I know OWC has some upgrade kits, but the ones I saw all seem to be for MBA's or Retina MBP's. Plus I always find their website to be a bit visually overstimulating. I'm reasonably good at following directions and taking things apart, but basically I don't want to get in over my head or make some rookie mistake that will mess up my new computer.

    Again, apologies if this has been covered somewhere, feel free to link me to an appropriate thread. Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    Yes, this has all been covered in countless threads, but to make it easy, you need a good Philips head screwdriver and a Torx #6 driver, and swapping the old SSD out for a new SSD is very easy. Just be careful with the screws on the backplate, make sure you replace them in the same order. Be careful with the SATA cable too, it wants to be babied. Buy a cheap USB case, install the old SSD in that after you switch the drives, connect the external drive and boot up with the Option key held down. Choose the external drive and boot up. Use disk utility (/Applications/Utilities) to format the new internal SSD, and then Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the external old SSD to the new SSD.
    Finally, choose the new SSD in the Startup disk in System Preferences. Finished, so reboot. You might want to run Disk Utility on the new drive before you boot up, both repair disk and repair permissions. Should be :cool:
    As for the 500GB SSD, I love the Plextor I have now, have heard good things about the SanDisk Extreme II and many on this forum rave about the Samsung Pro. There are lots of reviews out there, do a Google search..... happy hunting
  3. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
  4. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Swapping out just the hard drive is super easy. OWC has some very good installation videos that cover all kinds of upgrades. This one is pertinent to your machine. You can buy the screwdriver kit from them, and I would recommend it, as it has everything you'll need. I wouldn't buy the SSD from them, though, as their drives are quite expensive and use the frequently unreliable Sandforce controller. The Samsung Evo is a good choice for an SSD. I have the Crucial M500, which I bought on launch day, and it's been rock solid.

    As far as reinstalling your operating system, you can use the built-in Internet Recovery (press option+R at power on) to do this. If you're going to do this, I would strongly recommend using a wired/Ethernet connection, as this method requires download several gigabytes of data, and you don't want a WiFi connection flaking out during such a critical process. Internet Recovery will download the version of OS X that shipped with your machine. Alternatively, before you put the new drive in your machine, you can download a copy of Mavericks from the App store and use the free DiskMaker X to create a bootable installer from an 8 GB or larger flash drive. For this, I would recommend using a USB 2.0 thumb drive as USB 3.0 ones can be unreliable. The most important part of this process is to download the Mavericks installer from the App Store, but do not let the upgrade process start. Quit out of it, and the file will remain in your applications folder. Then use DiskMaker X to create the bootable drive.

    Good luck.
  5. LivEEviL80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2013
    This is fantastic, thank you all! Sounds pretty doable. I had been leaning towards Samsung from the handful of reviews I read, so glad to hear further confirmation that they are good. I had also been considering OWC drives as their products generally seem well regarded, so I'm glad someone mentioned the controller reliability issues. I think I will just get the screwdriver kit from them and go with a Samsung drive. Also, FWIW my machine shipped with Mountain Lion but I've already upgraded my OS to Mavericks, in case that makes a difference as far as the easiest way to re-install.

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