Hard Drive Upgrade (SSD, HDD)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thatoneguy82, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #1
    I have a mid 2010 Macbook Pro 17" with an i5 2.53ghz and 8GB RAM, nVidia 330m 512MB. At this time, for everything I do, I can imagine this computer lasting me a good long while. Screen is high resolution, processor is fast, etc.

    The only thing is the hard drive. I'm currently debating on upgrading my current hard drive. Right now, I have a Momentus XT 500GB that I installed last year. It's almost full and I can't really tell anymore if it's "fast" anymore. Now that the Momentus XT 750GB is out, I'm thinking of upgrading to that. However, I'm also thinking of getting a 128gb SSD to use as the "main" drive and the current 500GB to be moved to where the super drive is right now. Both options actually cost the same (because of the caddy and enclosures needed).

    My question is which option is best? I use my computer mostly for photo editing and web browsing. Also, I'm concerned about using two hard drives. For some reason, I can't understand how it works. I have over 50GB of music and I would put that into the 500GB, but I wouldn't know how to do that since the "music" folder in my current login is tied to this hard drive. I'm not sure how to make that point elsewhere. Same thing for documents and photos. Hope that makes sense.

    Lastly, which one would be faster and won't get progressively slower?
     
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    The SSD will be faster than any mechanical hard drive and should stay that way. For the other questions you can uncheck the iTunes preference for it to manage your music. Once done then you can drag and drop the folder containing your music onto an open iTunes window to have it index and display your music for playing. Another way could be to symbolically link the Music folder (and the rest of them for that matter) on the new drive to the one on the old and preserve what you have in it now. Also a fresh install onto the new drive then go into your user preferences in the Advanced part and change the location of your /Users/username home folder to /500gb_volume_name/Users/username would get you everything you have in your old drive showing up as your home directory for the new install, you need to reboot to have the change take effect. Once you have confirmed it worked (open the 500gb volume in Finder if you see the house icon next to the user directory there then it has) you will want to delete the /Users/username original folder on the new install as there is bug in doing this that makes it so if that folder still exists then downloads will get saved into that directory. You would need to re-install/move over the apps that are in the old 500gb drive for them to show up in the Applications folder on new install or you could navigate to the old 500gb Applications folder to launch them from it.
     
  3. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #3
    Great, thanks. I think I understand what you are saying. If I do decided going the 2 HD route, I was going of course use the SSD as the primary and install the OS on there. However since it would only be 128GB, I'd imagine it would fill up rather quickly, I want to keep everything on the drive. I will just delete unnecessary things on here to free up space and use this for most music, pictures, videos and maybe apps. New ones I may install on the SSD or random documents or other stuff will go on the SSD. Would this defeat the purpose of getting the SSD? I'm thinking it will. Since I'm using the moments xt for the bulk of it, but the ssd for the os part.

    Another way I thought of going is to back up all music, movies, pics etc on the current drive and then format it instead of leaving it as-is. Then, again use the SSD to install the OS.

    Sorry. I'm so confused about this entire thing. Getting the 512GB SSD is just way too much or anything above 128GB. Both the momentus xt 750gb and the 128gb ssd with the caddy and enclosures are both around $250. I want to upgrade for space and speed.
     
  4. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Ok so looking to do both drives then I would suggest spending another $20 probably less than that really to get external USB 2.5" enclosure to put the 500gb into. Then once you have everything up and going you can plug that external in and copy files to wherever you want them from that old drive hell you can even boot that drive if you want if you have it plugged in at boot and chose it to boot from.

    Code:
    MacUser2525:~$ df -h /
    Filesystem     Size   Used  Avail Capacity  Mounted on
    /dev/disk0s2   56Gi   38Gi   18Gi    68%    /
    That is my boot drive in my MacPro as you can see it is a 60gb drive a SSD one to be specific. Now it is 68% full because it has all the dev tools and whole bunch of other junk installed. I left my home on it and all other files like my downloads, music, video are on other partitions on other drives in the system. So I would tend to think you can get most of what you want on the 120gb you plan to put in just make sure to keep an eye on the space used and not let it get over 80-90% full keeping all your large files on the 750gb you plan to put in and I think you will be fine. BTW during install you will be asked if you want to use the Migration Assistant to copy over your user settings/account and Application folder you may want to give it a go it should get you next to everything you need to have essentially the same install as on the old drive, you need the external plugged in at the start of install for this option. And actually now I think of it having mentioned that you may want to boot the old drive first in the external before new install to copy off all the large files on that old drive onto the new 750gb then delete them off the 500gb then do the install so the chance of it migrating too large an amount of data to the new smaller drive will be lessened. A nice to this idea is you can have nice large TM Backup volume on the external or could divide it up into TM backup and additional storage or bootable clone of your main install on the SSD so if it ever died on you, you would have working OS you can boot.
     
  5. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #5
    Great, thanks. I think I understand this now. But are you suggesting to have an external drive instead of replacing the superdrive? As far as the external drive enclosure, I do own one that already - it's the original 5400rpm drive. I was planning on using temporarily. So, your setup seems like everything is on your other drive and just the OS on the SSD, right?

    I have TM. So, backup current drive and restore to new drive. Is that you were suggesting? Wouldn't that also restore everything else (apps, music, etc). Is there anyway for it to just restore the OS? I would really want a faster response drive for when I'm doing photo editing. I figure I could temporarily move a photo from the 500gb drive over to the SSD, edit, then send back. This is basically the ideal situation.
     
  6. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    No I am saying the 500gb you have now goes into external enclosure.
    My operating system and home directory everything else is on other drives in the machine including downloads as I have them set to download to a volume on one of them.

    I am suggesting taking the existing 500gb put in external then boot with that on your machine after having put in your two new drives copy all the large files off the 500 to the 750. Now you would do the install onto new SSD with the 500 attached to the machine so when it offers up the Migration Assistant you can use that to get your Apps and user Account put onto the new drive. Actually there is another way to do this if you get the amount of files on the 500 while booted with it to under the 120gb size of the ssd you can take the Diskutil program in the Utilities folder start it up and select the SSD to partition/format once done that choose the Restore option with the external 500gb OS partition as the source the 120gb as the destination you can drag and drop these from the pane on the left to the right pane to select them. Uncheck the erase before option hit restore wait until it is done and you should have bootable copy of your existing OS on the internal HD now and can boot from it when restarted saving you an install and migrate.
     
  7. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #7
    Ok, thanks, I get it finally. But I'm not sure if you're suggesting that I permanently put my current 500gb drive into an external enclosure, basically just having a superdrive and the ssd in my machine. That's definitely not an option, everything needs to be physically in the machine.

    But, as far as the migration assistant after installation, I could do that while it is in the external exclosure or inside where it has replaced the position of the superdrive. I didn't know about that OS restore, I had hoped, but thanks for letting me know. This is getting simpler and more comfortable and forcing me to go 2 drives than 1 big drive.
     
  8. Takashi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #8
    If $$ is not an issue, I would loose the 500 GB HD and replace it with a SSD (128 or 256 GB). You can then replace the Superdrive with the 500 GB or you can just put it inside an enclosure and run it as an external drive. Since the small notebook hard drive does not require power to run on the USB interface, you don't need to carry a separate power supply.
     
  9. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    No I am talking the two drives in machine no superdrive as you mentioned off the start, you put the 500 in the superdrive bay or the 750 you talk of getting at the same time. If you go with ssd and 750 in machine then you want 500 in external drive to copy files to 750 then clone to new ssd. Now you can leave the 500 in the external or not leave it there your choice after all, but another external laying around is always nice to have never know when that space could come in handy..
     
  10. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #10
    Ah, now I understand. Actually, the plan is either 2 drives or 1. Upgrading to SSD or the new 750GB momentus xt, not both. If I go with the SSD route, the current 500gb will be moved to the superdrive position. However, if I don't decide to go SSD, I will keep the superdrive inside the MBP and just swap my "older" moments XT for the newer one with more capacity.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    I opted for a dual SSD setup, partly because larger SSD are very expensive and also partly I have two kids that use my laptop. While I don't want them touching it while its operating, stuff happens. With SSDs, I don't have to worry about a head crash.

    I don't miss the optical drive too much but I do find that I need it from time to time. Installing software for my camera, installing software that on optical disc, etc. Even flashing SSDs require an optical drive. My point is don't think that an optical drive is completely unnecessary
     
  12. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #12
    Looking through your helpful posts and everything else I've read here and via google, I think I finally get it. It'll be easier once I'm actually doing than just talking about it.

    But, the one thing I neglected to even consider and is the most important is the hardware. I was originally going to get the Crucial m4 128gb SATA III, then I read the benefits of SATAII and switched to the Intel 320 120gb. I have the 2010 MacBook Pro and I don't know the maximum it can support. The price difference between the 2 is only a couple dollars so I'd rather get the "faster" one but if my computer only supports SATA II then there's no point.

    Secondly. Installing the HDD in the optical. I'm assuming it has the same connections as the HDD? No special power cords or cables that I need? Though, I am aware it needs to be put in some sort of "caddy" to hold in position since the space is rather large. I've done plenty of PC hardware upgrades and cords and cables were all interchangeable. I have done much notebook upgrades.

    Would it be beneficial to use the Momentus XT 500gb here? Would it contribute to speed? Or since it's not the main drive it doesn't matter. If so, I have a 1TB but not really as fast.
     

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