Inherited a mbp 13 whilst waiting for new mbp redesign

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Damodici, May 26, 2015.

  1. Damodici macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    Hi Guy's,

    Well whilst very patiently waiting for a new mbpr for a few months now I've finally decided to put the whole thing on hold until the obvious redesign likely to happen when skylake finally drops.

    This was going to be my first macbook purchase for the family and the move away from Windows, so I really didn't want to spend £1000's on something that's very likely to be an old design within the next 6-9 months (at least in form factor)

    Anyway as luck would have it I was chatting to my boss yesterday and he told me that there was an older mbp in one of the tech guys desks they used a while back for doing some tutorial videos for customers, it's been in there unused for over 2 years and ends up being:

    mid 2009 mbp 13
    256gb 2.53 ghz / 4gb ram / nvidia 9400m

    So my plan now is to use this for a while so that I can get fully accustomed to osx while Apple conjure up the next generation.

    So with that said I have a few questions hopefully you guys won't mind helping with for the hundredth time :)

    - Complete fresh install questions

    I'm going to attempt a clean install of Yosemite by trying to follow this tutorial

    Obviously I'm currently running a time machine backup to my synology 'just in case' my boss ever wants something back from the current data, but having asked him yesterday this seems highly unlikely as he had no reservations about me wiping it clean, again he's definitely not even looked at for 2 years or maybe more as I presume the tech lads had it for a while to play with.

    However whilst it doesn't require a password for switching on/ off I can see that it's got his and his ex-wifes name at the top as the user logged in.

    So the questions are these, IF I wipe it clean following the tutorial, when the macbook starts up first time will I be able to log in (setup) purely as me using my current apple id I use for my phone and ipad?

    Would it forget him and his wife as users?

    The reason I ask this is because I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't know what the password is to even log them out (he has a lot on), therefore that'd mean him having to contact his ex wife and ask such a menial question which equally I can't see happening and frankly wouldn't want to ask him to do as it's not fair to put that on him

    Secondly if that is the case, and I can set it up as me being the administrator and main login, will that mean the time machine backup I'm currently doing become worthless as it's associated with his name, therefore never be a viable restore whilst the mac thinks I'm admin / main user?

    Would I be better off just simply copying all document folders etc off on to the synology just in case he ever needed them?

    With the main concern out of the way I'll get on with upgrades :)

    - Upgrade questions

    Clearly I'm happy to have the chance to use this for a while whilst I wait for the new machines, however it's not lost on me that 4gb ram and a normal 256gb sata Hitachi hd aren't going to make this particularly fast

    I'd like to make the Yosemite user experience better for the family and so figured upgrading both of these elements are the best bet and fairly cheap

    For the ram is it simply a case of buying the crucial items (2 x 4gb) for £50 ?

    As for the upgrade to a SSD is the Samsung 850 evo a safe bet? I can see plenty of 256gb ones on eBay for about £100 and even 512gb ones for £170 ish

    I presume that you don't need a mid 2009 mbp specific version?

    Obviously if anybody has better suggestions which are cheaper then I'd like to hear your thoughts as ultimately whatever I spend on this now will be simply handed back at some stage so I'll likely not get any resale from either

    Apologies it's a long post but thought I'd just get on with it now I have something in hand

  2. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Why don't you put a new hard drive in it and hang onto the existing drive or give it back to your boss?

    Then you'd have a clean install for sure.

    As for the RAM, yes, make sure it the right speed and compatible with Mac and it's all good!

    As long as the hard drive is SATA, you're all good to go!

    Have fun!
  3. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    That's a good shout but being honest I didn't really know where to start with that :)

    what I mean by that is I thought by backing up the existing data it still gave me a usable operating system to then copy over to a newly purchased ssd (a different tutorial I've read) and I'd also have his old stuff backed up on the synology

    I guess I just didn't know what to do with a blank ssd and what the macbook would ask for when installing first time, I've never really done that kinda thing.

    In hindsight I guess it's not much different to the plan I had anyway,

    although if I just copied over his existing hd to the new ssd and then used that as the starting point is would I still get an issue when setting back up as me being the administrator?
  4. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    As long as you know the existing admin password you're fine.

    If I was starting with a new SSD, I'd either put it in an enclosure and load the OS onto it and then swap it with the one in the Mac or I would load the installer on to a 8GB USB stick and then swap the drives and then install on to the new SSD.
  5. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014

    Here in lies the problem, I don't know the existing admin password......I don't think the boss does either as I get the feeling it was his ex wife who used it mostly

    It's just been openly logged in for the tech guys to use but if it gets logged out of his name I'm not sure how we'd get back in
  6. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Then back it up and reformat/partition the hard drive.

    If you can't log back in, swap the drive out with your new SSD and then load the OS from a USB stick.

    The admin password is for the user and is a software password for the hard drive. There is also a firmware password for the hardware, but most don't set that or even know how to set that.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Or you could just buy that rMBP you want, I think a redesign is unlikely with skylake myself, more likely to be canonlake in my opinion in 2017.

    Why wait?? What are you waiting for??

    Skylake will be marginally faster with slightly better wireless options not worth it for that.

    The current 13 inchers are fairly new out.... have all the new tech and can run 4K screens at 60Hz they are the best little laptops on the market at the moment. Why put up with old tech for 2 years when you are waiting for something that you don't even know what it will be or when it will arrive.
  8. TheNotoriousMAZ macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    Phoenixville, PA
    You might as well spring for the rMBP right now. They were just refreshed 2 months ago, and having the force touch trackpad makes them pretty future proof. You could wait a year for a refresh (with a 50/50 chance of a redesign), and if it means that much to you just sell your current one for the new model. If Apple doesn't redesign the machine, you'll just push out your purchase and compromise for yet another year. And if you buy now, you'll still feel like you have the latest machine.

    You can play the waiting game if a refresh is certain within the next 6 months, but in this case it will be quite awhile.
  9. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    For those suggesting that I buy the current 2015 I do understand that its a great machine, I just wanted something a little more from the recent update so for now I'd rather muddle by on this for a few months as it's not imperative to my work.

    I now have the administrator password so that part is sorted :)

    Since then I've tried making a bootable usb with Yosemite and failed twice so that needs sorting, at the moment I'm overseas so I'll revisit that next week.

    The other strange thing is that I tried erasing the existing drive to at least give it a fresh start, using Disk Utilities from a restart (alt + R) it wouldn't erase the drive and said that it couldn't unmount the drive?

    Seems i have quite a learning curve with the macs but it's all good fun
  10. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
  11. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    well I've done it and we're up and running.

    finally got the bootable usb drive to work and managed a complete format and fresh install of Yosemite, so far relatively painless..... i think ;)

    things seemed a bit laggy at first but I've put that down to one of the below:

    1: Yosemite perhaps still doing stuff in the background? If so how long until it settles?
    2: Only 4gb ram currently, perhaps a crucial upgrade to 8gb will help?
    3: The hitachi 250gb hd must be fairly slow, i can't see it being the fastest when brand new so again maybe switch out for a SSD

    Hopefully after attending to the above things will speed up significantly, I'm not expecting 2014/15 speeds but for now I'm sure it'll be fine.

    Have checked the battery cycle on this and its at 218, i guess that family low is it?
  12. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Nice! Go with a SSD before RAM. The SSD will make it faster than extra RAM will, imho.

    I've got a late 2008 2.0ghz with 4gb RAM and a 256gb SSD and it runs pretty fast. I've never felt the need to add more RAM.

    218 is pretty low for for that age. I've also got a 2007 Macbook with about 775 cycles. The battery capacity or health is what you want to check. You can download Coconut Battery to figure that out.
  13. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    Thanks, think I'll try the ssd first like you say

    I take it that any of the crucial bx100 or Samsung 850 evo ssd's will fit in the same space the existing hdd is? Also do I need new cables or are they all standard?

    I was just looking at sata to usb cables to help make a clone before installing and noticed that there are different pin numbers
  14. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Any of those SSDs will fit your mac. The maximum drive height is 9.5mm. The existing cable will work as long as you don't damage it when you're doing the swap.

    I've never used such a cable. I assumed all SATA connectors were standard.

Share This Page

13 May 26, 2015