Macbook Pro 15" Unibody Hardrive Replacement

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Paulg2uk, May 15, 2009.

  1. Paulg2uk macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Hi all,

    Need a bit of advice. I want to swap out my hard drive on my macbook pro for a larger capcity. I've been recommend to go for a Seagate Momentus 500gb 7200 rpm. However i've been told the drive is out of stock for 3 months in the UK.

    Can anyone recommend another alternative? Its has to be a 7200rp, to cope with some video editing.

    Also c I'm aware the hard drive is quite easy to swap out but i'm wondering the best procedure to transfer my data from my exsisting hard drive and put OSX back on the new drive.

    Any Help would great as i've only owned my mac snice dec 2008 and am not familar with formatting or swapping out hard drives only on pc's

    Many Thanks

  2. Sobek macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2009
    I've just upgraded myself at the weekend - bought a Samsung Spinpoint 500GB. Easy install, whisper quiet - can't even hear the heads parking unlike the stock HDD. Down to about £75 now. Admittedly not a 7200rpm drive though :-(
    As for back up software, can't beat Time Machine and Winclone (If you have bootcamp). Both worked wonderfully with the respective OS X and XP Pro partitions.
  3. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Not necessarily - I bought one yesterday from - although they sold them all yesterday so they don't have any now. However they may be available from other places if you look hard enough.

    Mine arrived this morning and I just used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my existing disk to a firewire disk (LaCie). Then I fitted the new disk, booted the MBP off the firewire disk and and used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the disk image back again onto the new internal disk. Then I booted off the internal disk, and it all worked fine, job done.
  4. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Many Thanks for your relp.I've been recommended to use carbon copy cloner as well, just wondered will I have to install OSX again? Or did you save your data as an ISO image file?
  5. edblor macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    No you won't have to re-install the OS. It is being copied exactly using the application.

    I however, used Disk utility to do the copying. I found it easier to use, less buttons/check-boxes, and it worked great. It's also built-in;) No need to download!
  6. chriszzz macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2008
    I just put a 500 gb Western Digital Scorpio Blue in my uMBP yesterday. It's only a 5400 rpm but it performs very well compared to many 5400 and 7200 rpm drives. If you search here in the forum you will find some discussions about it.
  7. mobi macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2004
    Penn's Woods
    I would agree, the price / performance / reliability ratio of these WD drive are hard to beat.
  8. Ploki macrumors 68030

    Jan 21, 2008
    scorpio black, very nice. 320gb only.
    get an eSata external extention

  9. kkim0228 macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    1. You need an external hard drive
    2. Time machine back-up your current hard drive into that external hard drive
    3. Turn off the MBP and swap in your new hard drive (the old hard drive has no use for now)
    4. Turn on the MBP and stick in the OSX DVD that came with the MBP
    5. Reboot the MBP and hold down the alphabet key 'c' as soon as you see the white blank screen appears (before you see the apple logo) to boot from the DVD
    6. You can let it go once you hear the Superdrive whirring constantly (means that its booting from the DVD). It takes a while to boot from DVD so have patience (3-4 min?)
    7. Don't try to install OSX on your new hard drive (you can't even do it without partitioning/formatting first)
    8. From the menu bar above find Disk Utility
    9. Find your newly installed hard drive
    10. Click 'Erase' button, give it a partition name like Macintosh HD or whatever you want, and that'll prep the drive (don't worry about the file system, Mac OS Extended (Journaled) works)
    11. Close Disk Utility and find "Restore from a Time Machine Backup" from the menu bar
    12. Designate the external hard drive with your time machine backup and which backup to use
    13. Designate the newly formatted hard drive as the destination that the backup will be copied onto
    14. Be patient as the data is being transferred (it may take a while depending on the size of the backup and your external hard drive connection (USB (slowest), Firewire or eSATA(fastest))
    15. When done, just reboot the MBP and next time it will boot up from your new hard drive but everything will look the same as your latest backup
    16. Don't worry if your MBP gets really hot because for the first five minutes or so it will be "indexing" the hard drive for the Spotlight feature of OSX. It will come back to normal
    17. Buy an external hard drive enclosure for your old hard drive and use it as an external hard drive
  10. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008


    orrrr just download Carbon Copy Cloner and clone your hard drive over in 1 step.
  11. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    I think i'm being a bit picky, I'm sort of thinking of going for the Seagate Momentus 5400rpm hard disk. Can anyone say will i notice the difference? i have a 7200rpm that came with my mbp from apple but i don't know what brand apple use as their stock hard drives?

    I'm only gonna be do a little video editing and some stuff on logic. Thats about as intense as it gets. although I might wanna do a disk partition and use bootcamp with windows and OSX.

    what do you guys think?
  12. kkim0228 macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    Going from 7200 -> 5400 will slow down launching applications just a little bit. However, when you say you do "light" video editing and "some" logic stuff, I'm not so sure how much HD load you're talking about... Speaking from my experience, as long as you don't do multitrack orchestral work (30+ audio tracks playing simultaneously), I don't see why 5400 wouldn't hold up just fine (typical homemade pop/rock/hiphop/trance < 10 tracks simultaneously). If you do more MIDI w/ virtual synths than audio, then what you need to worry about is ram/cpu, not HD. There are DAW forums on the web you might be better off asking this question to. I have no experience with video editing though.

    As for what HD is in your MBP, go to Disk Utility in Utilities and get the model number and search it on google. You can find out the exact model. I don't know what MBP model yours is, but my late 2008 unibody 15 MBP came with a Hitachi Travelstar. I've heard people say Hitachi drives are very quiet (hence Apple uses as its OEM).

    I thought I'd upgrade to a faster drive so I got a Seagate Momentus 7200.3, and my experience with it was horrible. Obviously some people are fine with it, but I found the vibration and noise unacceptable (disturbing to others in a library). It was really nice for the first 2-3 weeks, and the noise developed with time.

    Instead of going back to the OEM 5400, I jumped to Intel SSD. I'm super happy with it, but
    a) you said you needed capacity, so SSD for you may not be an option, and
    b) I don't know how much money you got to burn on HD.

    As for SSD, there are currently only three viable options (as available from Newegg): Intel X25-M (160gb), OCZ Vertex (250gb), and Corsair P256 (256gb, which is just a rebadged Samsung PB22-J, an excellent drive). No, don't get anything else, you'll be sorry.

    People have their opinions, but personally I recommend getting a Hitachi rather than Seagate or WD (people seem to be 50-50 on Seagate and WD).
  13. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Since the 500GB Seagate 7200.4 is out of stock the best choice would be a SSD; if price is a factor, look for something like a OCZ Vertex which offers the best price for value.

    If you're editing videos, I would get an external FW800 drive for use as your scratch volume—something you're suppose to do anyways.
  14. MacLet macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2009
    SSD for MacBook

    I recently bought a 256GB SSD from Foremay. They claimed their EC188 Jaguar series has been tested with MacBook. The drive I got works very good with me 15" Macbook Pro Unibody.

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