MBP 500GB swapped for SSD and use it as an external HD, possible?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vyruz Reaper, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Vyruz Reaper macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2009
    So I want to buy a 15inch MBP with Hi-Res glossy, i5-540 2.53 and a 500GB 7200 RPM HD.

    I do not want a spinning Drive and want a SSD. Problem is the SSD are too expensive right now. So I have 2 choices:

    1) Buy the 128GB SSD from apple. This would be ideal but I do not want a POS samsung SSD. I guess if its toshiba I should buy, right? Its only about 100 extra to buy this upgrade.

    2) Buy the 500GB 7200 RPM HD and when the new G3 SSD come out later this year, and prices of SSD in general come down, buy a SSD swap the drives and use my 500GB 7200rpm with a external HD enclosure as my external HD.

    How reliable are external HD enclosures, and will they work with the stock 500GB HD from mac?

  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I brought a £15 enclosure a while back to house my 250GB ex-internal hard drive when I upgraded to an SSD. Its still working great!

    Just make sure your buy a SATA 2.5" enclosure.
  3. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    What you propose is exactly what I have already done. Removed the 500GB drive from my MacBook Pro i7 and replaced it with 128GB SSD drive. I then put the 500GB drive in a WiebeTech ToughTech Mini external case to use as a backup/extra storage drive with the MacBook Pro.

  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Alternatively, rather than using the enclosure, you can put another HDD or SSD in the SuperDrive bay. All you need is a caddy.
  5. LucidPsychosis macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2010
    Knoxville, TN
    Rather than making my own thread, allow me to hijack this one just a little bit:

    So, there is no design difference between MBPs shipped with a spinning drive and ones shipped with a SSD? Good. I must have misunderstood, as I thought there was some difference making SSDs incompatible with MBPs shipped with spinning drives.

    No problems there.

    Now, I'm sort of a computer noob in terms of setup. I know my stuff about upgrading an existing computer, but could someone help me out with this situation:

    Okay, say I buy a new MBP (15" i5 2.4 GhZ) and a compatible SSD. What would I need to do transfer-wise or software-wise to make the thing complete? Call me an idiot, but I have never changed an HDD in a computer before (that's the one thing I haven't done, mostly due to fear of losing my files), and I have never owned a Mac before, but I'm making the jump with this refresh.
  6. gecko91 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Grab a Optibay from MCE Tech and stick the 500GB in the SuperDrive bay. The optibay comes with a free enclosure for the SuperDrive that you just removed, so you can still use it via USB. Boot from a 60GB SSD, and have your applications run on it as well as frequently accessed files. Have everything else on the HDD.
  7. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    First of all, opening up and swapping the drive in the unibody MacBook Pro is a freakin' piece of cake. I did mine in 10 minutes, tops. The process is actually explained in the user manual that arrives with the MacBook Pro Yes, replacing the hard drive can be done by end users and it does not void your warranty. (However, for purposes of a warranty repair, Apple is justified in requiring you to put back the original hard drive if they deem it necessary.)

    Anyway, the process requires a #00 philips screwdriver and a #T6 torx screwdriver. There are also videos in the support section of macsales.com that demonstrate the process.

    That out of the way, this is all you need to do:

    1) Buy MacBook Pro
    2) Open back of MBP
    3) Remove existing drive
    4) Replace with SSD drive
    5) Replace back of MBP
    6) Startup MBP from OS X DVD drive supplied with MBP
    7) Format SSD drive using Disk Utility (in the menu of OS X install DVD) and install OS X on SSD
    8) Reboot computer from SSD
    9) Put in all your personal information after Welcome screens to configure new MBP
    10) Install other applications (iPhoto, iMovie, etc.) from second DVD supplied with MBP
    11) Run Software Update from Apple menu to get latest udpates
    12) Sit back in amazement at the speed and beauty of your new MBP with SSD

  8. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2009

    wow this is a cool idea. I jsut read the thread on it. Is this hard, voiding warranty?

    Would a 40GB SSD work?

    thanks for all the replies!

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