new 750 GB harddrive, more RAM and updated OS -- in what order?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by LolaBooth, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. LolaBooth macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Hiya, my late 2008 2.4 Ghz core 2 duo Macbook aluminum is a bit clogged up so I got a new Seagate 750 GB hybrid SATA harddrive to replace the 250GB one in situ.

    Problem is, after being all excited to get started, I am losing my nerve!

    I am currently running OS X 10.5.8 and just purchased 10.6 from Apple. The disks have arrived but I haven't installed it yet.

    I also intend to increase the RAM, from the current 2 GB to perhaps 6 or more. (Bit concerned 8GB may cause problems).

    In any case, what would you recommend would be the ideal order to perform these three tasks, i.e. A) new harddrive install, B) new OS install and C) RAM upgrade?



    Any advice welcome. It's been ages since I cracked the case of my (20MB!) Mac SE to add more RAM, I think I may have lost my touch! :)
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I don't think the order truly matters, but I'd go one part at a time. If it were me, I'd:

    Install the RAM first. Verify it works.

    Put the 750GB drive in an external case (cheap ones are readily available).

    Install 10.6 on the external. Upgrade it (the external) to 10.7 and 10.8 for a fairly low additional cost.

    Swap drives and import stuff from your old drive (which will now be in the external case) to the fresh new drive (which will now be in your MB). Or, better, boot from the external, import settings to it from the internal, then boot off it again to be sure, then swap.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    According to this page:

    Your computer does support 8GB RAM, you should be fine running as much.

    As far as the order, I'd install the RAM first to see if it works properly, and after that it doesn't matter much.
  4. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

    Sep 10, 2007
    Southern California
    the key is to do 1 thing at a time, this way if something does go wrong, you know what step it happened at.
  5. urbanj macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2008
    I have the aluminum Macbook and have everything done. 8GB RAM, 750gb Momentus HHDD and Mountain Lion. The thing works flawlessly. I'd install the HDD and RAM, boot it and then install the OS.
  6. LolaBooth thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Thank you all for your advice and thoughts on this. I will definitely start with the RAM.

    Great to hear you have had such good results with a similar upgrade UrbanJ.

    JSW how do I install the new OS on the new HDD while it is in the external drive? Do I load it onto the Macbook (the OS is on disks) and then copy it over?

    Thanks again everyone, most appreciated.
  7. LolaBooth thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    OS first?

    Been thinking about this and research suggests that to prevent kernel panic, I need to upgrade the OS first, before maxing out the RAM to 8GB. Can anyone advise if is this correct?

  8. LolaBooth thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012

    Just to say, I replaced the hard drive first, after copying everything to the new one using the amazingly simple "Disk Utility". :D

    That went faultlessly, and the speed to launch apps seems much snappier.

    I just last week replaced the RAM, upping it to 8GB. I bought Crucial RAM.

    That too went faultlessly, I ran Rember after the install to check and indeed, all was well.

    Finally, I installed the new OS, in my case, 10.6. No problems at all.

    So, thanks everyone for the tips. It was a distinct success and great fun to update my computer myself!

    I prolly spent about £150 all in, for the 2 RAM chips, the new OS and the 750 GB hard drive, money well spent to my mind.
  9. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    Note the computer in my signature. I have the 2GHz version and 10.8 works fine. It was fine as well with 4GB and a 5400 RPM HDD but now with the hybrid 500GB drive and the 8GB it's even better.
  10. LolaBooth thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Great to hear. I am very pleased with mine.

    The only downside is, the battery is now indicating "Replace Soon". Not sure I want to spend a wad on a battery at this juncture, as I have just ordered a mac mini!

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