Preupgrade Checklist

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sdavis81, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. sdavis81 macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    OK, I have never really done any computer surgery before. I want to make sure I don't leave anything out before I dive in.

    I have a 15" Macbook Pro Core Duo 2.4ghz 4,1 with 200 Gb harddrive and 2gb Ram. It's full, and slow when I run Fusion. I also use a ReadyNas Network storage drive, and have another external which I periodically use for Time Machine backups. The ReadyNas hold musics and video but is not a true back up. I also use Fusion with some Windows stuff. I have the Snow Leopard discs but never installed them. I also have the original install discs (1 and 2) that came with computer.

    I want to do 3 things:
    1) upgrde HD to 500 GB
    2) upgrade RAM to max which I understand is 4gb
    3) install Snow Leopard

    1) my backup will be from Time Machine. I will do a fresh backup before starting.
    2) Order 2x2gb RAM from Crucial website according to their hardware finder. Can I do more? I want the max, I do some video stuff. I think 4 is the max right?
    3) Order 500 GB 7200 RPM drive from somewhere. Maybe DIY package from OCW. Don't know if one drive is better than the other.
    4) Order Ifixit manuals and watch some YouTube videos to do hardware upgrade.
    5) Dissassemble computer...Reassemble. Pray
    6) Boot with my original startup do I do this? Never done it before. Do I put discs in computer before it is on and turn it on? Do I turn it on and then insert the discs?
    7) Now I should again have Leopard on my computer with new stuff right? Need to get my things on here, will run a Time Machine Backup through System Prefs.
    8) I should now have my stuff, my 3rd party apps, my music, etc. on the computer. Now I will run the Snow Leopard disc to upgrade the OS. I assume you just put these in and they go right?

    I very much do not want a 2K paperweight. Would MUCH appreciate any critique to my gameplan! I don't think this process has any effect on my network storage, but any insight here would be great as well.

  2. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    If you can find a 640GB at a better cost/GB than a 500GB drive, it would make sense spending the extra dough (~$20?) to get it.

    Newegg and Amazon often offer better prices for Crucial RAM than the Crucial website.

    Don't forget to get a good quality screwdriver. I think you will need a torx screwdriver too but read the iFixit guides first.
  3. roliath macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2009
    I'm not sure which exact model you have, but for my unibody (2009).

    This kit was a great time saver when I was upgraded my MBP hard drive.
    Tool Set

    Basically, I needed a T6 and a #00 phillips for MY upgrade. Not sure if you will need the same, but check out iFixIt.

    I'd purchase the drive and memory from newegg or similar e-tailer (for best prices). One thing I would do is pick up a 2.5in usb hd enclosure, and place your "old" hard drive in there once you've upgraded.

    It will give you a nice little time machine drive, or portable storage once the upgrade is done. And it will help in restoring files, sure time machine will work too.
  4. sdavis81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    I have never done a Time Machine backup is going to restore all 3rd party apps, etc when I do it right? I have seen others mention a clone with Super Duper or similar, why would that be better than just using Time Machine? I have all my music, some video, some 3rd part apps, Fusion with Windows, on there, would hate to mess that stuff up.
  5. sdavis81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    Also, I dont' have the Unibody, I have the 15" MBP 2.4 ghz, Late 08 is what they call it I think. I think it is the one that is much harder to change out the drive. Hopefully I don't break it. I would just pay to have someone do it but they want to keep the compter for 3 days which kills me.
  6. Gerri Shin macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2008
    The late "08 MBP are all unibody, the last non-unibody MBP were early '08 revision with the multi-touch trackpad. I have the same model as you Non unibody 2.4GHz MBP. I upgraded mine to a 500GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400RPM and 4GB RAM last year. the Ram is really easy, but for the Hard drive you will need a couple torx screwdrivers on the small side. I picked up a multi screwdriver set (1 torx, 1 philips/flathead) from my local home depot for around $8 each. I followed the instructions and performed a time machine restore afterward. I was down and back up again in about 4 hours. the installation took about a half hour the rest was the time machine transfer. However when I Upgraded to Snow Leopard I did a fresh install using the time machine disc as a check list for which programs I wanted back. If you can clone your drive via SuperDuper I'd say that would likely be the faster route.
  7. 1BadMac macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2010
    Super Duper and Carbon Copy Cloner are definitely options, but if you have a TIme Machine backup you don't really need it. I went to an SSD 120 GB drive recently on my new 13" MBP and it was a piece of cake. I made sure my time machine had a recent backup, swapped out the physical drive, booted to the install disc, and selected the option to recover from a Time Machine backup. 40 minutes later, I was up and running on the new drive with everything in exactly how I had it under the old drive.

    Also, you should notice a huge performance difference once you get the 4GB of RAM. I've run Fusion / Parallels / Virtual Box and on 2GB, you almost always encounter a good bit of swapping. I found a sweet spot allocating 1gb to the virtual machine, and only allocating 1 cpu (core) to the machine as well. The virtual machine runs fast, and more importantly, the Mac still responds quickly.

    The other user that mentioned the 640 GB drive has a point as well. Aside form only a few bucks more, it may also have a denser platter configuration which can result in better performance.

    I myself opted for SSD and it is like night and day performance wise. However, I understand some folks need lots of storage. I opted for a 1TB Time Capsule which is where I keep most of my media files anyways.

    Good luck - I'm sure it will go smooth! Report back with your VM Fusion results post upgrade!
  8. bsizz234 macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    wow. coincidence: I'm considering the exact same upgrades for my exact same computer.

    I was going to do 5GB RAM though... buy 1 4gb stick from newegg, lose the dual channel, but have 4 in one slot and 1 in the other.

    also planning on the scorpio blue 640gb which is $110 on newegg right now.

    thanks to those who chimed in on doing the time machine backup... i was going to buy an external dock, clone my old drive onto the new drive bit-for-bit, then install and go. but that requires another $80 for the dock... sounds like time machine is the way to go (I have time machine backups already)
  9. sdavis81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    I am glad it sounds like Time Machine will work fine. I did not know you could choose which programs you want reinstalled.

    To clarify...after upgrade I should boot with my Leopard discs, do the Time Machine upgrade choosing programs I want to reinstall, and THEN do the Snow Leopard upgrade?

    Not sure if order makes difference, but once the computer is down I won't be able to look stuff up here anymore.

    I ended up buying a 6gb upgrade from OCW, a 2 stick and a 4 stick. Maybe I won't have to do this again soon.

    Got the 640gb disc too. Should be ready to roll when they get here.

    Thanks for everyone's help! Nerve wracking taking apart a computer for first time. Don't want to mess it up
  10. sdavis81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    Thought of one more thing, does it matter it 4 stick goes in first or second?
  11. bsizz234 macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    shouldn't matter. I have heard of people who have had problems with a certain configuration, and switching the sticks fixed it 100%. But for most people it doesn't matter.

    basically, put them in whichever way you want. If your computer won't boot, try switching them and it should be fine.
  12. sdavis81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    Ok so I did everything in the checklist, and some things came out different than what I would expect:

    1) changed out drives, easier than I thought it would be, except for the glue holding the ribbon down onto the drive. That stuff was pretty solid and nerve wracking peeling it up with the plastic tool. Worried I had damaged the ribbon.
    2) Reinstalled Leopard and that was fine, basically like new computer, 6GB memory in there.
    3) Ran Time Machine backup...did something wrong here. At one point it was asking me to name the drive being reinstalled, and I usually always use the same name for things. In this case, it would not allow me to use same name that I had used reinstalling the OS because it was already there. Had to choose another name. I ended up with 2 sets of files on computer. One was "sdavis81" which was empty folders from reinstall, and the other was "sdavis8181" which was the files transferred from TM. Problem was, it says I do not have access to those folders, which are all my backed up files!
    I do not know how to fix this.
    4) I have my Fusion in the apps folder, but when I open it, there is no Windows XP in there and all that stuff is gone. Not sure if the needed files are in the inaccessible folders or if they weren't copied at all by TM.

    So what do I do?

    I still have my old drive which I put in an enclosure. I thought I might switch the drives back, and use Super Duper to make a bootable clone on my new drive in an external closure. Then switch drives back. Am I right that Super Duper will clone my Fusion stuff as long as it it closed with I make the clone?

    Another alternative I guess it to reinstall everything again and try to figure out what I did wrong with Time Machine, if I do this though it takes 3 hours (osx and TM files) and I am still not sure Fusion files will work. Anyone know?

    Last issue, for some reason, my Mac when New never had the Automator program. It was just never there. They said I needed to reinstall everything to get it on there, but I never did it. Now is my chance. If I use a clone though, it will copy the same system over without Automator right? I also have the Snow Leopard discs which I have never used. I wonder if I use the clone and then run SL if that will put the Automator back on the system.

    any thoughts are appreciated.

Share This Page