Replace HD, if so what kind?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kerpow, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. kerpow, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    kerpow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #1
    So on two occasions, my 2010 13" MBP has failed to boot up. They both seemed like partitions issues, as I was able to restore from my backup USB disk without any issue at all. Still not sure what caused this, whether it is the disk beginning to fail or just software issues. Both events were this year, having had around 2.5 years of problem free operation. Can't complain about that too much!

    So, should I replace the HD? If so, would you advise a SDD or just a better SATA. Current disk is 256GB 5400rpm, so I'm guessing a 512GB 7200rpm is going to be an improvement over what I have and is significantly cheaper than a 250GB SSD.

    I don't use it for anything that would be deemed as Pro use and money is quite tight. Or is it worth throwing down the cash on an SSD to future proof myself.

    Thanks

    edit: Also, whichever I choose, can I buy any 2.5" drive or do they have to be MBP compatible?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    You can just get any brand laptop 2.5" drive... no need for anything special for Mac.

    SSD is much faster like you said, but a new HDD will fix you up just fine if budget is an issue.

    There can be a trade off in heat and battery usage with faster drives also... so something to consider. Honestly, just get whatever you can find at a good price. Performance of HDDs is all fairly close for your purposes.
     
  3. GSPice macrumors 68000

    GSPice

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    #3
    Get a SSD, and you'll have a brand new computer.
     
  4. kerpow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Be honest, is that really the case for iTunes, iPhoto & Web? I wouldn't doubt it for some Pro apps, but it seems like sales talk for a typical consumer. What difference will be noticeable?

    Does it sound like the disk is really failing? I may be worrying about nothing.
     
  5. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #5
    Hey,

    Your hard disk might be the issue, but it sure does sound weird. Usually, recurring HDD issues are quite persistent. I suppose a new HDD wouldn't hurt you.

    First off, for the HDD or SSD dilemma, it's all up to personal preference. You mentioned that you use your laptop just for iTunes, iPhoto, Internet, etc. Then, if you feel that you could use a massive speed bump (much better boot time, instant application launch, etc.), you should consider a 256GB SSD. If, however, you think that that's not really necessary, you should look at a performance 7200 RPM 500GB HDD. I would recommend the Western Digital Black (previously Scorpio Black) 2.5" HDD. It'll double your storage and give you a slight performance bump for a low price.

    Regards
    Raptor
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I'm sorry I sort of overlooked your big question if the disk is failing.

    Firstly, unless you installed something at the same time this started that created a conflict, it is not a "software" problem. If your system is working and you are just cruising along and it starts crashing like this and you have made no software changes, it has to be hardware.

    When this happened, did you run Disk Util and run a repair disk? If you did what if any errors showed up. The fact this happened again after you restored does point to a hardware issue and most likely an impending drive failure.

    These models sometimes developed problems with the drive cable, but usually they just stop working altogether.

    A less likely problem would be a bad memory chip causing data read/write corruption. Try running the Apple Hardware Test and see what that shows you.

    As fas as an SSD, it mainly speeds boot and app launch times, but once everything is launched it does not make a huge difference in operation.
     
  7. kerpow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Some good answers here.

    Yes, I did try a few troubleshooting steps once in the Recovery Tool, but none helped. Only a full restore worked.

    You may have talked me into buying an SSD, if everything runs quicker, quieter and prolongs battery life.

    Quick question, what is a hybrid disk? Would it really give the best of both worlds?

    http://goo.gl/vrJwg4
     
  8. GSPice macrumors 68000

    GSPice

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    #8
    Maybe not the web so much but definitely for apps that involve a lot of read/writes like iTunes, iPhoto. Night and day. Have you ever worked on a computer with an SSD? You should try it.

    As far as telling if your drive is failing, I can't say. I'd just make sure to have a back up. Maybe someone else can chime in on some diagnostics.
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    It's like a fusion drive. Small amount of flash storage for a cache with a large spinning drive. Depending on your workflow it can give a good boost in speed at lower prices. If money is an issue in replacing your drive, it's something to consider.
     
  10. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #10
    Hey,

    Avoid the 1st generation Seagate Momentus XT AT ALL COSTS. There was a major firmware issue with it, especially on Mac. However, the newer hybrid drives are quite a lot better. You'll get a large capacity with pretty good (though not SSD good) boot and application launch times.

    Regards
    Raptor
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    You don't need to avoid the 1st gen XT at all costs, there were some issues, but after a couple of iterations of the firmware, it was OK.

    But I doubt it is really interesting to buy it today, go for 2nd gen.

    I had both. They provide a good experience for casual users, no need to go for an SSD.
     
  12. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #12
    Early this year, I put a SSD in my 2011 MBP and it made it feel like a new computer. You might not benefit from the high read/write speed of SSDs unless you're trying to play uncompressed high-def video - but the dramatically reduced file seek times has a significant effect on day-to-day general use.

    However, in your case I'd want to be really sure that it is the HD that is failing rather than a cable, motherboard or software problem before splashing out on a big SSD. Maybe a 512G HD and save your pennies for a SSD at a later date? If you're not a big CD/DVD user you could then use the 512GB HD in a 'data doubler' caddy to replace the optical drive, and have a 128G SSD as your system drive (which is where most of the SSD speed improvements come from).
     
  13. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #13
    I just pulled my SSD out of my Mac and used it in my Arch laptop. I put a 500GB 7200RPM Seagate in it place. The computer is noticeably slower but still faster than stock..SSD's are fine but I wouldn't break the budget to get one.
     

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