Replacing DVD drive with SSD drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Andy2011, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Andy2011 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    I've been looking at options for increasing the speed of my 2011 13" MBP by changing the 5400 HDD to either an SSD or hybrid Seagate drive.

    I've just stumbled upon one other option, which is to replace the the optical DVD drive with a second drive, which would mean I could save money by not needing such a big SSD...

    This is the first Mac I've owned, so I'm wondering if I can install OSX on the SSD along with any applications (I assume 64GB should be enough for this?), and then easily move my Home directory back to the HDD? Is this easy to do, seeing as the directory is automatically created as soon as you log into OSX the first time..

    Also I assume removing the optical drive will not void any warranties, as long as I replace it should I need to take the laptop back to Apple?

    Also has anyone got any recommendations on a good case for the 13" model?

    Thanks
     
  2. tasslehawf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    Yep. It's really easy to do. I got the OWC Mercury SSD 128gb/Optibay kit.

    I actually setup a new clean install on a 500gb 7200 rpm drive installed in the machine using the DVD drive. I then pulled the DVD drive (remembering to eject the disc!) and installed the SSD/Optibay adaptor. I formatted the SSD and used SuperDuper to clone everything but my huge directories in my user directory (you need to have like the library directory in your user directory so that when the SSD starts up for the first time, It can log you in). Then you can change your home directory back to the home directory on your other drive.

    You change your home directory location:
    System Preferences -> Accounts -> (click on the lock) -> (right click on your username in the left column) Advanced Options... ->

    It's really nice. So much faster. I especially notice a difference with apps loading and actually (you wouldn't think) browsing files on my non-SSD (I guess it caches the directories onto the SSD). When the prices come down I will probably do this on my wife's Late 08 uMBP because it makes such a noticeable difference in the speed of the computer, more than any other upgrade.

    I'm actually really enjoying not having DVD drive and it's random noises. And I never used it more than a couple times). You can order yourself an external case for the DVD drive from China for $20.
     
  3. Andy2011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #3
    Ah, that sounds good then!

    I take it I don't really need to go through those steps necessarily, and clean install to the SSD, then move the Home directory to the HDD and that should be enough..

    I've seen the Optibay kits, and was wondering what they offer compared to the far cheaper eBay alternatives?
     
  4. falterego macrumors 6502

    falterego

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    I've been wondering this same thing. I wouldn't mind having an extra few hundred GB of space by replacing the ODD with a HDD, but I just can't get past that $75 price tag on what appears to be a small bracket with 4 screw holes. I'd rather save the few bucks and just use my other drive as an external. A $15 USB3 enclosure that can go anywhere is a lot less expensive and more convenient IMO than a $75 internal-to-one-machine kind of setup.
     
  5. Whitelightning macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #5
    Is the SSD drive end up making the MBP lighter than when it was with the optical drive? Is there any weight difference?
     
  6. tasslehawf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Honestly, I went with the OWC kit because I could get it the fastest. And it was a pretty good deal bundled with the SSD.

    I don't know how much space you are using on your current HD, but make sure you clone everything BUT your biggest user directories (i.e. Music, Documents, etc.) FROM your current drive ONTO the SSD.

    If you are doing a clean install of everything, you can do a clean system install to the SSD and move the location of the home directory once you've started up on the SSD.

    Another good option is you can use time machine to get just your program etc. onto the SSD.
     
  7. tasslehawf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    It would be a toss up. The SSD is pretty dense and you have to figure in the adaptor as well.
     
  8. tasslehawf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    I was in a 3-day timeframe to get a new machine set-up. So the overnight shipping from OWC was the best option. A lot of those eBay adaptors are coming from China, so you're looking at weeks to get them.
     
  9. Andy2011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #9
    That's my thoughts too. It's just a bracket. As long as it fits, I'm not sure what can go wrong?
     
  10. jemago macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #10
    I just received my OWC Data Doubler bracket a few minutes ago. This bracket comes with an attached PCB board/connector, so I would be cautious ordering a generic bracket/board. I'm sure the bracket is easy to get right, but the PCB? not too sure...
     
  11. tasslehawf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    I don't see a problem with the one's on eBay. The electronics are all manufactured in the same place. :-D

    For me, I just didn't want to wait weeks to get one. I ordered a case on my optical drive two or three weeks ago and it hasn't shown up yet.
     
  12. falterego macrumors 6502

    falterego

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    I think that PCB board just offsets the drive from the edge of the drive bay, probably for better heat dissipation. It's basically a SATA > SATA adapter as far as I can tell. Can anybody confirm this?
     

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