Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SachaS, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. SachaS macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009

    I have a MacBook Pro 2.66 from mid 09 and I'm thinking about updating the hard-drive myself to one of these SSD drives. I have a few questions however, and I'm hoping someone can enlighten me.

    Firstly, how would I go about installing the hard drive. I know I'll need to un-screw the laptop case and I have the PDF from apple with the instructions on how to do so but;
    1. Would I need to install Mac OSX into the SSD BEFORE installing the hard drive or do I swap the hard-drive and THEN install OSX? If it's the latter, what happens to the data on the original hard-drive? Will it automatically sync over if I connect it with a USB cable to the Mac when the new SSD hard drive is installed?

    2. Should I wait a few months before doing purchasing a SSD card or are they worth it now? I'm hearing a lot of contrasting opinions, people talking about Snow Leopord not being compatitable with TRIM and therefore the SSD drive will get slower in as little as 6 months? Then on another forum apparently it will last as long as 50 years?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    How to replace your hard drive.

    You would install the drive, put in your install discs and boot from that. That will allow you to install your OS.

    You can backup your original drive with Time Machine and and use migration assistant to move all your data after you install your OS.

    I would buy now if you can. I finally found a 160GB Intel Gen 2 for $470. That is a bit more than I could have spent had I been smarter about it but it is much less than what that model is going for today.

    The forums are correct in that SL doesn't allow for TRIM yet. I hope to see this change but you never know. Can an SSD slow down without it? No more than the previous gens would. I believe TRIM is something rather new.
  3. SachaS thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009

    So basically I'll need to buy two hard drives?. One to backup the original MBP hard-drive with Time Machine, and the SSD to install into the laptop? Or am I missing something? Could I split the MBP native hard-drive in two and Time Machine it that way?

    So I don't quite understand this then... How long can I expect a SSD to last. I don't want to worry about the size of the file I'm deleting or anything like that. I just want to use the computer like normal (emptying the trash bin, downloading small files, large files, etc. etc.) without any worry. If I'm using the computer like normal, how long can I expect it to work quickly and effectively?

    I hear it's something like 100,000 writes on each cell, so that would last quite a long time? However apparently because there is no TRIM SL won't evenly spread out the data usage and therefore the SSD will slowly get smaller in size and considerably slower... I don't want a fast laptop for a few days, I'm thinking of a good 3-5 year investment here...

    PS using migration assistant - would I need to download this before or after installing the SSD (or does it come standard with Time Machine?), and would I need a chasis to enclose the native MBP HDD? How would I plug it into the MBP after taking it out? With a USB cable? (Would I need to a special cable, case?)

    Thanks Jessica
  4. SachaS thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Another thing...

    What's all this about SATA and SATA1 or whatever? How does that effect a possible home hard-drive upgrade working properly?
  5. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    You don't need to use Time Machine for the migration (although having a Time Machine backup isn't a bad idea in general). You can get a USB enclosure like this one for your old drive. Migration Assistant will run as part of the installation process. You will be able to plug in your old drive and it will copy the data for you. So the process will be:

    1. Remove old drive and install SSD.
    2. Put old drive in enclosure.
    3. Boot from installation CD.
    4. At some point it will ask you if you want to copy data from a different Mac.
    5. Plug in enclosure and follow the prompts.
  6. SachaS thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Nice one man thanks for that.

    What about the other questions, like the longetivity of SSDs and how quickly they start slowing down?
  7. jaycarroll macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Denville, NJ
    Any reason not to just SuperDuper clone the old drive to the new using the enclosure? Seems like much easier method than booting from media and going through the whole migration process...
  8. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    Unfortunately I don't know much about that. Regarding the SATA question, all SATA drives are compatible with your MBP. The numbers indicate speeds, with higher numbers being faster. I don't think I have ever seen a SATA I SSD. You definitely want SATA II for maximum performance.
  9. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    I've never used SuperDuper before, but if it can handle cloning to a different sized drive (assuming the old drive and the SSD are not the same), it should work.
  10. coast1ja macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2009
    I agree, get an enclosure and plug it in via USB, then use SuperDuper to clone the internal drive onto the new one in the USB. Then install it and it should run perfectly right from the start, no need to use the install disk or anything. This is also much faster than using the migration assistant or time machine. I've found it to be about three hours faster when only transferring about 60gb.
  11. jaycarroll macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Denville, NJ
    Oh absolutely, SuperDuper is a must have. It's literally one click live cloning for your drive - can be scheduled or even be set to auto boot to the new drive when finished. I use it for backups regularly.
  12. SachaS thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    SuperDuper? Where do I find this? (^edit- thanks)

    Still no answers on SSD issues about slowing down..
  13. jaycarroll macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Denville, NJ
    SSDs IMO are worth every penny from what I am hearing about performance gains - however they are definitely not all created equal. You are limited on the number of writes, but read lifetime is more comparable to standard drives, IIRC.

    Check out the Mac Observer's Mac Geek Gab podcast - they spent several episodes on SSDs:

    209-211 I believe.

    I'm planning on using an expresscard 34 SSD in my MBP as my boot drive and keeping the internal for storage only.
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Like flash cards (CF cards for example) there is going to be a limited number of writes you can make to the drive. That limit however is not something I've found documented but based on my experience with compact flash cards, the limit is so high you will likely either outgrow the drive before you even hit 50% of the write limits or you'll die. I'm just saying.

    Nevertheless, the SSD slow down is a very real thing. As I understand it the SSD will start fast and as you add all of your data to it then it will likely slow down. Once you're done it will level out and become fast again. I think the slow down is not something unbearable. I believe it would still be faster than the stock drive you have in your MBP today.

    I really think you need to spend some time over at You can search for SSD and find out that he is very gung ho about SSDs to an extent that he has extensive data on numerous brands. Of course some of the brands (most) won't be options for you and your MBP thanks to Apple, but he is good, real good.

    I would not hesitate with the SSD myself. I think I understand some of the limitations enough to know what I am getting myself into. We'll see though.
  15. sascha h-k macrumors 6502

    sascha h-k

    Apr 26, 2004
    vienna / austria
    i have done it so:

    ssd in usb-case, with superduper cloned the hdd to ssd (will be bootable)

    changed the drives in 5min. (very easy) and started ..
    (lift off backplate from the "black" side !)

    first start takes longer (don't be nervous) and choose the ssd as startup drive in the systempane ..

    next, dissable sudden motion sensor & uncheck sleep for hdd (ssd)

    i mailed with dave navanian (sd-developer) and he promised, speed will be the same as a new osX install & migration !

    for more tweaks look into ocz forum "osx tweaks". (noatime)

    i have 3 ssd's; intel160gb, ocz vertex 250gb & stt ultradrrive256gb ...
  16. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA

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