Step by step guide for SSD upgrade in 2010 15' Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by iChopSticks, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. iChopSticks, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

    iChopSticks macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    Does anyone have a step by step guide to installing a SSD into the 2010 MBP? not the physical steps, but what would need to be done on a software standpoint? I just recently purchased the Samsung 840 pro and wanted to be prepared as possible before it comes in.

    Do I just unbox and switch out the old HDD for the SSD and boot from my osx (snow leopard) installation disc that came with my MacBook and viola? Or is there another step that I'm missing?

    I've tried to search for this but only physical and performance benchmarks come up as results. Any recommendations/suggestions would be appreciated, or if you can redirect me to the appropriate link/source.

    I've read somewhere that you have to reformat it with an external enclosure? what if I don't have one available?

    Lastly, what are the steps that should be taken after the osx has been installed? I've seen many advising to get the TRIM enabler, and unchecking sleep drive in the battery settings? turn off motion sensor? and hard disk sleep? please any additional details would be swell!

    Also someone mentioned not to run benchmarks? is this the same as blackmagic design speed test?
  2. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Basically, that's it. When installing the OS it will ask you where to install to, it will automatically set up the drive it's wiped blank.

    I used the TRIM enabler, that's it. Everything else I didn't bother with, never had any issues.

    Interesting, I know nothing about this, would have to look into it more.
  3. iChopSticks, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

    iChopSticks thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    Thanks! So no formatting or firmware updates needs to be done with the SSD prior to physically installing?

    As for the benchmarching warning, apparently it is not significant anymore since modern SSDs have so much writing capacity, you'd need to write ~300gb a day for 5 years to burn it out (source: found it randomly searching here) So I would guess it's safe to say this is irrelevant now..
  4. Soot macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    I just installed the Samsung 840 (non-Pro) in a 2011 MacBook Pro a few days ago, running on Snow Leopard.

    I'd heard the same things about using an enclosure, cloning software, etc. It was a lot easier than that. Here are the steps I did:

    Step 1 - full back up of the laptop HD with Time Machine
    Step 2 - power off and replace the HD with the unformatted brand new SSD
    Step 3 - boot up and see what happens. Rescue mode happens...
    Step 4 - insert OS X installation DVD, reboot, and hold down the "c" key to boot off DVD
    Step 5 - after choosing language (and going through another screen or two?), I went into the menu from the top of the screen to launch Disk Utility
    Step 6 - using Disk Utility, format the SSD (this is done using the "Erase" tab)
    Step 7 - I figured I'd reinstall the OS but there was the option to just Restore from Time Machine, I gave that a try, let it be for several hours
    Step 8 - came back and had fully functional happy laptop with SSD.

    I had never replaced a HD before. All I needed was the SSD itself, a philips screwdriver, pliers, and the external harddrive with my Time Machine backup.

    With Step 2, the only snag was that the mounting screws on the harddrive were annoyingly some sort of torx or pentalobe screw instead of philips. I just loosened them (carefully so as to not bend the HD) with pliers and installed them on the SSD manually with my fingers and then just a bit of tightening with the pliers. For the instructions on physically how to remove the HD and replace it, I used a PDF of the laptop user manual from Apple's website.

    After Step 1, could insert the installation CD at that point, save yourself Step 3 and move along to the latter part of Step 4... :)

    Post Installation optimizations:

    I used the free software Trim Enabler to Enable TRIM.

    I confirmed in the System Profiler (Hardware -> Serial-ATA -> Samsung 840 Series) that indeed it shows that "TRIM Support" now says "Yes" rather than "No".

    I manually used the Terminal to delete the sleepimage file (/private/var/vm/sleepimage). This is a file the size of however much RAM you have installed (for me 8 GB) and is normally written out every time you close your laptop. Google for more info about it to decide whether this is something you want to do or not.

    I used the free software Chameleon SSD Optimizer to:
    * Turn off Sudden Motion Sensor
    * Change sleep mode to "A"
    * Disable Sleep Image (so it isn't recreated)
    * Turn on "noatime" - note, throwing this switch then makes your laptop want to reboot

    Everything has been working great.

    If anyone else has other tips for SSD optimizations, I'd be interested in hearing them.
  5. iChopSticks thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013

    Oh wow, thanks! this is exactly what I was looking for, I guess a couple of additional concerns I had was, let's say I don't have an external HD and never enabled time capsule (for person reasons), can I just skip step 1, 3: and start right to 4? at which point would also be skipping step 7 and just reformat (erase) it? or would it be easier to use the provided sata > usb adapter and reformat (erase) before physically replacing the HDD?

    Also I noticed you use both TRIM enabler and Chameleon is that necessary? since Chameleon has a TRIM enabler function, or is it better to do through TRIM enabler? Also all these settings are switched does TRIM enabler/Chameleon have to run in the background or can they be closed/deleted?

    Annnnnnnnnd do you have to manually delete sleepimage file? or does that get removed next time you start the computer without hibernation on?

    Thanks again for the detailed instructions!!!
  6. Soot macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    Yeah you can always just start at step 4, and install the OS fresh, I just personally wouldn't be able to help with however you might go from there in getting files from your HD to the new installation. TM was super easy.

    Good question, and I should have mentioned, I tried Chameleon to enable TRIM and it didn't work for me, which I'm guessing is from it not being up to date with handling the Samsung 840 (a relatively new SSD on the market). I had no problem with using TRIM Enabler.

    Nah, Chameleon doesn't stay in the background, you just open it and use it, then exit.

    I'm not sure, I'm fine with using Terminal myself and just took care of it that way, and when I realized Chameleon had an option for disabling it, I threw that switch in Chameleon. I double checked to be sure it wasn't reappearing when I closed the lid or rebooted, and sure enough it isn't. I'm not sure if by throwing the switch, Chameleon deletes the file or whether it just stops the file from being written out any more.
  7. iChopSticks thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    Just curious how did you double check? is there a terminal command? or did you just notice your capacity free up?

    Also I don't think this was ever mentioned, but how did you handle your firmware updates?
  8. iArch macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2008
    All Over
    OP, all of your questions and then some are answered in the MacBook Pro forum. TONS of related reading down there.
  9. iChopSticks thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    Thanks, but I read over 30 SSD threads through the search function (most being from that sub) and still didn't find specific answers =/ any direct links?

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