What exactly do I need to install an SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ozreth, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    Ive bought a Samsung ssd and more ram for my mid 2010 MacBook Pro (trying to get another two years or so out of this thing). Will I need more than one kind of screwdriver? Do I need hard drive cloning software? I have a backup on an external, could I just plug that in after installing the new ssd and install my backup? Or should I buy a cloner? Etc. etc.

  2. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    There is this new thing call a "search engine". You should try using it. I promise it's great!

  3. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    Basic small torx screwdriver really. Pop the back off, then 2 screws on a little plastic part holding the drive down. Remove the drive gently, unplug, replug your SSD, put everything together.

    Carbon Copy Cloner is great for cloning, and trial period is 30 days.
    Although I'd prefer to start out fresh on a fresh drive, in that case you can boot your external drive and install OS X from there (and copy over your stuff). Once that is done you can look into enabling Trim and other SSD optimizations.
  4. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    Thanks for the response. So you're saying you think it is preferrable to install the SSD and then plug in my external HDD and boot that (holding some button combination, I imagine)?

    @tubeexperience As you can see, everybody has their own preferred methods and I like to get differing opinions before doing things. Every situation can be different. Thanks but no thanks for the very played out response.
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Put your SSD in an enclosure. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your hard drive to your SSD.

    Install SSD in computer. Press Option key and select to boot from SSD.
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Here is a step-by-step guide from ifixit on how to swap the internal drive hardware with a list of tools needed.
  7. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Funny, because a good Google search would give you far more answers than you'll receive on here.

    Anyway, iFixit can tell you the tools you need to do the swap.

    I've always just used internet recovery to reinstall my OS, and if I needed to restore any information I would use migration assistant.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    Tools you need:
    - Phillips #00 driver
    - TORX T-6 driver
    You can get these at Lowe's, Home Depot, hardware stores, and online.

    Go here to see how to "do the swap":

    There's really not much to it.
    - lay the MacBook on a towel or cloth on a table so it isn't scratched
    - have a small bowl or two to hold the screws
    - PAY ATTENTION -- 3 screws on the back are longer than the others
    - BE CAREFUL lifting out the drive, the ribbon cable is fragile!

    Other thoughts:
    Not mandatory, but things might go easier if you bought a USB3 2.5" enclosure first. Here's a good one:

    Then, put the SSD into the USB3 enclosure (temporarily).
    Now, initialize it with Disk Utility.

    You will need either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I suggest CCC because it will "clone over" the recovery partition as well as the main partition.

    CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for the first 30 days.
    It will do the job for you quickly and cleanly.

    Now, launch CCC.
    Set it up with the internal (old) drive as your source, and the SSD (external) as your target.
    Choose the option to clone the recovery partition, if you have one.
    Then, let CCC do its thing. It will take a little while.

    Reboot, and hold down the option key until the startup manager appears.
    Select the external (SSD) with the pointer, and hit return
    If all has gone well, you should get a "good boot" from the external
    IMPORTANT: when you get to the finder, the external will look EXACTLY THE SAME as the internal -- go to "about this Mac" under the Apple menu to check to be sure you're booted up from the external.

    Does everything look ok?
    Look around, check things out.
    If all seems well, NOW is the time to power down and "do the drive swap".

    Personal experience:
    An SSD made a great improvement in my own 2010 MBPro 13" ...
  9. mortenjensen macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012

    Actually there is no need for a third party cloner what so ever. Just install the new ssd, boot into recovery mode with cmd-r and copy the old drive onto it in disk manager using the restore command. Really piece of cake.

    Personally, I would do a fresh install first and then recover.

    You can also recover from time machine in cmd-r

  10. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Just another +1 for making sure you get the right tools.

    i.e., the CORRECT small philips screwdriver for the case screws, otherwise you'll chew them out.

    You'll also probably need your original (or some other, e.g., USB) install media to reinstall OS X, as your Mac doesn't likely have internet recovery.
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe internet recovery was rolled out among macs with a firmware update in later versions of OS X (10.7+).
  12. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Yup, but not all Macs got it i don't think.

    I *think* the only Macbook Pros that got it were 2011 onwards (i could be wrong there though).

    looks like i'm wrong:
  13. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yep... here is the list from Apple.


  14. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    Thanks for all of the thorough answers. I know I could have found them around other places, but I for one have never found an issue with starting new threads for things that have been answered in the past as long as those other threads aren't on the front page. Fresh blood is fine. I like making posts.

    SO, I went ahead and did it. It turned out that the #00 was too large for the screws on the bottom case, so I went back and bought a #000 which fit perfectly. The torx worked for removing the HDD. I used CCC to move my info over and it worked great except for afterwards I kept getting the error that my mac couldn't eject the SSD from the USB port because a program was using it, even thought it wasn't I rebooted and it then ejected it fine. I also upped the RAM from 4gb to 8gb. I then used terminal to turn TRIM on after learning that apple recently enabled that in an update.

    Everything is super speedy now. Still takes longer to boot up than I've seen most people with an SSD, but that could be due to my old C2D 2.4 bottlenecking. MS Word also takes an ungodly amount of time to open (was about 2-3 minutes before the SSD and RAM upgrade, now it's about 20 seconds), but I think that might just be that program because everything else works like a charm. Photoshop CS6 opens in the blink of an eye which is nice. I had an extended diagnostics test done before doing this and all of my hardware was working as intended so hopefully I can get a few more years of use out of this machine. Thanks all.
  15. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    To fix the slow boot go to System Preferences and in the Startup Disk pane select the new SSD as the boot disk.
  16. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    Yes, do what Weaselboy says. It's a silly little fix, which just tells your Mac to start looking for your new SSD right away, instead of looking for the old drive first and then the SSD!
  17. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    Worked. Thanks you two.

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