Upgrading Hard Drives – It’s Really This Easy

Let’s get the 320 GB hard drive upgrade, it should be enough space for awhile…

…or not.

When we ordered the MacBook Pro in February ’09 our entry option for the hard drive was 250 GB, so upgrading to 320 GB wasn’t a huge upgrade, but it was roughly a 40% improvement in head room.

When I ordered the hard drives for the Drobo, I added a 500 GB, 7200 RPM with 32MB cache drive to the shopping cart, which in theory should provide some extra performance compared to the 5400 RPM drive that came stock with the MacBook Pro.

I used SuperDuper to create a bootable image of the original drive onto a firewire external hard drive. This process took roughly four hours to complete. With the image created, the next step was to swap out the drives.

The installation was a breeze: pull a lever on the underside remove the aluminum panel, unscrew three drive retention screws and transfer the four pins screwed into the side of the drive onto the new drive.

With the new drive installed, I attached the firewire drive and restarted the Mac with the option button pressed. I selected the external drive and proceeded to boot up from the image. I was amazed at how fast it booted and how the image wasn’t similar to my current configuration, but actually was running my computer from the drive.

Another four hours and SuperDuper transferred the image onto the new drive. The Mac booted up properly and I was back up and running.

One last step, leave spotlight a little time to reindex and the job is done. Between the perfectly designed hardware and the easy transfer of the system over Firewire, this was about as easy an upgrade as can be imagined.

Based on previous upgrades and system rebuilds on PC I expected this to be a wordier post. Maybe I’ll find a PC to work on and hopefully i’ll get more than 331 words.

4 comments

  1. Super Duper is an amazing tool, I am surprised that you didn't just SuperDuper the original straight onto the new drive using a small SATA USB or FirireWire Enclosure, it would have saved you a step and about 4 hours. But I'm guessing you had to work with the tools you had. Another thought is that you should still get a SATA case so you can use the 320 as your portable scratch drive for editing those movies on the couch.

  2. Funny you should mention that. I am shopping for a well priced 2.5″ enclosure, preferably with a firewire option. The only reason I didn't SuperDuper straight off and save myself the step is that I didn't have the enclosure or cable, and I just decided one night to do it, as I had the 30 minutes to set it up before turning in for the night. I had been sitting on the drive (figuratively of course) for a week.

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