How To Install an SSD in a Unibody MacBook Pro

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leicaman

I put an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD in my Mac Pro (2008 dual 2.8GHz, 14 gigs RAM) and is it ever a screamer! Boot times went from 93 seconds to 38. One thing I did that should be considered is moving the User files to a second drive. You can get a kit from OWC that lets you put your old drive in the optical bay of the MacBook Pro and then you can set it up the way I did. Who uses optical drives on laptops now anyway?

The benefit is that all your user files are in a separate drive (desktop, Documents, movies, music, etc.) and it's very easy to do. My 240 gig SSD still has over 130 gigs of Space. (I have a lot of apps.) And it's easy to install your OS on the boot drive and then reconnect the user folder from the second drive. It takes some setup, and some care, but separating your OS from your user files makes a lot of sense to me now.

Here's a great guide for the process.

macperformanceguide.com/Mac-InstallingSSD.html

And aren't the latest iMacs set up to have this kind of thing? A slot for SSDs and a bigger conventional drive? I'd recommend moving the user folder to the second drive on those for sure. Then you can get a cheaper, smaller SSD drive. I'd recommend not going smaller than 120 gigs if you're a Photoshop user. The scratch disk can get rather large.

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Thomasj106

Great bit of information to help someone who's never done this before but with a few exceptions:

First, no one should ever be opening any type of computer case without wearing an anti-static wristband attached to the system's chassis. Even something as simple as a hard drive replacement could result in static electricity discharge which can easily destroy fine electronic components. I'm pretty sure that damage from static electricity created during the hard drive replacement will not only destroy electronic components, but your warranty as well.

Second, where did you hear that MacBooks love carpet? You do realize that a piece of carpet, which most are made of some form of nylon, is a great place to CREATE static electricity, right? Most people don't have an anti-static mat so a static free work surface needs to be created. A couple of sheets of newspaper will do if prepped correctly. A fabric dryer sheet works great for surface prep. Rub the table or counter with a Bounce, Gain, Downey, etc dryer sheet. Place a sheet of clean newspaper down and give that a wipe or two with the dryer sheet. Place a second or third sheet down, wiping between sheets. Newspaper can create static electricity, too so the dryer sheet wipe will eliminate static build up and prevent further static electricity from being created. Three sheets of clean newspaper is pretty soft and won't damage the MackBook's finish.

Third, if someone still thinks the carpet idea is great and uses the floor to work on, think of losing a screw in the carpet. That ought to be fun trying to find.

Just some food for thought.

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sportmac

Just put an OWC SSD in. I bought the $15 external case which is handy for putting your old drive in.
Pretty simple and a hailuva speed bump. It's zippy!

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Fion

I love, love, love the external enclosures. They make my life/job easier for all the hard drives I play with. I have one for regular HDDs, as well, in case I need to do trouble shooting. Always a sound investment.

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sportmac

they are. They're only $15 from OWC and great for old drives and also very easy to swap out. I have 3 now and I use them for Time Machine and other fun stuff.

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subaruskip

Hi Flo,

Does CCC copy my bootcamp partition? Or will anything? I don't really want to have to re-install my PC side...

Thanks!

Skip

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Ben

You can use a free application named "WinClone" to copy BootCamp Partitions. I've used it a time or two before and it does the job pretty well. I'll caution you that when you are creating a partition to restore the WinClone image to, it should be a tad bit bigger than your original partition. When cloning, it's typically okay to go from a small drive to a larger drive, but not vice-vera.

Having said that, as much of a pain as it can be, I always just end up redoing my entire Windows partition from scratch when needed.

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Fion

Not entirely sure. I'm going to assume not because when it copies over, it only shows you your OS X directories and the operating system you're currently running.

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carboncow

very helpful but I don't recommend CCC. If you system was slow it will simply put things back the way they were. I did this and was worried something was wrong with my SSD as my boots were taking 30 sec just to get to the apple logo and almost 60 sec overall.

backup via time machine, reinstall the OS and restore. now it runs like I would expect and apple SSD too.

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