Friday, February 18, 2011

A Hybrid HDD For My MacBook Pro

In 1994, while working for the Singapore Press Holdings; I discovered the versatility of the Apple Macintosh computer.

My wife thought I had gone loco because I took a S$8,400-00 loan from the company and bought myself a Quadra 840 AV!

Mind you, the 840AV was the FASTEST Apple Macintosh you can buy and it came with 4MB of RAM!

From that day onwards, I was addicted to Mac and there is no turning back ;) And why do I love Mac? Better let well known photographer Ken Rockwell tell you why! Hee hee..

Through the years I owned a couple of G4 desktops and finally in 2007, I bought myself a MacBook Pro (MBP) when we were visiting San Francisco.

The MBP was my computer of choice the last four years, everything I need done on a computer were done on my MBP!

After crunching out billion of data, the default HDD in my MBP sound a bit different, it is time for a new disk before the 2.5" Hitachi kick the bucket :)

While searching for a replacement in Ascent, my favorite on line hard/soft wares shop; I saw this!

According to Seagate, they claimed:

"The Seagate® Momentus® XT drive is a solid state hybrid with Seagate® Adaptive Memory™, enabling the drive to deliver SSD-like performance along with higher capacity.

Designed with high-performance core components on an innovative platform, the Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive consists of a 7200-RPM hard drive with 32MB of cache, 4GB of solid state SLC NAND flash storage and Adaptive Memory technology.

Adaptive Memory technology intelligently monitors your frequently used applications and data files, then places them into the solid state portion of the drive so they can be quickly recalled."

All these goodies for NZ$204.00! Sound good! I decided that will be my replacement drive for my MBP!

Better still, it was my birthday! I announced to my two Qian Jin 金 (daughters) this shall be my birthday present :)

OWC post this excellent video showing how you can replace the hard drive yourself. Not as simple as I thought! I seek help from my work colleague Nigel who will do the replacement for me :)

Nigel went and borrowed the tool set from our I.T. guy...

It was an impressive tool set, BUT it do not have the two screwdrivers that were needed for the job! The two screwdrivers are: #00 Phillips Screwdriver and a Torx T6 Screwdriver.

We did some Goggling and found out that Dick Smith have a screwdriver set that include those two that we need. I went and bought the set for NZ$12.99.

These "Made In China" tools are so darn cheap now! Never mind if they are not really "precision", for $12; they are as good as they get.. perfectly usable! Good enough!

I had the OWC instructional video in a memory stick, Nigel is referring to the step by step on screen.

Undoing the tiny screws, they are really tiny; so avoid dropping them!

Some of the tiny Phillips screws, an uncluttered desk help!

The battery is out and the MBP is ready to be turn around for keyboard removal.

Since we do not have the plastic plying tool, Nigel used a steel ruler which work; the keyboard is being held by clips which are gently ply open.

You can see the hard disk on the lower left corner of the MBP.

After unplugging the HDD connector, the hard disk is taken out and the supporting plastic holders on the side removed.

The Old and the New... no prize for telling which is which :)

Now all you have to do is to do all the steps, backwards... ha ha ha. Nigel is getting very good at this now. In no time my MBP is sealed and everything work! But wait... what about all the data?

Putting back the data...

My plan:

1. Connect my external USB drive with the Time Machine back-up files to the MBP.

2. Boot up the MBP with the OS X 10.5 install disk.

3. Launch the Time Machine.

4. Do a complete restore of the last back-up.

Hunky Dory, right?


After wasting a couple of hours and when the MBP announced the restore is done, I reboot but NOTHING! Cold sweat!

A quick search in my wife's DELL, Peee Ceee; I discovered that the freaking Apple Time Machine CANNOT do a complete bootable restore! So why is it called a TIME MACHINE? Duh!!

My old 2.5" drive inside a ICY DOCK case.

I should have just shove the original HDD into a $67.00 2.5" SATA HDD Case and boot from there, which I did and once it boot; I launch Carbon Copy Cloner and clone everything back into the new Seagate XT HDD! Which I did! And everything work!

My beloved MBP back on it's cooling pad and reconnected to a 19" flat screen monitor.

And you were wondering how the Seagate XT perform? I did not carry out any scientific test but it does feel faster :) For real world test, go watch this and read this while I go and work my MBP again!


All is NOT WELL in hybrid land!!

You would want to read the following:

Hybrid HDD Hiccup!!

New Fix for Hybrid HDD!

1 comment:

External Hard Drive Prices said...

Thank for post a step-by-step instructional photos and videos on how to replace a hard drive in a laptop.