The Cave Music Services

I Upgraded the Hard Drive In My MacBook Pro

MBPro with a new drive

My main computer in the recording studio is a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro cca. 2007. The hard drive that it came with was only 120 GB, which isn't very big when you have a number of recording projects on the go, lots of photos, iTunes full of tons of music and so on. So I ordered a 320 GB drive and external USB2 enclosure from Other World Computing (only $115 after a rebate). Swapping in the new drive was surprisingly easy. Here are the main steps.

1. Install the 320 GB drive in the external enclosure, connect it to the MBPro, and format the drive using Apple's Disk Utility.

2. Create a clone of the original 120 GB drive onto the new 320 GB drive. I used an app called SuperDuper. The basic version is free, and it works great. It's very easy to use.

3. Install the new 320 GB drive into the MBPro. Shut down the computer first (obviously)! This is a little tricky, but not to be feared if you're reasonably handy with a screwdriver. The newer MBPros are designed for easy hard drive swapping, but mine wasn't - you have to take the thing apart. I followed a great instructional video from OWC. There are about 24 teensy weensy little itsy bitsy screws, and a couple of flimsy ribbon connectors to handle, so you have to be a little careful. Take your time, keep your little screws organized in the order you take them out, and it's a piece of cake. You'll need an anti-static wrist strap, a Philips #00 screwdriver, a Torx T6 screwdriver, and a strong thin plastic wedge tool for levering off the casing. I used a 1 mm guitar pick for that.

4. Once everything was back together, I booted up the computer, and checked to make sure it was working fine. I put the 120 GB drive into the external enclosure, and I'm going to keep the data on it until I'm really sure everything is working 100%. After about four weeks of using the computer, I have encountered no problems. Eventually I'll wipe the 120 GB and use it as a backup, or for offline storage.