Who is spontaneous, who is wild and above all: where is the cake?
After first basic thoughts about the upgrade and RAM expansion to 8 GB a year ago, I have now decided to replace the standard 500 GB hard drive with a 1 TB SSD. The replacement can be done by yourself without any problems and the Mac will run exactly like before, only everything loads faster. The procedure is described in this article. All descriptions refer to the 15″ version of the MacBook Pro mid-2010 (MacBook Pro 6.2) and Mac OS X 10.9.4 "Mavericks". With a little preparation, you can continue working directly after replacing the hard disk with the SSD.
- 2.Get a 5″ SATA SSD
- USB enclosure for 2.Get 5″ SATA hard drives
- get ready screwdriver Phillips PH00 and Torx T6
- Install SSD into USB case
- if necessary. Disable FileVault encryption of the existing disk and decrypt it
- if necessary. Create boot medium
- Boot system from alternative boot medium
- Connect the SSD via USB and copy the contents of the old, internal hard drive to the SSD using Disk Utility
- Switch off the computer and disconnect it from the power supply
- Open laptop case and replace hard drive with SSD, see below for details
When choosing the SSD, I relied on the suggestion of the reseller I trust (in this case Gravis) and chose a Samsung 840EVO with 1 TB. The stately size for an SSD was set because I wanted to upgrade not only qua speed, but also qua storage capacity. However, meeting the requirements has its price with over 400 €.
Before you can start, you have to make sure that you have the right tools available. To open the MacBook case you need a PH00 Phillips screwdriver. The disk itself is held by Torx T6 screws.
Samsung SSD 840 EVO, PH00 and T6 screwdriver
In order to continue working seamlessly after the upgrade, it is recommended to prepare the SSD accordingly before the installation and to copy the contents of the hard disk onto it. To do this, you first install the SSD in a USB case. An alternative to this approach is to restore a Time Machine backup after the conversion is complete.
The "Icy Box" case I bought with SATA to USB adapter didn’t really turn out to be the first choice. It has a USB 3.0 port, but the MacBook Pro 2010 does not have it and therefore only works with USB 2.0-speed works. An enclosure with a FireWire 800 port would have sped up the copying process, but would also have cost five times as much (ca. 60 € vs. approx. 12 €). Once the installation and removal is complete, the old hard drive can be installed into the case and continue to be used as an external drive.
“Icy Box” USB 3.0 case for 2.5″-SATA hard drive
After the SSD has been placed in the external enclosure, the copying process can begin. In older descriptions you can often find references to special copy programs, but you can save the purchase of these, because the in-house hard disk utility of Mavericks is very suitable. Note that the hard disk can’t be copied if the operating system was booted from it. Therefore I used the instructions of Mac & i resp. Apple itself prepared a 32 GB SD card borrowed from the digicam as boot medium and booted from there. You could also use another USB disk, but please note that creating a boot medium according to the instructions above will erase the medium!
The boot medium can be selected when starting the Mac by holding down the alt key after powering it up. By the way, Apple provides a list of key combinations at system startup, the alt key is called “Option key” at Apple. It might not have been necessary to create a boot medium and starting the on-board recovery system via “EFI Boot” would have been sufficient. Maybe someone else can confirm or deny this.
To avoid problems when copying, I removed the existing FileVault encryption beforehand. The decryption process can run in the background, but you should allow at least half a day for it or let the computer run overnight.
To copy the disk, select the option “Disk Utility” after the system start, there you’ll find the copy function under “Restore”. Since taking a screenshot proved to be difficult in this case, here is a real screenshot for once. &
Screenshot hard disk utility
Select the existing internal hard disk as source and the new SSD in the external enclosure as target medium. In my case it was necessary to format the SSD beforehand. The copying process took about 9 hours for me.
Once the preparation is finished, the actual conversion can begin. To do this, disconnect the MacBook Pro from power, close it, turn it over and open the case according to these instructions from Apple, which actually deal with replacing the memory modules. For this reason, here again is the picture of the opened case with the screws next to it. There are two different lengths of the screws!
MacBook Pro mid 2010 from the inside (during RAM removal a year ago)
This time we don’t deal with the RAM, but with the hard disk. The plate is fixed by two plastic brackets (in the following picture you can see them directly above and below the plate), which are fixed by two PH00 screws each.
Hard disk in the MacBook
In my case it was enough to remove the upper bracket, the disk was then easy to take out. Be careful when disconnecting the SATA connector.
When the disk is out, you have to unscrew the four T6 screws, which are attached to the edges of the disk, here you can see them on the left and right side of the picture.
Hard disk with Torx T6 mounting screws
These screws are then immediately put back into the SSD in the same places, because they hold the SSD in the intended place under the plastic brackets after installation (see above).
And now everything is very quick: Carefully attach the SATA cable to the SSD with the Torx screws, put the SSD in the intended place and secure it with the plastic clip, then the case can be put back on.
MacBook Pro mid 2010 with new SSD
By the way, some manuals on the internet recommend to remove the battery before the modification. However, this is not necessary and Apple strongly advises against it via a sticker on the battery. In addition, it would require another screwdriver.
If you have done everything right and spent the time for the preparation (see above), everything is already done and you will be rewarded with significantly faster loading times, faster booting and generally smoother operation, but otherwise you will find your usual system and can continue working directly. Please note that it may take a little longer than usual until the apple appears on the first startup after installation. After that, however, everything goes much faster.
The SSD is recognized as such in the system report. Whether the application of further tools is meaningful (as in older instructions in the Internet sometimes is recommended) around the Trim mode to activate I cannot judge conclusively, I refrained however first of all from it.
In the meantime I followed the advice from the current issue of a magazine and activated the trim mode with the software “Trim Enabler”, so far everything works fine.
System report after SSD installation
To top it off, you can now put your old hard drive into the USB enclosure and use it as an external drive or just put it in the closet as a backup. Now my MacBook Pro 2010 is fit for the next three to four years! &