Pimping my MacBook Pro late 2008 – Part 2, installing a SSD as second disk and boot drive

This is the second part in my posting on “pimping my MacBook Pro, late 2008”. In Part 1 I briefly explained how I upgrade the ram to 8 GB.

I’ve finally found a couple of hours to write something up about this experience, it was fun (reminded me the old days when I liked this sort of tinkering with hardware). If you’re not afraid of taking apart your laptop, and that you can keep steady hands in the process, then you can install an SSD on your MacBook Pro and enjoy the gain in speed.

Before I go any further, I must warn you that this little operation can risk damaging your computer, there are lots of warnings about electrostatic hazards. There is also a risk of tearing the fragile wiring that link your DVD drive to the motherboard, because although fragile they are tightly clipped to their connectors. If you really want to give it a go, be sure that you are comfortable doing this. Otherwise I advise that you get an expert’s help. I hope to have warned you enough, DIY’s are always at your own risk.

If I didn’t scare you enough then read on.

I researched a bit more about SSD options, I’ve seen many reviews and all sorts of postings on the subject, in the end I covered the last miles myself and that is why  I thought it worth writing this down. I chose to buy a 60 GB disk as that was just at the sort of price point that I considered reasonable, it cost €76 at Mycom.nl. I thought if I were to buy a larger disk that would be much more expensive then there would be no point in keeping both disks. The first hurdle was to find the bracket for installing the disk in the bay reserved for the DVD drive – Apple call it the SuperDrive, in case you didn’t know that. I could buy it in the US for $79 dollars and pay the taxes here when it arrived. So I ordered again via Amazon US, they have it in their marketplace but the dealer is actually OWC themselves. The package was delivered 14 days later (the site originally suggested 8-10 days delivery from the US), and the Dutch customs charged me €22.57 (ouch!).

I thought the operation would be quick, but it wasn’t all that quick, the partial cloning of my hard disk took almost 3 hours to shift over 35 GB of files.

The first pictures of the SSD installation process.

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Picture of OWC Data Doubler was delivery package
How the OWC Data Doubler was delivered to me
Pictures of the screwdrivers that shipped with the OWC
Screwdrivers that shipped with the OWC
Picture of the SSD taken out of the bulky package
The SSD taken out of the bulky package
The SSD and the OWC Data Doubler bracket ready to use
The SSD and the OWC Data Doubler bracket ready to use
The OWC Data Doubler installation manual
The OWC Data Doubler comes with a detailed installation manual
The SSD mounted on the bracket, ready to be installed on the Mac
The SSD mounted on the bracket, ready to be installed on the Mac

[/captiongroup]

When the preparation was done, it was time to replace the DVD drive with my new disk.

[captiongroup columns=”3″]

My MacBook Pro opened, battery removed cover still on
My MacBook Pro opened, battery removed cover still on
The two fragile cables that must be disconnected from the SuperDrive
The two fragile cables that must be disconnected from the SuperDrive

 

Performing a sensitive disconnection
Performing a sensitive disconnection

[/captiongroup]

If no mistakes was made so far, you really didn’t break those wires (I’m glad I didn’t), then you should end up with something like this.

[captiongroup columns=”3″]

SSD fully mounted
SSD fully mounted
The SuperDrive, no longer useful for me
The SuperDrive, no longer useful for me

[/captiongroup]

Putting back the lid of the MacBook Pro is straightforward. Time to boot up the machine.

I’ve run out of time today, I will post the last part of this experience next time, it will be a short one focused on the tuning I had to do to get things working properly.

3 Replies to “Pimping my MacBook Pro late 2008 – Part 2, installing a SSD as second disk and boot drive”

  1. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But think of if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this website could undeniably be one of the best in its niche. Excellent blog!

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