MacBook Pro Rejuvination: Upgrading to a SSD
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For the last 6 months or so, but especially after I began iOS development, my poor, not-that-old 2011 MacBook Pro has not been able to keep up. It was experiencing major lag running Apple’s IDE for iOS and OSX, Xcode, and nearly locked up when I ran Simulator. I’d intended to replace my laptop in the next few months, but changing plans meant I had to put that on hold. But, the lag time and resource hogging of the tools that were required for the program meant I had to find some sort of solution. The instructor at The Iron Yard mentioned that upgrading the hard drive to solid state drive as a viable solution. I upgraded the memory a couple of years ago, but at the time, dismissed the idea of doing the drive because they were fairly expensive for the sizes available. When I looked again earlier this week, the price for 512Gb drive was reasonable (well, compared to a brand new laptop), so I went ahead and ordered the parts.
This was – hands down – the easiest hardware upgrade I’ve ever installed, with the highest return in improved speed.
Stuff I bought, and things I did:
- Tired 2011 MacBook Pro
- Samsung 850 Pro 512 Gb SSD
- SATA to USB 3.0 cable
- CarbonCopy Cloner (they have a free 30 day trial, but the product was impressive enough that I will be buying for BDR)
- Clean up your computer – take off unneeded & limited license programs, obsolete files, empty the trash.
- Plug in the SSD directly to your computer
- Erase using the Disk Utility program already on the computer
- Clone your hard drive to the SSD using CarbonCopy Cloner (astoundingly simple to use)
- Turn off computer. Remove the back cover and touch a piece of metal to discharge static electricity. Remove the bracing around the hard drive (4 small screws). This will require a tiny Phillips head screwdriver – make sure that it is not magnetic. You will also want to be very careful with the screws, most of them are very tiny.
- Carefully remove the cable connected to the hard drive – pull on the connector, not the cable itself – then attach the SSD.
- Seat the drive, reinstall the bracing and back cover, then turn on the computer.
- It may take a few extra seconds for the initial boot, but should now be speedy beast!
The ONLY difference I noticed when I had upgraded the drive was having to reauthenticate a few of my web services that used 2-factor authentication. Everything else was identical – settings, tweaks, files, programs, etc.
Tags: hardware, tools