MacBook Pro Upgrade with Hitachi 500GB Hard Drive

After I purchased Dora the Explorer, Season One from the iTunes Store, I discovered that it was also time to upgrade the hard drive inside the MacBook Pro. With only 4GB free, I decided that I should not wait any longer. There were only so many file that I could delete without regret.

So, I headed to Other World Computing and purchased a Hitachi 500GB Travelstar 5K500, which is suitable only for the MacBook Pro 17-inch. OWC also was selling a Samsung 500GB Spinpoint M6, which should fit inside a MacBook Pro 15-inch. I also picked up an OWC On-The-Go Firewire 800 case.

When the hard drive arrived, I inserted it into the OWC case and connected it to the MacBook Pro. After I formatted the new drive using Disk Utility, I cloned my 160GB Fujitsu internal hard drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. This took about 3 1/2 hours. In retrospect, I think the Firewire 800 case was overkill. I would have been fine with a Firewire 400 case. Anyways, I designated the external drive as the Startup Drive (under System Preferences) and rebooted the MacBook Pro. With the MacBook Pro starting up without any problems, I knew that the hard drive was good to go.

Next, I followed the instructions on iFixit for installing a hard drive on a MacBook Pro 17″. Just follow the instructions and keep your screws labelled. After each step, I placed the screws on a piece of white paper and wrote down the location and step associated with the screws. The only problem I came across was one screw that I couldn’t loosen. A friend stopped by and used a flat-head screwdriver to remove it. Other than that, it was pretty straightforward.

Once the MacBook Pro was reassembled, I started it up. System Profiler now shows a Hitachi hard drive with a capacity of 465.44 GB. Not quite 500 GB.

4 comments… add one
  • John Nov 6, 2008 Link

    how is the noise level in the new drive? is it louder than your old drive? I’m considering upgrading the same type of laptop as yours. Mine came with a 160GB Hitachi disk, that is incredibly quiet. I love that part about it….

  • Ken Chan Nov 7, 2008 Link

    Hi John. I never noticed any noise coming from the hard drive until you asked. Usually, the ambient noise in the office drowns out every sound except when the fan kicks in occasionally. However, here I am in front of the MacBook Pro at 6 in the morning, the house is perfectly quiet, and I can hear the gentle sound of the hard drive. It is not loud, it is not noisy, but it is perceptible.

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