Sat Aug 29 2009
Extra life for my MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard and inexpensive hardware
I'm using the Snow Leopard upgrade as a chance to add some extra life to my (older) MacBook Pro (2,2).
- Max out memory to 3GB (up from 2 GB) -- $29
- Upgrade hard-drive to 500GB (up from 120GB) - $129 for a 2.5" Seagate Momentus SATA 7200 RPM. My current drive is 5400 RPM, so this will be a speed improvement too.
- I also want to install the OS from scratch as a chance to clean things out.
- Hey, I can then even upgrade my wife's laptop with my 120GB drive!
The steps have been pretty easy:
- Backup whole drive using SuperDuper! to a bootable external drive. If I didn't want to install Snow Leopard from scratch, you could then just transfer your previous OS back to the new hard-drive and be done.
- Upgrade memory, piece of cake
- Upgrade hard-drive. I like to do this sort of thing myself, albeit Apple is the official place to have this done. This takes a Torx 6 screwdriver, and some patience, but was fairly easy to do thanks to http://www.ifixit.com
- Start Installing Leopard. Note that you do not need to install Leopard first for a brand new install. I just put in Snow Leopard, and booted holding down "C" and the installer popped up.
- Since the drive is large, I decided to take an extra step of partitioning my drive into 2. You can run Disk Utility right before starting the install to create these. One partition as my main one for Snow Leopard, and the other as a complete bootable Leopard exactly the way my laptop was before the upgrade -- just in case I forgot something -- and I can easily pull files over while doing the big reinstall-everything-from-scratch step. SuperDuper! makes this easy -- both to backup your drive, and restore it on a new partition.
- Frolic in all my new hard-drive space and anticipated speed improvements -- more memory, faster hard-drive and faster OS.