What You Need to Know to Replace Your Macbook Hard Drive

It’s pretty much an accepted fact that eventually your Macbook will slow down and you will have to buy a new one. While it’s true that technology can wear out and eventually break down, purchasing a new one isn’t always the best choice, especially if you want to save some money.

If you have an older Macbook the likelihood that your hard drive is an older style HDD (Hard disk drive) is pretty high. One of the best ways to quickly boost the speed of your Macbook is to upgrade your hard drive to an SSD (Solid State Drive).

But basically it comes down to the fact that HDDs have moving parts and are a lot slower than the newer SSDs that are quite a bit similar to the SD cards you put in a camera or phone. SSDs are so fast that they often increase your computer’s boot time to just a few seconds. If that hasn’t convinced you yet, SSDs are also less prone to failure because there aren’t any moving parts, and they use half the energy of a typical HDD.

Hopefully you’re seeing the benefits by now. So what does it take to replace your macbook hard drive? It’s actually not too difficult, a caveman probably couldn’t do it, but a person with the right tools could definitely get the job done.

What you need:

  • A SATA-to-USB cable such as this one
  • Your new SSD (Your selection will vary depending on the amount of storage you want, but finding something similar to this is a good bet.)
  • A torx screwdriver 
  • A small phillips head screwdriver (Having a kit like this can be quite handy for installations like this.)

Installing macOS on your new SSD

  1. Connect your new SSD to your Macbook with the SATA-to-USB cable
  2. Navigate to your Applications Folder and then click on the Disk Utility option.
  3. You should see the new SSD listed, so click on it and select the Partition option.
  4. Click on the Options box at the bottom of the menu
  5. Choose GUID Partition Table
  6. You will need to Verify Disk Permissions by clicking on the First Aid Tab.
  7. Click on Repair Disk Permissions, Verify Disk, and then Repair Disk.
  8. Restart your Macbook and then hold the Option Key during bootup to launch into the recovery center. You will want to select the option to boot from the Recovery Disk you just made.
  9. Select the option to reinstall macOS, and choose your new SSD drive as the destination drive.
  10. Once the OS has been installed on the new SSD, the system will ask if you want to restore files from another disk. If you want a nice clean install then you will want to say no, however if you need all of the files on your old hard drive then select it from the list and it will begin copying to your new SSD.

Installing the SSD in your Macbook

Once macOS is installed on your new SSD and you’ve transferred your files, it’s time to install the SSD into your Macbook. Make sure your Macbook is turned off before proceeding with these steps.

  1. Start by flipping your Macbook over.
  2. Remove the ten philips screws holding the bottom in place.
  3. Remove the bottom and locate your hard drive. It should be held in place by a small plastic piece.
  4. Remove the screws securing the plastic piece.
  5. Carefully remove the hard drive as it will be attached to a SATA cable.
  6. Holding the SATA connector itself, remove it from the hard drive and put the hard drive off to the side.
  7. Grab your new SSD and attach the SATA cable to it.
  8. Set the SSD into the same place the hard drive was in.
  9. Screw the plastic piece back in to secure the SSD.
  10. Screw the bottom of your Macbook back on and you should be good to go.

Once these steps are completed you should be able to turn on your Macbook and boot straight into your new SSD. If these steps seemed overly difficult or you are worried about messing up your laptop, there is no need to worry. Finding a professional computer repair company can be a great way to upgrade your computer and still save money. 

Companies like Dave’s Computers specialize in Macbook repair and upgrades. They can even help you pick out the right SSD to get the job done, and this way you wouldn’t need to bother buying extra tools or SATA-to-USB cables. So if you’re a local to New Jersey try stopping in at 415 Amwell Road, Suite 103, Hillsborough NJ 08844, or check them out online.

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