Replacing a hard drive on a 2008 Macbook

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  • Replacing a hard drive on a 2008 Macbook
  • Premier Icon cb

    Hi all

    I need to upgrade the hard drive. Firstly, is there a particular brand that is recommended?

    I have looked at the support pages on Apple’s website and am fairly comfortable with the unscrewing and replacement bit. What I was after was advice on the best way (reliable, quick, cheap) to back everything up before I remove the old drive.

    Anyone able to explain the stages in simpleton speak?

    Thanks in advance


    Remove the old drive.
    Install it into a USB caddy. [£5]
    Buy an SSD replacement.
    Reinstall OSX from USB drive.
    Copy data onto new SSD via Caddy.
    Erase old Disk and use it as a Time Machine or external storage for Movies/Photos/etc.

    EDIT. Create the bootable USB drive before any of the other steps!


    Grab an external HD and drag the contents of the pictures, music, movies, downloads folders within your users folder to it. Should do the trick if you don’t get too many permissions errors… That will only back up data, not applications though…

    I would go for a Western Digital Black series. Go for the 7200RPM version and you should be OK…



    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot

    Get a SSD. Makes a magical improvement in performance.

    Premier Icon geoffj

    External drive + time machine

    Replace drive, boot with install disk, then point it at the time machine backup when it asks.

    dead easy – I did my iMac the same way

    Premier Icon cb

    If I went for a SSD, any recommendations?


    I just got myself one of these for work–solid-state-drive-80C2.html?src=2

    Bonkers quick, and possibly one of the best prices about at the moment.

    ETA: All the above replies above are smack bang on.

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    +1 for what Geoff did, a few clicks, point it at time machine, sit back with a coffee and it all works. Documents, internet favorites, settings, the lot.

    Got a replacement hd from pc world off the shelf.

    Premier Icon cb

    Time machine covers everything or do I have to check any settings to make sure?

    Thanks for all the help

    Premier Icon cb

    My advice would be to get it right first time – the drive which is in there has a tab on it to make it nice and easy to remove – the drive you are putting in does not. Make sure that all the connections are properly made and the drive will definitely work (are the power requirements for an SSD any different? – I’ve no idea) because without the removal tab, it’s going to be one hell of a job getting the damn thing out again.

    I replaced mine with one advertised as a PS3 hard drive and it worked really well on my macbook.


    You probably can’t make use of a sataIII drive with a macbook that old so maybe better off with a cheaper Sata II one.
    The ‘about this mac’ will tell you the Sata connection.

    Premier Icon cb

    This is the info – can’t say I’m any the wiser. I’ll look for SATA II then. Forgive my ignorance, but would SATA II still be SSD?

    Intel ICH8-M AHCI:

    Vendor: Intel
    Product: ICH8-M AHCI
    Link Speed: 1.5 Gigabit
    Negotiated Link Speed: 1.5 Gigabit
    Description: AHCI Version 1.10 Supported

    Hitachi HTS542516K9SA00:

    Capacity: 160.04 GB (160,041,885,696 bytes)
    Model: Hitachi HTS542516K9SA00
    Revision: BBCAC3GP
    Serial Number: 080131BB0310WCK0STWA
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk0
    Medium Type: Rotational
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Capacity: 209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
    Writable: Yes
    BSD Name: disk0s1
    Macintosh HD:
    Capacity: 159.7 GB (159,697,911,808 bytes)
    Available: 66.2 MB (66,174,976 bytes)
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk0s2
    Mount Point: /


    Negotiated link speed 1.5gb

    Think that’s Sata II?
    Google is your friend.

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot

    I put a Crucial M4 256GB in my 2007 MBP. It’s a SATA III. The MBP wasn’t. The important thing is the physical SATA connector. This ensures the right data/power connections. SATA II or SATA III drive doesn’t make a difference except that your Mac won’t be able to take advantage of the higher transfer speeds of SATA III drives.

    Ensure you have a recent Time Machine backup. Install OS X on your new drive, either when it’s in a caddy connected to your Mac or by replacing the original drive. Physically install the drive in your Mac. Open up the migration assistant. Follow the instructions. It should all work nicely. About the only thing you might want to add is some sort of TRIM utility.

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