Upgrading Your MacBook

Last week I finally took the step of upgrading my 4,5 year old MacBook Pro. Although it was working fine for all those years, it had become somewhat slower and the programs all took more space, which lead me to taking of the bottom of my laptop last week.

I replaced the standard 320gb harddrive with a new 500gb SSD drive, and I upgraded the RAM from 4 to 8 GB, making it once again into a racing machine.

The placing of the parts in my laptop was a breeze. I ordered the components, as well as the needed screwdrivers (who thought that you needed a trilobe screwdriver to remove your battery?) from IkFix.nl, the components part of MacRepair, one of the larger Mac repair shops in the Netherlands.

Ordering is really simple, even when you don’t know exactly your type of computer, since they have a handy guide which helps you determine your type, and delivery took just over a day, because I was just late with ordering.

The best part of this shop, however, is that they have a series of instruction videos online in which they show you, step-by-step, how to open your computer, replace the component and close it again. And with the help of that I saved myself quite some money by putting the parts in myself.

So overall I’m very pleased with them, and if I’m ever upgrading one again, I’ll check back at them. Highly recommended.

Just some quick notes about replacing your HDD. Before you take out the old one, it’s a wise idea to copy it to the new drive. I used SuperDuper, which worked perfectly. Beware however, even using a FireWire 800 connection to the external drive it still took about 12 hours to copy the 300 GB, so don’t try to do it on the very last moment.

Also, make sure to run your virusscanner before you start copying. I had some hidden viruses in the spam box of my e-mail, and although they were inactive and hidden away, it still stopped SuperDuper from copying the data. So first run your virusscanner, then start copying your data.

And finally, as a third tip, go find your license key of your Microsoft Office, cause somehow it screws something up internally which means that every time you try to launch it from your new hard drive it will ask for a license key.

Still, overall I’m very happy with the upgrade, and I can recommend it to everyone who doesn’t want to go broke on a new laptop but still wishes to make it go faster.

Header image: Inside of a MacBook Pro Unibody, by Cristoph Bauer on Flickr under CC license.