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Upgrade Your Apple MacBook: Data Backup and Preservation.

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My Mac hard disk got really fat and full, it was disgusting. This problem is happening to many people who have bought the original MacBooks. They are feeling the distinctly tight pinch of a small hard drive. I bought my macbook ~2 years ago and it came with a 60Gig hard disk, clearly not enough for our information-dense age. I quickly filled up and had to erase and re-erase old information. I lost an entire instructable after erasing a folder of pictures to make room for more.

Here's how I upgraded my hard drive to 320 Gigs while upgrading to Mac OS X Leopard and installing Time Machine. All while keeping all my old applications and data safe.

If you follow these instructions:
Your past work will be fossilized .
Your present work will be preserved..
And your mac will become a spacious palace to contain all your work.
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

For the amount of an upgrade you will wind up with the ~$150 price tag is pretty small. I had been deleting things every day trying to make room for daily activities. I'm now making many more videos and my programs run without "clogging up" by filling scratch disks.

Here's what you'll need and the links show you where you can find them:

Optional Bits:

Step 2: Prepare The Newbie

Open up the package your new hard drive came in. Cute isn't it? It's like a newborn beast of burden, ready to do your bidding. Now you must put on its harness.

Now open up the hard disk enclosure and insert the hard disk into it, it should just plug in pretty simply. When everything is closed back up well screw in the two screws and you should be ready to plug it in. Or is it....
vincent75203 years ago
Great Instructable !!!…
The problem is the comments from other instructablers : they get me all confused and I'm stuck where I was !…
knex_mepalm3 years ago
 I would eat my virtual cement hat then wear the apple logo.
 Shameless fanboy-ism
Solderguy5 years ago
You can also get Nero 8 and back-up your information by burning it on several Dvd's.
True, but this hard disk approach has the advantage of editting data. The burned DVDs are read only. Plus this means less stuff to carry around, and for a laptop that can be a real help.
DVDRW?
"Plus this means less stuff to carry around, and for a laptop that can be a real help."
You can leave your backup discs at home...
DVDRW doesn't mean you can use it like a hard drive, it just means you can erase it and reuse the disc. They are usually a waste of time because by the time you use the disc more than 5 times they are scratched to hell already...
i know that..
lupinesoul5 years ago
That is disgusting... I mean, the poor guy has to wear the Apple logo!!!
i know right, i would rather eat a rubber waffle
Gamer9174 years ago
one thing you forgot: how to install windows
funnelhead5 years ago
There is no need whatever to zero the data - but what you DO have to do is repartition the disk. This is because if the disk has the wrong partition type, your Mac will not be able to boot from it. You can repartition as a single partition; that will erase the disk and ensure bootability, and it only takes a second or two. Assuming that this MacBook is Intel-based, you need to ensure that it is partitioned using GUID. See http://db.tidbits.com/article/8405 for more info.
GUID is vital since the Instructable also does a Leopard upgrade at the end. I did the whole thing (hours of work!!) just to have it fail at the end since the drive was not partitioned correctly. GUID is necessary for Leopard to install.

It is ridiculous that this guy mentions zero'ing the HD (a process that took 6+ hours on my 500gb drive), which is totally unnecessary, and yet omits the REQUIRED step of selecting GUID.

This instructable should be fixed or better yet, see this web page, which is far better:
http://obscuredclarity.blogspot.com/2008/10/500gb-macbook-harddrive-upgrade-for.htmlhttp://obscuredclarity.blogspot.com/2008/10/500gb-macbook-harddrive-upgrade-for.html
Indeed! Partition type is key. I had done a very similar project on my Intel iMac: bought a new disk, put it in an external enclosure, formatted the disk, backed up the current HD to the new one (I used Carbon Copy Cloner), then attempted to boot from it and it wouldn't. Had to re-partition to get the right partition type (not something you can change after the fact!) and run the backup all over again. Then everything was fine, though getting to the HD in a 20" iMac was a challenge. You might want to amend the instructions to mention partition type.
Derin5 years ago
I have a 160 now and it is totaly full.I can't free more than two gigs on it,no matter how many stuff I erase.
Derin Derin5 years ago
Also,I like Macs.I never used one,but I would like to.
pvinh5 years ago
Great instructions. 80GB for video editing is a joke. Quick question, is it possible to use the old HD in the enclosure as the external backup drive for Time Machine? It's a perfectly good drive, no need to waste it, right? Is the space too small? I presume TM uses some sort of compression during backup.
jackass15 years ago
for the love of god,! what possessed you to wear a one piece bathing suit with an apple logo on it?
acaz935 years ago
One more thing (no pun intended ...) Don't forget to format the drive as GUID or else the leopard installation may fail , (believe , It's experience )
jlpryan5 years ago
Great article. Thanks. Please confirm this drive should work...
Western Digital Scorpio Hard Drive - 2.5", SATA, 320 GB, 3 Gb/s, 8 MB Cache, 5400 RPM - Internal Hard Drive, http://www.buy.com/prod/western-digital-scorpio-hard-drive-2-5-sata-320-gb-3-gb-s-8-mb-cache/q/loc/101/206459164.html

Cheers!
Thanks very much for this instructable, worked like a charm. Just did it to my MacBookPro. A few diferences with respect to opening a MBP, there are a lot more screws (19!, you literally have to lift the hood of this thing), and the hard drive has a sort of damper screws on its sides (to absorb vibrations, I'm assuming). But apart from that, all worked just like you said it would. Thanks very much!
smuzta5 years ago
Is 250GB the largest HD you can get right now? I have filled up my 160 GB HD and am concerned that I'll fill up the 250GB pretty quickly. It seems like a lot of space, but I just have a ton of graphics, etc. that are memory hogs.
Is there a size restriction on the hard drive? (not physical size like size as in memory) Great Instructable! Thanks Joe
the limit would be the limit of technology i don't believe there r 2.5" sata drives over 500gb at the moment
Thanks for the speedy reply. So will a mac be able to read a drive that big. I am running leopard. Thanks Joe
all macs new then 2006 have no drive limits
Thanks for the info!!! Great news to here! Thanks Joe!
Richiepoo5 years ago
I have a first gen Macbook and I'm definitely doing this! Great Instructable!
thewineguy5 years ago
Very good, well-illustrated guide overall. Just a small correction:
Yes, SuperDuper! is free, to try. But, we who continue to use it buy it for, at present, $27.95 with free upgrades for life. As a frequent—often daily—user of SuperDuper! for more than five years, I assure you it's well worth it. It's simple, flexible, fast and very easy to operate. And, when you're not sure about what you're trying to do, you can expect to receive a detailed answer to your email within a couple of hours, if not a few minutes.
And when you buy SuperDuper! you get access to the 'SmartClone' feature which only copies files that have changed since your last clone, so you can finish the process in a relative blink of of an eye (20 minutes vs. several hours in my experience).
Agreed.
winexprt5 years ago
Hi. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the third task above in step 4 confuses me.

"Select your current hard drive on the right, and the USB external new drive on the left"

Which, the way I'm reading the menu fields would mean I'm copying a new, blank hard drive onto my existing one? How does that help me??? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Please clarify...
lamedust (author)  winexprt5 years ago
Yes, it should. Sorry I flipped them, picture 3 shows you the correct way, I'll fix the text. -bg
larwe5 years ago
This method of doing things is a bit rigmarolish and not SOP. The easiest way to achieve exactly the same net effect is: 1. Place the new blank drive in your MacBook. 2. Place your old hard disk in the SATA enclosure. Don't connect it to the computer yet. 3. Install OS on MacBook. 4. Plug in the SATA drive and copy across anything you need from your old hard drive.
The Eck larwe5 years ago
How about after you install the OS on the new internal drive you use the Migration Assistant to copy everything you want from the old drive (that is now in an enclosure). Be sure it's hooked up via firewire. It ought to show up as a "partition" or other volume, but not as another Mac.
lamedust (author)  larwe5 years ago
That surely would work if you wanted a back up. But you would have to individually copy everything while not copying any of the operating system. This way all your programs and files are there and your computer seems the same, but larger. -bg
rbanker5 years ago
One thing to note... I did this myself on my first-gen MacBook a few months ago and the screws holding the hard drive into the casing on my system work were torx #9s. I found a set of torx keys at the local Lowe's hardware, but #9s are typically only used in electronics, and so weren't the easiest things to find.
Evermorian5 years ago
You can also accomplish this with Carbon Copy Cloner. CCC is donationware - free to use, donations appreciated.
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