A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine decided she wanted to sell her MacBook Pro. I’ve been looking to upgrade the kids’ computer, so I bought it from her, and figured I would give the kids my 13″ Powerbook.

They were at camp, so I was able to do all this without their knowing, and was also able to swap out the hard drives. Almost a year ago, I upgraded the hard drive in my MacBook, and since it’s a 500 mb drive with my entire life on it, I didn’t want to just leave it for the kids.

I got online and went looking for instructions for how to install a new drive in a Macbook Pro. Putting a new drive in the old machine was VERY easy; this time it was a little more difficult, but so long as you’re patient and careful, even a relative neophyte like me can handle it.

The Great Hard Drive Swap of 2010
via flickr

I found some terrific, easy-to-understand instructions on Ifixit.com, cleared away some space, and got to work, taking the drives out of both machines, then moving my 500 mb drive to the new Pro.


via flickr

With the white Macbook, replacing the hard drive required just opening up a slot and putting in the new drive; the Pros require more surgery.

The Great Hard Drive Swap of 2010
via flickr

However, so long as you’re patient, follow the instructions, stay mindful and don’t panic, you really should be fine. Modern electronics are meant to be modular, to be put together by people who aren’t very highly educated (computer assembly stopped being the province of Ph.D.s a couple generations ago), and to be hard to mess up. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to do it.


via flickr

After about an hour, I had the Pro closed up and ready to test. It worked like a dream.


via flickr

The new machine is terrific: the extra 2″ of screen make a significant difference, and I like the backlit keyboard. I may to upgrade the RAM before too long, but that’s more because I can, rather than because the machine needs it.

[To the tune of Michael Nyman Band, “Fish Beach (from Drowning By Numbers),” from the album The Essential Michael Nyman Band (a 3-star song, imo).]