#Mac disaster!

So, two days ago I happened to open Disc Utility on my mac to see that the SMART status of my internal hard drive was failing. After a quick google I discovered this was pretty much game over for HD, and rather quickly emptied an external hard drive to run time machine and make a complete backup of my mac.

This took overnight and luckily the HD saw it through. I tried to run it again just to be sure, but by that point the HD had died. I tried to restart the machine but to no avail... 

I've been doing a lot of work on my Mac recently, and it also houses a lot of the video and audio work I did at university, so I very quickly jumped onto Amazon to order myself a new HD to try and rectify the problem to get back on with things. 

When browsing for HDs though, I found the SATA disc drives to be much cheaper than I thought. I decided to go the whole hog and bought 2 1TB drives and a disc drive mounting bay (the DVD drive on my mac has been shoddy for years). It would've been nice to go the SSD route but I have gone for capacity over speed.  

I do quite a lot of fixing computers in my day job, but had heard Macs were much more difficult to upgrade than a Windows laptop. This, and the fact it was my own machine which I'd bought with my own money made me ever so slightly paranoid. Still, I gave it a shot and now have a functioning 2TB MacBook Pro. 

I used a couple of videos online to help, but couldn't find a specific one for my model. I also dislike YouTube videos for this and would much prefer a written step by step guide. Unfortunately, I can't create this as due to my paranoia I quickly forgot about wanting to take pictures of the process. I will offer a couple of hints and tips though!
  • You should have a T6 screwdriver and some precision small philips screwdrivers. Some magnetic ones make this much easier to put back together.
  • I couldn't disconnect the battery like so many guides had suggested, as in the mid 2009 model the battery needs to come out before you can disconnect the cable from the logic board. The T set of screwdrivers I had didn't seem to have the 1.5 size I apparently would've needed to remove the battery. As such, I prized the connector away from the board as much as I could using a plastic tool, and left it at that. It all worked fine.                              
  • When removing the original hard drive, there are four screws holding it in place. A little plastic retainer to the top side of the drive comes out allowing the HD to slide out safely.
  • When the old drive is out, you need to remove the four screws in it, and then put them in your new drive. This allows the new drive to be securely fastened by the plastic retainer. 
  • For the second drive in the caddy, there were four screws ready to hold the drive in place. These simply needed loosening, the drive inserting, and then tightened again. 
  • When removing the DVD drive, there was some cabling glued to the drive itself. Carefully peel this off. When the caddy is in place simply stick it back down using the residual adhesive. 
  • I was unsure which cable to remove from the logic board when removing the DVD drive. So, I undid the screws and removed the drive gently, until some resistance was felt by the cable. I then used a plastic tool to remove the cable from the board. This then comes off the DVD drive and onto your HD caddy. 
  • Make sure to take off the metal screw hole attached to the DVD drive when you've removed it, and put it onto your HD caddy so you can secure it in place. When you put in the caddy holding your 2nd drive, it should slot back in quite easily, and the screw on the right will screw in easily. The 2 on the left are in an extremely tight gab however, and I suggest starting them off using a magnetic phillips screwdriver. 
  • When your drives are in and you boot your mac, if you cloned your hard drive it'll just boot as normal. You will need to go to disc utility to format your new drive (I used Mac OS Extended Journaled for the new internal drive).
  • If you plan to restore from a Time Machine backup and are using Lion or later, firstly boot up your mac holding CMD-R to bring up the recovery menu. Before selecting restore from Time Machine backup, select Disc Utility and format the drive (Mac OS Extended Journaled). When you go back and select Time Machine, it'll now pick up the drive and allow you to restore. 

And that's it! My useful hints and tips about upgrading the HD, and adding a second internal HD to a mid 2009 Macbook Pro. It wasn't as difficult as I thought - just a bit nerve wracking. And it helped to have a second person on hand to hold things steady. I hope at least one person maybe is helped by this. I was shocked at just how much this boosted performance of my mac. For a machine which is 5 years old, it's now extremely nippy once again. If you decide to do the same with SSDs, no doubt you'll notice an even more dramatic increase in performance. 



The HD caddy I bought:

External USB HD enclosure I have used lots of times before, should you need one:

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