The people at Samsung asked me if I would like to install an SSD (Solid State Hard Drive) into my MacBook Pro to show how easy it is. With my schedule being tight I asked Curly Headed Boy if he fancied it instead (as the Big Hairy Northern One was jumping up and down in excitement about an SSD – apparently they are faster and he’d been looking to get one).
Of course CHB was right up for it, so I’m going to pass over my blog to Curly Headed Boy and his ‘new’ cousin Jonny or ‘His Trusty Side Kick’.
As an aside before you watch the VERY funny video (even if you care nothing for computers), don’t you think it is lovely how ‘the trusty side kick’ has been accepted by CHB and Little Dimples (he’s a ‘new’ cousin despite being 23 as one of my brother’s has just got married). Jon arrived on friday, and was launched upon by two very excited children immediately and they didn’t let go until monday morning (they are currently in mourning!).
For any geeks in you there is also a video of the difference in boot time with and without the SSD (ooooh!).
So over to the boys:
When Samsung offered to provide one of their top of the line SSD drives for us to review the offer was very tempting. Claims of faster boot-up times, file searches, app starts-ups, less downtime and lower power usage. It all looked good.
But in a MacBook Pro?
After some reading and discussion, the decision was yes. Having finished the reading the process to replace a hard drive in a MacBook Pro wasn’t complicated. But could a 7 year old open a MacBook Pro, remove the old Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and put in a new Solid State Drive (SSD)? That was the challenge I put to curly headed boy. I may have mentioned he risked Christmas if it went wrong (as you will see!).
The only tools required to do the job are a screwdriver and a torx driver. Oh and a 7yr old prepared to risk Christmas!
The steps involved are
1. Format SSD to Mac OS
2. Clone the original HDD
3. Remove the old HDD
4. Install the new SSD
Step 1. Format SSD to Mac OS
The new drive was connected to the MacBook Pro using a USB/SATA cable. After a minute the new drive showed up but it was not recognized and needed formatting. Open up disk utility and erase the drive reformatting to Mac OS. This took a few minutes.
Step 2. Clone the original HDD
The cloning was completed using Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.bombich.com) and was a simple process. Download the software, select the source, select the destination and press go. Copy time is about 1GB a minute, so the cloning process can be lengthy if the original drive is quite full. This cloning went without a hitch again using the USB/SATA cable.
Steps 3. & 4. Install
Was a case of handing the drive over to curly headed boy. In his own style he then proceeded to follow the instructions.
The whole process from start to finish took about 3 hours as the donor hard drive was not that full and the majority of the time was the cloning. At the end of the video the new machine is booted and to the relief of everyone worked fine first time.
(There was a slight glitch as the instructions were for a PC and we didn’t have a torx driver).
The claims will only be realized over time, but initial impressions are very positive. The first claim of faster bootup can be tested easily here as we have two identical MacBook Pro’s (well they were until the SSD was installed)
As can be seen the SSD is 5 seconds quicker which is a great start for the new SSD. The biggest change is in the start time for things like email etc, which are now pretty immediate.
I’m expecting it to be more resilient, especially with the hard wear that the lap tops get, and something that is very hard disk intensive e.g. video or image processing will be faster.
Curly headed boy is over the moon with his first installation and Christmas has been saved! (No, of course we wouldn’t have cancelled Christmas!).
Update: The Big hairy northern one did a fresh install (big time difference) and a shorter version of Curly Headed Boy, check out his post here:
*Disclosure – we were given a Samsung SSD worth around £400 for the review, but our opinions are our own.