MacBook SSD replacement, part one

I decided to take the plunge today and replace my MacBook hard drive with one of the SSDs I bought last week. I had been going back and forth on whether to just copy the old drive to the new one and swap them, or to do a fresh install on the new drive, and then copy data and reinstall apps. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to do the fresh install. I’m not sure if I’ve ever even done a fresh install of OS X. I got my first OS X iBook in 2002, and I may actually still be using the same install from that, just upgraded and/or migrated over and over. So it’s time.

But so far it’s been a comedy of errors. First, I wanted to hook up the SSD to my ThinkPad so I could run the Samsung utility program on it, and make sure the firmware was up to date. I went ahead and hooked it up, using my BlacX dock, but the Samsung utility didn’t see it. I guess it only works on drives that are mounted internally. So I decided to just trust that it was in good shape and running the current firmware. (The other one was, and it’s reasonable to assume they came from the same batch.)

Next, I needed to make a bootable USB key with the OS X Yosemite installer. I didn’t save the installer after my upgrade, so I had to download it again. Then, I used DiskMaker X to create the USB installer. I got an error on that the first time I tried it, but I tried a second time, and it worked fine.

Once that was done, and I’d cleaned things up on the old drive and shut it down, I went through the work of unscrewing everything and replacing the drive. That was easy enough to do, with a little help from iFixit.

Then, I screwed everything together, booted from the USB key, and started the install. That went great, no issues. Until it was all done, and I saw that it was a 10.9 Mavericks install instead of a 10.10 Yosemite install. D’oh. Apparently, I spaced out and downloaded the Mavericks installer from the app store instead of the Yosemite installer, and didn’t notice it until after the install was done. So now I need to upgrade the Mavericks install to Yosemite. So I’m doing that now. It’s going to take a while to download, so this is really going to slow down the process. But it’s not the end of the world.

One other issue I’m having is that I don’t have the right kind of Torx screwdriver to remove the retaining posts from the old hard drive. That’s not a big deal, since the Samsung SSD seems to fit in there snugly without them. But I can’t fit the old drive in my BlacX dock with the screws still in it. So I’m putting it in a different enclosure instead, with the cover off, since I can’t slide it in with those screws sticking out. So that should be good enough to get the data over from the old drive to the new one, but I’m going to want to get those Torx screws out at some point, so I can fit the drive into an enclosure and use it as a backup drive.

Oh, and I guess the other error I made is that I’m not sure I got the right screws in the right holes when screwing the case back together, as apparently there are two slightly different kinds of 3.5mm screws, and I didn’t notice that, so not all the screws are quite flush, the way they should be. So I think I need to unscrew them, look at them more closely, then screw them back in correctly, so everything is nice and neat again.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some time to kill while Yosemite downloads. Sigh. Well, it’s time for lunch anyway.

One thought on “MacBook SSD replacement, part one”

  1. NyQuil is a great power for good and evil.

    If you still have time after lunch torx screwdrivers or a multitool including the torx bits you want aren’t nearly as hard to come by as they used to be.

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