- T6 screwdriver
- PH000 philips screwdriver
- SATA to USB connector ( or SATA to Thunderbolt if you feel like spending the cash)
- Apples DiskUtility Application
- 2.5 inch SATA SSD (e.g. Samsung 850 EVO), size is up to you
Write Speed (16GB file, lower the values of the bs and count params for a smaller file)
52.872 MB/sec write speed
50.6726 MB/sec read speed
Also, in the Disk tab of the ActivityMonitor you can see a real-time measurement of reads/writes per second, which where an approximate match to the values I got above.
Hook up the new driveThe next thing to do is clone the current disk over to the SDD. I used a SATA to USB connector I found online to connect it to the Mac and I used the DiskUtility app to clone the disk.
Once you plug the disk into the USB port you should get a pop-up message that says "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer."
Options are Initialize..., Ignore or Eject.
I chose Initialize, which will automatically open the DiskUtility application. At this point you should see an orange icon with the size, brand and model of your SSD. In my case it showed "250.06 GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250G Media".
The disk I am replacing is showing as "250.06 Hitachi HTS545025B9SA02 Media".
Format the new driveNext up is formatting the new drive. To do this select the new drive, select the Erase tab, select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" for the format and give the new partition a name. I named mine "Macintosh SSD". Double check that you have the correct drive selected, then click the Erase button, you'll get a confirmation box.
Clone the old driveNext, we will use the Restore function to essentially clone the original drive.
Choose the Restore tab, drag and drop the original disk partition into the Source field, then drag and drop the new disk partition (that was created by the format) into the Destination field. Then click the Restore button. Be careful with this part because clicking on one of the drives without dragging it will cause either the Source or Destination fields to change.
If you get a pop-up saying "The startup disk can’t be used as a restore source." then you will have to do this from the recovery console.
To get into recovery mode follow the instructions here or hold down Command+R immediately after restarting your Mac and continue to hold it until you get the utilities window.
Once you're in, repeat the drag-n-drop steps above. It took about 2 hours for the cloning process to complete. After the cloning process is complete, click on the apple icon and choose Shut Down.
Swap out the drivesNow you can flip the laptop over, take out the screws to the cover, unscrew the two screws in the bracket holding the drive in place, gently lift the drive up just enough to pull the SATA connector off of the old drive (don't handle the ribbon, just the connector), take out the 4 screws on the old hard drive (you'll need the T6 for this part). Installation of the new drive is the reverse of the steps above.
Test results after the swap:
196.577 MB/sec write speed
272.187 MB/sec read speed
What do I do with the old drive?
I used the same SATA to USB connector that I used for the SSD to hook up my old drive.
Start up disk utility , select the old drive, go to the Erase tab, select Security Options, slide the slider all the way to the right to the most secure option, then select Erase. This will take a while, but the 7 pass erase will ensure that nothing can be recovered. Then take the hard drive to your trusty computer part disposal company where they will also take steps to securely destroy the drive by either shredding it completely or drilling holes in the drive.