MacBook Hard Drive Replacement…

I have a spare 500GB SATA hard drive that I’m not using, so I decided to replace the 250GB internal hard drive. I bought the 500GB hard drive a while back to try to fix my old Mac mini, but I never got it to work again, so I gave up.

For reference, I’m using the article “Simple Hard Drive Cloning/Backup with Carbon Copy Cloner” for step by step directions:

First step was to get a 2.5″ Hard Drive Enclosure so I can clone my existing MacBook internal hard drive to the new one. I got a cheap Vantec NexStar TX 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure from Amazon for under $10. Once I got this in the mail. I installed the new 500GB drive into it, plugged it into my MacBook and formatted it.

Cloning Todipoli Hard Drive

Next, I download the Carbon Copy Cloner app to clone my existing drive onto the new one.

After more than 3 hours of copying files over, I shut down the MacBook, opened the back panel and unscrewed the internal hard drive. I then swtiched it with the new drive… powered it on… and it booted up with everything pretty much the same. The only big difference was that I have way more hard drive space.

Available Space

Now, I’ll keep the original hard drive (in the USB hard drive enclosure) for a couple months, just in case something goes wrong with the new drive.

New iMac Hard Drive…

On Christmas Eve, my 20" iMac’s hard drive began to fail and intermittently work and not work. When I tried using my account, the spinning rainbow ball would just spin and spin and it would take forever to get something to work, so I remembered just forcing the iMac off by pressing the power button.

After a while, it eventually died and all I got was a flashing folder icon with a question mark… so the iMac would no longer start.

I talked with an Apple Support person about a week ago and they told me the the iMac had all the symptoms of a dead hard drive. He said that since it’s out of warranty, I can either try to fix it myself by buying a new hard drive and installing it myself. He even suggested searching YouTube for "hard drive iMac replacement". The second option was to bring it into an Authorized Apple Center, which was Macvolk in Concord.

I opted for the later, since the videos on YouTube were really intimidating… plus I tried to replace the hard drive on my Mac mini and I think I killed it, since it does work. I called Macvolk, and told them I would try to find a day off and bring it in.

Earlier this week, I was telling our Mark (our I.T. guy) and Ed (my coworker) and they suggest that I fix it myself. They said I can do it… hehe… plus they said I can get a 1TB hard drive for under $100… so that’s what I did…

I got the hard drive yesterday in the mail and with the help of iFixIt’s hard drive replacement guide. I embarked on repairing the iMac myself. I was nervous about opening the iMac up and bring it, but after getting through a few stumbling blocks, it started up…

iMac Innards (3)  iMac Innards (1)

I also decided to document it by taking time lapse photos of my progress. I use my regular XSi camera, but I also used my new PlantCam time lapse camera.

When I review the photos, I noticed that the PlantCam didn’t take photos of my whole progress. It stopped in the middle of it. I then realized that it was because the PlantCam has a programmed shut off time (so the camera would not take photos in the dark if placed outside)… and the time was set to 12 midnight… Oh well…

So after I got the hard drive replace and iMac put back together, I restarted it with a Mac OS X install disk and it worked… It took a while to install the base Mac OS X, since the hard drive was blank… so I left to continue overnight and now I’m installing other programs into it.

One last thought, I think I should get a portable hard drive to use as a backup for this iMac, using Time Machine… If I backup it up before, I could have just restored all the data… There are five accounts on the iMac now and since the hard drive fail, all that data is pretty much lost…