07-06-2010, 06:11 PM
It has been a while since I posted in these forums (well, I did post some stuff last week, but I mean in the grander scheme of things) so I thought I would share this experience for anyone in the future who might be searching the forums for information.
I have a 1st Generation MacBook Pro (Week 11 production) and have already upgraded the Ram to 2Gb. I was running OSX 10.4.11 with the stock 80Gb Toshiba 5200 drive which came in the laptop.
When I got the iPhone 4 I realised Tiger wasn't going to cut the mustard anymore and besides, I had been dodging the upgrade bullet too long. So here is what I did, and found out, along the way...
I thought if I was going to go from Tiger to Snow Leopard 10.6.4 I might as well get a new hard drive as the one in the laptop was the original and it had done some hefty work in it's time. So, after a day of Googling and thinking about it I forked out for a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320Gb hard drive along with a little External Caddy for the Toshiba drive which i would be removing from my laptop.
I had read that the new Seagate drive could cause Kernel panics and that it might need a jumper moving to operate at SATA 1.5 rather than it's speedier native SATA 3.0. I also read that the drive shouldn't be the version with a 'G' in it's product number and that it also uses a lot more battery life.
Well, on the hard drive front, I did get the version with the product number ST9320423AS (No 'G' in there) and found zero way to change any jumper so it went into the laptop as god intended. It doesn't seem to generate any extra heat (I run SMS fan control for temp readout as I always have) and there are no vibrations, kernel panics or mad extra use of battery power. Not that I use it extensively running off the battery, but still.
Installing the hard drive. I have done this oh so many times for other people on PC desktops, Laptops and Apple laptops. When it was my own I almost died twice with fear of messing it up. I took my time. To breathe. And it went fine. My only warnings would be
1) Use a plastic credit card to pop the top cover off
2) No, really use a plastic card or 'spudger'
3) The ribbon cables connecting the hard drive, when you are unsticking these from the rest of the computer...take your time. I did because I know how easily it is to damage those ribbon cables and when you do, no amount of tinfoil and sellotape is going to mend them.
With it all back together I turned it on, waited for the Question mark folder symbol on the screen, put in the Snow Leopard install disc, turned the computer off by holding the power button, held down 'D' on the keyboard and at the same time pressed the power button and waited.
And... then, eventually, the SL install screen came up. I went right to 'Utilities' at the top of the screen and choose disc utility which I used to format the hard drive with the 'Mac OS Journaled' Setting and renamed the drive as 'Macintosh HD'
From then on in it was just a matter of following the on screen prompts and that was it.
I did change the look of the UI to be more like Tiger (background, home bar etc etc) but apart from that it's nippier, starts up and shuts down so fast and is happy with new versions of software (which I kept having to ignore when I was on Tiger)
I did buy the Snow Leopard Box set at retail and I know people say 'Just buy the £29 upgrade disc, it works fine going from Tiger to Snow Leopard' And maybe the more fool me, but you know what? It might be fine in some peoples eyes to play around with dodgy copies of software but there is no way I am going to mess around with the Operating system.
I also got iWork and iLife on disc with it which I never had so all is good.
So, to summarise: Snow Leopard 10.6.4 works fine on a first generation Macbook pro 1.8Ghz Core Duo. The Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320Gb hard drive works well in the machine and Snow Leopard works like a charm on them both.
I hope this helps someone out there. I couldn't find one straight talking answer to my questions when I searched so thought this might be useful to someone. Some time.