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papamidnight 05-10-2011 07:06 PM

SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
 
I'm trying to decide which direction I should go with my mobile computing. I currently posses two laptops and therefore two options.
1) 13" macbook pro 2.26 C2D/2GB RAM/160GB HDD
2) 11" macbook air 2GB RAM/64GB HDD

I want to keep the speed of the SSD but I am quickly running out of space on the air. What I want to do is install a small SSD in the spot of the superdrive and replace the stock hdd with a larger size in the MBP and sell the air.

I have two questions: 1) how difficult will this be, I've never opened a macbook but I'm usually not afraid to poke around in my electronics. 2) How difficult will it be to tell the computer which drive I would like to store information on? I would obviously want to store all system files onto the ssd and all my media files onto the larger hdd. Is their anyway to make this a automatic process?

I guess the simpler, more expensive, option would be to just buy one large ssd to store everything on. I'm not looking to spend too much on this project.

Thank you

Stretch 05-10-2011 08:05 PM

1. It's not hard at all as long as you are comfortable taking apart your machine. But you won't be able to use the SSD from the Air, you'll need to buy another one. OtherWorldComputing has a kit that includes a SSD and a bracket to hold it into the optical drive bay once the optical drive has been removed.

2. very easy, and once it's set up correctly, it will be automatic.

bentharbour 05-10-2011 08:10 PM

Sorry to the OP if this is viewed as hijacking, but I also have a few questions which one of the experts may possibly be able to help with.

I am going to purchase the 115 GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD w/ Data doubler from OWC.
I should not have a problem installing it, with help from some great tutorials. I do however foresee some difficulty booting OS X and my applications from the SSD. How do I go about making the SSD my "boot" volume for those?

I have done a bit of research, but most of the stuff I have found is littered with jargon and I would prefer if someone could point me to a good step-by-step guide or help me out in any way.

Here are my specs if it matters at all: (2011) MBP 15" 2.0 Ghz i7, 500 GB HDD

Thanks in advance for any help.

-bentharbour

Stretch 05-10-2011 08:31 PM

Make sure you have a current backup before you start.

Once the new hardware is installed, you'll want to install OS X on the SSD. Once the install is finished, boot up holding down the Option key to select the SSD as the start-up disk. Create your account, identical to what it was before the SSD install.

The way I'm going to do it, is keep my home folder on the HDD, and the system and applications on the SSD, so directions will be for that.

Delete everything except the Users/Home folders on your HDD. Then go into Accounts in System Prefs. Right-click on your account, and on the Home Directory line navigate to your old Home folder on the HDD. Once set, restart the computer and you should be booting from the SSD, and have your account on the HDD.

bentharbour 05-10-2011 08:39 PM

thanks for the info, it sounds easier than I imagined, but I am sure it will be more difficult when I get hands on.

-bentharbour

papamidnight 05-10-2011 09:23 PM

Thanks for the help, that sounds like it shouldn't be too difficult.

Another question, is removing the optical drive the only way to have both ssd and hdd in a mbp?

bentharbour 05-10-2011 09:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by papamidnight (Post 1233124)
Thanks for the help, that sounds like it shouldn't be too difficult.

Another question, is removing the optical drive the only way to have both ssd and hdd in a mbp?

From my understanding, yes, internally it is the only way.

Stretch 05-10-2011 09:27 PM

Currently, yes. You can get an enclosure for the optical drive if you still want access to it, it will just plug in via USB.

papamidnight 05-10-2011 10:03 PM

Thanks guys, I just posted both laptops up for sale and will keep which ever doesn't sell first. If I'm left with the macbook pro then I will definitely be going down this route.

bentharbour 05-12-2011 11:57 AM

What size SSD would suffice for OS X + a few additional applications (Office is the only real large application, no FCP or anything)? That is all I want to put on the SSD and have all of my user files on the HDD?

chscag 05-12-2011 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bentharbour (Post 1234230)
What size SSD would suffice for OS X + a few additional applications (Office is the only real large application, no FCP or anything)? That is all I want to put on the SSD and have all of my user files on the HDD?

The 64 GB should suffice. That will also save you considerable $. Later on as the technology booms, prices on SSD and Flash memory drives will come to down to a reasonable level.

Stretch 05-12-2011 06:18 PM

I ordered my SSD last night. I went with a 60GB Mercury Pro from OWC, leaving the stock 500GB 7200RPM HDD for my user account.

bentharbour 05-12-2011 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stretch (Post 1234503)
I ordered my SSD last night. I went with a 60GB Mercury Pro from OWC, leaving the stock 500GB 7200RPM HDD for my user account.

I am ordering tomorrow. Same thing actually.

Im glad the 60 GB will suffice, because it is almost double the price to grab the next size.

Stretch 05-13-2011 07:31 PM

Got my SSD today, had it installed and OS X installed on it plus the optical drive in an external enclosure in under 30 minutes. Installing OS X from a USB flash drive to an SSD is incredibly fast.

Everything is set now for general usage. I have the system installed on the SSD, and my home folder on the HDD.

wheelguy12 05-14-2011 12:01 PM

You can install OSX from a USB flash drive? Sounds like you somehow copied the 2 DVD disks to a USB, then booted from the USB. How did you accomplish that?

Thanks!


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