Upgrading my MacBook Pro with SSD

One fine day, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my sluggish Early 2011 13" MacBook Pro. Launching apps was slow. Starting it up from sleep was a little slow (I'm looking at you, Google Chrome). I researched quite a bit and felt that getting a new MacBook was not a viable option since I did not have that S$1,488 (S$1,688 for Retina). I read about SSDs and how it can improve the speed of the old laptops and I decided to give it a go.

At about S$150, the Samsung 850 EVO was for sale on Amazon so I decided to grab myself a 250GB drive. It arrived about a month ago and I waited a little longer before getting myself a Transcend StoreJet® 25S3 2.5" hard drive enclosure. I finally got down to work.

Starting off with the backing up of data, I used the free SuperDuper and cloned my old MacBook Pro hard disk to the new SSD. Using Disk Utility, I Erased the Samsung 850 EVO to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Using SuperDuper, I cloned the existing data and OS to the new SSD. After nearly 5 hours of cloning, it was finally ready.

Instead of testing the SSD while it is still inside the hard drive enclosure and rebooting my MacBook to see if the clone was successful, I removed it.

I went straight to the bottom of my MacBook Pro and removed all the screws. The cover came off easily and then removed the bracket securing the hard drive.

Setting it aside, I lifted the hard drive and wiggled the connector (not the translucent ribbon) out from the hard drive. Using a Torx T6 to remove the four torx screws attached to the hard drive, I placed them onto my SSD.

I then removed the ribbon and stuck it onto the SSD for easier lifting of the SSD in future. Going back the steps and screwing back everything, I booted up my MacBook Pro.

In about 40 seconds, it reached the login screen. Entering my password, I started counting and within 10s, the desktop and Menu Bar items all got loaded up.

The transferring of files were an improvement, too. It took about six minutes to transfer 9GBs from the desktop to an external hard drive (without USB 3.0).


The boot up time from a complete shut down isn't that brilliant, but it is definitely faster than what it used to be. Apps like Google Chrome which used to take a minute to start now takes a couple of seconds.

I can't wait to see how this will improve my workflow after having suffered waiting for apps to load. Here's hoping that it will last me for a couple of years before I need to get a new MacBook!