155 responses

  1. Alx
    January 25, 2011

    Hi, very interesting article.
    Appart from muy 13″ MBP I do have an old iBook G4 with its original 30gb hdd.
    Being a very old Power PC based model, do you think it is possible to replace the disk by a solid state one and will it improve big time its perfomance?
    cheers!
    Alex

    • admin
      January 25, 2011

      It may not benefit as much from the SSD as there may be a bottleneck somewhere else in the machine. I’d go for it if it was a G4 Powerbook but I’m not sure about a g4 ibook – they are not a great machine. If you do just try a little 32G Solid State Drive.

    • floyd harper
      May 19, 2014

      Yes I’ve done it on several occasions to G4s. Just clone your drive onto the SSD and go for broke. It’ll make an astounding difference, esp with some additional RAM (if possible).

  2. kim scott
    March 6, 2011

    Whether clicking on my desktop Mac Hard Drive icon or with Finder search, I can not find Apple-I, nor the house icon.

    I was able to do the calculations with an app I had downloaded, and by going to Mac Hard Drive in Finder and clicking on Users. For more than a year I have been running OS X 10.5.8 on a 24″ imac 9,1 with 4 GB RAM (upgradeable to 8 GB) and 640 GB hard drive. Would the instructions be different than for a Mac pro?

    This post is the best explanation of why and how to upgrade with a SSD I have seen!

    Currently I use a GB or two of page outs each day or two.
    Would this be better than adding more RAM? Or do I need both?

    • admin
      March 10, 2011

      It’s hard to upgrade an iMac as you can’t open it so the SSD will need to be external. Yes in that case I’d probably upgrade RAM before I put in an SSD.

      • Nandor690
        March 31, 2012

        It is really not that hard to upgrade an iMac. I just upgraded my mid 2007 iMac to 2.80GHz core 2 extreme and an OCZ vertex 120GB HDD without any trouble at all.

  3. mbosn
    March 10, 2011

    I was wondering why you would want your old user director on the old hdd? if I got a ssd around the same size as my old one would it matter? Should I just migrate everything?

    • admin
      March 10, 2011

      If you can afford it – yes migrate everything – it will be a lot faster. The only reason not to is that SSD is way more expensive. (And, in the long term, less reliable, so make sure it’s backed up!)

      • Jonny
        February 24, 2012

        If I move my home folder onto another drive, will (Lion) Time Machine still backup that directory along with the SSD contents?

        Also, do you suggest using TRIM Enabler if the drive supports it?

      • Wayne
        February 25, 2012

        yes

  4. Jamie
    April 13, 2011

    Hi,

    i was just wondering, once you have copied over all the required system files to your SSD, can you then delete those same files of your HDD, if so how would you go about doing that seeing as some of those files are hidden?

    thanks

    • Jamie
      April 13, 2011

      Also, following on from the previous question i have Windows and Linux virtual machines running on parallels that i require for uni work.

      The parallels folder is located in Documents, which is in my home folder.
      Will i need to copy this over to the SSD aswell, and if so where abouts should i put it on the SSD?

      thanks

    • admin
      April 14, 2011

      Yes you can delete them but I kept them – they are only small and it’s good to have a backup.
      If you drag a folder to the trash all the hidden files in it go to the trash too.

      • Jamie
        April 15, 2011

        sorry also what do i do with the virtual machines can i leave them on the HDD or do they need to be moved to the SSD to benefit?

        Thanks

  5. wayne
    April 15, 2011

    Well they’d run faster off the SSD but it depends if you have enough room for them on there!

  6. headmeister
    September 1, 2011

    Thanks for the tips – I followed your guide to the letter on my mid 2010 Mac Pro and all fine other then the apps don’t seem to open up any quicker from the dock. Is this because they are linked to the old ‘versions’? Should I be starting applications from the SSD boot and not the existing dock?

    • admin
      September 1, 2011

      Yes start apps from the SSD boot drive not the man folder. You can probably delete them to make sure but I din’t bother.

  7. Rojak
    October 8, 2011

    Great site. Thank you! I’ve followed your instructions but, it seems my MBP-15″ (mid 2010) shuts off during the reboot using the SSD drive. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  8. Bryan
    December 20, 2011

    Followed these directions and it works great up until the part about Selecting old user folder. I suspect that these are instructions for a version of OS X other than Lion. I’m assuming “accounts”is now “users & groups” and from here after “unlocking” the instructions don’t seem to work… Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • admin
      December 21, 2011

      I’ve just checked and yes ‘accounts’ is now called ‘Groups and Users’ in Lion but the rest works fine.
      After you ‘unlock’ the padlock should look like it is unlocked, then when you control-clock do you see the ‘advanced options’ appear?

  9. Wade
    January 19, 2012

    Just wanted to point out that a lot of these linking errors could be avoided if you do this:

    -copy hdd to external drive using time machine
    -delete contents of hdd
    -boot machine with lion recovery
    -use restore from time machine and copy only applications and system to sdd
    – use restore from time machine and copy user folder to hdd

    ps I haven’t tried this with lion recovery yet, but I did it with a snow leopard disk. You may need to wait to delete the contents of the hdd until the sdd is formatted and has the system and applications folder on it.

  10. james braselton
    February 18, 2012

    hi there my macbook air had ssd standard not optional had 2.13 ghz duo core cpu 4 gb ram and a 256 gb ssd i am noticing lots of window compuers also having ssd stqndard too

    • Wayne
      February 21, 2012

      Yes macbook air has SSD built in, and you can order an SSD drive as an option on other macs too.

  11. Justin
    March 4, 2012

    Hello. Thank you for the information. The upgrade went swimmingly sans one issue. I didn’t see until too late but I pulled the IR/LED light cable out of the board while sliding it out an inch. I was able to plug the connectors back into the piece that snaps into the logic board but now the LED light doesn’t light up. I’m also not sure if the IR no longer works as I do not have an apple remote.

    Could you help me fix this problem> There is a post/picture in this thread I started in another forum.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=14429143#post14429143

  12. Namon
    March 14, 2012

    The instructions were great. Worked exactly as it should have! I wonder if I delete the content of my HDD with the exception of the applications folder and the user folder, is it possible to still use some of the applications (while missing the other system related folders)
    I have several programs that are used infrequently and would like them there if I ever need them… like my blanky from pre-school….

  13. Nandor690
    March 31, 2012

    “iMac: Forget it”????? You can replace the harddrive in an iMac in about 1/2 hour.
    Just to inform people reading this.

    Thx,
    Nandor690

  14. EmptyG
    April 15, 2012

    Thanks for the tips! It all went mostly fine for me too, but when I reboot, pretty much all of my apps won’t start (lots of “don’t have access” issues). iPhoto can’t create a library, browsers won’t open, etc. Did I miss a step?

  15. Eric
    April 19, 2012

    I have the SSD installed, the HDD cloned (minus my user directory), and rebooted using the SSD. However, when I go into my user account’s advanced options and attempt to choose my home directory (on the HDD) my user folder is there, but it is not the “Home” directory and does not contain the documents or files of my “home folder.” What am I missing. BTW, I am running Lion on a 2010 13 inch MBP.

  16. Erick S
    April 28, 2012

    hello interesting info, can I just copy all my apps, music, movies, pictures, etc to an hdd, and just do a fresh start. and do you think its better to just do folders in the second hdd, or should I partition the drive. right now i have a 1 tb drive in my MBP it was getting slow and all, because of all the cache and junk a computer in general gets filled. so I decided to just partition my drive, 250 for docs, 50 for music, 50 for movies, and 50 for apps. I did it this way, so if one partition gets slow i can copy it to an external disk, format the partition and then copy it back. whenever i get an sad, should i use this process, is it smart?

  17. BigPhilWalks
    May 6, 2012

    I followed this process and it worked 100%. I am very happy with the outcome. My MBP boots much quicker as do the apps. All data is still coming from my HD. The OWC data doubler kit was a breeze to install too. All up, an excellent result.
    Thanks for the excellent instructions.

    • Craig
      May 14, 2012

      I recently replace my stock 500gb 5400rpm drive in my MBP(mid2010) i7 2.66Ghz/8GB Ram. I purchased the Intel 520 120GB SSD SATA 6/GB and installed with with no trouble at all. Instead of transferring all the stuff from my old drive, I actually decided to just install everything fresh, and copied all the personal stuff off my TC. Now I had planned on buying the OWC Data Doubler kit and just putting the 500GB drive into that in place of the optics drive, most instructions all say to put the SSD Drive in place of the optics drive. Does it matter which is where????
      Now since this plan was hatched I’ve come into a bit of money issue’s and can no longer at the moment afford the data doubler even though it’s only like $70 thats a bit hard at the moment to come up with. Now since I bought the drive using a gift card and it cost $200, I was thinking about returning the 120gb SSD and buying the Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive 750GB w/8gb SSD. It’s still an upgrade in speed and storage since my orig. drive was 5400rpm 500gb and the hybrid is 750gb 7200rpm w/32mb Cache + 8GB SSD.
      Anyone here try out one of these hybrid drives??? I could just try to stick it out with the 120 for now until I’m able to come up with the $$ for the DataDoubler?
      Thanks for your time and replies.

  18. Falcon One
    May 9, 2012

    This is an outstanding guide. The only thing that did not work as posted for me was selecting the location of my home directory after the restoration. The original boot drive did not show up in the drop down menu so I had to manually type the correct full path. Other than that it worked great. I now have a 120GB SSD drive connected to my eSATA modded iMac 2010. It’s much faster to boot and my VMs are snappier as well. Thanks for the help.

  19. Omar B.
    May 11, 2012

    Just finished installing a 120GB SSD into my mid-2009 15″ MacBook Pro by following the instructions here… No problems!!! Thanks a million for the setup!!! OWC Data Doubler Kit was definitely the way to go!!!!

  20. Jon
    May 16, 2012

    Hi thanks for your post! I have also installed 64gb ssd. I did a clean install of Lion but I migrated my apps from old HDD to my ssd. I have 2.96 gb of audio, 371.2 mb of movies, 504.7mb of photos, 6.28gb of apps, 0kb of backups and 33.29gb of Other. I was shocked when I saw ‘Other’ was taking alot of space and I was expecting something like your screenshot around 13gb of ‘Other’ . would you know what could be taking up soo much space, I have run ccleaner but made not much difference . Please help! thanks

    • harryafc
      July 21, 2012

      download this…

      http://roaringapps.com/app:770

      Disk inventory X! its free and will show you whats eating up your hard drive space in a really easy to read way! hope this helps!!

  21. Sam
    May 18, 2012

    Can you do this WITHOUT Carbon Copy Cloner and just through Disk Utility?

    • harryafc
      July 21, 2012

      carbon copy cloner is free tho? click the link in this article and you can download a free copy of it! its small swell so will take no time to download and install!

  22. Antonio
    May 22, 2012

    I bought a ssd 520 Intel, but did not succeed in having full speed expected, about 250Mb/sec only half of this, I don’t understand. Matter of fact few times it reaches it but not always not stable. If you have some idea please send.
    Antonio

  23. Sam
    May 23, 2012

    Regarding the Mac Pro 2006-2008 SSD installation….
    Is it necessary to use the optical drive method instead of the ‘much easier’ Icy Dock method? I read there is no noticeable speed difference between the two.

    Thoughts on this?
    Thanks!

    • Wayne
      May 29, 2012

      Icy dock is fine, maybe a little easier too. But it will take up one of your regular Hard Drive spaces, whereas plugging it into the spare optical connector leaves all 4 hard drive bays free if you need them. Also having it down in the regular HDD slot may be faster as it’s not doubled up with the optical drive on the same SATA bus?

  24. rossco
    June 18, 2012

    Thanks, most SSD upgrade guides only show you the physical steps of swapping the drives, and miss out these essential steps to configure the OS and Applications. Many thanks, just what I needed!

  25. Wayne
    June 20, 2012

    UPDATE: Crucial M4 bug. Well 9 months after installing my Crucial M4 every hour or so my mac mini freezes. I look in activity monitor and there is a process called syslogd taking up all my CPU. Turns out that after 5184 hours of use the Crucial M4 causes problems. There’s a firmware update with good instructions that fixed the problem here:
    http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/How-to-update-M4-SSD-firmware-for-Mac-Os-X-users/td-p/59000

    I had to unplug my thunderbolt Pegasus drive to install the firmware upgrade.

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