Dec 20, 2016

Upgrading Laptop's hard drive

Back in 2010 I bought my first ever Macbook Pro, a shiny 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 4GB of RAM. In 2011 I upgraded the memory from 4GB to 8GB with a pair of Kingston 4GB Modules, in 2014 I replaced the original battery with an Anker one, not the best one but whatever; now two years later, 2016, I decided to replace the factory Hard Drive with an SSD, the original Hitachi 320GB with a Crucial 275GB SSD and what a great difference!

I believe the huge difference comes because well, the original hard drive is 6 years old already and this new one is an SSD, not a fair comparison but I like the biased results. Everything has improved: booting time, wake up time, even the time it took me to open new iTerm2 tabs, I’m so happy. The truth is that before considering replacing the HDD I was thinking about getting a brand new laptop, a Windows Laptop to be precise, I was thinking about a Windows one because multiple developers are really enjoying the Linux integration, so I wanted to give it a try.

But you know I was hesitant to buy a new laptop, investing $1,300+ it’s too much right now, so for $84 I get what I need at this precise moment, old laptop feels like a new one. Hopefully I can replace my laptop’s battery as well because it is time as well.

Replacing the hard drive was a breeze, iFixit has a phenomenal guide that details every step, you just need to have the right tools otherwise you won’t go too far (Torx and Tri-win screwdrivers are a pain to find!)

Installing and upgrading macOS was the thing that took me the most time, about 2-3 hours to have everything installed and upgraded. I tried installing Sierra directly by using the Internet Recovery Option, but that did not work, I was getting a timeout error because, apparently, my WiFi was not working correctly.

In the end I installed it from the original DVD (macOS 10.6.5) and slowly upgraded every minor version until 10.7, after that I upgraded to Sierra. Slow process but it worked with zero issues.

I also had to update my BOOSTRAP file to include the most recent changes I had to do to have everything running correctly with this new upgrade. I want to start using Docker for everything (except git and vim) so installing things locally (like rvm, databases or whatever required libraries) are no no for me now, no need to clutter my laptop, also containers are life.