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Contact: Richard Corzo. Meets the second Monday of each month, 7:00 p.m. at the DACS Resource Center.

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News and NotesNews and NotesRichard Corzo

April 2014
By Richard Corzo

In April I talked about my recent project to replace the hard drive in my MacBook Pro with a solid-state drive (SSD). My objective was two-fold: to increase the storage capacity, since I had only 10 GB free space on my hard drive, and to gain a speed improvement from using the SSD, which uses flash storage and has no moving parts.

I found an SSD on the Crucial (http://www.crucial.com) website, which also sells RAM upgrades. They make it easy by allowing you to look up compatible drives based on the manufacturer and model of your computer. There is a visual step-by-step tutorial and suggested tools you might need. Here’s the guide I found for my MacBook Pro: http://guides.crucial.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Late+2008+and+Early+2009+SSD+Installation/316. One tool I didn’t have was a Torx screwdriver. They had a link to purchase one from iFixit (http://ifixit.com), although it’s probably also possible to buy one from your local hardware store.

To get back up and running I installed OS X Mavericks, and restored my data and applications from a Time Machine backup. However I noticed that some drivers for older devices, like my Canon flatbed scanner, were not available. Since I still had a Mountain Lion installation on an external drive, I decided to backtrack by starting over with a fresh install of Mountain Lion on the SSD and transferring the settings (which included drivers) from the Mountain Lion installation on the external drive. Then I upgraded the Mountain Lion installation on my SSD to Mavericks, and finally transferred data and applications from my (Mavericks) Time Machine backup.

After installing the SSD and restoring the software to run on it, I did notice an immediate increase in speed when booting the laptop and when starting heavy applications like Dreamweaver. A colleague at work had also led me to expect an increase in battery life, but it seemed like it had gotten a little worse. He suggested that the machine just needed to be recalibrated to the new drive, so we’ll see if just drawing down the battery and recharging it will take care of that. In any case the speed increase was well worth it.

 

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