Well, that was a fun piece of laptop upgrading! I’m giving my MacBook Pro 13″ to my son as a christmas present, and I thought I’d pimp it up a bit before doing so. There’s talk that the next generation MacBook Pros will use a solid state drive as mass storage, so let’s pre-empt that. At Other World Computing you can get a do-it-yourself kit to replace the DVD/CD drive with a SSD drive. As you can see in the lead image, there’s all you need (and more) in this kit. OWC provided a helpful and thorough instruction video for the installation, and it went well. Very interesting look into the innards of a modern Apple Laptop, too! I was surprised by the small dimensions of all parts and the dense packing of components. The replacement surgery was doable, but with a multitude of small screws to remove and to reinstall, I was thankful that the screwdrivers provided in the kit were magnetized.
Once the MacBook Pro was closed up again and rebooted from the conventional hard disk drive, I realized that I had painted myself into a corner. With the DVD/CD drive out of the machine, there was no immediately obvious way to install Mac OS X on the SSD drive so that it could become the boot volume. That had been the plan all along, and the former boot HDD was to become a data drive, e.g. for the iTunes library and photos.
From experience with the MacBook Air, I had thought that the modified MacBook Pro would mount the DVD/CD drive in my iMac that I had supplied on the LAN by DVD/CD sharing. Only, this wasn’t the case. Seemingly, the MacBook Pro didn’t realize it was now without a DVD drive.
After a bit of googling, I found the appropriate command line entries to make that work:
Magic done, some hours and some OS and software installs later, I had one fast machine. Boots in ten seconds from “bong” to login window, programs start in one or two bounces of their icons in the dock and there’s lots of free space on the HDD. You know how they say that the best christmas presents are those that you don’t want to give away?