How to replace the hard drive in my MacBook with a Crucial Solid State Drive

Fan Noises: Mac is getting busy

And finally: my fan kept going madly, indicating my MacBook was hard at work. What’s all that about I wondered?

Well since your system knows this drive has not been used before, a system process called mdworker will re-index your entire drive and all files on it. It’s doing this so that files can be found quicker in the future. This happens only once and it happens in the background, but let me assure you it will only take an hour or so and then the heavy air-con noise should leave you in peace.

Please let mdworker do its thing – you can see how hard he’s working by opening your Terminal and typing “top” (which will show you a list of running processes). You *could* go ahead and note down the process ID (the 4-5 digit number in front of mdworker), hit CTRL-C and type “kill 12345” (i.e. said number) – but please don’t. mdworker is only trying to help so let him 🙁

Rename your SSD

Last but not least: your new SSD drive most likely will have a different name than your old hard drive. That’s not a problem for the OS, but it will confuse certain apps (like Dropbox or Dreamweaver which rely on predefined paths to user files).

The problem for those apps is that what formerly was know as

/oldHD/users/you/whatever

is now out of a sudden

/newHD/users/you/whatever

So they’ll ask all kinds of questions. Before opening every app on your system and redefining those paths you can save yourself a lot of work by just renaming your new SSD drive to what your old one was called. Trust me on this, it’ll save you so much grief and hassle.

All you need to do is open a new Finder window, find your hard drive, right-click on it and select “Rename”. My old one was called “Macintosh HD”, I guess that’s a default name.

And finally…

Once you’ve done all that, and once mdworker has done its bit, I suggest you reboot your computer. Then boot it up again.

Be amazed how fast Firefox will open (pretty much instantly). Even big apps like Photoshop boot up in under 10 seconds, even though other apps like Premiere still take a while to load. However their performance is greatly enhanced.

Have fun with your new and improved system,  much lighter MacBook (by 20g) and an even quieter experience than before.

About Jay Versluis

Jay is a medical miracle known as Super Survivor. He runs two YouTube channels, five websites and several podcast feeds. To see what else he's up to, and to support him on his mission to make the world a better place, check out his Patreon Campaign.

4 thoughts on “How to replace the hard drive in my MacBook with a Crucial Solid State Drive

  1. Having used my SSD for a couple of weeks now I’ve noticed something slightly annoying: as fast as it has made my Mac, every now and again I get the spinning rainbow wheel for 10-20 seconds, making my machine unresponsive. Wasn’t like that before of course. This happens mainly when a lot of data is being shifted (i.e. working with iPhoto or Premiere).

    Doing some research on this topic I gather it’s a well known issue with Early 2011 Mac Books: the SATA cable connecting the hard drive to the mother board isn’t made for data throughput of 6Gbps. Apparently the cable isn’t shielded enough and occasional interference can ruin the data bring pushed to the bus. Dang!

    I have no solution to this issue yet. People say “just wrap aluminium foil around the cable” but I can’t see me doing this. Another option is to tell Apple and ask them to replace the cable with something more adequate.

    I’ll report back when I have this fixed. In the meantime I’ll live with it – it’s nothing that puts me off using my machine.

    1. Hi. After reading this I did a little research on the internet and discovered that MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2 should have corrected any problem you have with a 6Gbps SSD. Do you have this update/ are you still having these issues? I’m looking to upgrade to SSD very soon and was wondering if I should go with 6Gbps or 3Gbps due to these issues. Thanks.

      1. Hi Brandon,

        yes I had the EFI 2.2 installed already and still encountered the problem. I made an appointment with an Apple Genius and they agreed that it’s probably the flex cable connecting the SDD to the motherboard. They kindly replaced it free of charge and now it works without a hitch. I have Apple Care so this was free, but without it the invoice read it was £11 for the cable and about £12 for labour.

        I’m on 6Gbps I believe and with that new and improved flex my Mac is extremely happy. It has indeed turned into the instant-on machine we know and love from the MacBook Air.

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