2014-06-08

Upgrading my white MacBook with an SSHD Hybrid Hard Drive

A couple of weeks ago the Samsung hard drive in my white plastic MacBook started to have problems starting up - the hard drive was failing.

A few years ago I "upgraded" my MacBook with a higher capacity 500 GB Samsung drive.  Since then, I've been a bit frustrated with my MacBook.  It simply never performed as well, and I just figured that after years of OS updates and demanding web sites that it was about the end of the road for this MacBook.

My first option was to buy a new computer.  My MacBook is from 2009 - and that's a bit old in terms of computing technology.  The MacBook Air is a great high-performance, high-quality machine, but  my old MacBook should be a reasonable performer too.  Perhaps the hard drive was a reason for my lousy performance, and so I decided to shop for a higher-performance drive.


The MacBook with its new Hybrid Drive; old broken drive on top
Unfortunately, thousands of drives are available on the market, but which one should I buy?  I made a quick list of criteria:
  • Storage.  I want plenty of storage for photos, music, and video
  • Performance. My MacBook seemed to have slowed down with time.
  • Cost: This is an older laptop.  It is still good, but I don't want to over-spend.
In the end, I decided to go with this Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive.  This drive would fit perfectly inside my MacBook, would offer huge storage, and the great hybrid features would provide good performance at a good price.  

After receiving the drive I used the repair guide at iFixIt.com to install.  Since installing the drive, I find performance to be improved, and I have plenty of storage.  In fact, I am writing this on the very same MacBook.  This will likely be the last upgrade for this 2009 MacBook - I predict that the final OS for this machine will be obsolete by 2018.  By then, a full machine upgrade will be in order!

UPDATE: 2 Years of Operation

It has been a couple of years since I installed the SSHD, and it is working wonderfully.  My MacBook continues to be much faster than before, and I have more storage than ever.  If your old Mac is slow, I would strongly urge you to consider upgrading to an SSHD. 

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