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Beyond the limits of space

Fullerene -

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012

Installing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Dual Hard Drive

Installing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Dual Hard Drive

1 - 2 uren

Moderate

Mijn probleem

I got recently a MacBook Pro, I couldn't choose exactly the model though (complicated story). So I got one with a standard 250GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM.

After putting 16GB of RAM instead of 2, I wanted to speed it up more. So I bought a 240GB SSD (I wanted more but...eh, money... :) ) and I replaced the hard drive.

Speed was fine, but the capacity was a bit low (I got a triple boot configuration) and I wanted a large space where to put large files and write as much as I want without wondering for the SSD.

I learned that I could replace the optical drive on iFixit, and reading these guides convinced me that it would be better for my computer.

Mijn oplossing

Using the iFixit guides and Pro Toolkit, it wasn't hard at all. However I found myself screwing up two...screws, stripping their heads in my noobness.

I tried various methods to extract them (pliers, glue...), I got one but the other remained stuck so I had to order some special GrabIt Pro screw extractors, and finally the screw was extracted.

Other parts of the operation were strictly normal. I used some spare screws included in the iFixit kit to replace stripped ones and it fitted perfectly.

I kept the SSD in the original HD bay and I put the old HD in the old optical bay (because I guess it's not SATA III for this (slow bandwidth) optical drive so it could impair SSD performance, though I got no evidence of this). Everything runs fine then, and is perfectly recognized by the Mac. And I got an extracted internal Superdrive.

The SATA - USB adapter provided by iFixit in the complete kit turned out to be very efficient. No recognition problem under 3 OSes (Mac OS X, Windows 7, Ubuntu) - I did not try to play DVDs with Mac OS X proprietary software though. The only problem was with my eject key, which didn't work anymore. It can be "fixed" in Mac OS X (try googling "KeyRemap4MacBook" and similar requests about eject key with external optical drive), it works natively in Linux (because of community-made keyboard driver) but there isn't any solution in Windows - the key is useless, with Apple's crappy Windows driver. Not a big deal anyway.

I wondered if this little USB power link of 2,5W could make the drive work well in every condition - when searching over the web, the answer was a massive "NO" ; everyone is telling that there isn't enough power to feed it decently. However, I tried to read various disks and it worked, of course, but I also tried to burn a DVD and it DID WORK perfectly. So this drive seems to be able to function with the little 2,5W provided by iFixit USB cable !

Mijn advies

BE CAREFUL WITH SCREWS. ;)

Avoid stripping their head as much as possible because if you do so, you'll run into great troubles. Use some force on the screws, go slowly, and don't keep using the same tool if you're stripping the head.

The extracted internal Superdrive is reliable and sturdy ; I let it fall from ~1,5 meter (me = dumb) and it survived. Ironically, I had to fix the iFixit SATA - USB adapter which was attached on it. However I would recommand for the long term to buy an external enclosure for additionnal safety (the optical drive can be easily damaged by a localized shock, which would deform the thin metallic case), maybe with an external power supply (rather than 2 USB male connectors) if you fear that 2,5W won't be enough to burn some important disks. I'd like to do so but the good enclosure I found sells in the US and its price triple if I try to import it so it'll be later...

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