New Hybrid drive for Macbook Pro late 2008
More than a year ago I noticed that my 250Gb HD had SMART errors. For a long time I crossed my fingers, backed up very regularly and decided to ignore it. Until Mavericks came along. When I tried to install the new OS, the installer didn't allow me to continue because of... the SMART errors. I decided it was time to take a gamble and invest some money in my 2008 laptop. A full SSD drive was over my budget and seemed too expensive compared to my laptop's age. So I chose the 500Gb hybrid HD. That way also solving the usual lingering lack of space...
The actual repair took about 5 minutes, using the pdf from the site as guide. No problems occurred (phew). Most of the time spent was actually making sure that all of my data were properly backed up (Time Machine + clone on external HD + bootable clone on the new HD via the SATA to USB enclosure). After the repair and making sure I could boot from the new drive I did a format and a clean install of Mavericks, which was comfortable to perform because I had my old drive still working in the enclosure, including the Mavericks installer file which I had downloaded from the App Store before the repair.
If you are like me and hesisant about wanting to invest money in a late 2008 Macbook Pro or the likes, based on my experience, I would encourage you to do it. Probably far from being as fast as would have been the case with an SSD, my laptop is actually noticably faster than before: I went from 1'15'' to 1' start-up time. (granted: I changed HD + OS + did a clean install, so it is difficult to know what actually made the speed go up...). Moreover the extra 250Gb are welcome and the worrying SMART errors are gone...