How to clone your Notebook / MacBook Hard Disk to an SSD

Installing the SSD

Final Steps
 
Now that we've cloned all of the data from your Hard Disk to the SSD, the final step of this guide is to install the SSD into your Notebook. Unfortunately almost every Notebook is designed slightly differently so there is no way to cover every make and model on this single page. However most manufacturers do make the Hard Disk easily accessible (as it's often the part that dies the most), so with a bit of hunting around on the base of your Notebook you should be able to find something similar to the images below.
 
Dell / Generic Notebook
 
Remove Hard Disk Screw Hard Disk Removed
 
Almost all Notebooks have the Hard Disk retaining screw(s) on the underside of the of the casing, so this is definately a good place to start. In the case of the Dell Inspiron 1525 I'm using here, the Hard Disk compartment is on the opposite side of the notebook to the DVD-RW drive. If you look closely, you can also see two cylinder-like symbols beside the screw holes which represent the Hard Disk.
 
With the screws removed, all that's left to do is slide out the Hard Disk tray. Sometimes this takes a bit of force or even leverage, but be careful that the tray doesn't also have some kind of latching system before you try to prize it out. Once again, the best thing to do is refer to the Notebook service manual if you are unsure.
 
Scorpio and Agility Removed from Caddy
 
The Hard Disk will more than likely be secured to the tray with a few small screws. Remove these carefully (as they have a tendency to vanish if you drop them) and slide the existing drive out. Reverse this process for installing the SSD drive into the tray, making sure that the SSD has its label facing the same way up as the original Hard Disk and the SATA connectors are also pointing in the correct direction.
 
Caddy Installed
 
With the SSD drive securely in its tray, slide it back into the Notebook, secure it into place with the screws you removed earlier and cross your fingers while powering the Notebook back on for the first time.
 
 
MacBook (Unibody Version)
 
The MacBook Unibody (in this case the 13.3" version) is a completely different kettle of fish to most standard Notebooks. In fact, with its almost seamless aluminium and glass construction, some would even say it is possibly a work of art. In this respect a lot of Apple products follow the no.1 rule for priceless artwork: look but don't touch, by making any 'tinkering' or maintenance tasks almost impossible. However, luckily for us Apple needed to make the battery and hard disk easily accessible, so let's find out just how...
 
Macbook Compartment Latch
 
Compartment Open MacBook HDD
 
First things first, flip the MacBook over so you've got a good view of its underbelly. Over to the right of the base you will notice a little latch that can be pressed down and then lifted to release the latch on the Battery / Hard Disk cover. With the cover completely removed the Hard Disk becomes visible. But don't try to pull it out by the plastic tab just yet as there's a single screw holding everything in place.
 
HDD Unscrewing MacBook HDD Removed
 
Screws MacBook Screws Out
 
The screw is positioned just above the plastic tab and you'll notice that while unscrewing it,  a whole plasitic construction will come free at the same time. The hard disk can now be lifted out using the plastic tab and unplugged from the SATA connector.
 
Going in for a closer look at the Hard Disk you will notice four hex head screws on each corner of the drive. These help to hold the drive in place inside the Macbook and will need to be transferred over to your SSD drive. 
 
Screw Into SSD Install Drive
 
Once all four of the hex head screws have been installed into your SSD drive it's time to place it back inside the Macbook. The first step is to plug the SATA cable into the SSD drive before inserting the SSD back into the compartment at a 45 degree angle. The hex head screws should sit comfortably inside two black rubber vibration dampening mounts. Finally install the plastic brace, screw it into position and replace the compartment cover. Job done!  
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Most Recent Comments

11-08-2009, 17:58:54

JN
"Swapping your Hard Disk for an SSD is one thing. But transferring all of your data and OS? Well that's something else. Join us as we walk you through the process step-by-step."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...215437125l.jpg

Read MoreQuote

11-08-2009, 18:18:45

zak4994
Quite an interesting read.

I like the graph readings at the end.

Truly powerful stuff SSDs are.Quote

11-08-2009, 18:35:46

Bungral
Nice one there Jimbo.... Very nice write up and not even a single typo that I could see ..

Tis good to see something a little different in an article on occasion.

*wants an SSD*

SSD I said!!!Quote

11-08-2009, 18:45:34

PeterStoba
Very well written and concise article Jim

I agree, it is nice to see something other than a review or news Quote

12-08-2009, 03:54:24

JN
Cheers for the feedback guys. Hope it wasn't too dumbed down for the intellectuals that frequent the forum

Truth be told it took about 1.5 weeks to put this article together because finding 'free' software that didn't trash my Windows install or completely knacker my Mac was hard to come across lol.Quote

12-08-2009, 04:06:26

tinytomlogan
Intellectual? Hmmmm.

Great little article though, its something Ive never done so found it a really good read.Quote

12-08-2009, 04:38:36

FarFarAway
Nice article Jimbo, will be very useful mefinksQuote

12-08-2009, 07:43:22

montydog
Thanks for the article, it's always nice when people go through death defying procedures to assist others.

Years ago I once trashed a system using Norton Ghost not realising it didn't support SATA. The really stupid thing was a few years later I repeated my mistake. The Norton CD was very quickly destoyed.Quote

12-08-2009, 10:00:26

BloomerzUK
Nice Article Jim. I'm sure this will be read alot in the future by lots of people upgrading to SSD's.Quote

12-08-2009, 15:55:34

Judderman
Hi Jim

Thanks for the ace article which is actually very relevant to me as I am going to buy a OCZ Aguility 60gb SSD next week for my system.

Quick question thou can you clone a RAID0 array and then put the image onto an SSD.

Just wondering as I currently have 2 x 36gb Raptor drives in RAID0 and was wondering if I could tranfer this onto the SSD.

Many thanks for any help Quote

12-08-2009, 16:14:54

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Judderman'
Hi Jim

Thanks for the ace article which is actually very relevant to me as I am going to buy a OCZ Aguility 60gb SSD next week for my system.

Quick question thou can you clone a RAID0 array and then put the image onto an SSD.

Just wondering as I currently have 2 x 36gb Raptor drives in RAID0 and was wondering if I could tranfer this onto the SSD.

Many thanks for any help
Glad to be of some assistance

The cloning of a RAID array is definitely possible, but it does depend on what RAID controller you are using (ICH10/Jmicron/Marvell/Adaptec...etc) and whether the software I mentioned supports it.

As your Raptor array is smaller than the SSD you wont need to do any resizing, so the only thing you need to worry about is support for the array in CloneZilla.

I did notice that it supported a LOT of adapters so you might be lucky.Quote

13-08-2009, 13:50:12

Rastalovich
Yeah, ur issues start when u want to clone from a single drive to a raid array, other way around works fine. Generally cos when people install their OS they don't have ACHI enabled, or set to IDE, which means that the OS install inherently doesn't install the controllers drivers. Setting it to atleast ACHI and installing ur OS (setting it to IDE afterwards) is the correct way. But u'll not find a dozen people who do it. I don't myself, but I know the issues it causes when u don't.

Great guide Jim. Just to variate the theme, the Mac OS stuff can be done completely from DiskUtility - this is ofc if u have ur OS cd/dvds. Personally I prefer to make a TimeMachine entry, install the OS fresh, and migrate from the entry.Quote

13-08-2009, 14:50:39

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'

Great guide Jim. Just to variate the theme, the Mac OS stuff can be done completely from DiskUtility - this is ofc if u have ur OS cd/dvds. Personally I prefer to make a TimeMachine entry, install the OS fresh, and migrate from the entry.
Yeah funnily enough I Did give DiskUtility a go as you can make images of the drive and then restore them on to another drive. Unfortunately it didnt work from me downsizing from a 300GB to a 120GB. Mebe I missed sommitQuote

13-08-2009, 14:54:39

Rastalovich
2 options I can think of off the top of my head, is that u could have either resized the 300g to 120g, which is a simple grab of the partition outline and move it. Or when doing a backup image, do a file version. Not tried the latter tho.Quote

14-08-2009, 03:51:10

Judderman
Many thanks again Jim

The RAID controller is just the onboard RAID controller on the AMD chipset. I only really put the 2 x 36gb raptors in RAID as I wanted to have a play with RAID and the drives were sat on a shelf.

My overall plan is to buy 2 x 60gb OCZ Aguilty and put them in RAID0 for o/s and installed programs, then have 4 x 1.5tb WD Green drives in RAID5 for storage. Problem is I only have the money to buy 1 x SSD drive a month.

Many thanks also to Rastalovich as I didnt know about AHCI, least now I should hopefully be able to transfer everything from RAID0 to single SSD then back to RAID0 on 2 SSD's

Happy days Quote

16-09-2009, 04:20:42

Johnbear
Tis good to see something a little different in an article on occasion.

-Quote

27-09-2009, 15:19:32

Juicy6
Just cloned my 500G WD to Intel 80G SSD using the clone option of Acronis True Image Home 2009. Worked like a charm. 25 minutes to clone 45G of data and then 5 minutes to switch the disks in this Dell E6400. Shorter boot time, about 50% quicker program starts. I'm a happy camper now...

ChristerQuote

27-09-2009, 17:21:39

Diablo
Yeah I was going to say Acronis is pretty decent for a simple clone operation, plus its free trial for 30 days.Quote

28-09-2009, 01:16:42

Juicy6
Yup and if you choose Manual Settings it can shrink the partition to fit the new (often) smaller SSD disk. So no changes at all are made to the original disk!

ChristerQuote

25-12-2009, 09:05:54

Pyr0
nice guide, but there's no mention of partition alignment...

does clonezilla keep partition alignment or break it like acronis, ghost, et al. ?Quote
Reply
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