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, 18:18:45

Quite an interesting read.

I like the graph readings at the end.

Truly powerful stuff SSDs are.Quote

11-08-2009, 18:35:46

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

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

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

Intellectual? Hmmmm.

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

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