Upgrade Your MacBook's Internal Hard Drive - dummies

Upgrade Your MacBook’s Internal Hard Drive

By Mark L. Chambers

Besides adding a hard drive, you can upgrade your internal drive, which can be a hassle. As does a memory upgrade, adding or swapping an internal drive involves opening your MacBook’s case. In fact, it’s a somewhat more complex procedure than adding memory.

Add a second drive rather than swap out an existing drive. You’ll avoid the hassle of backing up and restoring your system on a new drive or (even worse) reinstalling Mac OS X and then reinstalling all the applications that you use. (Swapping a hard drive should be the definition of the word hassle.)

Instead, add a second drive and leave your current hard drive as is (or if you’re already using an external drive as a Time Machine backup, add a second external drive).

However, here are a number of very important reasons why many MacBook owners choose updating internal drives, even with the hassle of swapping:

  • They’re cheaper. You’ll spend significantly less on an internal drive because it doesn’t need the case and additional electronics required by an external drive.

  • They’re faster. A typical USB 2.0 drive isn’t as fast as an internal drive.

  • They take up less space in your work area. An internal drive eliminates the space taken by an external drive, which can range anywhere from the size of a paperback to the size of a hardback book.

After you establish that you are in fact ready for more space — and you’ve decided whether you want to add an external drive, or (if you enjoy punishment) upgrade your existing internal drive — you’re ready to consider how big of a drive you need.