Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The saga of the MacBook HD upgrade

This upgrade to my MacBook’s hard drive is proving to be more effort than I first thought. I was hoping that, by now, I should have had the new drive fitted and working, but as of now it’s still not in there. Here’s a brief recap of the problems I have encountered:

Problem 1: Wrong disk enclosure

For some reason, when ordering a USB enclosure to hold the new disk while I copied all my files across to it (and to hold the old afterwards), I managed to order an older IDE enclosure, rather than a newer SATA enclosure. This is important because the MacBook only uses SATA hard drives and so the IDE enclosure is basically useless. I still have it; if you want to buy it off me drop me a line, but note that it’s only good for 2.5″ (i.e. laptop) IDE drives and not the usual 3.5″ drives you get in desktops.

Problem 2: The Royal Mail misplaced the replacement disk enclosure

I ordered the original enclosure from dabs, but went to Amazon for the replacement as it was going to be quite a bit cheaper (and there was a model with good reviews). It should have been delivered on Wednesday last week, but neither myself nor Hari were in the house at the time and so we got one of those ‘Sorry, you were out’ cards. It said to wait 48 hours, so we did, but it hadn’t been returned to the depot by Friday. Or by Saturday. I didn’t go on Monday or Tuesday but did make it down there yesterday, so I finally managed to get my grubby paws on it.

Problem 3: Wrong type of screwdriver

If you’re like me, you’ll have more screwdrivers than you care to admit. I have at least 7, and most of those have interchangeable heads with a wide variety of screwheads. In other words, give me a screw and I should be able to screw it in. Unfortunately none of my screwdrivers or screwheads are of the Torx T8 variety, which Apple use to screw the MacBook’s internal hard drive to the drive plate. I have T10, T15, T20 and T30, but they’re all too big, and the design of Torx screws makes it basically impossible to use another type of screwdriver. So now I can’t change the drives over until I can get hold of this coveted screwdriver.
On the plus side, I have now got the new drive in the enclosure and have used Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the entire contents of my existing driver over to the new one, ready for the switchover. I also appreciate your comments about what file system to use; those that I have received so far have been good but it has occurred to me that I may well be using Time Machine on the external drive (the drive that is currently in my MacBook) so this may well restrict my choices.


  1. Try Maplin in town, they should have the right torx screwdriver & they are open until 6 in the evening I think.

  2. That’s precisely what I did do 🙂 . Got a couple of friends who work there.