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    February 20th, 2011

    ♬ She’s my little deuce coupe
    You don’t know what I got…♬

    Lyrics and music by Brian Wilson, recorded by The Beach Boys.

    Western Digital Scorpio HD

    The notice popped up on the screen – my hard drive had run out of space. I was facing the dilemma of either upgrading the original 160 GB hard drive in my MacBook or upgrading to a new MacBook or MacBook Pro. A bit of research into a new hard drive for my venerable MacBook made the decision easy…a Western Digital Scorpio 2.5-Inch 500 GB SATA Internal Hard Drive WD5000BEKT (Black) was $69.92 on With shipping, taxes and duties, the total was under $90.00. A far cry from the cost of replacing my MacBook.

    My reading up on the web tried to assure me that it was not that difficult to replace the hard drive (I most certainly know my limitations in working with my hands….) Despite my reservations, I took a deep breath and ordered the new hard drive.

    A great article on Gizmodo explained how to swap out your hard drive and restore everything using TimeMachine:!333319/the-secret-of-the-time-machine+assisted-hard-drive-swap. I wasn’t worried about voiding the warranty on my MacBook since it had long since expired anyway….

    The new HD arrived on Friday. I looked at the shipping box all day Saturday and took a deep breath and decided to take the plunge on Sunday morning. I did one last backup to my ioSafe external Hard Drive using TimeMachine, shut-down the MacBook and placed it upside-down on a soft towel on the table and removed the battery. I followed the Gizmondo’s directions on removing, then replacing the hard drive and putting all the parts back together (whew they all fit!).

    Having my Apple Installation disks on hand, again I followed Gizmodo’s directions and reformatted the new hard drive. Then I came to the point in time when a leap of faith was required.

    Gizmodo advised:

    5. Once you have reformatted the drive, close the Disk Utility window.

    6. Do Not Go Forward. Instead, when you see the main Welcome screen, click the Back button, which takes you to the language select page. It sounds silly but DO IT. This shakes the system into action.

    Following their advice, I clicked on the “Back” button. Voila – the new HD was recognized and I went on to “Restore System from Backup”.

    The restore went flawlessly (it took under 2 hours). Following a reboot, the MacBook worked perfectly fine and all the software operated just as it had before. Firefox even started with all the tabs that were open prior to the last shutdown. The only quirk was that Microsoft Office 2011 had to regenerate a database (it took just a few minutes) and required me to re-register the software license key.

    So now I have a new, faster (7200 RPM vs 5400) and much bigger (500 GB vs 160 GB) hard drive roaring under the hood in my 13 inch 2.4 GHz core 2 duo white MacBook, which should keep me humming for some time yet to come. I upgraded my RAM from 2 to 4 Gigs in 2010 courtesy of Crucial Memory, so now my MacBook is my souped-up little deuce coupe…

    (Hat tip to my friend and legal colleague Joe Kashi, who convinced me that, despite the fact that I don’t have an engineering degree from MIT (like him), I too could replace a hard drive in a laptop. Many thanks Joe!).

    This entry was posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 8:27 pm and is filed under I'm a Mac, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    2 Responses to “I’ve a (Hotrod) Mac!”
    1. Phil Brown Says:


      I’m sure this article is more about the “how to” and less about the “why”. As HAL 9000 would have said before you started,”Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.”

      Have you heard about travelling with “clean” laptops? Have you heard about “cloud computing”? You travel a lot and I am shocked that anyone needs as much as 160GB of space these days resident on their laptop. I have a MacBookPro, backed up as yours is, and an external drive where everything is encrypted, and another redundant drive doing the same thing. I also periodically copy to a series of dvds, mostly photographs. Anything I need while travelling is stored in the cloud, via Clio or Flickr depending on the files. Dave, don’t be afraid of the “cloud.”


    2. Tweets that mention David Bilinsky - Thoughtful Legal Management -- Says:

      […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pete, Attorney Credits. Attorney Credits said: David Bilinksky and his Hotrod Mac … Brian Wilson would be proud (not the guy with the beard from SF) […]

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