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Author Topic: Rejuvenated old MacBook Pro with SSD  (Read 1146 times)

petef

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Rejuvenated old MacBook Pro with SSD
« on: April 10, 2016, 03:09:53 PM »

My MacBook Pro is of early 2008 vintage. The general construction is solid and I found it to be fine as a general purpose laptop with one gripe — it was slooow. The login process could take minutes. Some years ago I upgraded the RAM to the maximum of 4 GiB which helped. However successive OS upgrades had led to more and more soupiness.

Last week I replaced the disk with an SSD and the transformation has been dramatic. It is now as responsive as the other computing devices I use.

I have always been inclined to make do and mend rather than buy this years model all the time. The technology of the case, keyboard, battery/power and display have not moved on that much over the years, except for retina which I class as nice to have rather than essential. CPUs have got faster but I only see that as an occasional bottleneck when I transcode audio. Here are the main things I've done to keep the MacBook going.

The RAM was upgraded to 4 GiB from its original 2 GiB, cost £24. That is the maximum for my model.

In 2013 I paid for the DVD to upgrade to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, £12. That is the only OS upgrade which Apple have charged for and I am now on 10.11.4 El Capitan. It is only with Windows 10 that Microsoft are undertaking to do free upgrades.

Last year my video started to fail. This was a known problem which Apple would have fixed in an extension to the warranty but only till 2012. So I fixed it myself in one of my more daunting electronics repairs. I removed the circuit board and baked it in the oven for 7½ minutes. It’s been fine since.

One application I would heartily recommend is Macs Fan Control from CrystalIdea. It avoids running the fans flat out all the time. Another useful link for older Macs is https://github.com/upekkha/AppleHardwareTest. Current Macs can boot into diagnostics but on older ones you are meant to have the original DVD. Mine was missing because I had bought it from a former employer. I was able to run AHT to confirm my video problem.

I bought a Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500 GB for £100 on eBay (new, 250 GB would have been adequate). Then another £10 for an adapter to mount it externally while I copied the contents of the old 200 GB HDD. That was all quite easy using SuperDuper as described in a CNET article.

--
Pete Forman
https://payg-petef.rhcloud.com/
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 03:34:43 PM by petef »
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Ronski

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Re: Rejuvenated old MacBook Pro with SSD
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 03:20:55 PM »

Nice result there Pete. You need to fix some of the links, they've ended up in quotes.
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petef

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Re: Rejuvenated old MacBook Pro with SSD
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 03:41:40 PM »

Nice result there Pete. You need to fix some of the links, they've ended up in quotes.

They should be good now. I must have used four different markup syntaxes in the last couple of days and it’s tricky remembering the quirks of each as they try to be “helpful”.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Rejuvenated old MacBook Pro with SSD
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 07:22:55 PM »

It's amazing how well Apple support older devices.

I'm a Mac mini fan, my 2009 model being my first and only Mac.  I'd upgraded my Ram to the 'maximum' 4GB several years ago but found with Yosemite it really wanted more... No problem, somewhere along the line, unnoticed by me, a firmware upgrade had lifted the ceiling to 8GB.  ;D

And I am composing this on an iPad 2, a five year old design that I purchased 4 years ago as (being old) it was discounted - yet it still runs the latest iOS.  A little bit slow here and there, but wow, it actually works.   :)
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petef

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Re: Rejuvenated old MacBook Pro with SSD
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 08:09:31 PM »

Last year my video started to fail. This was a known problem which Apple would have fixed in an extension to the warranty but only till 2012. So I fixed it myself in one of my more daunting electronics repairs. I removed the circuit board and baked it in the oven for 7½ minutes. It’s been fine since.

The bad news was that last week the video flashing and crashing started happening again, about 20 months after my repair. The good news is that a repeat of Jonah’s baking procedure has resurrected the MBP. If the problem comes back I will use a slightly higher temperature and longer time.

Since my last post on this thread I have replaced the battery with a £15 compatible from eBay.

I also enabled TRIM on my SSD. There are several worrying warnings about the consequences but research indicated that my Samsung 850 EVO was unlikely to suffer. In retrospect I think it would have been better to enable TRIM from the off and be prepared for the small chance that I would need to repeat the HDD to SSD migration.

Apple have discontinued upgrades for my hardware and so I am stuck on El Capitan. It might have been nice to keep up to date but I would have had limited use for Siri. I’ll continue to be content to be ignored when I mutter at the machine  ;)

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Pete Forman
https://payg-petef.rhcloud.com/
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