I just replaced my 17″ Unibody MacBookPro’s hard drive with a new Corsair 256GB SSD. The SSD uses Samsung chips and controller. It’s VERY FAST!

  1. First I made an image of my BootCamp partition using WinClone.
  2. Next I ran one final Time Machine backup to my Time Capsule.
  3. After that was complete, I shut the machine down.
  4. I swapped the new hard drive for the old one. Apple has a great guide on how to replace the hard drive in the laptop. The SSD is MUCH lighter than the OEM hard drive.
  5. I booted up with the Leopard OS X Install DVD.
  6. I selected the disk utility from the menu, and formatted the new hard drive with an HFS+ partition.
  7. I then had to reboot in order for the new partition to show up under the Restore option.
  8. After rebooting to the Install DVD again, select the Restore option from the menu, and select your most recent Time Machine backup. The step where it’s calculating the size of the backup can take a VERY long time. Be patient. The restore itself can take a while. My 220 GB took about 8 hours to restore.
  9. Now you should be able to boot into your system from the new hard drive.
  10. If you don’t use BootCamp you can skip these steps:
    1. Run the Boot Camp Assistant and recreate the Boot Camp partition. Make sure it’s the same size or larger than your previous one.
    2. Start the Windows installation process using your WIndows install CD/DVD. Make sure you format the Boot Camp partition. Once it starts actually installing Windows, you can force a shut down.
    3. Boot back into OS X, and use WinClone to restore your Boot Camp image to the partition on the SSD.

It’s like having a new machine. Booting used to take 60-90 seconds from off to 100% up and ready, including Quicksilver loading up, etc… Now it takes about 5 seconds. Applications load pretty much instantly, without bouncing in the dock. Shutdowns and sleep happen instantly. The whole machine feels amazingly faster.

It’s not the cheapest thing, but it’s a very worthwhile upgrade.