My Second Hybrid

I never got around to writing a post about the Toyota Prius that I purchased last October. Perhaps I will do so eventually. Now, however, I am writing about a different sort of hybrid. Unfortunately, it’s probably a much less interesting type. It’s a hybrid laptop hard drive, which amounts to a normal laptop hard drive with a bit of SSD thrown in for performance advantages. Wow, I’m already bored with this topic just writing it, so if you want the details, have a look at what Wayne wrote about it earlier this year.

The primary differences between my story and Wayne’s are:

  • I only paid $100 for the drive. (Score!)
  • I put it in my MacBook Pro rather than a Windows system. (Duh!)
  • I did absolutely no performance testing. (Um…)

As you may or may not know, the hard drive in a MacBook Pro is not considered an upgradeable part by Apple, and certainly not a user-serviceable part. The procedure for disassembling and reassembling the laptop is far from trivial, though certainly not brain surgery. Using thorough instructions obtained from the Internet a very special resource I use, it took me about 40 minutes to perform the procedure.

Wow, I ended up writing about it again. I thought I was done with that. On a more interesting note, here’s a picture of my first hybrid:And, just for the heck of it, here’s a graph of my mileage so far (courtesy of the Road Trip App on my iPhone):

white - MPG, blue - average MPG, yellow - gas price

The low outlier is, I think, a result of either a heavy headwind or some bad gas, or both.

Totally Unrelated AsideI’m heading to D.C. this weekend for #NoVACon2011!


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  1. #1 by martymankins on April 6, 2011 - 4:36 pm

    I so want to do this hybrid drive in my 2009 MacBook Pro. I’m almost out of space on my stock 320gb drive. and could use the speed boost, along with more space.

    Good to know a MacBook Pro user that has done this upgrade. Curious… what is the firmware of the drive? Forum tech posts on the web talk about certain firmware versions working better with the Macs.

    As for your first hybrid, pretty good average mileage.


    • #2 by Ren on April 6, 2011 - 5:17 pm

      System Profiler lists its Revision as SD23. I’ve been updating Time Machine almost constantly since the upgrade. (I also replaced my external 500GB with a 1.5TB, which is included in my backups to my Time Capsule.) Thus, I haven’t really tested much, such as whether the drives goes to sleep correctly. Honestly, I’m not even sure how I’d know.


      • #3 by martymankins on April 7, 2011 - 11:56 am

        As I mentioned in chat, the SD24 or SD25 firmware is supposed to resolve issues a lot of Mac owners had with this drive.

        I replaced my external 500gb last year w/ a 2TB drive. Much more room for Time Machine backups.


      • #4 by Ren on April 7, 2011 - 4:26 pm

        I hadn’t noticed any problems with the drive, though iMovie seemed to be stalling occasionally last night and this morning. Occasional stalling with my original drive was one of the reasons I got this drive in the first place. I don’t even know if it’s drive related. I certainly haven’t had the hard lock-ups that some people mention. Still, I’ll update the firmware soon.

        I use a Time Capsule for my Time Machine backups and I switched to an external 1.5 TB on that a while back. I’d like to replace the internal drive, but that appears to be a more significant undertaking than with the MacBook Pro. Along with this hybrid drive upgrade, I also updated my laptop’s USB-powered drive from 500GB to 1.5 TB. Storage — I have it. 🙂


  2. #5 by Sybil Law on April 6, 2011 - 6:05 pm

    Well I never! I can’t believe you’re talking about bad gas!



    • #6 by Ren on April 6, 2011 - 6:26 pm

      Don’t forget the wind!


  3. #7 by whall on April 7, 2011 - 10:05 am

    Blogging about bad gas is just a fad – this too, shall pass.

    Wait, boring?!??!?!?!


    • #8 by Ren on April 7, 2011 - 10:20 am

      Wait, boring?!??!?!?!

      Compared to yours? Certainly.


  4. #9 by Lisa on April 10, 2011 - 11:23 am

    I need to do something like this for my MacBook, but I’m not brave enough. Actually if I took the virtual machine off my Mac I’d have plenty of space, and I don’t need it anymore. It’s just sitting there hogging up valuable hard drive space.


    • #10 by Ren on April 11, 2011 - 11:52 am

      If you’re worried that you might need it in the future, just move it to an external drive.


  5. #11 by Gable on April 27, 2011 - 7:24 pm

    Apple lists hard drive and RAM as user serviceable for at least 2009 and 2010 MacBook Pros. See manual.


    • #12 by Ren on April 27, 2011 - 9:21 pm

      Mine’s a 2008 (early) model.


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