How To Upgrade Mac Pro Hard Drive

  1. How To Upgrade Mac Pro Hard Drive Cable
  2. Macbook Pro Hard Drive Replacement
  3. Hard Drives For Macbook Pro
  4. Upgrade Mac Pro Hard Drive To Ssd

By Nathan E. Malpass, Last updated: August 27, 2019

I have a MacBook Pro and I fill it with a lot of stuff. I put on videos, music, images, documents, and worksheets. What I want to do right now is to upgrade my hard drive to a solid state drive (SSD). This is due to the fact that an SSD is smaller and faster. Can you teach me how to upgrade my hard drive to a solid state drive?

Get the Mac Pro: & this episode I show you how to upgrade the PCIe SSD stor. The most obvious upgrade is to add more memory. The next is to upgrade to a larger, higher RPM drive with faster read/write times. As many Mac laptop users know, Apple doesn’t offer post-sale hard disk upgrades. The hard disk you specify at the time of purchase is the hard drive Apple expects you to live with for life, short of buying a new. Apr 10, 2018 How to Upgrade Your Hard Drive. While it is possible to replace the hard drive on any Mac not listed above, how difficult it is varies wildly with the model. The Mac Pro is designed to have its hard drive replaced easily, while an iMac requires you to remove the entire screen.

~MacBook Pro Owner

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Part I: Introduction

Do you want to replace your traditional hard disk drive with a modern solid state drive? You might be surprised that, at present, it’s actually affordable.

Plus, the result is an astounding 5x increase in performance. An SSD for a MacBook with a storage capacity of 500GB costs approximately USD 150.00. While a 1TB version will cost you around USD 300.00. This is significantly cheaper than a MacBook itself.

Plus, it’s actually very easy to upgrade your traditional hard disk drive to a modern SSD. Even if you don’t know much about Macs in general, you can still do it.

In this article, we will be telling you how to upgrade your traditional hard drive into a surprisingly faster solid state drive (SSD). Hop on!

Part II: Is An Upgrade To An SSD Really Needed?

Upgrading your traditional hard disk drive within a MacBook Pro to a solid state drive is very easy and quick. However, this upgrade might not be necessary all the time.

If you utilize your Mac for tasks that don’t consume many resources (e.g. browsing the web, making documents), then the current hard disk drive you use is probably okay.

Don’t try to upgrade your hard drive first. If you think your system is very slow, try running FoneDog’s Mac Cleaner first.

The said tool will help you clean up junk within your system. All junk such as duplicate files, old files, large files, all types of caches, and temporary files, can be removed with a few simple clicks. Here are the advantages and the steps to use the said tool:

* It gives you the ability to make your Mac device perform faster by freeing up more space within the said device.

* It scanning mode is very powerful and helps locate duplicate files, system files, junk files, unnecessary applications, clutter, etc.

* It gives you the ability to clear up junk files. It helps you locate and remove duplicate files. It helps you find and clear up similar images. It helps you delete large files and old files.

* The Mac Cleaner helps you delete unnecessary applications without leaving any leftovers behind. Plus, it helps in securing redundant searching history. Finally, it helps in the management of extensions, shredding of files, and cleaning of browsers.

* All of the features of the Mac Cleaner can be implemented with just a few clicks.

* Scanned results of the Mac Cleaner can be sorted on a variety of factors including date, time, size, etc.

* The Mac device status is displayed by the device including disk usage, CPU status, memory usage, etc.

How To Upgrade Mac Pro Hard Drive

* It helps you locate and detect files that are identical. Thus, more space is freed up within your device because no two files are exactly the same. Redundancy is removed within your device.

Here’s how to use FoneDog’s Mac Cleaner step by step:

(Screenshots below are under the dark mode on Mac.)

Step 01 - Download the tool.

Step 02 - Launch it within your Mac device. The main interface will show a variety of the device’ system status.

Step 03 - Select ToolKit and then Cleaner which provides you with the cleaning function for the system, photo, email, files, apps and other fields on your Mac.

Step 04 - Press Scan button. The tool will now do a comprehensive scan of your device.

Step 05 - Once the process of scanning is complete, click View. This will allow you to check scanned results.

Step 06 - Select the specific files you wish to remove per category and press Clean.

Step 07 - Confirm the cleaning operation.

Step 08 - Wait until the cleaning process is finished.

However, if you think that the issues below come up every single time, upgrading to an SSD will certainly give you the performance boost you need:

* Startup that is very slow.

* Sluggish performance especially with applications that are resource hungry (eg.g. Adobe Photoshop).

* Crashes with the system.

* Errors of denied permissions to files and data that were previously okay.

Part III: Things To Consider When Looking For A MacBook Pro Solid State Drive (SSD)

To get the best possible performance that you want, you need a solid state drive that’s up to par. Here are the things you should consider when purchasing an SSD:

01 - Speed Of Read/ Write - Solid state drives are given a rating based on their read or write speed. The higher the read/ write speed, the better the actual performance. A good SSD to buy has a speed of 500MB per second. Anything above this is good as well. However, the actual speed you will experience is about one-third of what was advertised.

02 - Memory - The two available options are single-level cell (SLC) and multi-level cell (MLC). The multi-level cell is actually cheaper and has the ability to hold more information than SLC. However, SLC is more reliable.

03 - Capacity- Of course, the larger the space, the better. The higher the capacity of the solid state drive, the more benefit it will lead to that of Mac’s performance.

04 - Reliability - Of course, you have to check out reviews for this. Check out what users and even experts state about the performance of the SSD.

Check out its reliability as well. You’ll notice that SSDs that are branded ranks higher than unbranded ones. The best brands out there are usually SanDisk, Samsung, Crucial, Transcend, and KingSpec.

Part IV: How To Place An SSD On A MacBook Pro

Okay, let’s roll into the meat of this article. Before you start placing your SSD onto your MacBook Pro, here are the things you will need:

* SATA-to-USB cable

* Torx T6 screwdriver

* Phillips screwdriver (small)

Step 01: Formatting the SSD

Before you perform an upgrade of a MacBook Pro’s solid-state drive (SSD), it is necessary for you to make a clone of your current hard disk drive. This is to ensure that the new SSD will run perfectly when it has been installed.

However, before you clone the hard disk drive, you first need to perform a cleanup of your entire hard drive. To do this, you need FoneDog’s Mac Cleaner tool. This will help remove junk files and clutter within your system. In this way, these junk are not transferred to your new drive.

After you have finished cleaning the hard disk drive, it’s time to clone it. This can be implemented by using a tool such as Carbon Copy Cleaner or SuperDuper!. You can also use the program Disk Utility by Apple. Here’s how to do it step by step with the Disk Utility tool:

Step 01 - Plug your solid state drive to the Mac device. Do this by using the SATA-to-USB cable we said you needed earlier.

Step 02 - Visit Applications.

Step 03 - Go to Utilities.

Step 04 - Launch Disk Utility.

Step 05 - Click on the icon of the SSD.

Step 06 - Go to the tab labeled Partition.

Step 07 - Choose the following from the actual Partition Layout: Partition 1.

Step 08 - Press Options.

Step 09 - Choose GUID Partition Table within the next window that comes up.

Step 10 - Press the tab labeled First Aid.

Step 11 - Press Verify Disk Permissions.

Step 12 - Press Verify Disk.

Step 13 - Press Repair Disk.

Step 14 - Shut your Mac down. Restart it again while you hold the Option key.

Step 15 - Select the option that allows you to boot to your Recovery Disk.

Step 16 - Press the label that states to Reinstall your Mac’s operating system.

Step 17 - Select the solid state drive as the destination drive.

Step 18 - Copy the files and data from the hard disk drive towards the solid state drive. When the Mac prompts if you wish to restore your files or data from another disk drive, select the hard drive that’s currently installed.

Step 02: Removing The Hard Disk Drive

Now will be the time to get your hands dirty.

Step 01 - Ensure that the Mac device is shut off.

Step 02 - Locate the 10 screws and remove them by utilizing the Phillips screwdriver.

Step 03 - Ensure that you keep the screws in a small container to avoid losing them.

Step 04 - Detach the cover.

Step 05 - Touch a part that’s metal in order for the static electricity to be released.

Step 06 - Find the hard drive

Step 07 - Detach the plastic bracket that’s securing the hard drive. This is usually helped by two screws. Simply remove these screws to detach it.

Step 08 - Remove the hard disk drive gently.

Step 09 - The SATA ribbon should be disconnected in this step. You can disconnect or remove the SATA ribbon through wiggling its connector. Avoid yanking this SATA ribbon.

Step 10 - Remove the Torx screws that are attached toward the hard disk drive. This is usually four in number.

Step 11 - Screwing the posts towards the solid state drive is the last step of this phase.

Step 03: Fitting In The Solid State Drive (SSD)

Step 01- Attach the ribbon (SATA ribbon) to that of the solid state drive carefully. After which, you have to lower it in order to keep it in place.

Step 02 - Put the holding bracket in place.

Step 03 - Place back the cover of the MacBook.

Step 04 - Put the 10 screws back again

Step 05 - Switch your MacBook Pro on.

Step 06 - Visit System Preferences.

Step 07 - Go to Startup Disk.

Step 08 - Ensure that your solid state drive is the one selected as the startup disk.

Step 10 - Restart the Mac device.

Part V: Conclusion

Now, you can enjoy a MacBook Pro after you have installed and upgraded to a new solid-state drive. You will notice the difference in performance.

Your applications will open faster, your files will be saved faster, plus you will be able to multitask within your Mac device.

Use FoneDog’s Mac Cleaner and its 8 modules in order to maintain your Mac device regularly. Plus, use it to remove junk files so you can experience a smooth performance every single day.

FoneDog’s Mac Cleaneris a great Mac device cleanup tool that will definitely give you the best user experience you need.

>Mac >A How-To Guide on MacBook Pro or Mac SSD Upgrade
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Silver Tower Mac Pro (Dual Optical) Q&A

Update Published August 13, 2021

All Mac Q&As >>Silver Tower Mac Pro Dual Optical Q&A (Home)

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How do you upgrade the hard drives in the Mac Pro? How many drives of what type are supported?

This Q&A explains how to upgrade the storage in the tower Mac Pro models with two optical drives shipped from 2006 until 2013 (model numbers A1186 and A1289). These models should not be confused with later tower Mac Pro models, which do not have an optical drive, and EveryMac.com covers separately.

Upgrading the hard drives in all Mac Pro models is simple, but some basic instructions are helpful nevertheless. Apple does formally support individuals upgrading the hard drives themselves, too.


Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Original Mac Pro)

Identification Help

For the purpose of upgrading the hard drive or hard drives in the Mac Pro models, they are similar enough that one almost not need know the differences. However, the process is slightly different for earlier A1186 and later A1289Model Number Mac Pro models and it still is a good idea generally to know which Mac Pro one owns.

All Mac Pro lines can be identified to some extent by the Model Identifier in software. To locate the model identifier, select 'About This Mac' under the Apple Menu on your computer and click the 'More Info...' button. If the Mac Pro is running OS X 'Lion' (10.7) or later, click the 'System Report' button after clicking 'More Info...' as well.

Externally, the Mac Pro lines can be uniquely identified by EMC Number. The EMC number is listed on the rear of the system in small type.

Useful identifiers for the Mac Pro lines include:

Mac Pro Subfamily

Model Number

Model ID

EMC Number

Original (2006)

Original (2007)

Early 2008

Early 2009

Mid-2010

Mid-2012

More details about specific identifiers are provided in EveryMac.com's extensive Mac Identification section.

EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app -- also can identify these systems by their Serial Numbers.

Supported Hard Drive Types & Options

All Mac Pro models have 'four independent 3 Gb/s Serial ATA cable-free, direct attach hard drive bays' with 'four internal hard drive carriers included', and precisely the storage must meet these specifications:

  • Type: SATA 3 Gbps
  • Width: 3.9 inches (102 mm)
  • Depth: 5.7 inches (147 mm)
  • Height: 1.0 inch

By default, a single 3 Gb/s Serial ATA -- sometimes referred to as SATA 2.0 or SATA II -- hard drive is installed in the first of four bays for all models.

The original Mac Pro models formally support a total capacity of 2 TB (four 500 MB drives), the 'Early 2008' models up to 4 TB (four 1 TB drives), and the 'Early 2009,' 'Mid-2010' and 'Mid-2012' models up to 8 TB (four 2 TB drives), although EveryMac.com readers have reported that larger hard drives work without issue in all models.

1.5 Gb/s Serial ATA hard drives also will work in all Mac Pro models, albeit at reduced speed. Of course, four SSDs -- or a combination of up to four hard drives and SSDs -- also can be easily installed in these drive bays with the right adapters.

Unofficially, all Mac Pro models also can accommodate a fifth (and even a sixth, depending on physical size) hard drive or SSD by using the second 5.25' optical drive bay. Site sponsor Other World Computing offers a selection of Multi-Mount kits that make adding these extra drives easy. You may also be interested in additional options for this second 5.25' optical drive bay.

Hard Drive Upgrade Instructions

Apple provides a PDF that covers upgrading the hard drives in the Mac Pro -- and covers the same material in the instruction manuals for each model as well -- but even better, Other World Computing provides step-by-step videos of the process.

Mac Pro Hard Drive Upgrade Video
Original (2006 & 2007)& Early 2008 (A1186)

Mac Pro Hard Drive Upgrade Video
Early 2009 (MacPro4,1)

Mac Pro Hard Drive Upgrade Video
Mid-2010 & Mid-2012 (MacPro5,1)

After watching these videos, it should be clear that upgrading the storage in the Mac Pro models is simple. However, if you do not feel comfortable -- or have the time -- to perform the upgrade yourself, hiring a professional always is a good idea.

Mac Pro Hard Drive Purchase & Professional Installation Options

In theory, just about any hard drive or SSD that meets the minimum requirements should work in the Mac Pro. However, it always is best to buy from a trusted company with Mac knowledge for the most trouble-free experience.

In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells hard drives and SSDs compatible with all Mac Pro models, as well as the previously mentioned Multi-Mount kits that make it easy to install hard drives or SSDs in the Mac Pro optical drive bays.

In the UK and Ireland, site sponsor Flexx sells Mac Pro compatible SSDs with free shipping. The company provides flat rate shipping to France, Germany, and Switzerland and inexpensive shipping for all of Europe, too.

In Australia, site sponsors Macfixit and Upgradeable sell Mac Pro compatible hard drives and SSDs with fast shipping, a money-back guarantee and more.

How To Upgrade Mac Pro Hard Drive Cable

In New Zealand, site sponsor Upgradeable New Zealand sells Mac Pro hard drives and SSDs with fast delivery to all corners of the country, precise compatibility, a lifetime warranty, and a money-back guarantee.

Also see:

  • How do you upgrade the hard drives in the Mac Pro to SSDs? What SSD options are available? Which SSD configuration provides the fastest performance?
  • How do you install a second optical drive or replace the primary one in the Mac Pro models? What options are available for the second Mac Pro 'optical drive bay'?
  • How many PCI slots of what type are provided by the Mac Pro models? How do you install a PCIe card in the Mac Pro?

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