What do I need to know before I replace the hard drive on Macbook Pro?

Laura Mosher December 29, 2012
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Is there anything I need to do, excluding saving info, before I replace the hard drive on Mac Book Pro?

I tried to get rid of Mountain Lion using the wrong utility and now I can’t un-mount, erase or re-format the pseudo disks I apparently created trying. Can’t re-write the block on the disk. Can’t change permissions because it’s saying the disk has unrecognized file format and/or no files.

I wasn’t able to use the recovery disc. I tried fsck and v-bros also. I was told there is nothing I can do to fix it, which is likely not true, but will take me a year to figure out how! A new hard drive was cheaper than Apple repair places around here which are also very limited.

I have a tear down step-by-step instruction guide with pictures (bonus).

Anyone have any tips before I venture forward?

  1. Alonso Aguirre
    February 22, 2013 at 5:37 am

    That happens to me once what you could do is try to reinstall the operativ system, then before installing the O.S. go to the disk utility and select your HDD and then verify your disk, then repair the disk, or you can also verify disk permissions and later repair disks permissions. That restore your disk so your computer can detected it.

    January 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

    refer to the apple support site and search for hdd replacement

    • laura mosher
      January 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

      haha....that's a joke!

  3. Jan Fritsch
    December 30, 2012 at 7:54 am

    The most important information is the model of your MBP!
    You can get that by entering the serial number in the search field at the following page: http://support.apple.com/specs

    Depending on that you'll have to search the internet for information like searching for "(model) hard drive exchange". The models I've worked with in the past had a limitation of 9,5mm in height for the hard drive.

    As for the initial problem:
    1. boot from the installation DVD/media
    2. along the steps open up the Disk Utility
    3. select your hard drive and go into the Partition tab
    4. select 1 new partiton in the drop-down list
    5. click the options button and change the partition table to MBR
    6. format the drive
    * if that one worked
    7. back to step 3 but this time select GUID Partition Table

    Another thing you can try is doing an ATA secure erase e.g. using Parted Magic.
    This will delete everything from the drive on controller level and is not effected by any damaged or defective partition information the drive.

    • laura mosher
      January 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

      I already tried that. diskutil made a pseudo copy partition of the install CD and made it 159.3GB of my 160GB drive. It's showing 3 disks mounted. None will unmount. Block one is readin 1 and should be < or some such thing. No file systems on the other (recovery) disk and I am assuming the third has something to do with the pseudo directory/library files. I tried so many times, I wore out my install CD.

  4. Junil Maharjan
    December 30, 2012 at 5:46 am


  5. Giggity Goebbels
    December 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Just plug in a new hard drive,preferably a ssd.it is faster and reliable especially intel ones.get a 330 or 520.

  6. Paul Pruitt
    December 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Be careful to keep your screws in a container as they are very small and will roll off your table or desk easily if you bump that desk or table. Then because the screws are so small it is hard to find them on the floor :-(.

    • Alan Wade
      December 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      You have to be bloody joking................

    • Giggity Goebbels
      December 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

      R U Serious?No one is dumb enough to loose the screws!

  7. ha14
    December 29, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Upgrade Your MacBook Pro's Hard Drive

    Upgrade Your MacBook Pro’s Hard Drive

    How do you upgrade the hard drive in the "Mid-2009" through "Mid-2012" MacBook Pro models? What type of hard drive do these models support? Can one replace the hard drive with an SSD?

    Hard drive upgrade macbook pro

    • laura mosher
      January 22, 2013 at 9:35 am


    • laura mosher
      January 22, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Thanks. I purchased a Western Digital 500GB.

  8. susendeep dutta
    December 29, 2012 at 7:05 am

    If you are to keep the old HDD,then you don't need to worry about the data present in it.If no,then if you are comfortable with booting via USB in your Macbook Pro,then use DBAN -


    DBAN tool is used to completely wipe out any data present inside HDD and to make it clean.

    Besides instructions and pictures,a video tutorial is also helpful to replace your HDD -


    • laura mosher
      January 22, 2013 at 9:11 am


  9. Sashritha Peiris
    December 29, 2012 at 1:35 am

    You could just remove your hard drive from your computer. Then put it in a drive holder.A drive holder or drive bay is a thing you put a hard drive in that you take out from a computer. make sure you buy a drive bay that has a usb output. research a bit about them. Then connect the drive to a different computer (Mac) and get your personla files from the hard drive and then reinstall mountain lion on the drive

    • laura mosher
      January 22, 2013 at 9:18 am


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