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I have Q's about installing Mavericks after SSD upgrade & prepping

Hi all,

Im not sure if this has been answered elsewhere, but here goes.

I'm just replacing my MBP 15" HD that has failed, with a slightly larger Samsung SSD.

I'm going to do a clean install of Mavericks, which I have done before on the HD I'm replacing.

I know there is some disagreement as to whether or not you should format an SSD. I use them in my PCs that I build, but never before in my Mac?

Can someone advise me as to what I should to to make sure I do this correctly?

Thank you for any help you can give.


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Dave, Stop. First tell us the last four figures of your serial number so we know your exact machine. I want you to do this before doing anything else as you could destroy the new drive.


Agreed! Hold off doing anything. Sometimes the simplest job ends up being bigger than what you expected!


Thank you for your replies. I have a 2007 A1226 15" MacBook Pro, running Intel. Serial # is W8739AD8X91 Intended SSD is a new Samsung 250gb 850 EVO. Possibly considering the 500gb instead, but nothing firm yet. Both spec to fit in the space, height-wise.


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Ah! The age old question which came first the chicken or the egg ;-}

I think people get the wrong idea on what formatting does and at which level one formats the drive (any).

First the Apple Disk Utility is smart! it knows when you are dealing with a HD or SSD. So to start with don't worry!

OK, what is formatting? in the old days we had to lay the tracks (low level format) for the given OS. Then we did it again within the OS's tools in some cases.

The newer PATA & SATA HD drives don't need low level formatting so that gets rid of that concern. Today deep formatting is more of zero'ing out the tracks so someone can't read any old data. This is were you write a pattern to zeros & ones to obliterate the data that was on the disk. But again thats not what is needed on a fresh drive so that gets rid of that concern here.

So what is simple formatting then today? It's just setting up the directory DB and any encryption keys thats it!

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Dave, your best bet here is to install a SSHD drive Vs a SSD.

While I love SSD's, the age of your system doesn't make it a good fit. You see, your system has a older HD SATA spec I/O port: SATA I (1.5 Gb/s).

Many drives won't play well in this system. Seagate makes a nice one that will work in your system. Review this: Seagate laptop SSHD and review the spec sheet: Laptop SSHD spec sheet. If you look at this line Interface you'll see it supports your systems SATA port: SATA 6.0/3.0/1.5Gb/s. In any case what ever drive you get you'll need to review the spec sheet to make sure it will work in your system.

You should also make sure your systems firmware is upto date. Follow this Apple T/N: EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs.

Lastly, I would recommend upping the RAM to the max this system can support 6 GB if you plan to run Mavericks.

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Thank you for the advice. I went to the Samsung web site to check the specs on this particular drive.

From Samsung: SATA 6Gb/s Interface, compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s interface.

If I read this correctly, it indicates support for the 1.5Gb data standard. Does it seem correct? The info above came directly from the spec sheet, on the Samsung web site, for this particular drive. What do you think??

I will explore the firmware upgrade as well. Thanks for that heads-up as well.



I've just checked my firmware, and I'm running the current version available for my model


Yes, that SSD will work but don't you want a bit more storage space? Thats the rub here with SSD's the smaller ones are priced around what a HD goes for but doesn't offer much storage space. It you are just a word processor & web browser it will be OK, but if you want to watch iTunes movies & TV shows stored locally on your drive I think you'll want a bigger drive thats when SSD get expensive and going with HD's or SSHD's makes better sense. Don't forget your system is on the old side so how many more years are you expecting to get out of it? Thats when you need to do the numbers ($$).


All valid concerns. Considering its age, I'm not interested in putting too much money into it. I will likely use it as a web surfer and word processor as indicated. I've paired it with a small external, portable drive, so for the intended purpose, it will work just right. I do appreciate all of your help and advice.

I do have a final question, though. Are there any issues with formatting this drive to Mac journaled, as part of my install process? I know there is some issues with "formatting" a SSD for use, at least in some circles. Do you have any experience with doing this, or can I just install the SSD and do my Mavericks install?

Thanks again...



The issue is how SSD work Vs HD's. Here's a good write up: How to Check and Enable TRIM on a Mac SSD and using this: Trim Enabler.


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