Upgrade harddrive for Macbook Pro

After Western Digital released 500GB harddrive for notebook, I’ve been waiting for months until price is getting lower. Now I think the price is right, so it’s time for me to upgrade my Macbook Pro. Upgrading harddrive is more difficult than I though, since Apple did hide the harddrive too deep (unlike the new uni-body Macbook lines). Therefore, it requires a little surgery. However, the harder part is the software bit. Here is what I did:


  • I perform the last time machine back up so I can restore everything using only time machine image.
  • I did created a bootcamp image using DiskUtility so I can bringback Windows with all programs installed.
  • Now it’s time to disassembling the parts.
  • Remove the battery and unscrew the ram cover.


  • After removed ram cover, unscrew 4 more screws


  • Now we have to unscrew all 3 sides of it. (except the front)


  • Now we can lift up the keyboard, but be careful because there is a ribbon attached between keyboard and logic board. We have to unhook that ribbon first.
  • After we remove keyboard, the harddrive will clearly be seen.


  • There is one ribbon on top of the harddrive we have to gently lift it up.


  • Now we can swap the drives


  • Both drives are made in Thailand (Why I have to buy it here????)

  • Done, now we can put it back together by reverse all steps.
  • Boot it up and insert the OSX installed Disk in.
  • Restart again now hold C key so it will boot using DVD drive.
  • Go to DiskUtility to format the drive first.
  • And then use Time Machine to restore everything back to the state before upgrading.
  • It took me 4 hours for Timemachine restoring.
  • The bootcamp part is a little bit tricky.
  • After OSX have been restored, I can use Bootcamp Assistant to make a partition for Windows (This time I give 50GB for Bootcamp).
  • Insert Windows XP installer disc for the installation.
  • Format Bootcamp into NTFS when Windows installer ask to install.
  • Now when Windows finish copy all files, SHUTDOWN Windows immediately.
  • Boot in OSX and use DiskUtility to restore Bootcamp image back. This will save a lot of time installing all programs for Windows again.
  • Done now I’m so happy with my powerful Macbook Pro with 4GB ram and 500GB harddrive ^_^

Problem with partitioning Bootcamp

I was trying to use a program on Windows for my GIS project but it seems to me that the memory wouldn’t  allocate well enough on virtual machine. So I have to try on the bootcamp instead. This was when I faced another problem!!! Bootcamp assistant couldn’t partition my harddrive. Here was the error that I’ve got.

The disk cannot be partitioned because some files cannot be moved. Back up the disk and use Disk Utility to format it as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume. Restore your information to the disk and try using Boot Camp Assistant again.

This is very annoying since I don’t want to spend a whole day installing everything all over again. Here are some possible fixes:

  • Use iDefrag to defrag your harddrive (this works for many people)
  • Delete big file on your system (Bigger than 1 GB)

However, none of those work for me (Don’t know why it works for some people). Here is what I did

  1. Backup everything with Time Machine to external HD
  2. Boot with OSX DVD (press C while rebooting)
  3. Go into Disk Utilities and then format a whole disk
  4. Go into Timemacine and restore to previous Timemachine backup
  5. After restoring, now I can be able to partition using Bootcamp assistant again

Swap Control & Command key in Bootcamp

It’s a bad news to me that I have to use Windows for my work because there is no way that I can use “ArcGIS” on my lovely Mac. So I did install Windows XP (no Vista ever of course) and use VMware to run Windows with my Windows partition in Bootcamp.

Now I face the big problem because I used to my Command + C, Command +V …. but in Windows, Control button is used instead. There is no Keyboard mapping in Windows XP (only available in Vista).

What I did is I swap Command key and Control key by edit some registry by following this How to.

However if you don’t need to mess up with registry, I did put the executable “remap” that you can just download and run it on Windows. After reboot, the key will swap for you automatically

UPDATE: I am testing on vmware fusion 2.0 and it works. More info here

UPDATE2: Now I don’t have any problem swapping keys anymore since I have been using Parallel Desktop 4 . So I totally recommend checking out Parallel Desktop instead of VMware fusion.