Successful hard drive installation and cloning (in that order) with 2 problems
My old drive had 20GB of free space... not nearly enough for video editing. I initially bought an external hard drive to store all my working projects, but moving projects back and forth between my laptop drive and external hard drive was inconvenient and increased the risk of copy-induced errors. I decided to reduce my chances of future frustration by expanding my laptop drive from 200GB to 750GB.
The repair went almost ifixit-guide perfect... with just a couple snafus along the way:
Problem #1: I didn't realize the hard drive was held in its' bay by a couple of pins mounted on the left side. This led to some frustration: for details, read below if inclined.
After removing all the screws recommended by the guide, I attempted to lift the drive out of the bay... sounds like it should have been simple enough, right? Not so much.
I used the flat end of a heavy-duty spudger (also from ifixit) to try lifting from the front, back and left sides of the drive; the drive remained fixed to its' bay on each attempt. When I tried lifting from the right side, the drive lifted about 20-degrees from the plane of the case, but seemed to remain tethered to the left side... I started to think that there was some adhesive adhering the bottom left side of the device to its bay.
I used the spudger again on the left side, this time with the pointed end, to lance through any adhesive... end-result: the drive didn't budge at all, and the pointed end of my spudger snapped off inside the drive bay (cue impotent rage). Emasculated, and lamenting the fate of my poor spudger, I resolved to try again! (cue Braveheart music)
I tried lifting from the right side again and, this time, pulled the drive to the right as I lifted. The drive came right out this time, and exposed the pins that kept the left side of the drive from lifting up out of the bay. (cue feeling stupid)
Problem #2: Before I installed my new drive, I used SuperDuper to turn it into a bootable clone... but it didn't boot. I just got served with a flashing question mark.
To solve the problem, I connected my old drive using a SATA-to-USB kit and, restarted while holding down the option key. When the computer asked my to select the boot drive, I released the option key and selected my old drive to boot. Then I fired up SuperDuper again and re-cloned my old drive to the now-intalled new drive. This time, the clone seemed to work (all of my files and crapplications were copied to the new drive) but still wasn't recognized as a bootable drive.
So, I went to 'Apple' menu > 'About this Mac' button > 'More Info' button > 'Storage' Menu > 'Disk Utility' button. In the Disk Utility window, I selected the new drive from the list of drives on the left side, then hit the 'disk permissions' button. Apparently the disk permissions on the new drive were thoroughly wrong -not sure how that happened- so I hit the 'Repair Disk Permissions' button and let the disk utility do its work. When the repair was finished, I disconnected my old drive and attempted to reboot from the newly-installed drive. This time it booted up without a problem.
Overall, the hardware install took about 45 minutes. The software part of the project, not including a 6-hour cloning of the hard drive, took about 1 hour to figure out.
The project guide got me to my desired destination... but took the scenic route. A couple additions to the guide would be helpful:
1.) When removing the hard drive from its' bay, stipulate that the drive should be pulled upward and outward ONLY TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE DRIVE. (Doing otherwise may cause undue injury to your spudger and will definitely make you feel stupid.)
2.) Tout the benefits of using "disk utilities" in the case of issues when attempting to boot from a SuperDuper-cloned drive. This trouble-shooting option may be well-described somewhere, but I couldn't find it and just ended up stumbling onto it by my lonesome.