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How to add more RAM, SSD(currently 4GB and HD), frequent beachballin

Hello all,

I'm a newbie here, ready to take steps in upgrading my old MacBook Pro 13in 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. It is mid 2009 model A1278. I had always had issues with it, and even apple care replaced hard drive twice in the first year. later it acted up but being out of warranty, they did not help. So I went with another repair shop, who upgraded my memory from 2 to 4GB. Now, 2 years later, my machine is getting ver slow, lot of beach balls and freezing, force quitting etc. I depend on this machine for work everyday. How and where do I add this new RAM(what type), and is it worth also either swapping for a new SSD or adding it to optical drive? Will the comp get a little faster? Do i replace the two 2GB RAMs for two 4GB? or for one 2GB and one 4GB? Are there specific types? Also with SSD, is there specific size or type I need? How would I then move all my work and system on the new SSD?

Thank you,


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First replace the Hard Drive/ IR cable for a new one (do not get a used part for this repair.) Use the newer model cable an 821-1480-A. Next get a Seagate 1 TB SSHD with 8 Gb/s ssd RAM. http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-dri...

Use either an external enclosure or a Universal Adapter to hook it up. I use SuperDuper almost every day, I even bought the full version, I think it's one of the best utilities I've ever used.


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Hello Mayer- thank you for the tip! And would I use this outside then? Not inside? Steps: 1. Replace Internal Hard Drive, 2. Replace Internal cable, 3.And add external hard drive?

Thank you, happy easter!


What I gathered from the answer was to replace the hard drive with a SSHD (A HDD with some solid state storage). But before you install it to duplicate your current drive to the new one, and then put it into your mac.

He also suggests replacing the flex cable for the hard drive and IR sensor. It is a inexpensive part if you know where to look so I probably would do it if you can. But your current flex sounds functional.


Thank you guys- I started shopping around and will proceed! Happy Easter all or other holiday that you celebrate. :-)


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Hi Kat, I know you may have heard other IT guys say this before, but it depends. A slow computer can be caused by many things but RAM is a common issue. What happens is your memory can get fully allocated to applications that need it, when this happens your computer then starts to use your hard drive for extra room (this is called paging or swapping). The reason why this slows everything to a crawl is a hard drive is very slow compared to ram, this is due to limitations of writing to a physical media. To understand this a bit better a hard drive has to spin up, seek, and then transfer that data. Where ram is much faster as it is random access (doesn't have to seek) and transfer speeds are much faster.

If this is your problem, you can upgrade your ram, your model supports a maximum of 8GB (2x 4GB). This knowledge base article from Apple will definitly help determining what type of ram and how to install it.

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Thank you Dakota, I think I will definitely do this. I am doing lots of creative work every day. Now, would you say it is a good idea to also add one more hard drive/SSD to optical drive, or even change the existing drive for a better model? Would newer hard drive be faster? Or SSD?

Thank you!!!


My Lenovo Thinkpad has a SSD, and it does speed things up. Especially the time it take to load applications or games. I would probably just replace your current HDD with a SSD and get some form of external storage, but thats just me as I still find some use out of having a optical drive.


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