Exploring FireWire Technology Over a Weekend

Over the weekend, I spent some quality time with my MacBook Pro, a 15-inch Core Duo model equipped with 2GB of RAM. Despite its tendency to overheat and occasionally emit a mooing sound, it has served me well.

However, it was clearly time for a hard drive upgrade due to its sluggishness and the audible clicks from the old drive.

I opted to replace the failing 320GB Toshiba hard drive with a new 320GB drive from Fujitsu, primarily because it was the most affordable option available. The replacement process was not without challenges, but it offered several learning opportunities on the dos and don’ts of hardware upgrades.

Friday – 6:40pm: I started by backing up the old Toshiba hard drive using Time Machine.

Saturday – 2:15am: After a night out involving three bars and four Ketel-and-tonics, I returned to find that 206GB had been successfully backed up.

Saturday – 12pm: Following the steps in ExtremeTech’s guide, I replaced the old hard drive with the new Fujitsu drive, a tricky task on my pre-unibody Pro.

Saturday – 12:45pm: After securing the case and keyboard, I attempted to boot from my Leopard DVD by holding down the C key during startup.

Unfortunately, the DVD drive failed to read the disc, a consequence of the numerous times I had dropped the laptop.

As a result, I couldn’t even burn new discs.

Saturday – 1:30pm: I then tried to use my 4th gen iPod with a FireWire connection to boot the OS, but encountered partitioning errors in Disk Utility.

Saturday – 2:00pm: Attempting to restore the iPod with iTunes didn’t help, as it only offered an Apple Partition map, not the required GUID format.

Saturday – 2:30pm: I took a break for a 4-mile run, giving myself some time away from the frustrations.

Saturday – 3:45pm: Next, I explored using Target Disk Mode to connect my MacBook Pro to another MacBook, allowing it to access the DVD drive of the host machine.

Saturday – 4:00pm: This approach proved successful, and I was finally able to boot the Leopard DVD through the host MacBook’s DVD drive.

Saturday – 4:15pm: With the DVD running, I had the option to either install Leopard or restore from Time Machine. First, I needed to format the new Fujitsu drive using Disk Utility, which is also accessible from the Leopard install DVD.

Saturday – 4:20pm: After successfully partitioning the drive, I proceeded with the Time Machine restore.

Saturday – 4:25pm: I selected the external USB drive where I had backed up my data as the source for Time Machine.

Saturday – 4:35pm: Initially, only the host’s “Macintosh HD” appeared as a restore option, which was incorrect.

Saturday – 4:40pm: After a longer wait, the correct drive appeared as a restore option.

Saturday – 4:55pm: A reboot was necessary for the system to recognize the new drive as a valid restore destination.

Saturday – 5:00pm: The Time Machine restore commenced.

Saturday – 1:30am: Following a dinner and a lounge visit in Santa Monica, the restore completed after six and a half hours, restoring 206 GB of data.

The ordeal reaffirmed my appreciation for FireWire, especially given the initial absence of this feature in the 13-inch aluminum MacBook introduced in October 2008.

Michael Rose

Andrew is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to Apple news blog. With a keen eye for detail and a love for all things Apple, Andrew brings you the latest updates on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Apple Watches. His insightful articles and reviews help readers stay informed about the newest features and innovations. When he’s not writing, Andrew enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest Apple gadgets. His commitment to delivering accurate and engaging content makes him a valuable member of the TUAW team.