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I have the 13" Late 2010 MacBook Pro, and the 250 GB Hard Drive is way to small, so I'm looking to get a bigger one.

I wanted to upgrade to a 750 GB WD Scorpio Blue (WD7500BPVT), but I've read reviews that say the Mac will constantly park the head and that I need an HDAPM fix or downgrade to a lower EFI.

Is that because it's an Advanced Format (4k sectors) drive, or what causes this?

Is there a good way to know if a hard drive is fully compatible or not? Is there any 640 or 750 GB Drive that works in the MBP without having to install fixes or anything like that?

Does anyone know for sure? –  Michael Stum Feb 20 '11 at 20:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have that exact disk (WD7500BPVT) in my late 2010 (bought it in September) 13" Macbook Pro, and it fits fine. No EFI problems when installing, just replaced the disk, formatted it and installed OS X.

Excessive head parking

I experienced the excessive head parking problem with this disk.

I resolved it by using the hdapm utility to set the disk's power saving settings to the least aggressive setting, which stopped the heads from parking, and it works just fine.

I had the same issue (with a different disk) in Linux on my previous laptop; I did an equivalent fix, and it has worked fine for well over 3 years -- so I'm not worried about the disk, but had I known this before buying it I might have chosen a different disk.

When I was googling around for a solution to this problem, I got the impressions that lots of disks behave this way, so I guess it's not just the WD Scorpio Blue. This is a very common issue with certain disks on Linux as well.

Advanced Format on OS X

WD says this about their Advanced Format disks on OS X:

Mac OSX version 10.4 onwards (Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard) can use the GUID Partitioning Table scheme (GPT) which will align an Advanced Format drive correctly. Mac OS versions using Apple Partition Manager (APM) will not align partitions correctly and will not provide optimum performance.

Basically; use GPT, and you're good.

Thanks for the first-hand info! Ordered the scorpio blue now, good to know that it can be solved on a Drive-level and does not require OS hacks. –  Michael Stum Feb 27 '11 at 17:55

I read that the larger capacity (750Gb-1Tb) WD Scorpio Blue hard drives are physically a few mm's to thick to fit in MacBooks and MBP's. I cannot answer your question about the software compatibility but in regards to alternatives try this one, from OWC:

750 GB 7200rpm Seagate

Hope some part of this helps.

I ended up buying a OWC 240Gb SSD Pro (not the extreme) and I'm sooo happy with the choice :) –  balexandre Feb 21 '11 at 14:07
+1 I will go with OWC choice, because they do test each product they sell with working Macs. –  garikapati Feb 22 '11 at 22:03
@balex Tho' the drive you've chosen is an excellent choice, it doesn't solve the OPs problem: Size. He already has a 250Gb drive and the 500Gb's SSD is way too expensive. –  Martín Marconcini Feb 27 '11 at 14:41

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