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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.




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Upgrading the Macbook Hard Drive

So when I purchased my MacBook in a hurry, I neglected to ask for the hard drive upgrade to a larger drive. Not that big of a deal, since I am more technically inclined than not.

For anybody considering a hard drive upgrade on a MacBook or MacBook Pro, here are some quick pointers. First of all, the process is very simple. I am used to using Ghost or Partition Magic on the PC to make such a process work, but on the Mac it is atrociously simple. Here is what you will need:

  • Super Duper software for copying your data.

  • Torx T9 size screwdriver

  • external USB SATA150 laptop hard drive enclosure

  • New hard drive. I chose a Seagate 120GB 5400rpm drive (5 year warranty)

First off, you need to put your new hard drive into the external enclosure. I had a difficult time locating an external enclosure that works with SATA 150 hard drives, as opposed to the older PATA, or IDE drives. Once inside the enclosure, all you need to do is launch the OSX Disk Utility to Erase (format in the pc world) the new drive. **Warning** do not erase your internal hard drive, or you will lose all of your data.

Once Erased, launch Super Duper (Thanks, Josh for the heads up) to copy all of your data over from your original internal hard drive. Pretty easy. The software works without purchasing a license, but if you want to schedule your backups or access a few more features, you will need to purchase the software. This is a good idea for me, as this will enable me to create a bootable backup drive that I can take with me while on workshops or safaris. Remember: whatever can happen, will.

Once the copying process is complete (mine took about 2 hours for a 50% filled up 80GB drive), you will need to remove the internal drive and replace it with your new one. First take off the laptop batter, then there are 3 screws to unscrew. You then pull the white tab that is connected to the hard drive, and pull the hard drive slowly out.

The original drive is attached to a caddy, which you will need to transfer to your new drive. A Torx T9 screwdriver will do the trick. Voila. Swap them out, and pull your machine back together.

You should be good to go. I now have a 120GB drive with roughly 80GB of unused space.

Here is another great resource

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Reader Comments (9)

IP: pnorman@mac.comURL: http://www.peternorman.wsWhat a great site! I came for your article on upgrading the hard disk in your MacBook but I'll be coming back (often) to read your photography blog. Wow!

I have a vanilla (ie, 'off the shelf') MacBook 2GHz (white, SuperDrive) on order from the Apple Store. I'm trying to decide on a replacement hard disk. The 7200 vs 5400 rpm question has stumped me. Do you have any insight? Do you find the Seagate to be quiet and sufficiently fast?

Thanks very much again for such a great article!

July 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPeterNorman
IP: vladimir.jirasek@googlemail.comURL: http://www.vjirasek.euhello,I think you did well not to buy HDD upgrade from Apple directly. The upgrade to 200GB version from 80GB is £230 in the UK, while you can buy the HDD fro £150 and then sell the old £80GB :)Thanks for sharing experience with data migration.
January 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVladimir Jirasek
IP: MaartennetraaM@gmail.comURL: http://Hello,Thanx for your info, although i found out that a torx T8 was needed instead of a T9. Other than that, the discription was very usefull, swapped my old 80GB for a new 160GB. Works like a charme :)
April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNetraaM
IP: carrothead777@yahoo.comURL: http://i know you posted this over a year ago, but i have a question...

when you use SuperDuper to copy your files, does it copy applications as well? if so, is that why you chose to use it instead of simply copying things to an external, changing the drive in your computer, and then copying back?
July 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjessethecarrot
IP: andybiggs@gmail.comURL: http://www.andybiggs.comYou can have Super Duper do whatever you want, actually.
July 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Biggs
IP: matt.morain@gmail.comURL:I'm thinking of upgrading my Macbook's 80 gb hard drive to a 120 similar to yours. My question is about the external USB SATA 150 enclosure. Will this one work for what I need? (

August 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermorainium
IP: andybiggs@gmail.comURL: http://www.andybiggs.comIt looks like that hard drive enclosure will work, as it supports SATA drives. have fun!

August 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Biggs
IP: ceo@msn.comURL:Well, I'm encouraged by what I've read in your blog, so I've ordered an Hitachi 7K200 200 gb drive and an external SATA drive enclosure for my Core Duo BlackBook. I'm anxious to see if the 7200 rpm drive improves performance as well as increasing my drive capacity. According to Hitachi, the 7200 rpm drive actually uses less power than the 5400 it replaces. We'll see!!
October 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBocaBoy
IP: lists@shrift.netURL: for the info! a word of warning though.If you format the new drive externally.. (in an Sata enclosure as you describe) be very careful about how you format the new drive.By default it seems that the Mac Os formats (or more accurately partitions) new external disks with the 'apple partition map' which is not good for Mac Intel booting!When you're in Disk Utility look at the Partition tab and then click the options button toward the bottom of the screen. You ned Choose GUID partition table if this new disk is going to boot a Mac Intel machine.I didn't do this! and ended up with a new HD that seemed to work for a few weeks and then refused to boot when I tried installing some new software.I only found out this info about partitioning when the HD refused to let me reinstall the system software.This isn't an issue if you format the drive internally in a mac intel because the default is then GUID.I Hope that all makes a little sense.. I'm sure some googling can fill in the gaps!
October 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commentershrift

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