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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Upgrading the Hard Drive in a MacBook Pro

Upgrading the Hard Drive in a MacBook Pro
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TailsToo
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Nov 10, 2007, 10:27 PM
 
Hey Folks,

Best Buy had a great deal on a 250GB HD, and I was thinking of upgrading the 120GB that's currently in my Core2Duo MacBook Pro. I've worked inside of laptops before (try and put a modem inside a Powerbook 180!) but I was wondering if there would be any problem with Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor and new Hard Drive.

Has anyone performed an upgrade that can give me some advice?

Thanks!
( Last edited by TailsToo; Nov 10, 2007 at 10:27 PM. Reason: I am a bad speller!)
     
mduell
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Nov 10, 2007, 11:28 PM
 
You're free to upgrade; the sudden motion sensor is in the machine, not the drive.

What was BBY's price? They're $170 at NewEgg. Laptop drives seem to be having a lot of trouble getting price these days, even the new top-of-the-line (320GB) drive will only be $200.
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 11, 2007, 08:39 AM
 
Best Buy had it for $139. I was thinking of the 320GB model too, but I can only find it for about $240, and, well, Best Buy is right up the street. (it looks like it's back to $180 as of today.)
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 11, 2007, 08:55 AM
 
Even looks like on Black Friday Best Buy will have more good deals on 2.5" Drives:

SimpleTech 250 GB 2.5" Portable Hard Drive - $129.99
Western Digital 160 GB 2.5 Portable USB 2.0 Hard Drive - $69.99

BestBuy Black Friday Ad and Best Buy Black Friday Deals for 2007
     
tomrock
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Nov 11, 2007, 09:45 AM
 
OWC has a video on doing this:
Tech Center at OtherWorldComputing.com
     
MacosNerd
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Nov 11, 2007, 10:09 AM
 
iFixit.com has lots of tutorials in upgrading equipment. I usually go there to see how its done
Link
     
~bash $
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Nov 11, 2007, 01:57 PM
 
I was under the impression that this is not a "user-serviceable part." Doesn't this void your warranty, assuming you still have one with this machine?
     
mduell
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Nov 11, 2007, 03:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by ~bash $ View Post
I was under the impression that this is not a "user-serviceable part." Doesn't this void your warranty, assuming you still have one with this machine?
Correct. You can always pay CompUSA $30 to do the swap and keep your warranty.
     
~bash $
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Nov 11, 2007, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Correct. You can always pay CompUSA $30 to do the swap and keep your warranty.
Hmm, win-win(-win) right? Maybe I'll just take my chances on voiding my warranty.
     
imdipped
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Nov 11, 2007, 07:48 PM
 
Are the Black Friday deals only for online buys or can you walk in and get them?
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 11, 2007, 09:06 PM
 
I'd Imagine they would have some for online buys, but probably not many.

Oh, and this week Staples has the external WD 250GB Passport 2.5" drive for $149. If I didn't already have the internal version, I would consider this one - you can probably use the case for your old drive later.
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 11, 2007, 09:08 PM
 
Oh, and my warranty was expired as of 10/31 (I have another year with Amex, but they won't care if I upgraded the HD) so I'm not worried about that. I did used to occasionally work on Macs back in my CompUSA days, and this design seems much easier to get inside of than some of the old ones.

It doesn't seem too hard to do (BTW, thanks for posting the links - they have all been helpful to me in figuring out if I want to do this or not). I'll have the tools later this week and I'll let you know how it does (if I fail, it might be a while before you hear from me, since this is my only computer. )
     
MacosNerd
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Nov 12, 2007, 10:17 AM
 
Technically opening up the computer does not void the warranty. If you (or a non-authorized repair facility) breaks something while performing the surgery that will not be covered. The warranty is very specific insofar as not covering damages caused by non-authorized personnel.

Of course there's technically and then theres real life. Apple's knee jerk reaction is not cover anything on the computer if sees a new hard drive in the drive that it didn't add in.

Personally I'm struggling with this myself as I'm quickly running out of space and I'm weighing whether an internal hd upgrade makes sense or go the external hd route.
     
sedlacek
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Nov 12, 2007, 03:37 PM
 
Changed the HD in my MBP (C2D) quite recently myself. With the right tools it took me all of about 30-minutes to do. Just use care (and patience) when taking off the top cover.

Approach taken:
--> used CCC to clone the existing HD to the new HD (connected via USB).
--> install new HD and stored the old HD as backup.

No problems.....
--------------
MBP-2.33GHz/3GB/15-inch
TiBk-667MHz/768MB/15-inch
Lomdard-333MHz/384MB/15-inch
PB-3400/20MHz/144MB/12.1-inch
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 13, 2007, 09:29 AM
 
I'm gonna try it tonight. I tried to make a disk image of my current HD, but it failed (couldn't mount the image) so I copied all of my files to another USB drive that I have (cloned it) and will try tonight. I was going to do a fresh install of 10.5 anyway, so I just wanted the files backed up in case something bad happens, and so I could just pull down the relevant data later.

Wish me luck!
     
~bash $
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Nov 13, 2007, 01:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post
I'm gonna try it tonight. I tried to make a disk image of my current HD, but it failed (couldn't mount the image) so I copied all of my files to another USB drive that I have (cloned it) and will try tonight. I was going to do a fresh install of 10.5 anyway, so I just wanted the files backed up in case something bad happens, and so I could just pull down the relevant data later.

Wish me luck!
Hey, you might want to watch the video over at OWC for the installation. Link at the bottom:

OtherWorldComputing.com
( Last edited by ~bash $; Nov 13, 2007 at 02:01 PM. )
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 14, 2007, 04:10 PM
 
Seems to have worked fine - Bootcamp was a problem, but then when isn't it? Seems to feel a little warmer, but then all I've done since getting it running has been installing software, so the drive has been running all of the time.

It actually wasn’t too hard to get the case open, but the clips that hold the palmrest/keyboard on to the lower case were a little tough to get unclipped and made snapping sounds when they released. My girlfriend thought I was going to have a heart attack when the first clip was released – I thought I had broken the plastic! It only took about a half hour from start to finish. I still don’t know why Apple couldn’t have put a door under the HD bay and made it removable – seems like something that could be done pretty easily!
     
dennisuello
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Nov 16, 2007, 02:51 PM
 
On a related note. Once I upgrade the drive, can I use the old one in an external enclosure, and if so, what specs does that one needs to have?
     
Cold Warrior
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Nov 16, 2007, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by dennisuello View Post
On a related note. Once I upgrade the drive, can I use the old one in an external enclosure, and if so, what specs does that one needs to have?
yes, you can. You'll need an enclosure for a 2.5" HD enclosure and your choice of connection -- USB 2.0 and/or FireWire 400/800.
     
dennisuello
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Nov 16, 2007, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
yes, you can. You'll need an enclosure for a 2.5" HD enclosure and your choice of connection -- USB 2.0 and/or FireWire 400/800.
What internal connection does the enclosure need to have? I might as well look for a complete external drive and swap drives.
     
Cold Warrior
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Nov 16, 2007, 03:14 PM
 
the enclosure needs to match your hard drive. I guess SATA.

you can find better enclosures, rather than buying a complete external drive and swapping.
     
dennisuello
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Nov 16, 2007, 03:49 PM
 
I might just buy the WD Passport 250Gb and swap drives. Passport costs about the same as WD250 internal drive does.
     
PaperNotes
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Nov 16, 2007, 04:29 PM
 
If you buy the Western Digital make sure it is the faster WD2500BEVS and not the WD2500BEVE. See Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
     
azt33
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Nov 16, 2007, 06:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by dennisuello View Post
I might just buy the WD Passport 250Gb and swap drives. Passport costs about the same as WD250 internal drive does.
I was thinking about the same thing, but then someone told me that the Passport uses IDE HDD and your MB(P) uses SATA. I haven't looked into it yet, but I would say to make sure that they are compatible
MacBook Pro 15.4/ i7 2.2 / 8.0/ 750/ DL SD/ APX
iPhone 4 16GB (black)
     
dennisuello
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Nov 20, 2007, 02:59 AM
 
Well, I got WD2500BEVS and it's in. It's nice to have tons of space left over and have a 32Gb Vista partition as well.

Now, I need to find home for the original 120Gb drive to dump all my iMovie projects on it. Any suggestions for a reasonably priced, good looking enclosure. I hoped to find Firewire enclosure, so I wouldn't need a power cord, but it seems that most are USB2.0.
     
Masters2010
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Nov 21, 2007, 03:30 PM
 
I came to CompUSA (where I am now) to do this upgrade. I was quoted 210 dollars of labor to put the hard drive in and transfer my information. I told him fine, I'll buy an external hard drive, image the current hard drive on the external, take the drive out of the external and give it to them to install. 30 dollars, right? Still quoted me 150 for the install. Is this a bogus CompUSA, should I go to another and see what they say?

Also, what do I need to do to the hard drive before I install it. If I just install a blank hd, can I then install leopard from the disk and copy all my info over? Can I use the image of my current hd on another external to copy it to the new internal?

Thanks
     
Big Mac
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Nov 21, 2007, 03:41 PM
 
I'd call independent certified Apple resellers you may have in your area. They'll likely do a better and cheaper job than CompUSA.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
mduell
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Nov 21, 2007, 07:10 PM
 
They're quoting the wrong service at CompUSA... print out CompUSA.com - Installations and Upgrades and tell them you want that service.
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Nov 22, 2007, 09:01 PM
 
It was really quite easy if you just follow the directions...
     
Masters2010
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Nov 22, 2007, 10:03 PM
 
But I don't want to void my applecare.
     
   
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