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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Upgrading hard drive and memory in Macbook

Upgrading hard drive and memory in Macbook
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markw10
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Aug 31, 2006, 03:02 AM
 
I am buying a macbook shortly and definitely want 2 gigs of RAM and likely a 120 gig hard drive. I've heard never to get the RAM from apple because of cost. Is the same true for the hard drive?
I'm a 'switcher' from the windows world so I'm new to this. How hard is it to upgrade memory and hard drive? is there simply a slot to load the memory into? Physically I imagine the hard drive is not that hard to replace but how hard it is then to set up with MacOS X? Would I save a lot by doing the hard drive on my own?
Most of all, when I look for memory and a hard drive what do I look for brand wise or technology wise? Is it the same as on a PC?
Last, in case I do go with a Macbook Pro instead do they use the same memory and hard drives?
     
LuxoDave
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Sep 2, 2006, 02:33 AM
 
I upgraded my Macbook with 2gig RAM and a 100 gig 7200 RPM HDD. It was really easy. If you search for Macbook on Youtube you can find some videos that basically show you how to do it. You will need a small phillips screw driver and a small torx screw driver (#6 -I think) to do the job.

If I can do it, anyone can.

-edit- Oh yeah, I bought the RAM and HDD from Newegg.
     
scoot
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Sep 2, 2006, 03:49 AM
 
Apple wants $200 to go from a 60GB SATA drive to a 120GB drive, or $150 to go from 60GB to 100GB. You can get a 120GB drive for as little as $160 or a 100GB drive for $100. ( http://pricewatch.com/notebook_drives ). If you buy your own drive, you save yourself 40-50 dollars, or you get a faster (7200rpm v 5400rpm) drive, and you get to keep the old drive. Toss it in a FireWire case and you have a nice little pocket drive.

Apple's RAM prices are hideous. You'll spend $500 to bump it up to 2GB if you buy it at the Apple Store. Buy it yourself for 185 or so at http://coastmemory.com (I've bought here many times, no problems) or at http://datamem.com (Recommended by multiple Mac peeps/pros I've corresponded with). Datamem has a 2GB kit for $226. Lifetime warranty. Apple's RAM warranty is only 1 yr, or until your 3 yr AppleCare runs out.

Heck, just buying the RAM at datamem saves you enough to buy the HD upgrade from one of the pricewatch vendors, and leave enough left over to buy yourself most of an iPod nano, or a few good dinners out.

Instructions for RAM and hard drive installation can be found on Apple's support site - http://www.apple.com/support/macbook/diy/ . The HD doc itself is here - http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Mac...dDrive_DIY.pdf .
--
Scott
     
markw10  (op)
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Sep 2, 2006, 12:18 PM
 
Thanks for all those links. That's going to help me a lot and I sure can save a lot on memory that way. I figured once I get a 120 GB I can sell the other on EBay or as you said put it in a case for a great pocket drive. I've heard that it's best to go with 7200 rpm. How hard is it though (other than physically) to replace the hard drive? What I mean is with a Windows machine I have a program called Acronis that mirrors the drive to the new drive (I have a external USB case I use for that) and then just put the new drive in. Is it the same with the Mac or do I simply just use the install CD's that come with the Mac to set it up with factory settings just like it came from the factory?
     
pat++
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Sep 2, 2006, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by markw10
Thanks for all those links. That's going to help me a lot and I sure can save a lot on memory that way. I figured once I get a 120 GB I can sell the other on EBay or as you said put it in a case for a great pocket drive. I've heard that it's best to go with 7200 rpm. How hard is it though (other than physically) to replace the hard drive? What I mean is with a Windows machine I have a program called Acronis that mirrors the drive to the new drive (I have a external USB case I use for that) and then just put the new drive in. Is it the same with the Mac or do I simply just use the install CD's that come with the Mac to set it up with factory settings just like it came from the factory?
Just use the restore CD to set it up with factory settings.
     
Nuks
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Sep 2, 2006, 01:39 PM
 
If I fill up my 60 gig hd with stuff, and then get another hd to put in the macbook, is there any way to copy the info over without getting an external drive?
     
neverskatewsandles
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Sep 2, 2006, 02:14 PM
 
2ghz macbook /120gb hd ,1gb ram, superdrive/iwork
     
dreamsINdigital
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Sep 2, 2006, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nuks
If I fill up my 60 gig hd with stuff, and then get another hd to put in the macbook, is there any way to copy the info over without getting an external drive?
This isn't really a practical way of doing things, but if you can get a hold of another MacBook, like from a friend or something, maybe you can put your old hard drive in the other MacBook and use the Migration Assistant on yours. Not sure if it would work though.
     
scoot
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Sep 2, 2006, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nuks
If I fill up my 60 gig hd with stuff, and then get another hd to put in the macbook, is there any way to copy the info over without getting an external drive?
You would need a way to connect the drive, so you need either a) an external drive, b) an external case to put one of the drives in (USB2 or Firewire, Firewire is preferable, needs to be SATA), or a network drive or share to copy the files to/from.
     
LuxoDave
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Sep 3, 2006, 01:37 AM
 
That is the same memory I got.
     
potential macbook user
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Sep 12, 2006, 04:28 AM
 
Hi all. I am just teetering on the edge of the side of macs. I have been reading these sites and wondered about what the switching of harddrives and/or adding RAM would do the the applecare?
     
mduell
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Sep 12, 2006, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by potential macbook user
Hi all. I am just teetering on the edge of the side of macs. I have been reading these sites and wondered about what the switching of harddrives and/or adding RAM would do the the applecare?
RAM is OK to upgrade, but changing your hard drive yourself will void the warranty on the entire machin. You'd need to have an Apple Authorized Serivce place do the hard drive upgrade to maintain AppleCare.
     
scoot
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Sep 12, 2006, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
RAM is OK to upgrade, but changing your hard drive yourself will void the warranty on the entire machin. You'd need to have an Apple Authorized Serivce place do the hard drive upgrade to maintain AppleCare.
Apple considers the hard drive a user-installable item for some machines.

Macbook
Original iMac G5 (first model only)
Any G3,G4, or G5 tower
PowerBook G4 (Titanium models only).
G4 Cube

Hard drives in the MacBook Pro, any model iMac other than the first G5, any iBook, the Mac Mini, and any Aluminum Powerbook are not considered user-installable parts by Apple.
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newmacbook
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Sep 14, 2006, 10:26 AM
 
I ordered the 160 GB seagate momentus hdd to replace the stock toshiba in my macbook. I've seen the videos and already succesfully installed 2g of ram. When I try to install the hdd it doesn't seat all the way in. When I pull it out I notice one of the pins gets bent after insertion. This happens again after you straghten it out nd it is always the same pin. I thought it was the hdd and I returned it for a new replacement. I have a couple questions.

First is the 44 pin connection compatible with the macbook? The toshiba connection looks different.

Second, the seagate drive is a bit longer in size than the toshiba, is this a problem?

Third, what do I do about the bent pins? The toshiba slides in and out no problem.

Thank you.
     
mduell
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Sep 14, 2006, 06:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by newmacbook
I ordered the 160 GB seagate momentus hdd to replace the stock toshiba in my macbook. I've seen the videos and already succesfully installed 2g of ram. When I try to install the hdd it doesn't seat all the way in. When I pull it out I notice one of the pins gets bent after insertion. This happens again after you straghten it out nd it is always the same pin. I thought it was the hdd and I returned it for a new replacement. I have a couple questions.

First is the 44 pin connection compatible with the macbook? The toshiba connection looks different.

Second, the seagate drive is a bit longer in size than the toshiba, is this a problem?

Third, what do I do about the bent pins? The toshiba slides in and out no problem.

Thank you.
As I posted in the thread that you started on this topic, you bought the wrong drive interface. Good luck returning the damaged hardware.
     
jksu
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Sep 21, 2006, 12:04 PM
 
yeah fast shipping and they stock most of the available 2.5" s-ata drives. the seagate's well reviewed.

i got the 120gig 5400rpm seagate momentus and 2 gigs ram from newegg.... haven't installed yet since i'm still waiting for the macbook black to arrive (shipped today).

john

Originally Posted by markw10
I am buying a macbook shortly and definitely want 2 gigs of RAM and likely a 120 gig hard drive. I've heard never to get the RAM from apple because of cost. Is the same true for the hard drive?
I'm a 'switcher' from the windows world so I'm new to this. How hard is it to upgrade memory and hard drive? is there simply a slot to load the memory into? Physically I imagine the hard drive is not that hard to replace but how hard it is then to set up with MacOS X? Would I save a lot by doing the hard drive on my own?
Most of all, when I look for memory and a hard drive what do I look for brand wise or technology wise? Is it the same as on a PC?
Last, in case I do go with a Macbook Pro instead do they use the same memory and hard drives?
     
scoot
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Sep 21, 2006, 01:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by jksu
yeah fast shipping and they stock most of the available 2.5" s-ata drives. the seagate's well reviewed.

i got the 120gig 5400rpm seagate momentus and 2 gigs ram from newegg.... haven't installed yet since i'm still waiting for the macbook black to arrive (shipped today).

john
You did, I hope, order a SATA drive, rather than a parallel (or just plain ATA) drive? If you ordered the PATA drive, send it back. Don't try to install it.
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jksu
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Sep 21, 2006, 03:03 PM
 
yeah, i originally did order the ata seagate 160...didn't try to install it since i didn't have the macbook yet. realized the mistake by reading this forum! =)

so yeah, sent it back and ordered the serial ata 120gig. had to pay a restocking fee which sucks, but oh well.

john
     
b11051973
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Sep 21, 2006, 07:55 PM
 
I did the 2 GB ram upgrade when I first got my MB back in June. I just got my Hitachi SATA 160 GB hdd yesterday. I'll do the upgrade when I get my MB back from the random shutdown fix.
     
erock841
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Sep 24, 2006, 10:30 PM
 
I'm thinking of getting a Macbook and I plan on upgrading the RAM and harddrive when I do. I was wondering if upgrading the harddrive or RAM had any effect on the battery life.

Thanks in Advance
Erik
     
azncreazion
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Sep 25, 2006, 01:37 AM
 
Question......

The link to the newegg... it says PC2 5400, is there a difference with the PC2 5300? I don't get it....
     
chabig
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Sep 25, 2006, 01:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by newmacbook
The toshiba connection looks different.
There's your answer. It's different.
     
b11051973
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Sep 25, 2006, 11:52 AM
 
I will say this, even the Hitachi SATA 160 GB drive I installed Friday has kind of a different connection. The Toshiba has like 4 wire things sticking out that are missing on my Hitachi. I was concerned at first, but plugged it in and it works perfect.

I needed the upgrade too. I only had about 3 free gigs on my 60 GB drive. I now have about 90 free gigs.
     
mduell
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Sep 25, 2006, 05:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by azncreazion
Question......

The link to the newegg... it says PC2 5400, is there a difference with the PC2 5300? I don't get it....
A few of memory companies pushing more hype and less quality (in my opinion) brand DDR2 667 as PC2-5400 instead of 5300... I'm really not sure why since the actual bandwidth is 5333MBps.
     
jksu
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Sep 26, 2006, 12:06 AM
 
i got the newegg gskill ram, speed 5400....just installed it and the seagate 120gig drive without a hitch. re-installing the software right now (i'm using my soon to be on ebay mac mini currently).

i used the tail end of my small philips screw driver to really push/seat the ram as everyone's recommended a firm push. seems to be running fine.

don't forget to get your torx 8 screw driver for the hard drive install. you need it for the hard drive sled/sleeve. i didn't have one -- the osh near me had every size except t8 (all the local mac geeks must've cleared them out). i ended buying the t7 which works but be careful not to strip.

otherwise the install was definitely one of the easiest...definitely less so than when i did a similar upgrade for my old tibook 8 years ago.

john

Originally Posted by azncreazion
Question......

The link to the newegg... it says PC2 5400, is there a difference with the PC2 5300? I don't get it....
     
azncreazion
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Sep 26, 2006, 12:11 AM
 
Did the price go up or down since 2 months ago? Cause, I seem to remember that it use to be cheaper.
     
iMAColata
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Sep 26, 2006, 06:48 AM
 
It definitely went up. Like, ROCKETED up. DDR2 ram is ridiculously expensive right now.
     
azncreazion
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Sep 26, 2006, 06:25 PM
 
Thought so..
     
dreamsINdigital
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Sep 26, 2006, 06:48 PM
 
Yeah they're going up... blame Vista and Conroe, people are upgrading.
     
azncreazion
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Sep 26, 2006, 07:37 PM
 
Yea, so when are they going to go down.... If I am not mistaken... people said around a month ago that it would go down.
     
soonlar
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Sep 26, 2006, 10:12 PM
 
keep the extra drive and put it in an enclosure for backups. When Leopard comes out then you will also have a backup drive to use with their Time machine feature.

Where are the Core 2Duo Macbooks!?!
     
   
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