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  1. #1
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook

    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2008
    Posts
    22
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    Hi. I have a Macbook White (the latest generation with the intel graphics card) with a 120GB HDD. I was thinking about replacing it with a 320GB HDD (I was thinking specifically about this one Newegg.com - Western Digital Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive - Laptop Hard Drives ). Nonetheless, I wanted to know how traumatic can the replacement be. I understand that replacing the hardware itself isn't very difficult, but will I have to install all the software, restore all my settings and copy all the files all over again? Or is it possible to do a full HDD restoration from DVDs or an external drive? I could also use my desktop (a windows based PC with SATA capabilities) if it helps.

    Just in case, I use bootcamp but I don't mind it so much if I have to do it all over again with that partition, although I'd rather avoid it.

    Thanks!

    PS: I'm assuming that since this laptop was offered with HDD choices of up to 320GB, this is the maximum capacity it supports.

  2. #2
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    chrismac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location
    Staffordshire
    Posts
    356
    Specs:
    15.4" uMBP: iPhone 4
    Use superduper, it clones your HDD.

  3. #3
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
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    26,758
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Make sure you pick up one of these with your new hard drive. This will allow you to hook up the new drive externally. Use SuperDuper to create a bootable backup on the new drive, then just swap them. It's a piece of cake.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  4. #4
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
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    19,395
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    I have an early 2008 MB and I replaced my stock 120 with that exact same HD. If you follow the instructions word for word, you should be fine. Just to note though, the instructions don't list a Torx T8 screwdriver as a requirement, which you will absolutely need.
    Important Links: Community Guidelines : Use the reputation system if you've been helped.
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  5. #5
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,206
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    The 320 GB which was the max offered when you purchased your Mac, was because that was the largest 2.5" drive being manufactured at the time. There is nothing inherent with your MacBook that would prevent you from using one the newer 500 GB drives if you want.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    9,385
    Specs:
    Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
    Keep in mind that 320GB is not the largest drive your Macbook supports. Currently the largest laptop drive on the market is 500GB and your Macbook is more than capable of accepting it.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  7. #7
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook

    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2008
    Posts
    22
    Thanks for the info. I'll get to it and let you know how it went.

  8. #8
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook

    Member Since
    Jul 10, 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    118
    Specs:
    MacBook core 2 duo, 2 GHz, 2GB, 320GB HDD
    i bought a used macbook yesterday (my first mac ), two hr later i replaced the 80gb hdd with a 320 gb hdd from my western digital my book essential that i was not using,. easy swap

    i just reinstalled everything fresh, no backing up anything.

  9. #9
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    brianwmay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location
    Doncaster, UK
    Posts
    286
    Specs:
    MBP, iPad 2 64, 2 x iPod Touch, MBA, 2 x iPhone 3g
    Look up iFixit: iPod, iBook, & PowerBook Parts and Accessories and they'll probably have step by step instructions with photos.

    I did my MacBook Pro recently and put a 500 Gb drive in, it was quite easy, made easier by the help from the website (which I'd printed out).
    Mac Junkie
    - MacBook Pro 2.4, 500Gb, 4Gb
    - MacBook Air (wife's), - iPad 2 64Gb
    - 2 x iPod Touch 32Gb and iPhones 3GS 32Gb

  10. #10
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,395
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    Quote Originally Posted by brianwmay View Post
    Look up iFixit: iPod, iBook, & PowerBook Parts and Accessories and they'll probably have step by step instructions with photos.
    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    If you follow the instructions word for word, you should be fine.
    One step ahead of you .
    Important Links: Community Guidelines : Use the reputation system if you've been helped.
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  11. #11
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    brianwmay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location
    Doncaster, UK
    Posts
    286
    Specs:
    MBP, iPad 2 64, 2 x iPod Touch, MBA, 2 x iPhone 3g
    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    One step ahead of you .

    ooops, how was I supposed to know that !!!

    Either way it's a great site isn't it? It's the reason I delved into my MBP with confidence.

    Perhaps the most difficult bit is getting a Torq (Torx) screwdriver (which I already had fortunately).

    Good advice vansmith !!
    Mac Junkie
    - MacBook Pro 2.4, 500Gb, 4Gb
    - MacBook Air (wife's), - iPad 2 64Gb
    - 2 x iPod Touch 32Gb and iPhones 3GS 32Gb

  12. #12
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook

    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2008
    Posts
    22
    Well, It's donde. I have to say it was pretty easy and hassle free. Unfortunately, the apple guide doesn't mention the need for a T8 scrwdriver so I had to go out and find one (had to buy a whole set just to get it). Anyway, used Superduper as suggested (followed the steps at How to Upgrade Your MacBook's Hard Drive | Macinstruct) and it was pretty easy. Also used winclone to make an image of the BootCamp partition. Restoring this partition was a bit more cumbersome as you needed to make sure that the space allocated to the partition was exactly the same as before or you'd end up with a lot of unused space. And trying to resize the partition with tools such as gparted seemed to render it unbootable. Also, getting VMware Fusion to read the Bootcamp partition was a bit tricky. I had to find the virtual machine folders and delete them manually.

    There's only one issue. When starting up the laptop, the white screen before the apple logo appears seems to be taking longer than before (about 40s). Before (if I remember correctly) the apple logo showed up almost immediately. Is there any way of solving this?

    Thank you so much for your help.

  13. #13
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook

    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2008
    Posts
    22
    Never mind. Solved it. Had to reset the Mac OSX partition as the one which should always start by default.

    Thanks again!

  14. #14
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook

    Member Since
    Jan 16, 2005
    Posts
    81
    I am thinking of doing the same thing as I have filled my 120GB drive.

    Can you use any 2.5" drive or is there something specific i need to look for.
    I was thinking about putting in something like a 500GB 7200rpm drive.

    The hardware part looks easy enough but can someone explain the formatting rqmts for the drive and the steps for putting the software on it (is it simply run the recovery disk once the new drive is in?

  15. #15
    How traumatic is it to replace the HDD on a MacBook
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    26,758
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by richieg View Post
    I am thinking of doing the same thing as I have filled my 120GB drive.

    Can you use any 2.5" drive or is there something specific i need to look for.
    I was thinking about putting in something like a 500GB 7200rpm drive.
    Yes, most 2.5" SATA drives will work.

    The hardware part looks easy enough but can someone explain the formatting rqmts for the drive and the steps for putting the software on it (is it simply run the recovery disk once the new drive is in?
    That's already been explained, in detail, earlier in this thread. Start from the beginning.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

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