06-14-2008, 04:00 PM
Relatively speaking, yes, Macs and PC's are the same on the inside. Motherboard, Fans, Ram, Hard drive, optical drive and so forth. HOWEVER, I strongly recommend that you tell him or show him this next bit of information...
TAKE YOUR TIME opening the laptop. MacBook Pro's are prone to warping and more so when the case structure stability is reduced (I.E taking it apart)
DO NOT tug or chuck at parts to be removed, DO use the exact fit screw driver on the case screws. If it doesn't come apart with gentle force, then look again and make sure what you are trying to pull apart / remove is free to do so.
In other words, don't go in guns blazing.
I strongly recommend the website www.ifixit.com
go to the top left hand button which says guides and then choose macs and then choose the Macbook Pro which fits your model and then from the parts to replace list on the left hand side choose the hard drive.
This is extremely useful to anyone taking a mac apart as it has step by step guides on what to do and with pictures! and it tells you the tools needed. Adhere to the tool list. DO NOT think "Oh, any old Philips screwdriver will do" 'cause it won't.
Sorry to seem harsh, but I don't want you coming back and going "Where do you buy spare case screws", or "How do you bend a Macbook pro case back into shape?". I have opened my macbook pro 3 times now, and I was severely careful when doing so and each time I did, I could see where it would be easy to damage the parts inside.
It's not because it's a Mac and therefor should be treated as special, or that it is so different to a PC laptop that he needs to be cautious, it is just that the structure of the Macbook Pro cases in particular do not lend them selves to too much rough and tumble when apart.
Now, The hard drive I would recommend buying to replace the faulty one is any of the Seagate momentus 7200.2 series hard drives. I have been recommended them by many people on this forum, and I trust them. No, I haven't yet installed one, but I do trust the people on this board, and when I can afford one I will get one.
Great for him if he can recover the files. It sounds to me like the hard drive is mechanically faulty and therefor it may be getting to the impossible end of recovering the data on there. I don't want to sound pessimistic, just realistic. I know what it's like to get your hopes up about something like this only to be let down.
Good luck with it all. I hope it goes smoothly for you.