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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - hard disk upgrade path unsupported by Apple


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locopado

 
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Im wondering if there exists any guidance on upgrading the hard disk/hard drive for a mac book pro. A plenitude of articles on how to do it exist. I mean on whether there are limits or maximum hard drive capacities? according to apple tech support (see my chat convo below), there is NO hard drive upgrade path for the mac book pro, and doing so will not only void your warranty but could 'burn out your processor'. Is this possible? I see the apple store certainly sells options from 200GB-300GB but duly noted their 300GB drive is at 4200rpm. Anyway, i have the last gen 2.2Ghz mac book pro, 120GB harddrive which just isnt enough.

* You are chatting with Yolanda, an Apple Expert
Hi, my name is Yolanda. Welcome to Apple!
Yolanda: How may I help you today?
You: im looking into upgrading the hard drive on my macbook pro
You: what does the service cost?
You: do i have to buy the hard drive from apple?
You: can my local apple store do the upgrade while retaining the warranty?
Yolanda: Great question!
Yolanda: At this time, we do not recommend internal hard drive upgrades.
Yolanda: We would offer you an opportunity to add external storage space with an external
hard drive.
You: huh??? you mean apple doesnt support the upgrade? what if 120GB just isnt enough?
You: i have external storage and wouldnt need to contact apple about thatYou: this is the mac book pro... which i assume is short for professional... youre telling me that apple hasnt planned for the upgrade path on this?
Yolanda: External hard drives are plug and play, the warranty would not be voided.
Yolanda: The Mac Pro is the only system that can have the hard drive internally upgraded.
You: you mean its the only system for which apple supports an internal upgrade?
You: because its clear that the mac book pro has been upgraded by others
Yolanda: Its the only model that allows for an internal upgrade and the only model that we actually sell the hard drives separately for.
You: its hard to imagine that apples high end laptop doesnt have an upgrade path...
You: thats really disappointing
You: youve heard this before?
You: i mean the folks who most need the mac book pro are also the folks who need to carry alot of heavyweight apps around
Yolanda: Understandable.
You: can you communicate the disappointment? are you able to do that?
You: i mean its rediculous really
You: since the upgrade is certainly possible and from the many pages on it, its not even that hard... i just didnt want to void my warranty.
Yolanda: If you have a local Apple Store near, you have an opportunity to stop by and revi
ew any other options within the technical services.Yolanda: The Time Machine program is a great alternative to manage moving unused data from
the main hard drive to the external.
You: So as i asked before, can you communicate the disappointment? or are you simply not a
llowed to do such a thing? ie no channel?
Yolanda: We have heard and understand your concern.
Yolanda: The warranty would be void if you add additional internal software that go beyond
the maximum capacity of the system, possible burning out your processor.
You: hmmm... i dont think thats even possible... you mean hardware?
You: additional internal hardware?
You: so you are saying that a mac book pro is only designed to handle a 120GB hard drive a
t maximum?
You: thats hard to believe
Yolanda: I am referring to any internal hard ware or changes above the maximum design.
You: its a mac book PRO
Yolanda: That's not what I mean.
Yolanda: What is your product serial number?
You: its clear from the apple website that there are 200, 250, 300GB hard disk options
Yolanda: Are you able to provide me with your product serial number?
You: well, i understand what the policy is, and i realize that apple wont assist me in an upgrade, so i am forced to void my warranty. So I think rather than provide the serial number, it'll be more worthwhile to the user community to blog this information. Thanks for your help, Best
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Noxian

 
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Doesn't sound like much of a "Apple Expert" , Didn't know you could burn out a processor by simply running too much software.
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knightlie

 
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Quote:
Yolanda: The warranty would be void if you add additional internal software that go beyond
the maximum capacity of the system, possible burning out your processor.
This is quite simply wrong, grammatically as well as factually.

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cwa107

 
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LOL! That's really quite a shame that this person is able to maintain gainful employment. I'm sure she's reading off of a script and it just didn't cover this area very well. Obviously one can not "burn out" a processor by meeting or somehow exceeding the capacity of the hard drive.

Yes, an Apple Store or Apple-authorized repair center can upgrade your hard drive without voiding the warranty. I believe the current maximum size for 2.5" laptop hard drives is 320GB.

You can also upgrade it yourself, although if you damage anything in the process, your warranty would be void. However, there are no "tamper proof" seals to speak of inside the MacBook Pro. I have confirmed this with an Apple Certified service technician and also with the official Apple service manuals.

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MBasile

 
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She says theres no way to upgrade the HDD? What happens if it fails?

I thought Apple even supplied instructions on how to change it like they do with RAM, but I guess I'm wrong because I can't find that info. How much longer do you have left on your warranty?
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBasile View Post
She says theres no way to upgrade the HDD? What happens if it fails?

I thought Apple even supplied instructions on how to change it like they do with RAM, but I guess I'm wrong because I can't find that info. How much longer do you have left on your warranty?
The standard Macbook's hard drive is user upgradeable. The Macbook Pro's hard drive is sealed within the main case of the unit, so it's not so easy to get to. It's not impossible, mind you - but it's not easy either. And of course, Apple doesn't want just anyone cracking the case on these things.

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!
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PerryLynch

 
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I'd reach back out to them, and get someone other than Yolanda. Let them know that you need to upgrade your MBP's drive capacity, but want to use Apple-approved parts. Ask them for the brand and specs of the 320 GB, and see what happens. If they give you grief, point out to them that you want to use a drive that Apple OBVIOUSLY considers to be safe to use in your MBP, as they sell it themselves. If you get someone that knows less about it than you do, ask for escalation to 2nd tier.

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Mac Newbie, Security not-so-newbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightlie View Post
Quote:
Yolanda: The warranty would be void if you add additional internal software that go beyond
the maximum capacity of the system, possible burning out your processor.
This is quite simply wrong, grammatically as well as factually.
Yes, that statement as it is typed, is incorrect.
Though, she probably meant to type "hardware", not software. The act of adding internal components (that are not recommended/rated for the system) does carry the possibility of causing excess heat buildup. If that heat buildup is excessive, it can cause damage.
At the end of the day, it is a notebook computer. Notebooks are not really designed to be heavily user-upgradeable after the sale, Apple notebooks especially. This is why companies give you the option of BTO, so you can get what you need at the time of sale. Sometimes your storage needs go past your initial expectations. This is why there are external drives.
Sure, the upgrades can technically be done, but they aren't always an easy task. This is only one reason why companies don't really offer many post-sale "upgrade paths".
Look at it this way, when the warranty expires it won't matter what you do to your machine. I would simply wait until then to do the upgrades. You would probably save money doing it yourself anyway.

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Do the upgrade, but hold onto your original hard drive.
You are NOT going to burn up your laptop by putting in a bigger or faster drive. I am waiting on the release of the 320 Gig 7200 RPM laptop drive from WD, then I will be installing that. If you need Wty work, simply put your original drive back in and send it off.

I do basically the same when I send my clients laptops off for wty work. I usually pull their drive and ghost it onto a spare drive so they do not loose their data, or I just replace the drive all together, depending on the company and their policies.
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What amazes me is that people don't ask these questions when they purchase the machine in the 1st place. But nooo! Gotta have my shiny toy now... will complain later... much easier, less work... besides, assumptions are always gooood.

Sorry to be a gimp about this, but it never fails to astound me how much time and effort people go to, to announce these things after the event, but a 2 second google search would have told them that later upgrades were not officially supported.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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kgeier82

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
What amazes me is that people don't ask these questions when they purchase the machine in the 1st place. But nooo! Gotta have my shiny toy now... will complain later... much easier, less work... besides, assumptions are always gooood.

Sorry to be a gimp about this, but it never fails to astound me how much time and effort people go to, to announce these things after the event, but a 2 second google search would have told them that later upgrades were not officially supported.

you would think the "information age" would lead to some googling for sure.

most people simply are too lazy to google around for simple answers though, or they just dont know how to search.

however, the point of a forum, is to ask questions WHENEVER someone needs something answered.

id say 80% of the stuff i see on most forums is out on the net somewhere, but lets face it, the more people ask it on forums, the more hits GOOGLE gets when they DO decide to search

i just bought the ADC membership and got a baseline MBP for 1599 + tax+ 99 for the membership. itll be here next week. basically saving me 100$ with the adc membership, since i could get the student price otherwise.

ill be plopping in a 500GB when they come out, until then, like others have said, 200gb internal and 1TB external Warranty-smorenty haha if it needs to go in, the original drive will go in beforehand.

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I have to say I've had similar experiences with my MB (which i know is not the subject matter of this thread but is relevant nonetheless)

I have an original 1st gen MB which had a 60GB drive which by the end of 3 months was bursting at the seams with... well.... everything xD, I managed to alleviate the problem temporarily with a 250GB external HDD, but I found this to be a MASSIVE bind when it came to portability i.e. I couldn't take anything with me. anywhere.

So I phoned up the local apple store (I say local, being in Newcastle my closest retailer was Sheffield some 200 miles away) and they said they'd do it for me without voiding the warranty with approved parts for 70 (~$140). Then it occurred to me. I'd had this laptop for a year, so my warranty was dead anyway! So I googled the procedure for replacing the HDD which brought me here ^^

Long story short, user upgrades done properly will never hurt the computer itself, unless you are trying to do something you shouldn't. I've upgraded both my HDD and my RAM from 60GB/512MB to 250GB/2GB and upgraded the OS with no ill effects. I will say, however that the bloke I spoke to in sheffield was really helpful since he understood my problem (YAY) he told me exactly what I'd need should i *maybe possibly* want to *hypothetically* upgrade my HDD lol KUDOS TO YOU KEVIN

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harveydov

 
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Hey,

I work at an authorised apple repair centre and have recently but a 320gb Toshiba in to a clients machine and it worked a dream.

It's an easy job to do and takes me about 15mins to have the machine screwed all back up again.

If your out of warranty you have nothing to lose. Oh and to clarify upgrading a MB HD will not invalidate any warranty as mentioned before. It's easier than making a cup of tea....trust me.

I am also awaiting for stock of a 500gb to upgrade my poor little 160gb.

Any questions do ask.

Harv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harveydov View Post
Hey,

I work at an authorised apple repair centre and have recently but a 320gb Toshiba in to a clients machine and it worked a dream.

It's an easy job to do and takes me about 15mins to have the machine screwed all back up again.

If your out of warranty you have nothing to lose. Oh and to clarify upgrading a MB HD will not invalidate any warranty as mentioned before. It's easier than making a cup of tea....trust me.

I am also awaiting for stock of a 500gb to upgrade my poor little 160gb.

Any questions do ask.

Harv
Where do you work ? Could u help me to upgrade my HDD to 320GB ? Then I will buy apple care for 3 years more.Is it possible ? This is because i was told that any upgrading hardware will invalidate a warranty anyway

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We are based in Coventry, UK. You can buy applecare only if you are within your warranty and it will only extend it by 2 years so you get a total of 3 years. It is only covered under warranty if it is fitted in and Authorised Repair Centre (which we are) and fitted by a Certified Mac Technician (which I am). We normally charge £60 +VAT + cost of the HD to fit, install OS from your discs and do all your updates.

Harv

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