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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2006
    Posts
    1,868
    Specs:
    G4 Cube
    Considering upgrading your hard drive?
    I installed a new 7200rpm hard drive in my brother's MacBook Pro this morning. Mixed feelings on the installation process. I followed iFixit's disassembly guide here:

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/85.0.0.html

    On one hand, it's a fairly simple process, requiring a #0 Philips (+) screwdriver and a #6 Torx tool (both available at Home Depot, just buy a jewel kit). On the other hand, it's so extensively integrated, it's hard to put back together correctly. I'm having major problems trying to get the upper case (with the keyboard) back in place properly. Here are some tips:

    1. Work in a "safe" area - you can't afford to lose ANY scews; make sure you're not in a messy area where you could potentially lose a screw if it should fall out.

    2. Some of screws on the sides of the MacBook Pro use blue Loctite (a type of glue) and requires additional force to remove. My trick is to use a pair of pliers, clamp them onto the screwdriver, apply downward force, and twist. All you need to do is loosen the screw in order for it come out by hand.

    3. Get a paper towel and draw a diagram of your MacBook Pro in pen. As you remove the screws, place them in the appropriate locations on your diagram. The paper towel helps prevent the screws from rolling off your desk and the diagram ensures that you put the correct screw back into the correct slot.

    4. Be very gentle with the ribbons; they are VERY easy to tear. Go slowly when removing the upper lid/keyboard - the ribbon can snap easily if you're not careful about it.

    The real trick is getting the lid to shut correctly. Mine upper lid isn't clamping down correctly, which is preventing the lid from shutting properly. Also, should you need spare parts, don't count on the local Apple store for help. For example, the guides that I looked at (like OWC's installation video) show four rubber grommet/screw combos attached to the hard drive; mine only had three on the stock drive. I called up the local Apple store to see if I could snag a replacement (I didn't even lose it...it just wasn't there!) and they politely informed me that I had voided the warranty and they couldn't sell spare parts over the phone or at the store. Dumb. He advised me to try calling Apple Care to see if I could get the replacement part. I'm not looking forward to disassembling the laptop again when/if I can get the part.

    OS X is installing now. Just pop in the first disc, let it boot up, and then go into Tools and use the Disk Utility to erase the drive. After you do this, your drive will appear as a place to install OS X to. By the way, the rep on the phone at the Apple store said they will not install hard drives, but said something about doing it if it was the day that you bought it. Not sure if he meant they would install a drive if you brought it the day that you bought it or if you're stuck with the stock disk.

    Bottom line? If you want the fast 7200rpm hard drive or the big 120gb hard drive, just buy it from Apple. Installing the ram is painless; not so much with the hard drive. That's just my advice, and I work on laptops all the time.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2006
    Posts
    1,868
    Specs:
    G4 Cube
    Here's a condensed quickie guide for use when following the photos:

    1. Remove battery
    2. Remove 3 ram cover screws
    3. Remove ram cover
    4. Remove 2 screws behind ram
    5. Remove 4 screws on rear bottom
    6. Remove 2 latch screws in the front of the battery bay
    7. Remove 4 screws on left outside
    8. Remove 4 screws on right outside
    9. Remove 2 screws on rear outside
    10. Carefully lift top keyboard panel up; wiggle the bottom to get it to pop out
    11. Pop out the keyboard ribbon connector (held down by transparent orange tape)
    12. Pop out the white Bluetooth adapter (wedged in between hard drive and case)
    13. Un-stick the ribbon on top of the hard drive next to the white Bluetooth adapter
    14. Unscrew the two screws on the right of the hard drive in the hard drive bracket (you'll have to push a wire or two over by the bottom screw)
    15. Carefully lift up the hard drive and bracket by the right side
    16. As you are lifting, pop out the hard drive ribbon (REALLY easy compared to 2.5" IDE hard drives)
    17. Slide the hard drive bracket off the hard drive (held in by the rubber grommets that are screwed into the hard drive)
    18. Remove the 4 hard drive grommets from the hard drive
    19. Reverse these directions to reassemble (screw in the grommets to the new hard drive, slide bracket on, etc.)

    I think that's all of the steps. It looks like a lot, but there's only a handful of screws to worry about and as long as you go slow you'll be fine. As far as I know, this will void your warranty. Be warned, especially if you have or plan on getting AppleCare.

  3. #3

    Mace's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2005
    Posts
    262
    Specs:
    1.83 MBP
    so if I've already bought the laptop I can purchase a new HD and apple will install it?

  4. #4

    ShillAT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    340
    Specs:
    Mac Book Pro, 1.83 GHz, 1.5 gigs RAM, 80 GB, AND NO HEAT ISSUES!!
    I was thinking the same thing......or do you have to specify what you want WHEN you buy the mbp?
    "You can play your electric guitar but it ain’t gonna change the world
    You can get all emotional on me and cry like a little girl"
    -Electric Six- Rock 'n Roll Evacuation- Señor Smoke

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2006
    Posts
    230
    I think the best thing to do since its so hard to replace the HD in a macbook pro, is to buy your new HD and take it in to a local mom and pop mac store. They usually have better instalation rates and arn't as big SOB's.

  6. #6

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    12,456
    Specs:
    MacBook
    Quote Originally Posted by Mace
    so if I've already bought the laptop I can purchase a new HD and apple will install it?
    No, Apple will not install it for you.
    It is not considered a Customer Installible or Upgradable Part. By putting a new HD in you are in effect, voiding your warranty. Apple will not support or offer any assistance with a part that they themselves have not provided you.
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  7. #7

    Mace's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2005
    Posts
    262
    Specs:
    1.83 MBP
    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y
    No, Apple will not install it for you.
    It is not considered a Customer Installible or Upgradable Part. By putting a new HD in you are in effect, voiding your warranty. Apple will not support or offer any assistance with a part that they themselves have not provided you.
    So basically if you're WILLING to pay apple to do it they'd decline your business? I sure don't want to void my warranty but I'd really enjoy the extra space a larger HD would provide. Alas, choices.
    Thanks for the input.

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