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  1. #1

    caribiner23's Avatar
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    Another MacBook Hard Drive Replacement Experience
    Here's another MacBook hard drive replacement story for everyone:

    My MacBook came from the factory with an 80 GB drive (Fujitsu MHV2080BHPL), and I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to a larger drive because of my audio work and the fact that I've become a Parallels junkie :-).

    I decided to go the simple route and get the same model drive in a larger capacity: newegg.com has the Fujitsu MHV2120BH for $122, so I ordered that one. It arrived quickly, as newegg orders usually do (unsolicited plug :-).

    The steps I took were as follows:

    1) I backed up my existing hard drive to an external firewire enclosure using SuperDuper. (I've been using this application for a long time, and I'm a huge fan-- it's what I use for regular backups.) My drive had about 55 GB used on it, and the backup took under an hour.

    2) I shut down and rebooted, holding the "Option" key to see my boot device choices: I chose the external drive and booted from that, just to make sure everything on the backup worked okay. It did. I shut down the MacBook and disconnected the external drive.

    3) I laid out a clean cloth, turned the MacBook over and removed the battery. Then I used a small (jeweler's) Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the three screws on the memory/hard drive bracket in the battery compartment. Then I removed the bracket.

    4) The hard drive is in the left end of the case inside the battery compartment. I untucked the plastic tab and gently pulled: the hard drive slipped right out.

    5) The hard drive is mounted on a thin metal caddy: you will need a #9 Torx screwdriver to remove the drive from the caddy. I removed the four screws from the caddy and removed it from the old hard drive. Then I put the caddy on the new drive.

    6) I slid the new drive into its slot and tucked the plastic tab underneath the drive as the old one originally was.

    7) I replaced the memory/hard drive bracket and battery, and put the unit upright again.

    8) I connected the firewire drive and powered up the MacBook holding the Option key. I selected the external drive (as I did in Step 2) and booted up.

    9) Once running, the MacBook gave an error message that I connected an "invalid device." A dialog box asked if I wanted to initialize the disk, and when I clicked "yes" it brought up Disk Utility.

    10) In Disk Utility, I selected the new drive and chose "Erase." After a minute the drive was ready and MacOS mounted it: I could see it on my desktop and in the Finder.

    11) I fired up SuperDuper again, this time making the external drive the source and the new internal drive the target. The restore took about an hour.

    12) Once completed, I shut down the MacBook, disconnected the firewire drive, and pushed the Power button. The MacBook booted perfectly with the new drive. Success!

    13) Once I was up and running, I ran a "Repair Permissions" just to make sure everything was copacetic. It's all good.

    There are instructions on Apple's site in this PDF document. The one thing they don't tell you (as I've found in other instructions online) is the bit about the drive caddy and the Torx screws, which I imagine would have been extremely frustrating had I attempted this at 11:00 at night and found myself without the appropriate tool.

    Hope someone finds this helpful!

  2. #2

    alucard's Avatar
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    Good stuff. When booting from the firewire external drive did it boot up quickly?

  3. #3

    caribiner23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    Good stuff. When booting from the firewire external drive did it boot up quickly?
    Yup. Not quite as fast as the internal drive, but certainly faster than a USB.

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Jan 04, 2005
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Good job. Glad you posted this here for others who might want to upgrade their Hard Drive.

  5. #5

    alucard's Avatar
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    May 29, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by caribiner23 View Post
    Yup. Not quite as fast as the internal drive, but certainly faster than a USB.
    I'm trying to find a firewaite HD enclosure for a 300Gb SATA MAxtor that i have but i keep hearing about a 127GB limitation with firewire. Even though the HD would be bigger than my wifes current 80GB 5400 external USB, i want to connect it to give her some space for pics and backups and i think the speed of the firewire would be great.

  6. #6

    gblader's Avatar
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    Oct 04, 2006
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    MacBook 2.0 ghz 1.25 RAM 60 GB
    Do you have to use a firewire, or can you use USB? I have a Macbook.
    Thanks, and thanks again very much for this info - it will definitely become useful!!!!!

  7. #7

    caribiner23's Avatar
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    You don't have to use firewire, but it'll definitely be faster.

  8. #8
    wawaroo
    Guest
    A new HD replacement question
    Hi,

    This is perhaps a silly question, but Im new to Apple. I bought a Macbook (its coming next Wednesday- crosses fingers!) and kept the standard hard drive configuration (80GB); my plan is to buy a third-party (Hitachi/Seagate?) HD to replace it. I dont think I will have problems with the physical replacement, but I think Im confusing myself with the software transfer.

    Should I:

    1) Replace the HD immediately as soon as I take the MB out of the box? (I read somewhere that it needs to be charged up before using, which makes sense; Im asking if I should replace the HD before the Macbooks first charge.)
    2) I bought the laptop without any extra software/programs besides what it originally comes with. Keeping it as low-tech as possible, how do I transfer the stuff from my Apple HD to new HD? Ive been reading about external enclosures and various programs (SuperDuper, Clone-something, etc.), but will I need them? (This laptop will be brand new, I wont have anything on it.)

    Sorry if this has been previously discussed; I figured that I could also trek over to my Apple store to ask, but I think that if the arrival is Wednesday, Ill probably be playing with it all over Thanksgiving weekendwhen the store wont be open! So thanks in advance.

  9. #9

    caribiner23's Avatar
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    If you're starting from a brand-new MacBook, I'd suggest removing the hard drive and swapping in the new one straight away, then putting your restore DVD in place and booting up (pressing "C") and run setup on the new drive that way.

    The only snag you may run into is that your new drive won't be formatted out of the box, but setup should (note I said "should") initialize it for you.

    You won't hurt anything by removing the factory drive at the start. Just make sure you have power to the MacBook while you're loading the OS-- you'll charge while it's plugged in.

  10. #10

    steven11's Avatar
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    Nov 04, 2006
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    I had to bump this one back to the top with question or two as well. Will I lose any programs in the transfer? I downloaded a ton of software and don't want to go and repeat the old process. Great thread by the way very infomatic!! I'll be installing my new drive tomorrow.

  11. #11

    caribiner23's Avatar
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    As long as you use SuperDuper to do a full backup, everything you have on your old hard drive will be on your new drive.

    By following the steps I outlined above, I lost nothing-- and I have many applications as well as a full Parallels XP environment on the drive.

    Good luck, and be sure to report back!

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Nov 25, 2006
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    Thank you, very informative in case I go down that route.

  13. #13

    steven11's Avatar
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    Thank you, Thank You!! I did go down that route. It was a breeze so far. I took out the old drive replaced it and now I'm copying the contents of my old drive over to my new chubby 160. My only suggestion is get a firewire. I'm using a usb and its oh so slow. It took two hours to back up my old drive and I'm expecting it to take another two hours to back up onto my new one. I love this machine and I only wish the install took a little more time and was not so easy. The geniuses wanted to charge me 40 bucks to swap out the hardware. It literally took 5 minutes to take out he old drive and replace it with a new one and I've never even attempted it before. They also told me for the low, low price of $79 they'd be happy to back up all my files and swap them as well. I bet they'd be happy!! If you are sitting on the fence trying to decide if you're mechanical enough to do this, let me tell you, you are! No offense but if you have two hands and half a brain save yourself the extra loot and do it yourself. Check this out. Here's a vid to show you the process start to finish. Complements of OWC...http://eshop.macsales.com/tech_cente...book/high.html

    I guess i"m patting myself on the back a little ahead of time cuz I'm still swapping files but so far the mechanical aspect was very short and very sweet. Just read the directions and watch the vid and you should be golden.:black:

  14. #14

    caribiner23's Avatar
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    Excellent news! Keep us posted on how it all turns out...

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by caribiner23 View Post
    Excellent news! Keep us posted on how it all turns out...

    Thanks for posting...this will be very useful.

    I've been meaning to increase the size of my macbook's hard drive for some time. I was depending on an external drive solution I picked up about a month ago before I realized that I can't run XP from the external drive. Bootcamp really needs to have the partitions on the same internal drive to work.

    Anyhow, extra hard drive space never hurt anyone, but I do need to get bigger internal. It's timely b/c my macbook's hard drive has started grinding; I think the issue was caused by an error with a particular bittorrent client, I'm almost sure of it.

    Getting back to the topic at hand though, what are the specs of the internal hard drive? It needs to be a SATA 2.5" notebook drive? 7200 RPM OK?

    I've been trying to google it for the past 10 minutes with limited success. Plenty of articles on how to do the operation, including the apple website, but no specs info. This is the sort of thing that should be included in the macbook user guide but is omitted. (I mean, if they're going to tell you how to replace the memory, they might as well fill you in on hard drive replacement as well).

    edit: I found a thread that said that 7200 RPM SATA's will work with the MBP. Somebody please confirm that the same is true for the Macbook (and note any warnings that I should know about). Thanks!

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