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View Full Version : Changing Hard Drives on a Powerbook or ibook


mashinhead
Nov 23, 2004, 01:27 PM
Hey i wanted to know if anyone has upgraded their hard drives on old powerbooks or ibooks, or even new ones. Did you do it yourself (was it hard) or have someone else do it (who and how much did you pay). If anyone has any recommendations of places that will do if for you at a good price let me know. I live in the DC area

diamond geezer
Nov 23, 2004, 02:16 PM
If your machine is still under warranty, don't do it. It's not worth the risk of invalidating your warranty.

If you don't have the right tools you run the risk of damaging your case, zapping your logic board.

What model machine do you have?

mkubal
Nov 23, 2004, 03:07 PM
I upgraded my Ti 400 from the stock 10 gig to a hitachi 7k60. The drive is great, but a bit expensive. It was really quite easy to switch the drives out. There are directions all over the internet for whatever model you have. If you can read directions (with pictures mind you) and you aren't a klutz then you should be able to handle it.

Matt

yadmonkey
Nov 23, 2004, 05:13 PM
There is a wide variety of levels of difficulty for this operation, depending on the model. On my old Lombard, its really easy. On the TiBook, piece of cake. On the 15" Aluminum, its a bit more involved, but quite doable. On the 17" and 12" Alums, it gets more tricky, still doable for the more savvy. On the iBook, I think its too difficult for the average person to do. Easy to mess things up.

I agree with the advice about not voiding your warantee - don't do it. You could always get an external firewire drive if you desperately need more storage.

If you decide to purchase and install a drive, I suggest the Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 series for a great combination of price, performance, quiet operation, and reliability. Stay away from toshiba drives! You can get drives on the cheap here...

http://www.zipzoomfly.com

superbovine
Nov 23, 2004, 06:19 PM
Hey i wanted to know if anyone has upgraded their hard drives on old powerbooks or ibooks, or even new ones. Did you do it yourself (was it hard) or have someone else do it (who and how much did you pay). If anyone has any recommendations of places that will do if for you at a good price let me know. I live in the DC area

Search the forums there are serveral threads on this topic, and which hard drives to get.

mashinhead
Nov 23, 2004, 06:34 PM
There is a wide variety of levels of difficulty for this operation, depending on the model. On my old Lombard, its really easy. On the TiBook, piece of cake. On the 15" Aluminum, its a bit more involved, but quite doable. On the 17" and 12" Alums, it gets more tricky, still doable for the more savvy. On the iBook, I think its too difficult for the average person to do. Easy to mess things up.

I agree with the advice about not voiding your warantee - don't do it. You could always get an external firewire drive if you desperately need more storage.

If you decide to purchase and install a drive, I suggest the Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 series for a great combination of price, performance, quiet operation, and reliability. Stay away from toshiba drives! You can get drives on the cheap here...

http://www.zipzoomfly.com


Well heres the deal, i have a Tibook with a 5400 rpm 80gb hd. I want to get and ibook, i would pay for the extra hdrive space, but apple only gives 4500 rpm drives as options on ibooks. and i've found 3rd partys that sell them at a nice price. I know a mac tech who can do it and i contacted him, but he wants $80/hr and says it will take him 4 hrs. to do it. So i wanted to get an ibook and buy a hard drive and ram and load it up, because frankly apple just doesn't give you that option, and i don't see why not if you're willing to pay for it.

diamond geezer
Nov 23, 2004, 06:40 PM
Well heres the deal, i have a Tibook with a 5400 rpm 80gb hd. I want to get and ibook, i would pay for the extra hdrive space, but apple only gives 4500 rpm drives as options on ibooks. and i've found 3rd partys that sell them at a nice price. I know a mac tech who can do it and i contacted him, but he wants $80/hr and says it will take him 4 hrs. to do it. So i wanted to get an ibook and buy a hard drive and ram and load it up, because frankly apple just doesn't give you that option, and i don't see why not if you're willing to pay for it.

4 hours is BS!

Think 10 minutes to get the drive out of the PB G4 Ti and another 1 hour MAX to exchange the drives in the iBook.

Is your tech "friend" portables certified?

yadmonkey
Nov 24, 2004, 12:14 AM
Well heres the deal, i have a Tibook with a 5400 rpm 80gb hd. I want to get and ibook, i would pay for the extra hdrive space, but apple only gives 4500 rpm drives as options on ibooks. and i've found 3rd partys that sell them at a nice price. I know a mac tech who can do it and i contacted him, but he wants $80/hr and says it will take him 4 hrs. to do it. So i wanted to get an ibook and buy a hard drive and ram and load it up, because frankly apple just doesn't give you that option, and i don't see why not if you're willing to pay for it.

I'll start with the end of your post - Apple probably doesn't do that so they can further distinguish their Powerbooks as the professional line. Sounds to me like you should save some more money and get a powerbook.

I agree with Diamond Geezer that 4 hours is excessive for a Mac Tech, though I think 10 minutes would only be realistic for the more experienced techs. A savvy user could do it within an hour realistically.

Also remember that this will instantly void your warrantee. Not acceptable and you can really end up shooting yourself in the foot. I'd even say its worthwhile to get Applecare's 3-year protection plan for the iBook if your not fairly experienced in repairing portables, because the iBook is definitely above-average difficulty in terms of repair.

Since you've previously owned the professional line (a TiBook), I think you may be disappointed as an iBook owner. They are simply less powerful, less expandable (no PC card slot), less servicable, and in my experience, more problematic. You will lose things like dual-displays that aren't mirrored - you might not miss it, but you might have taken it for granted with the PB.

CanadaRAM
Nov 24, 2004, 12:38 AM
I would give drive replacement on a TiBook about 15 minutes minimum, you have to be careful to reassemble the case correctly or you'll jam the CD or the latch, and the little rubber washers that hold the drive in place are a bit fiddly.

Re and Re an iBook drive -- I haven't done it myself but experienced techs I know say "never again", there are about 30 screws and numerous pieces to disassembe then reassemble. 1 hour I would say is optimistic. It may not take 4 hours, but I can see where the guy is coming from, if anything goes wrong he'll have to do it over, so he's estimating on the high side instead of best-case scenario. He also may be including OS installation in the estimate.

Here's a PDF with explicit photos of the naked iBook
http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/files/iBook500HDRev1.2.pdf

Suggestion: Get an inexpensive 20 - 40 Gb 2.5" hard drive, and a portable 2.5" firewire case. Put the 20 - 40 Gb into the TiBook and format it up. Put the nice TiBook 80 Mb drive into the firewire case and hang it off whatever machine you are using. That'll be cheaper than the labour.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com

yadmonkey
Nov 24, 2004, 01:29 AM
CanadaRAM makes some really good points. If you decide that you want an iBook, an external drive is very preferable to voiding the warantee. I like the Macally PHR-250cc enclosure. It is really small (portable) and is powered by the USB or Firewire connection. You can throw in the drive of your choice - again I like the Hitchai Travelstar.

I've replaced a ton of laptop hard drives in my time, Mac and PC, but the iBook is definitely among the biggest pains in the budonkadonk. Hours aside, $80 is a good price for the job, especially if he's copying over your data as well.

ftaok
Nov 24, 2004, 08:30 AM
Hey i wanted to know if anyone has upgraded their hard drives on old powerbooks or ibooks, or even new ones. Did you do it yourself (was it hard) or have someone else do it (who and how much did you pay). If anyone has any recommendations of places that will do if for you at a good price let me know. I live in the DC areaI've replaced the hard drive on my old iBook (500mhz Combo) with a 40GB 5400RPM Toshiba. I can tell you that no one in the world can do the replacement in 1 hour. ;) It's just not possible. Heck, it took me 30 minutes just to pry the bottom case off. It took me 3 or 4 hours and it's pretty involved, however, it's not as impossible as some make it out to be.

Just a few pointers. Make sure you take your time to mark down where every screw goes. Take your time and DO NOT strip any screws (I did and had to resort to a little brute force on the top case. And make sure you have the right tools (small phillips screwdriver, a No. 8 Torx driver-I think, a 2mm hex wrench-I think). And read up on the tutorials before proceeding.

Good luck.

mashinhead
Nov 24, 2004, 10:40 AM
Well after taking all your suggestions into account, i think that it is possible to do it my self. I looked at the instructions. i've successfully disected and ipod and a mini, though i'm not suggesting that is at all comprable.

I'm selling my old Ti, because an ibook will be faster, and i'm going away for xmas, and want to travel as light as possible. Its really a tide over machine, I'll buy a new one in Jan. Which is why i don't want a 12" Pbook. Frankly they are way too close to justify the price difference.

So i will call apple to order and try to fanagle a 5400 drive in my order. And if unsuccessful i'll take the 4200 :( @ 80GB. And after my warranty expires. i'll get a new hard drive an perform the surgery. Just because this is becoming more work than it is worth right now.

BUT... my main question is, if after the warranty expires. And if i change it myself.... am i, or am i not eligible for Applecare??



**edit**

I DO have one other question too: If i get a new i book and transfer everything over via FIRWIRE. Does that count as one of the 5 computers i can play my purchase music. What i mean is, is it 5 computers you can play your music on, OR is it 5 computers at a time?

ftaok
Nov 24, 2004, 12:28 PM
mashinhead,

As far as I know, Applecare works the same way as the standard warranty. So if you change the HD, you'll end up voiding your Applecare. I waited until my Applecare was up before doing the change. I figure I'll get another 2 good years of use from the trusty iBook.

As for the question regarding iTunes authorizations. The way I understand it is that you get up to 5 authorizations simultaneously. So after you've finished transferring your music from your old TiBook to the new iBook, you'll use another authorization. But before you get rid of the TiBook, make sure you de-authorize it and you'll get that 1 authorization back.

Hope that helps.

mashinhead
Nov 24, 2004, 04:50 PM
And how do i de-authorize?

betsbillabong
Nov 24, 2004, 05:19 PM
Honestly, if you're getting a new one when they announce the new line, I think you'd be crazy to install a new HD in the ibook. If you need a bigger faster harddrive, just use a firewire external for the next couple of months, then sell it and the ibook in order to finance the powerbook. Applecare is a huge selling point - the iboook might well drop in value despite the bigger faster HD if the warranty's been voided.

I hear you, though - I needed my powerbook in a hurry so had to buy the 4200 drive (the first BTO one I got was DOA and I couldn't wait any longer, so I had to pick up a stock one at the store). Now I really wish I had the 5400. But I will wait till Hitachi makes an 80G 7200, then stick it in (or pay $80 for an Apple Tech to do it) and put the 4200 in a firewire enclosure for backup.

diamond geezer
Nov 24, 2004, 07:14 PM
I've replaced the hard drive on my old iBook (500mhz Combo) with a 40GB 5400RPM Toshiba. I can tell you that no one in the world can do the replacement in 1 hour. ;) It's just not possible. Heck, it took me 30 minutes just to pry the bottom case off. It took me 3 or 4 hours and it's pretty involved, however, it's not as impossible as some make it out to be.
Good luck.

30 minutes to take the bottom case off (all 8 screws)? Please remember that the guy offering to do the work is an Apple Tech and would supposedly have the rights tools and knowledge for the job and therefore could do the job in an hour (which I have done many times).

Does this mean that I'm not of this world?

timnosenzo
Nov 24, 2004, 07:51 PM
I upgraded the HD on my 550 TiBook, it was a piece of cake! Just be careful, and make sure you have the proper tool to get the case apart. Also, if you can upgrade to a 5400 RPM drive, it helps!

ftaok
Nov 24, 2004, 09:16 PM
30 minutes to take the bottom case off (all 8 screws)? Please remember that the guy offering to do the work is an Apple Tech and would supposedly have the rights tools and knowledge for the job and therefore could do the job in an hour (which I have done many times).

Does this mean that I'm not of this world?Yes, you must be from another planet. ;)

As far as taking 30 minutes to get the bottom cover off, it because it's pretty difficult to pry that sucker loose. I guess I was just being overly careful.

Just curious, what kinds of tools would you use to pry the bottom case off?

diamond geezer
Nov 25, 2004, 01:58 PM
Yes, you must be from another planet. ;)

As far as taking 30 minutes to get the bottom cover off, it because it's pretty difficult to pry that sucker loose. I guess I was just being overly careful.

Just curious, what kinds of tools would you use to pry the bottom case off?

Apple sell a black nylon tool that has a sharp edge, like a flat-blade screwdriver.

You pop the clip in the battery bay, then run the tool along the front edge, then along the side with the ports and along the back.