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Old Mar 24, 2006, 06:21 AM   #1
Passante
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Need to replace powerbook HD--who to use

My 12" powerbook G4's hard drive has started to make intermittent whirring noises so its time to replace the drive before it leaves me at an inopportune time.

Since my University computer fixit shop is slow to respond I've done some checking and found a few companies that I can ship my powerbook to.

One in particular, MacresQ. looks very inexpensive.

http://www.powerbookresq.com/hitlist...sQ_Hard_Drives

Thinking about getting the 120 gig 5400 rpm seagate replacement.

So how is this company? Are there others I should consider? I'm not interested in DIY the drive replacement.

I've heard complaints against Maxor drives and I am not going to buy another Toshiba. How is Seagate?
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Last edited by Passante; Mar 24, 2006 at 09:43 AM.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 07:22 AM   #2
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all i can say is go out any buy a stand alone compatabil hard drive and then go to an apple service centre and they will fit it for you (at a price) and you will only wait an hour or 2 while they fit it for you
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 09:02 AM   #3
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FWIW, I put a new 100 GB 5400 RPM Seagate drive in my 12" PowerBook a couple weeks back. It replaced the 60 GB 4200 RPM Fujitsu drive that came in the machine originally. The new drive is not quite as quiet as the original one, but it's plenty quiet. It's noticeably faster however. Applications launch a lot quicker. Although I haven't timed it with a clock, I'd say Photoshop launches almost twice as fast.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 09:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisha cuthbert
all i can say is go out any buy a stand alone compatabil hard drive and then go to an apple service centre and they will fit it for you (at a price) and you will only wait an hour or 2 while they fit it for you
Didn't know that apple would do this. Where on their web page do they show service centers?

thanks
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 10:43 AM   #5
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At risk of asking the obvious, what does this "whirring" sound like? I just recently bought my first powerbook, a used 12" model, and I'd like to be aware of what to keep an ear out for.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munckee
At risk of asking the obvious, what does this "whirring" sound like? I just recently bought my first powerbook, a used 12" model, and I'd like to be aware of what to keep an ear out for.

It sounded to me like something gently hitting the blade of a fan. It only occurred when the powerbook was moved or tilted and it came from the left palm rest side. There was no correlation with fan speed and the sound had a constant frequently. In my machine it comes and goes. Do a forum search for "hard drive powerbook noise" and you will find other reports

Others have described it as "light saber sound".
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passante
One in particular, MacresQ. looks very inexpensive.

http://www.powerbookresq.com/hitlist...sQ_Hard_Drives
INEXPENSIVE????????????????? Which one??
I bought the 120 gigs Seagate momentus drive for about 185$ including taxes, and installation. It comes with 5 year warranty. But these are the rates I got in iNdia. Oops India. But there is no way you`ll get computer hardware costlier in US. The 999$ iBook cost me about 1110$(excluding tax) here. And so do every other computer product.. So I think you can find 120 gigs for atleast less than 200 bucks.
As far as Seagate is concerned, I m using the same drive. It definitely improves the loading times of big apps such as photoshop or iPhoto with lots of snaps. Didnt really notice any huge difference in battery life or heat generation either.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 03:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vikas soni
INEXPENSIVE????????????????? Which one??
I bought the 120 gigs Seagate momentus drive for about 185$ including taxes, and installation. It comes with 5 year warranty. But these are the rates I got in iNdia. Oops India. snip.
Well, I'm in the US and I bet overnight shipping to India and back would add a few Rupees to the bill
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 03:45 PM   #9
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Replacing a HD isn't really that hard.
After purchasing the HD, you only need tools, patience and time.

iFixIt.com/pbFixIt.com has part and instructions. Print the instructions.

Put aside more than just an hour or two, it may not take that long, but it could take longer.

Get your tools together first. Make sure that they are good quality tools.

Get ice cube trays or water color trays to put screws in. On the PB most of the screws are different.

Buy a spudger, or use an old credit card to separate the parts.

Antistatic wrist strap- $1.50 to $3.50 is a good price to pay static for protection. Perhaps over kill.

Upgrading your HD will give you a performance upgrade, likely improved power consumption, and noise reduction. A faster drive won't necessarily use a lot more just, it may actually be more efficient.

A magnet attached to a screwdriver can help pull a screw out.

This was the thread that I started about my HD change. I just took apart an old clamshell iBook and so in hind sight, it just takes patience.

I did strip the head on the IMF finger screw. That was really the only frustrating part. I used water color pans to keep the screws in order.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 03:58 PM   #10
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What is the SMART status of your HD? (Disk Utility) It isn't foolproof, but it will highlight any hardware errors that have been detected. Obviously if the drive is makeing noises but isn't noteing any read/write errors, that it is going to fail.

The disk can still be verified by Diskutility and still fail. The SMART status is a series of tests and statistics that are tracked on the drive it's self. Mostly read/write errors and timing. Certain sudden events are noted also- like the drive failing due to a sudden movement or an impact. SMART will not give you all errors and is not the only diagnostic, but it is really a good predictor that a drive will fail. Once a drive has noted errors, they can not be cleansed from the drives flash tiny memory.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 04:11 PM   #11
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My disk is still SMART verified and I installed SMARTreporter so the disk is being monitored every 20 minutes. I do weekly backups to an external hard drive.

The noise is gone now. It has come and gone a few times but it was very loud this weekend. I'll probably get the drive repaired soon since I do a lot of training at work and I have a conference coming up that I need to teach at. I can't afford to have my HD fail when I'm surrounded by a sea of wintels and I'm running Keynote
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 06:00 PM   #12
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http://wheretobuy.apple.com/locator/service.html
thats how you find you local service centre Passante and they only charge you fot the time they spend putting it in (over here in australia its around $130AUS) so it might not seem cheap but it will save you warranty
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 07:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisha cuthbert
http://wheretobuy.apple.com/locator/service.html
thats how you find you local service centre Passante and they only charge you fot the time they spend putting it in (over here in australia its around $130AUS) so it might not seem cheap but it will save you warranty
Woot to this. I replaced my own HD, because the failure was likely due to something that voided my AppleCare.

If you don't have AppleCare or warranty coverage anymore, then DIY is a viable option.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 07:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eniregnat
Woot to this. I replaced my own HD, because the failure was likely due to something that voided my AppleCare.

If you don't have AppleCare or warranty coverage anymore, then DIY is a viable option.
And if you screw it up you loose a laptop but if apple do it they can screw it up and then they give you a new one did we ever think of that, it happened to me although ive still got 900 days left on my applecare
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Old Mar 25, 2006, 08:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by elisha cuthbert
http://wheretobuy.apple.com/locator/service.html
thats how you find you local service centre Passante and they only charge you fot the time they spend putting it in (over here in australia its around $130AUS) so it might not seem cheap but it will save you warranty
Thank you elisha. Its great to get help from halfway around the world.
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Old Mar 25, 2006, 08:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passante
Thank you elisha. Its great to get help from halfway around the world.
and isnt it fun when those people just say likee "oh thats 300$" but in fact halfway around the world it turns out to be $100 but its great to try and help out these great people in our elite community, the mac community!!!
now we all need thing on our license saying mac user dont ******* with me
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Old Mar 28, 2006, 04:53 PM   #17
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Just sent my powerbook to MacresQ for a HD replacement

My Powerbook just left on its first trip without me. Going to Kansas to get a new hard drive. Will post on my experience with MacresQ for those who are interested.

Purchased a 120 gig Seagate to replace my 80 gig Toshiba.

More in a few days.
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 12:49 PM   #18
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My powerbook was back in my hands by 11 AM today. Looks great and seems to be running fine. Have to change all my passwords for various systems since I didn't have my Powerbook in my possession but thats standard for a repair. So for $299 MacresQ replaced my hard drive with a bigger unit and cloned my data onto the new drive. My powerbook left on Tuesday at 1:30 and returned Thursday at 11AM. Very prompt service.

Hope I never need another repair but I would use MacresQ again.
UPDATE
Opps may have spoken too soon. The drive installed is not the drive show on the web site. Thought I was getting a Seagate and got a Samsung.
UPDATE 2
Emailed MacresQ about the drive issue. Customer service person said that they recently made a change to stop specifying a brand. They removed the brand name from the description but omitted removing the manufacturer's name in the linked page. Still a fair price for service and Airborne shipping. My local service center quoted me $170 (2 hours) for drive replacement plus an hourly charge for data transfer. They promised to get to it in 2-3 days. Disappointed that the Samsung only has a 3 year warranty. Otherwise satisfied with the price and service.
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Last edited by Passante; Mar 30, 2006 at 09:19 PM.
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 01:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passante
My powerbook was back in my hands by 11 AM today. Looks great and seems to be running fine. Have to change all my passwords for various systems since I didn't have my Powerbook in my possession but thats standard for a repair. So for $299 MacresQ replaced my hard drive with a bigger unit and cloned my data onto the new drive. My powerbook left on Tuesday at 1:30 and returned Thursday at 11AM. Very prompt service.

Hope I never need another repair but I would use MacresQ again.
Hope I m not being stupid. But just out of curiosity I wud like to know if you got the old HDD back or not.
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 02:45 PM   #20
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Yes a got the original drive back.
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 05:17 PM   #21
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I've DIYed an HD upgrade on a 12" powerbook before, and trust me, it's VERY tricky. My PB is certainly not broke, but I left it with a few bruises. I actually gave up at my first try. I consider myself having plenty of experience upgrading laptop HDDs (PC laptops, TiBooks etc).

You can't compare the older powerbooks (up to TiBook) to the 12 inchers. Different propositions, because of the much tighter squeeze.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eniregnat
Replacing a HD isn't really that hard.
After purchasing the HD, you only need tools, patience and time.

iFixIt.com/pbFixIt.com has part and instructions. Print the instructions.

Put aside more than just an hour or two, it may not take that long, but it could take longer.

Get your tools together first. Make sure that they are good quality tools.

Get ice cube trays or water color trays to put screws in. On the PB most of the screws are different.

Buy a spudger, or use an old credit card to separate the parts.

Antistatic wrist strap- $1.50 to $3.50 is a good price to pay static for protection. Perhaps over kill.

Upgrading your HD will give you a performance upgrade, likely improved power consumption, and noise reduction. A faster drive won't necessarily use a lot more just, it may actually be more efficient.

A magnet attached to a screwdriver can help pull a screw out.

This was the thread that I started about my HD change. I just took apart an old clamshell iBook and so in hind sight, it just takes patience.

I did strip the head on the IMF finger screw. That was really the only frustrating part. I used water color pans to keep the screws in order.

Good luck!
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