Macbook Pro: Replace Internal HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Link00seven, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    I have a Macbook Pro 3.1 (2.4 Ghz Santa Rosa model from late 2007) that I purchased refurbished. Everything runs fine on it but I'm feeling the performance hit from not having a 7200 RPM drive, plus I'd like to have something a bit bigger then 160GB. They didn't give me any upgrade options on the refurb.

    I know that Apple doesn't consider replacing the internal HDD as something a user could do, so I'm pretty sure it would void the warranty (which wouldn't be good, as I have Apple Care good until Mar 2011) so how much would they charge to put say...250 or 320GB 7200 RPM drive? Or could I somehow do it and not void the warranty?

  2. macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    The manual that came with my new MBP includes instructions on replacing both the hard drive and RAM... so I can't believe that it'd void the warranty.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    Apple store would probably want $50 to $100 to upgrade your hard drive. With some patience and keeping track of 20-ish screws you can do it yourself. The only way the warranty is voided is if you break something.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    Yes. They made it possible to do with the later MBPs (couldn't be done before - only the RAM could be changed without opening up the entire laptop). Since they give you instructions to do it and have made it user friendly, I would think it is in the RAM category of upgrades.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    Actually, to my surprise also they simply won't upgrade your internal HD. I asked a genius if they offered such a service if I supplied the drive and they said nope, only for Mac Pro's.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    Apple does not perform any upgrades other than hardware they sell in the store, such as RAM for all Intel machines, hard drives, RAID cards, Airport/Bluetooth and video cards for Mac Pros.
  7. Quu
    macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2007
    I upgraded my 17" MacBook Pro (2006 Model) myself. I had to take nearly the entire computer apart to do it. Overall it took about 10 minutes to take apart and about 6 to 8 minutes to put back together again. I used the free guides available from which had very well made illustrated guides for my exact machine.

    I did not encounter any difficulty in taking apart my MacBook Pro, everything came apart easily and fitted back together perfectly no creaking no scraping no difficult screws and no damage caused by myself.

    I purchased a 320GB 7,200RPM drive from Western Digital to replace the 100GB 7,200RPM drive that came with my MacBook Pro I also purchased a Sata to USB adapter so that I could move my data from the 100GB drive to the 320GB drive using Disk Utilities built in Drive Cloning capability. This is the part of the entire process that took the most amount of time as my 100GB drive was already about 95% full when I performed the upgrade and it took around 4 hours if I remember correctly to move all the data over. Remember this is via a USB to SATA adapter it would probably have been a lot faster if it was SATA to SATA or something.

    I am experienced with computer hardware so I did the upgrade myself but even so I believe its easy enough to do by a Novice if you follow iFixits guides very carefully (And go through them start to finish a few times before you begin actually opening the machine). A good tip is to keep a bunch of small pots or trays around where you are going to perform the upgrade as there are many different sized screws that you should separate to make the entire thing easier to put back together after the tear down.
  8. macrumors regular

    May 12, 2007
    I am actually looking at upgrading the HDD in my MBP as well. I did call up my local Apple store to see how much it would cost but apparently they won't upgrade your HDD just like someone said earlier.

    So I've been looking and calling around to different AASPs and so far microcenter is the cheapest near me $40 for installation + cost of the drive. The only thing bad about them it that you have to buy the drive from them, but their prices are decent anyway so its not all that bad. MAy want to look into them if you have a store around you.

    So anyway... I am looking at getting either the Seagate Momentus 500 GB or the Samsung Spinpoint M6 500GB. Which one would you get? Why?
  9. macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    I'm thinking of doing this and have built my own PCs in the past. The opening of this laptop seems daunting (I have the 2007 17 inch). Having said that, if it took you 20 minutes, that doesn't sound too bad... Might have a go in the next few months....
  10. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    The store doesn't do upgrades for you except RAM, and upgrading your HDD does not void your warranty.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Question for those who have replaced the HDD

    This weekend I opened my 2.2Ghz MBP and replaced the 120gb 5400 rpm with a 320gb 7,200 rpm drive. The only problem I encountered was along the front edge of the computer where the clips engage. They were somewhat difficult to open. When I put it all back together I could never get the clips to snap together. Are the clips supposed to reengage? I didn't want to put too much force on the front of the computer. I even took the top back off to try to reinstall and now the top comes off very easily since the clips are not engaging. Is this typical? Is there any trick to get the clips to snap together?

  13. macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2008
    I did the upgrade myself to a 500gb HD. It was relatively easy and since I work with two apple certified techs at my college I had them nearby to ask any questions.

    The biggest thing I would recommend that you do is to get 5 or 6 dixie cups or a 7 day pill holder and put the screws in them. Every time a screw changes type you go to the next little box. That way you won't mix up the screws and strip out a hole by accident. A good apple tech can tell if the machine has been apart since the wrong screws will be in different places.

    I'm at work right now and the internet is super slow. When I get back to my room I'll upload the repair docs I have from Apple on disassembling an entire MBP 15in. It's a 27 mb PDF file.
  14. macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2008
  15. macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Apply more pressure. I know it seems like too much, but just use your thumb on the top and squeeze. It will click in.

    I had the benefit of a martini or two when I did mine though.
  16. macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    on the old mbp's like what he has it does void warranty.
    its not hard to upgrade your hd in a 3.1, you'll need a t6 I think though
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I'm in a similar boat as the OP. I bought my 15" 2.2ghz MacBook Pro in late 2007 refurbished and want to upgrade the hard drive from its current 120gb to something larger. I think I'll be good w/ another 5400 RPM drive though.

    I saw a thread on slickdeals on the Samsung 500GB 2.5" notebook laptop 5400rpm SATA hard drive HD for $95 shipped at Newegg and was thinking of grabbing that. Within that thread someone suggests grabbing a Western Digital Elements™ 400GB Portable Hard Drive for $55 from Staples after a coupon. So that's option 2.

    And my option 3 is taking apart the Western Digital 320gb passport I have (WD3200XMS-00) I currently have and putting that HD in my 15" MacBook Pro. Then, I could replace this portable w/ one that has FW800. Seems like a waste of a portable though.

    Once I figure out my best option, I'll have to do the install. Looking at this thread, it seems it's not too bad. What tool(s) would I need? I could probably grab this from a home depot or lowe's right?
  18. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    Apple changed their policy I think; I've upgraded my HDD and sent the computer in for multiple repairs and they never said anything.

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