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My ibook hd upgrade experience

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kylos, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I have a 2001 ibook which came with a 10 gb hard drive, which has been getting more and more crammed. With the devtools and Panther installed, I had about 1 and a half gigs for files since mac os X has an insatiable need for space for disk caching.

    So recently I decided to replace the hd with a 40 gig travelstar from Hitachi. I wasn't really concerned about messing up since I'm relatively handy at taking things apart and reassembling them, and I'd weighed the odds that if I did mess up bad enough to send it to the shop, I probably wouldn't pay too much more to get it installed by a pro. And besides, there are some very handy instructions online about replacing a hd.

    Ok, so I order the drive from owc, it comes in a couple of days and I install it. It takes about 2 hrs and goes pretty well except for a little difficulty detaching and reattaching the trackpad ribbon. This ribbon actually has no connector on the end, but simply slides into a connector that clamps it to 8 pins on the logic board. The pins became slightly loose and the ribbon needed to be reseated in order to get the trackpad to work. But other than that it went fine.

    Unfortunately, the new hd started clicking at every drive access. That did not make me feel good about the well-being of my data. So I called owc and asked for a replacement. They were very good about sending me the new hd.

    So last night I replaced the hd again. This time I'm a pro. I get it apart and back together with little problem other than the typical problem of getting the speaker wires to lay down in the right place so the ibook will fit back together.

    I started it up, and the trackpad didn't work. No big problem, I thought, I've dealt with this before. Except for this time when I touched the connector, the pins broke off at the board. I suddenly felt very[\b] sick. There are two rows of four pins apiece with each row less than 3/16 of an inch in length. That requires some expert soldering to even think of fixing. Also complicating things is that one row of pins was not accessible by the soldering iron without completely tearing the ibook apart. I was pretty sure I'd have to get the motherboard replaced, since I was no where near that good of a solderer and I didn't think many people, even a repair shop would be able to solder it. But I asked my roommates if any of them were steady with a soldering iron. One of them said he'd give it a try.

    Well, he did an outstanding job. He traced a bit of solder on the board for each pin, and then as I held the connector, he heated the four pins he could get to. I wasn't extremely confident that it would work since it had failed even with a more secure connection. But amazingly it started up with no problems and the trackpad worked perfectly. I'm still dragging my finger across the trackpad with a feeling of relief when I wake my ibook. Oh, the new hd works great. That experience caused me about the worst panic I've ever had.
  2. macrumors 601

    Good story.

    I too have a 2001 iBook with the 10GB drive. My Applecare is about to expire and I have thought about replacing the hard drive myself.

    May I ask how much you paid for the Hitachi 40GB?


  3. macrumors 6502a


    The hd was $135 from owc. I didn't get apple care so I didn't have to worry about voiding a warranty.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Good story there...I commend your friend on his soldering skills.

    Which resources did you look up when you took apart your iBook? I've found a few on Google like this one here
  5. macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    wow. good job! and i commend the bravery of you and your roommate. what sorts of speed increases (if any) have you noticed?

    more importantly, though: would you do it again? :D
  6. macrumors 6502a


    I used this. I think I found this at xlr8yourmac.

    I wouldn't recommend using the page you listed unless you like taking out more screws than necessary. The link I provided also has a screw template to make sure you keep track of your screws. Nevertheless, I had an extra screw the first time. (I was able to figure out where to put it the second time)

    Baby duck: Unfortunately, I didn't run any benchmark or performance tests cause I was more interested in the space and not the speed. However, a few qualitative results: it only runs marginally hotter with the new hd. Also restart time went from over two mins to about forty five seconds. Approximately, anyways. That was measured by when uptimeinmenubar first popped up. It runs 5400 rpm so i'm happy with that.

    Would i do it again? It depends on how well off I am. I want the mac computing experience badly, but being a college student, I don't have much to spend. So I'm relying on my ibook to last me a while. This upgrade was essential and that's why I really went for it. If I had more money to spend, I'd probably work on my soldering skills and attempt to overclock it. But right now, I need it to work as often as possible with as few repairs as possible. And right now the trackpad will almost surely need to be repaired if I attempt it again, so I'm not planning anything in the near future

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