Anybody have success in Mid-09 uMBP with Hitachi 7200 Drives?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Beaker35, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Beaker35 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 21, 2010
    #1
    I've read all the horror stories about how the mid-09 MBP hard drive firmware update and non-Apple 7200 RPM HDDs don't get along. Most of these seem to be related to the use of a SATA 3.0 drive (which shouldn't matter, since mechanical hard drives can't even make use of the full SATA 1.5, but I digress).

    I'm about to buy a new Mac, and, even though the Macbook, which doesn't seem to have these problems, would suit my needs just fine (my camcorder is USB and my digital cameras both use CF), I might spring for the MBP anyway (likely to get the additional 2" of screen space on the low-end 15", which has the closest resolution to what I am used to on my outgoing T60).

    Obviously, I could pay Apple to upgrade to one of their 7200 RPM drives, assuming I get the 15". But that seems silly, since I can buy, for less than $100 (i.e., half the upgrade cost from Apple, plus I keep the old drive), a Hitachi Travelstar 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 drive. My questions are:

    1) Has anybody successfully upgraded to such a drive (or its 320 GB little brother, which is otherwise speced the same) in a mid-2009 MBP?

    2) If so, did you have to downgrade the firmware as suggested in these forums?

    3) If so, did you have to "tweak" the drive in any fashion to make it work?

    Thanks in advance!

    [BTW, I don't really care about Core 2 Duo vs. Core i5, so waiting isn't necessary. For what I do (general productivity), I won't likely see any advantage.]
     
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

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    Mar 3, 2006
    #2
    I've plunked in a WD 7200 (scorpio black) into the mid-09 with no issues. Any reason you HAVE to go with the Hitachi?

    Oh, and go refurb - the savings will more than pay for the new drive. And while I'm at it, don't forget the free printer! :p
     
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #3
    While I don't have a unibody, I do HAVE the Hitachi Travelstar you speak of. It is a great drive!
     
  4. Beaker35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 21, 2010
    #4
    I don't have to, but I've had good experiences with a series of Hitachi Travelstar drives in my Thinkpad over the last 4 years.

    People here seem to swear by refurbs. I'm generally of the mind that, if I'm going to plunk down $1200 for a new computer, I want a new computer. Plus, the savings for me aren't as great--I already get a military discount. On refurbs, that discount comes off the top, not the refurb price.
     
  5. moral-hazard macrumors regular

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    Palo Alto, CA
    #5
    If you get a good deal on new, buy new. That's what I did. I won a $300 apple gift card in a software design competition, threw in my student discount and sold the free iPod - came out with an mbp for $600 + tax.

    As for the hdd - I'd recommend a WD Scorpio Black if you want 7200rpm's. WD's drives seem to be the most reliable at the moment. I've heard of both the hitachi's and WD's working in uMBPs without vibrations or transferring issues, so either should be fine.
     
  6. ttran88 macrumors regular

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    Nov 12, 2009
    #6
    I have a hitachi travelstar 500 gb 7200 rpm in my mid 2009 umbp. It works great with no problem so far. I felt a significant increase in speed when i upgraded from a 500 gb 5400 rpm HD (WD Scorpio Blue). I got the hitachi for only 80 dollars off newegg when it was on sale so it was a no brainer to upgrade. Plus I sold the WD for 80 dollars on craigslist :D
     
  7. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #7
    Did you get the "park" noise? I did, it happened randomly.

    I plugged it into a PC, booted with the Hitachi tool and disabled power management.

    It now runs in my 08 MBP fine with no clicking, but even when I shake the laptop, it doesnt "park".

    Weird?
     
  8. mhmyers macrumors newbie

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #8
    I just installed a Hitachi Travelstar 7200 rpm 320 GB in my umbp mid-09.

    It works great. Everything is snappier. Battery life is only slightly reduced.

    It does make a peculiar noise that's hard to describe- it spins then the head clicks a little and stops, then resumes.

    I called Apple and asked if my warranty would be voided since a 7200 is only an option for the 15" model. They said they don't support a 7200 for a 13".

    I first put the drive into an enclosure and SuperDupered my disk onto it. There was virtually no heat or vibration and it was very quiet.

    This Hitachi is rated higher than the WD or the Seagate 7200 in benchmark tests:

    http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd_lookup.php?cpu=Hitachi+HTS725032A9A364
     
  9. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #9
    That's the power management on the drives firmware that is making the clicking.

    I turned it off on mine (you have to connect to a PC via SATA and boot with the hitachi cd and disable it from DOS.)

    I get no more clicking.

    It's weird, though. The Sudden Motion Sensor doesn't seem to work? I move and move the laptop and it doesn't make the "park head" noise like the old hard drive used to make. It continues spinning. Maybe it still spins but the head is parked? I dunno.

    I have talked to Hitachi and they said this drive does not have a motion sensor so nothing is conflicting with SMS in the laptop.
     
  10. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I haven't heard my drive click, or even make noise for that matter..I didn't even realize that there was Hitachi software, lol.
     
  11. mhmyers macrumors newbie

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #11
    The clicking apparently is a power-saving "feature" that stops when the battery is plugged in. Why disable it?
     
  12. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #12
    Because it just clicks and clicks every second. I disabled it and no more clicking.
     
  13. mhmyers macrumors newbie

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #13
    Does it use more battery that way? I tried to download the tools but I believe you need a floppy drive. How did you connect it to the PC? Can I do it in an enclosure via USB?
     
  14. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #14
    I get around 3 hours on battery, and that's full browsing with flash video in Firefox.

    It should eat more battery, for sure, but the clicking annoyed me, and I felt like it might die soon due to that erratic behavior.

    If you have a PC with SATA connections, you can connect directly to the motherboard. Use any SATA port with a SATA power cable.

    Actually there is an iso of the tool that makes it bootable for a CD so you don't need a floppy.

    http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#FeatureTool

    Download the "CD Tool"

    Don't think you can run it from a USB enclosure, it needs direct access to the drive. It changes the firmware on the drive.
     
  15. mhmyers macrumors newbie

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #15
    The problem is that CD won't boot Win7 (it won't recognize the trackpad as a mouse and it won't recognize a USB mouse) which is what I have running in Boot Camp. I was not able to get past the "I Accept" screen.
    Oh well.
     
  16. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #16
    Um it doesn't boot into Windows 7, it just boots into DOS from the CD.

    If it can't recognize the mouse/keyboard (since it's USB) make sure you check the BIOS and that there might be a specific setting to enable keyboard/mouse support under DOS programs.

    It worked perfectly fine here and I was using a wireless USB keyboard/mouse combo on a new i7 system.
     

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