Hard disk upgrade (MBP Gen1)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NamisloC, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. NamisloC macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    I'll start by saying I love my mac and it has been so faithful to me over the past couple years that I would never consider switching to anything else. But, imagine my frustration when I went to turn on my computer several days ago and I was stuck looking at the gray screen with a flashing question-mark folder. I checked around some forums and realized it is likely that my hard disk has sh*t the bed. My first thought was THANK YOU TIME MACHINE, although I will have to purchase a new drive, all is not lost!

    I inserted my install disks and went to the trusty Disk Utility to see what the bad news was and sure enough, my internal drive didn't show. Having given up all hope on my computer I ran some errands to get my mind off of it all and upon returning home I noticed that my computer (which I left on in all of the frustration) was patiently awaiting me with the start up screen.

    Long story short - My drive suddenly started working again as though by magic. However, I've noticed a severe loss in speed when doing tasks such as chasing down files and searching through folders. I won't touch spotlight because of the sheer fact that I don't have 30 seconds to wait for each and every search I do daily.

    I can only assume this is the start of some very serious problems with my hard disk. Er go, the decision to replace the drive with a new model. I got to thinking, "Hey, if I have to replace it, why not upgrade?" and I called up my local Apple store. They said for a MBP no longer under warranty I could purchase a 100gb hard disk (installed) for $320-$350 and that there were no available upgrades for my 1st Generation MacBook Pro. I kindly said no thank you and began my search for 2.5" disks online because apple's price for a new drive was outlandishly expensive.

    What I am asking from the Mac Rumors community is:

    1. What kind of HDD do you recommend I invest in? I currently own 2 WD external HDDs (500gb/250gb) and I am VERY pleased with both of them. I would like to upgrade to no less than 200gb and I know that WD sports a 320gb HDD so I'm leaning towards that. The drive I purchase needs to be reasonably fast but 10,000rpm is unnecessary and I don't want something over heating easily. However, with all of this in mind I'm not looking to spend of $200. (basically I want it all for nothing :p)
    WD Scorpio 320gb

    2. What do I need to know before doing major surgery on my baby? I've got the instructions from ifixit.com printed and ready to go at my beckoned whim. I am going to buy the necessary tools when I purchase the drive. But, do I need a bracelet to prevent static charge? I've heard many a horror story about these sorts of things and I honestly don't mind taking too many precautions to prevent a potential catastrophe.

    3. While I have the computer apart I would like to add some RAM and I know Kingston makes an identical chip to the one Apple markets. As far as I can tell these are the exact same chips (Same Dimensions & Specs) and it seems that one could substitute this less expensive version ($30@BestBuy) for the Oh-So-Typically over priced apple hardware ($99?). Am I mistaken or can I purchase this cheaper chip and save a bundle?
    Kingston RAM module - $30
    Crucial RAM module - $24
    Apple RAM Module - $100

    Thank you in advance to all responses
  2. NamisloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    Also, this may be a ridiculous question but I honestly don't know the answer so I'll ask, I have two 1gb slots for memory, is it possible to have more than 2gb of RAM? For instance, 1gb chip (Stock) X 2gb chip (after market). Since I'm sure this will not work, is it possible to change the RAM bay (dock?) to allow for more space with out compromising the other hardware in the computer?
  3. padmasana macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2006
    The iFixit guide is a great start for replacing the drive in your MBP. I used it successfully when I upgraded to a Western Digital 250gb drive.
    I also benefitted from reading the buyers comments on the WD drive at Newegg.com. You'll find a few more tips there that aren't part of the iFixit guide, like keeping all the little screws separated in one of those free pill dividers you get at pharmacies.

    As far as drives, the WD has worked fine for me. It suffers from a strange clicking that you'll find described in the newegg comments, but that can be resolved.

    Whole job takes 30 minutes to an hour. Good luck!
  4. NamisloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008

    Thank you for the well wishes! I was thinking instead of pill boxes, since I'm 19 and don't take daily medications, I would use an ice trays, due to the fact I'm 19 and live in a cheap apt. that doesn't have an electric Ice maker :( )

    After reading some stories of people getting screws mixed up I even contemplated using the little trick I learned watching Tomb Raider when I was 8. Make a map of the screw layout on a desk and keep them in the order I took them out.
  5. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    I believe you can install 2Gb x2 into the 1gen MBP. Though, even though you have 4Gb in total, the chip-set can only address 3Gb*

    * someone please confirm?
  6. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Actually the first gen MBP's could only address 2GB.
  7. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Oh, whoops, ya right... 1GenMBP
    dunno what i was thinking.... :rolleyes:
  8. NamisloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
  9. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    I have a 1st gen MBP and recently did an HD upgrade. I did a slightly different route than you, since my internal drive was fine (I used SuperDuper and a WD Passport, which I disassembled).

    So, to your questions:
    - I recommend the 320GB Scorpio. I have this drive from the Passport, and it works very well.
    - Static: If you're paranoid, get the bracelet. I don't, and I disassemble my MBP fairly often.
    - Memory: You're limited to 2 Gb in the form of 2x 1 Gb modules.

    Things to keep in mind when doing the HD upgrade (in addition to the iFixit instructions):
    - Be careful when removing the top case. The front won't come off easily - you need to wiggle it carefully. Also, the area revealed by removing the battery will be directly below, so you can wiggle it slightly from there.
    - Make sure you don't seal up the breathing hole of the new HD. Some people shifted the orange ribbon cable to the side. I put a small strip of acrylic against the sticky side of the cable so it doesn't seal up the hole.
    - When putting the case back together, screw the back four screws first - those are a bit tricky to align.
    - Also, when putting the case back together, make sure you don't tighten the 2 Torx screws (by the memory bay) too tight. There's no "stopping point" and the plate is plastic, so potentially, the heads of the screws can go through. When screwing them back, stop after there's a small amount of resistance.

    Hope that helps.
  10. NamisloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008

    That helped immensely! I would have never known to do anything with the "Breathing Hole" in the drive but now that I am educated I will certainly figure something out... Thank you again!
  11. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    No problem! See this thread for more info on the hole. The instructions on iFixit are pretty straightforward. Just make sure you take your time and be patient with it.

    EDIT: The hole is definitely there for the WD Scorpio. For other HD brands, it may or may not be there - however, you should definitely check when you seat the drive in the bay.
  12. matperk macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Wirelessly posted (Treo 700wx - Alltel: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320))

    I had an gen 1 MBP that I upgraded the HD in and it was so much nicer. Whether you get the 250 or the 320, they are both 5400 rpm. I know you can get the 250 for around $115 on newegg. I think the highest speed internal you can get is the 200gb/7200rpm drive.

    In all honesty, I went from a 100gb/7200rpm to a 250gb/5400rpm and didn't really notice a speed difference other than a slightly slower boot, but I never really ran any trials.
  13. NamisloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    Thanks to everyone. I will be buying the WD Scorpio 320gb and I don't think I'll worry about the wrist band, it seems to be unnecessary. Thanks to all that chimed in and helped, it is truly appreciated.

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