How risky is it to upgrade the HDD in an old MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MikeyTree, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. MikeyTree macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    #1
    I have a MBP from 2007, with a 160gb hard drive. I'm very tempted to upgrade it to a 500 or 640gb hard drive. I was ready to do so, but then a friend of mine spooked me about doing it myself, by telling me a story about another friend of his who fried his computer trying.

    I've checked out the legalities. While changing the HDD won't void the warranty, if you damage something while doing so, applecare won't pay to repair it.

    So, I'd like to ask all you fine people who have swapped hard drives in old MBPs, how risky is it? Am I being paranoid, or is there actually a substantial risk of damaging your computer by changing the hdd?
     
  2. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #2
    It's easy to do. I did it several times with my '07. You need a #00 Phillips and a #6 Torx. You can get instructions for taking it apart and putting it together from iFixit.com.
     
  3. applefieddarwin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #3
    Yea. It's really not that difficult. Like the post above, go to iFixit and look for your model.
    The only big suggestion I have it taking off the top case. The tabs in the front tend to be very very difficult to take off, especially right in front of the optical drive. The first time I tried, the tabs broke off (Thank god it was replaced when my iSight and inverter board failed. They replaced the topcase along with the other stuff). The second time i finally got it off. Just constantly rock the case back and forth quickly (with a hint of violence) and it should break free.. just dont twist the topcase too much, or the tabs will bend and snap.
     
  4. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    It's quite easy, I installed a 500GB in my Rev D non-unibody MacBook Pro a few months ago.
     
  5. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #5
    just keep the original drive if you have a problem with the computer just put it back in. It is less hassle then to prove that you did not break it during the upgrade.
     
  6. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    #6
    Alrighty then. Sounds like I'm being overly cautious. :eek:

    Still, I did buy a antistatic wrist strap, just to be sure.
     
  7. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #7
    Static strap is good, but im still leery of doing mine, the warranty thing seems to be hear say, weather it voids everything or just the HDD
     
  8. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    Apple obviously wouldn't cover the replacement hard drive through Applecare, as they didn't ship it with the computer. But if you swap back the drives you shouldn't run into any problems as long as you didn't damage the computer in the process.
     
  9. bcburrows macrumors 6502

    bcburrows

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol
    #9
    It is not too bad, things I think you need to be careful of are

    1) Keyboard and removal of keys - need to be careful
    2) Removal of the case - clicked out - be brave
    2) IR port - not sure what I did with mine, but it stopped working after replacing the hard drive.

    I did it a second time for a friend and it took twenty mins to open, replace and close.

    My recommendation is to draw boxes on a sheet of A4 and place all the same screws in each box - i think ifixit.com may have a printable one to download.

    But like everyone says - it is fairly easy to do and def worth it, and the website to use is www.ifixit.com
     
  10. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #10
    what drive are you going to put in there?
    man i want to do this.
    getting sick of having 4 external drives and 2 itunes libraries, like yo, getting really dam sick of it:mad:.
     
  11. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #11
    thats what people say. then many more say that theyve had applecare voided by doing with sans damage. Like i said, hear say. its one of those do at your own risk things. I would prob take it to an authorized dealer to get one put in, i know that is a 100% verified way to upgrade w/o any warranty qualms. B/c classics have to have the "case cracked" to do it, there have been many threads on this topic.
     
  12. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    #12
    Well, I did it, and it worked just fine. It was actually fairly easy. The only tricky parts were removing the top plate that includes the keyboard, and moving the ribbon cable that was stuck to the top of the hard drive. I'm incredibly happy with my huge 640 gb hard drive.

    It was so easy that, at the end, I got careless and made a stupid mistake. :eek: I accidentally put one of the screws in the wrong hole. One of the screw holes is right next to the hole for attaching the DVI cable, and I put the tiny screw in the slightly-larger DVI-screw hole, and now it's stuck.

    Any suggestions for getting it out? I'm going to get a magnetic screwdriver to see if that works. I also haven't tried using stickytape, or some sort of adhesive on a stick.
     
  13. twoblacklabs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    #13
    If you can't get it out with magnetic screw driver, tape, etc., it may be possible to remove everything again, including the logic board. I think it could be wedged between the lower case and the threads of the connector. I have seen reference to this before. Good luck and post your results please.
     
  14. Camaro6700 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    #14
    Its very simple. I upgraded my 2007 MBP from a 120GB HD to a 320GB 7200. Just take your time and be aware of what you remove and everything will work perfectly. I used carbon cloner before the swap so when I did plug it in nothing changed but the size of th HD.
     
  15. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #15
    I just did this last weekend, along with upgrading to Snow Leopard, on maybe the same model (2.33 Ghz 15"). It is easy, as others have reported, but it can be frustrating at times.

    I also recommend the ifixit site. Print out the instructions and check off the steps.

    If you don't already have a larger drive, try macsales.com. I picked up a 320GB, 7200 RPM Seagate with a FW800 external case for under $150. They also sent along the proper tools.

    Things to watch out for:
    Screws: there are a bunch of them, and some with subtle differences. Take your time with them, and try to keep them separated. Some have only certain places they can go, but others may look the same, but be maybe 1 or 2mm different in length.
    Top case front clips: These clips are above the DVD drive, and on either side of the latch. They're a bugger to get loose, and you'll swear you've broken them, but - in my case, at least - they didn't break.

    Once I got that loose, the top case fairly flew upward, taking the ribbon connector right off of the socket on the main board. No breakage, but it was a concern. You'll also need to look closely at the board to find the connector, as it looks an awful lot like the ICs on the board.

    With the top case off, the HDD is right there, under where your left wrist would rest. First, remove the two screws keeping the drive in the MBP. These are along the inboard side, on a piece of metal looking flat with a round part at each end. Remove the screws, and this metal bar. Then the drive slides inboard to release it. But first, you have to CAREFULLY remove the HDD connector from the mainboard, AND, again CAREFULLY, remove the ribbon from the top of the HDD. The ribbon goes from the main board to the back of the drive (and the drive connector), then to the front of the drive, where the connectors for the BT and IR modules live. Carefully separate that from the drive, and the connector from the back of the drive.

    Holding the old drive and new drive in the same orientations, transfer the screws on the sides with the rubber mounting supports from the old to the new, one at a time. Connect the cable to the drive connector, and slip the drive into place, outboard side first. You may need to pull up slightly on the outboard edge of the drive so the mounting supports go into the holes properly. Put the connector back to the main board, and gently tap down the ribbon to the top of your new drive. Then put back the metal piece that holds the inboard side of the drive in place.

    Put the top case back on - remembering to put the keyboard/trackpad connector back on, and tape it down. Then align everything, clip the front of the top case down, and put all the screws back in the right places.

    Then you get to install the OS or restore from your Time Machine backup!

    Good Luck!

    :apple::apple:
     
  16. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #16
    :eek: That's an expensive route just to get a fancy FW enclosure. For about half that you can get the Seagate drive, and a SATA-USB adapter. The tools you need are less than $10 at Sears.
     
  17. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    Pricey enclosure, but it does rock... Can't beat the FW800. Of course, that might be obsoleted soon :(

    I hope they keep FW800 on the MBPs until LightPeek comes out...
     
  18. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #18
    I have one of those FW800 OWC enclosures. It is nice, but overpriced (like $80+ without a drive).
     
  19. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #19
    i want two of those so bad. well the dual bay ones.
    way pricey.
    esata, fw 800- 400 and usb is really nice though, same with daisy chaining.
     
  20. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #20
    I've done motherboard repairs on a bed, wearing socks, with a rug when I didn't have a tech room available, and they came out working. I probably shouldn't be advertising this, but the truth is if the energy stored within you never comes into contact with something it shouldn't, that energy isn't something to be worried about.

    It's not about dissipating the static as much as knowing what you can and can't touch. You can be filled with billions of volts of static, but if you give it nowhere to go, you are fine. If you have a tiny bit of static on you and you touch the wrong thing, you can kill it.

    What you should focus on, is common sense stuff. The biggest cause of people frying their machines when removing the top case is screws or metal pieces that get left on the board. Or screwdriver bits. Or small spiders. I have seen it all. Avoid this and you'll be fine.
     

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