iBook HD Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ChePibe, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. ChePibe macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005
    I will be buying an iBook shortly, and need at least 80 gigs of space (I'm an amateur photographer and a student, so I need the space). I'm stuck between the 12" and 14" at the moment.

    You can upgrade a 12" iBook to an 80 gig drive for $90 w/student discounts. This would give me an 80 gig 4200 RPM drive.

    However, on Newegg, you can buy an 80 gig 5400 RPM Laptop drive for around $100 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822149020).

    Now, I certainly could use the speed bump of a 5400 RPM drive when I'm loading up and transferring large JPEG and RAW files, so I'd love the 5400 RPM drive.

    What technical difficulties, if any, can I expect to encounter if I choose to install this drive? Should it just be as simple as popping out the old drive, popping in the new one, and reinstalling the OS and other software? Will this have any effect on the new Apple Sudden Motion Sensor's ability to park the HD heads? What about my warranty?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    in theory, it's easy. old drive out, new drive in, install system and it's ready. in practice, however, ibook and 12" powerbook are one of the toughest laptops in the whole pc industry to have their hard drive changed. it is possible to do that, but it will break warranty if not done in apple-certified service. if you're good and use such drive model apple is also using, you might get away from that, but if they see that you have done it yourself, you're screwed.

    i had my powerbook serviced in february 2004 and it has since ran on a 7200rpm hitachi. i can tell you it's worth it, but it's going to cost you good money if you're not willing to throw your warranty out of the window.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    It is approximately 2 hours for an experienced technician to R&R an iBook hard drive. As mentioned, it will not be covered by Apple warranty (although the drive will have its own 3 year warranty)

    In any case, you MUST get yourself a FIrewire external drive, both for extra storage space, and for backup of your precious data. Laptops in general break, are stolen or fail far mor often than desktop machines.
  4. speedy macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2005
    Precisely why I decided to upgrade my drive to a 5.4k.

    If only! I am a pretty experienced amateur when it comes to computer hardware, and I have had my 12" iBook open twice now (albeit with some fear and trepidation the first time) - once to install a superdrive and once to install a new hard disk. This site is quite good at showing you the steps, and it's only an 1 hour job once you do it the second time ;) A plastic putty knife is ideal for getting the top half of the outer shell off - much safer than a screwdriver.

    However, my iBook was out of warranty and, as others have suggested, I'm not sure I would have gone as far as invalidating it by doing these ugrades myself...

    Over to you to decide what's more important!!


    - Speedy

    Disclaimer: this post is not intended to be an incitement to anyone to open their iBook and anyone choosing to do so does so at their own risk!!
  5. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005

    I guess it may not be worth it after all.

    I'd really like to avoid voiding my warranty (which is one of those things you never need until you don't have it), so I guess I'm going to skip it for now. It's not worth spending my few dollars to have someone else install it for me either.

    But, for my future reference, when buying a drive for an iBook and installing it, aside from the obvious hardware difficulties involved with this, should I expect any software problems with the installation? Is it as simple as popping in the new drive and the restore DVD and making it happen, or what else do I need to know?
  6. Qianlong macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2004
    I thought mac users had more sense of adventure :D

    They're a lot of websites around giving you step by step advice how to chance a HD inside an iBook.

    do remember that 5400 and 7200 drives use more battery power!

    just booting from your start up CD and re-installing osx on your new HD would normally do the trick.
  7. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Wait a minute -- I thought upgrading a new Apple ibook with an faster/bigger hard drive will VOID the entire iBook warranty...?

    But you guys are saying that if I pay an Apple tech for two hours of his time, the hd will not be covered by Apple but the rest of the machine = logic board, screen etc., WILL be covered?

    Let me know. THAT's worth the hassle to get the fastest iBook I can have right now.
  8. evolutioneight macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2005
    Hi, I'm assuming you got the 7K60 drive. How is it? What is the battery life like now with it in there? I'm thinking of getting a 7K100 once they become available, but are under severe shortage right now...so I'm thinking of getting a 7K60 because they're easily available and cheaper but my 2nd biggest concern after speed is battery life.
  9. Lazyhound macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2005
    I'm planning to install a 7k100 in mine when I have the money, and I suggest you wait and do the same, as they consume ~20% less power (less than the 4200RPM drives Apple uses now, in fact), extending battery life and eliminating heat issues.
  10. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    I've just put a 7K60 drive in my Powerbook, and the dang thing flies! According to some HD tests I ran, it outperforms my Cube's new Seagate drive (just barely), but I'm not sure if I believe that. I might have to run some different programs. I DO know that according to XBench, it's more than twice as fast as the original 5400rpm drive in the Powerbook.

    As far as battery life, I might not be the best source because I just put in a new higher-capacity battery, but I'm getting well over three hours of life in my Powerbook now. The drive is silent, fast, and doesn't seem to affect battery life much if at all. I highly recommend it!

    Edit: oh yeah, and as far as heat goes, this thing doesn't heat up at all. Temperature Monitor can't find a sensor for it, so I don't have hard numbers, but under the regular use I put my old drive, it would heat up to temps between 45 and 49 degrees C. This one doesn't feel like it's getting close to that hot, using the old "lap test" as a benchmark.
  11. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    just to let people know that if you're careful with your HD removal and installation (i.e., don't make it look like you've tampered with removing the casing), they will not know that you've "voided the warranty". i just had my ibook serviced (took it into an apple store) and they replaced the logic board. they didn't make any mention of my 80gb 5400 rpm drive...in hindsight i should have replaced the original HD prior to taking it into the apple store...but since it takes so much time (at least 2 hours), i got lazy. so in theory the warranty is voided by removing/replacing the HD...but if you're careful, they probably won't notice.

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