ifixit: macbook air rev a hd upgradable with samsung 120gb hs12yha

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by charlies8282, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. charlies8282 macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    On ifixit pages seems that the samsung hs12yha (120gb) could be put inside a mba first gen.

    I had asked ifixit support confirmation, and they told me it will work, but from the specs page the block size il 4k and not 512.. (the reason why the 5th gen ipod hd does not work in the air).
    Could someone give me suggestions? Had someone tryed this hd?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N

    I have a failing 80GB and I'm thinking of upgrading to the 120GB (Original 1.6GHz MBA).
  3. hjw903r macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2009
    Upgrading original MacBook Air hard drive (HS082HB to HS12YHA)

    UPDATE: A much easier solution is to just get the RunCore Pro IV 1.8" PATA ZIF Solid State Drive SSD for Macbook Air Rev A: http://www.runcore.com/content/prod...mages/RCP-IV-ZA1800-Cth.jpg&GBSize=16GB-128GB

    After seeing that link, and reading the following threads about the Runcore SSD drives, it seems like it would be a lot easier/safer to just get one of those. It's a little more expensive but at least you know it will work!

    To clarify, the question you have appears to be the following:

    In the original MacBook Air, is it possible to replace the standard 80GB hard drive with the 120GB Samsung HS12YHA (which, crucially, has the same physical dimensions as the original drive)?

    This is an excellent question and I also have been trying to find an answer. The key points appear to be the following:

    • The machine in question is the original MacBook Air (MacBookAir1,1), which was manufactured in the first half of 2008.
    • The only available hard drive at that time (not counting SSD storage) was the 80GB Samsung HS082HB: http://www.samsung.com/global/busin...72&type=60&subtype=68&model_cd=401&ppmi=1160#
    • The newer drive is the 120GB Samsung HS12YHA: http://www.samsung.com/global/busin...72&type=60&subtype=68&model_cd=409&ppmi=1160#
    • The larger drive didn't exist when the original MacBook Air was released.
    • The two drives have the same physical dimensions, but the newer drive has 120GB capacity, instead of the 80GB capacity of the older drive.
    • The interface (PATA/ZIF) appears to be the same on each drive.
    • The newer MacBook Airs use a different hard drive interface (SATA), so their hard drives cannot be installed on the original MacBook Air.
    Despite all of this information, however, I've been unable to locate anything online which indicates that someone has tried this upgrade, either successfully or unsuccessfully. There are plenty of anecdotes about other Samsung drives, which are 8mm thick instead of 5mm thick, but everyone knows that the 8mm drives won't fit in a MacBook Air. The question is, will this new 5mm drive work?

    Here are the potential problems:

    • The specification sheets on the new drive (again, this is the 120GB Samsung HS12YHA we're talking about) are not completely consistent when it comes to the interface (see the link above). Some say PATA/ZIF and some say only PATA. I think that Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) just refers to the way in which the PATA connection is made, so I don't think this is a problem, but it might mean that the new drive doesn't come with the correct cable, for example. Basically, I'm not experienced enough to know if this is a problem / easily solved or not.
    • As the previous poster indicated, there is a discrepancy in the number of bytes per sector from the old drive (512) to the new drive (4,000). This makes sense of course because you have to fit 50% more data in the same space. Again, I'm not experienced enough to know if this is a problem / easily solved or not.
    • There are also some differences in RPM, startup speed, etc. but to the best of my knowledge these are not a problem.
    I'm not an expert when it comes to these issues, so I'm sorry I can't answer them, but I hope that this additional information will encourage someone wiser to post a helpful reply.

    If nobody seems to know, or nobody writes back in a month or so, then I might give it a try and see what happens. If I do try, then I will post the results here, good or bad.
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I thought I'd posted the following, but I guess I never hit "Submit". I did end up getting the Samsung drive from iFixit. Here's a rundown on the experience:

    UPDATE (from my original 10/14 post): I bought the drive from iFixit and received it next-day (overnight shipping). I'd have to say I'm very experienced repairing Apple notebooks, but working on the MBA can be a bit tedious. Here's a couple of notes for those venturing into the drive replacement:

    Make sure the battery and bottom screws are R&R'd correctly. The battery can be damaged if reinstalled incorrectly, and the bottom can warp if it's not carefully reinstalled. The other difficult bit is working with the drive's ZIF connector. The cable (like many of its type) can be damaged, along with the connector itself. The iFixit guide is probably good enough, but the service manual (if you have access to one) has more detailed information on R&Ring the battery and bottom.

    Another item is transferring the insulating/padding from the original drive to the new drive. There's a pad on one side (covering the entire side) which came off fairly easily and had enough "goo" to hang on during reinstallation. The other side was 3 pieces of open-cell, thin, foam. You'll probably not be successful in transferring them. They're there to provide a bit of relief to the cables running over the top (between the drive and bottom case). I just used a bit of Kapton tape to work around it. (A "genuine replacement" drive would have the cable and foam already installed, so obviously these replacement drives are naked.)

    Getting back to the drive itself, everything worked as expected. The drive was recognized by Disk Utility. It came initialized with a MBR map, and two partitions. I changed it to the proper GUID partition table and HFS+ (journaled) format. I already had a mirror of the original failing drive on an external, so the next step was to perform the Restore (block copy). No issues there, either. After completing the restore, I was able to boot on the new 120GB drive.

    btw: the backup image (on the external drive) actually came from a Time Machine restore, from a wirelessly networked drive (through AEBS). It took a while, but worked perfectly. The failing drive apparently had some read issues, so I wasn't able to get a Restore image directly (which would have been MUCH faster).

    It's going to be nice to have the extra room. I don't have any feel, yet, as to performance differences between the 80 & 120GB drives. The 120GB has a bit faster media access rate, but I'm not sure we'll notice. I'd recommend the upgrade, especially if you're looking at a failed 80GB... ;) . My only hesitation would be in recommending it to someone who isn't experienced working on notebooks - and even then, only if they've done more than a drive replacement. It's definitely NOT in the same category as any other Apple notebook. This is more like watch repair, to put it into perspective. If you're up to the task, just take it slow and track ALL screws - there are many different lengths used (3 different ones for the bottom, 3 for battery & 2 for drive).
    Hope this info helps others considering the drive swap. So far, the drive has performed flawlessly.
  5. ignalex macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2009
    I am facing the same situation with a crashing 80Gb HDD on MBA revA. Going to follow your solution with replacing it to 120 Gb.
    Wanted to ask if yours is still working well after replacement (half a month passed since your post).

    Thanx in advance.
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    So far, so good. The machine gets daily use - no problems at all.

    I haven't spend a lot of time on it myself (it's my wife's machine), but if I were to try and compare sound levels, I would say the new 120GB is, if anything, quieter (not that the 80GB was loud, by any means).
  7. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    Replacing a hard drive with another hard drive is just painful. The Macbook Air desperately needs an SSD to alleviate some of the speed issues and the RunCore SSDs are among the best for it.
  8. ghjuva macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009

    Quite 1 year gap between posts but I hope you still have your MBA

    I need to change my HDD and before doing so I would like to compare between HS12YHA and other toshiba possibilities.

    Would you mind to post a xbench result for you MBA with HS12YHA

    I did not find such information anywhere

    Thanks a lot


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