I'm Angry. Trying to upgrade hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ovlasidm, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. ovlasidm, Dec 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2010

    ovlasidm macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2010
    So I have a Macbook Pro from 2008 I was given. Perfect condition. Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHZ, 3GB RAM, 8600GT and 120GB hard drive. I decided I was going to upgrade the hard drive to a 500GB 7200RPM drive. Bought that drive, looked up a guide to replace the hard drive in this version of the Pro and WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT?! I had to take like 18 screws out of the system and literally try to separate the case in order to gain access. I literally felt like I was going to break something the entire time. To make things worse 1 screw got stripped, 1 SCREW! and I couldn't get it out and pretty sure that stopped everything from coming apart. I just gave up. Why the hard drive is in such a hard place to get at I have no idea! Thanks for listening to my venting.
  2. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Some things are better left to the trained professionals, who have the proper tools, and the experience to use them. The fact that you stripped a screw immediately tells me you did not have these things. Screwdrivers come in a multitude of sizes - use the wrong size and that's exactly what happens, you strip the screw head. You also need the proper experience to use these tools. Too much or too little torque on the screw, holding the tool at an inappropriate angle, properly supporting the work piece without damaging it, etc. With components and fasteners this small, there is more technique to it than you realize.

    Not to be harsh, but your frustration has nothing to do with the product or the task, but rather it is from your own inexperience.
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I know I have stripped a screw with the right tool before
  4. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Just because you have the correct size scalpel, doesn't mean you're qualified to perform heart surgery. The proper tools are only 1/2 of the equation.
  5. Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010

    I've stripped a few screws myself even with experience, but it was because of the Coronas :)
  6. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    We're talking about a computer here not hearts :p

    OP, which screw got stripped? You may try a small torx screw driver to get it out. But dime is correct, you need the correct size tools to open up these laptops.

    You can get a 12 in 1 screw driver set at lowes for a few dollars. Look in the screw driver and socket isles. Just take your time and you can do it. Don't rush things.

    Good luck!
  7. jdm111 macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2008
  8. ovlasidm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2010
    It was one of the Torx screws near the memory compartment. The first one came out without issue but the second might has well have been "The Sword In The Stone" because it was not coming out. The bottom line is in any other laptop that I have come across, at least in the PC world, the hard drive and memory are usually easily accessible by unscrewing their respective covers on the bottom of the unit. Why the memory is easily accessible and the hard drive simply isn't is an issue. You shouldn't have to take the whole unit apart to get at something like a hard drive.
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The unibody design that MacBook Pros switched to in October 2008 don't require taking the whole unit apart to swap either the RAM or the HD.
  10. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Hahaha yes I've been there before too! :D
  11. ovlasidm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2010
    Well this one did. I can work with desktops all day long but I just dont feel comfortable basically having to unscrew everything and separate the entire body to get at the hard drive. I also dont want to pay someone an arm and a leg to do it. I guess I will just roll with the 120GB thats in there now.
  12. croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    I've never stripped the heads of any of those tiny screws inside a laptop. Lucky I guess :eek:
  13. OutSpoken macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    I feel your pain.

    I recently upgraded the HDD in mbp and even with the right tools and reasonable patience, I still managed to funk one of the tiny screws on the case.

    My problem was that, it came out easy enough but screwing the case back on, the flaming thing didn't want to go back in the hole....so now its not sitting flush with the rest:mad: Its not really bad...but because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, it bugs the hell out of me whenever I rub my finger over it.

    I don't want to keep attempting to resolve it, incase I strip the screw.:(
  14. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    Maybe not, but some sacrifices have to be made for having a super-skinny laptop that feels solid, versus a fat laptop with a flimsy plastic case.

    That being said, how often does one have to swap out the hard drive? Maybe once in the entire life of the laptop? This hardly seems like an inconvenience. That is, unless you have one of the original G3 iBooks. Those were a b---h to take apart. :p
  15. ovlasidm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2010
    For anyone who would replace my hard drive in the Richmond, VA area I would gladly buy you lunch :)
  16. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006

    And you don't even have to buy them lunch.

    P.S. There is probably a great Apple-authorized repair shop in Richmond. And they'll probably be cheaper than an Apple Store. Apple dictated that upgrading the HD on your model of Macbook Pro would void the warranty for a reason. Generally, I think anything that would have voided the original warranty is best left to the pros. Even if the warranty on your particular machine was already expired.
  17. ovlasidm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2010
    I would have to pay for the install though...which would be more than lunch :)
  18. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    That's the problem right there. If you aren't comfortable doing it, you probably SHOULD pay someone else to do it.

    That said, it may take a lot of screws to get there, but it really isn't that hard to do if you have the right tools and take your time.

    I do empathize with you though. Sorry that you had so much trouble.
  19. croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    Depends on where you go for lunch :p (but yeah, probably more than most people's lunch)
  20. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I found that changing the HD on my 2009 mbp was very easy... 10 minute job. The first thing I did was to read how to do it, read what tools I needed to do it, and then go to the store and for $5.00 buy the tools I needed to do the job.
  21. ovlasidm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2010
    Problem is with that one screwed stripped at this point, I have no idea how I would get it out.
  22. stompy macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    There ought to be a simpler way, but most people see this as the unibody design trade off. Ive (apple designer) likes clean unbroken surfaces, so this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

    But back to your problem. I don't know if this is an option, because you don't want to compound the problem... but I've successfully removed stripped screws with tools such as these. (Other link for different tools that may be available at your local home center )

    I can't tell you what size is required, you'll need to work that out -- as well as the the ability to do the job.
  23. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    A stripped screw extractor. :)


    Of course you'll need a new screw to replace it with. I'm pretty sure ifixit.com sells screw kits that include all the screws.

    I'm actually not far from Richmond, 90 minute drive. But that's a bit far to go for lunch. ;) I know for a fact that Richmond has an independent Apple repair shop. Capitol Mac on West Main street (near VCU), and there's another different shop out in the suburbs, on Parham road I think? It looks like an old house that's been converted to a retail store. Both of these are independent shops, not affiliated with Apple, but they do custom work like swap hard drives and replace stripped screws - stuff the Apple Store won't do.

    Quality work is worth paying a few bucks for, and prevents the hassle and aggravation that you've experienced. It doesn't cost an arm and a leg either - visit one of those shops, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
  24. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Depending on how badly the screw is stripped, a very good driver (properly sized) may be able to grab enough to remove it.

    So part of the question is how thoroughly stripped is the head of the screw?
  25. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    TORX screw heads should never slip if you use the right size. If you don't have the right size it will strip the screw head; that's user error not a design defect.

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