Layperson wants to install more memory in her MacBook

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by heliogenesis, May 2, 2009.

  1. heliogenesis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #1
    Hi All,

    I have a MacBook that's a couple of years old. I'm running out of space on my hard drive and I'd like to have more space without having to plug in to a portable hard disk. Can I buy and install more memory myself, or is that more than a newbie should deal with? (I'm very familiar with the software on my computer but have absolutely no experience with my hardware). If it can be installed straightforwardly, what should I buy?

    Thanks!
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    If you're running out of space on your hard drive, more memory is not the solution. Memory is computer RAM and is not related to the size of the hard disk. You have 3 choices:
    a. Prune the hard disk, removing anything you don't really need.
    b. Get an external hard disk
    c. Upgrade the internal hard disk. I would not recommend this if you are not comfortable taking the computer apart and fooling around with backups and such.
     
  3. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Take a look at the instructions at http://www.macinstruct.com/node/130 -- and you can use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (the page only mentions Super Duper). If you are comfortable with those instructions, you can easily replace the hard drive. The screw drives will cost less than $10 in a local hardware store (e.g., Sears, if you live in the US) - make sure you have both the screwdrivers before you start.

    What you need would be a bigger sized 2.5 inch SerialATA (SATA) hard drive similar to http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Hitachi/0A57547/ -- search around for more drive options. Either 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM drive will work, and the higher rotation speed will give you slightly faster drive access, and slightly less battery operating time.
     
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    If you have a good geek friend they can help you too. Doing it the first time can be scary if you haven;t done it before.
     
  5. heliogenesis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #5
    Nice set of instructions

    Thanks for linking me to those instructions, BobZune, they're awesome--very clear. They look fairly straightforward but somewhat involved. Looks like I'll need to purchase a portable drive to be my backup drive, anyway--so I need to decide whether to just stick with a portable drive and move some non-essentials over to it to make space, or give this a try.
     
  6. someone28624 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #6
    I upgraded my hard drive by myself with no issues just following a youtube video. I had previously upgraded my RAM, which is a little easier, and kind of got my used to taking it apart.
     
  7. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    OP: Once you take out the existing drive (if you choose to install a large sized one), you can buy a SATA drive enclosure that will hold a 2.5 inch drive (example at http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-SAT2510U2-InfoSafe-2-5-Inch-Enclosure/dp/B000PKC102 -- again, look for othe deals searching --> SATA drive enclosure for 2.5 inch drive <-- and you will need a corresponding USB cable too) and use it as an external USB drive. More hardware adventure!
     

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