MacBook 2,1 salvageable?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by GreatestUnKnown, May 19, 2015.

  1. GreatestUnKnown macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2015
    My friend gave me his old 2007 White MacBook 2,1 to mess with....

    HDD is trash (flashing question mark folder even after I removed it and placed it in an external enclosure)
    Optical drive does not work
    Battery is no longer charging

    So initially when he asked if I wanted to take it I was under the impression it was a late 2008 possibly 2009 but now that I have confirmed all of these issues I am unsure if it is still worth throwing money at it...

    Intended to place an 120GB OWC SSD as a primary, replace the optical drive with a 1TB WD 5400RPM HDD and then throw 4GBs of RAM (I know it will only utilize 3GBs max) but since the optical drive is inop should I just replace it with a working unit to be able to install OS X? Or is throwing ~$300 at this project not worth it...
  2. melb00m macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    If you can get it for free and don't need a lot of horsepower, it might be worth a shot.

    I have a MacBook 3,1 with 4 GB RAM, SSD, and a replacement cheap battery, which still works pretty well. However, it's heavy and clumsy by today's standards, and the fan is noisy and spinning constantly, which is annoying. Also, the screen is not really bright any more.

    You'll be stuck with OS X Lion, which is no longer being actively updated and contains quite a few major unfixed security flaws. It runs Windows 7 (32 bit) pretty well, so that's what I use it for. I only need Windows very rarely, and therefore don't want to install it on my iMac or rMB.

    I'd invest at most 200$ in this machine. If your friend tries to sell you the MacBook for $300 with all those flaws, he's not your friend ;)
  3. GreatestUnKnown thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2015
    Thanks for the good input melb00m, I have no Apple/Mac experience and he did give it to me for free.99

    I looked and found comparable MacBooks for just over the cost of repairing/upgrading this one so I guess monetarily it can be worth it but not having any experience with Mac performance if it would be usable for anything more than web surfing and word processing....

    So do you recommend forgoing the dual drive/optical drive delete or replacing the optical drive with a working unit?
  4. Kiwi 99 macrumors regular

    Kiwi 99

    Apr 4, 2011
    Just my opinion, but I don't think it's worth throwing any money at. With the long list of things wrong with it, it just sounds like trouble. Take it to a recycling place. If you want to play with this model, buy one of the working ones that you mentioned.
  5. melb00m macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    You shouldn't expect much more than word processing, surfing, and listening to music. Watching online videos could already be a problem, especially high definition videos, so keep that in mind.

    I wouldn't replace the optical drive at all. If you definitely need one, you can buy a cheap external drive and use it. Plus you can use an external drive with subsequent notebooks you buy, because they won't have any room for internal ones.

    Another hint: When you open the casing, use pressurized air to blow out the dust from the internals, especially the fan. This will reduce heat accumulation and keep the fan spinning lower.

    I really think it depends on the use case. I'm always against throwing away perfectly working electronics and adding more waste. The flaws he mentioned (battery, optical disk, optical drive) are known to have a limited lifetime and can easily be replaced. Plus, if all the other parts of the unit worked fine so far, there's a good chance they will keep doing so for some time to come.

    I used my 8 year old MacBook many hours a day, carrying it to school and back every single day while I was studying at the university. And apart from the battery and harddisk which I replaced, it still performs alright.
  6. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    I'd just put a replacement SSD/HDD in it for pocket money, see where where it goes from there.

    You'd be better putting the $300 towards a newer mac in all honesty.
  7. melb00m macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Good call. Just buy a 120 GB SSD for 60$ and see how it goes.
    If the performance is good enough, you can add memory and a new battery later.
  8. Jkj12 macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2014
    The seven seas
    I'm using a 4,1 as my every day laptop. SSD, 4gb ram and Snow Leopard. Runs fine. Fans are going nuts when i'm surfing heavy pages, youtube etc, but besides that it's perfect.

    Just throw the cheapest SSD you can find after it and upgrade the ram. Stay on Snow Leopard. It's much faster than Lion on these ones.
  9. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
    i also agree. do you ever go on vacation? cheap laptops are perfect for vacations. they can be left all day in a motel room without worrying about losing a small fortune if someone steals it.
  10. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Battery, RAM and a 120GB SSD will cost around ~$200. Buy a DVD-caddy and drop the original HDD (or a bigger one) on it.
  11. Aphid Acer macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    If you have no experience opening laptops/macs and repairing them yourself, then definitely go for it because you'll feel accomplished and learned afterwards.

    Better yet you can make it a weekend project where you supervise a little kid to repair the device, and then give them the machine afterwards.

    Otherwise, put the $300 towards a used Macbook Air off Ebay where they are selling for ~$500-600 for i5+ w/ SSDs
  12. jido macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2010
    As far as I know the Mac shows this when there is no valid operating system on the drive. The drive itself may work fine.

    Did you try cleaning it?

    Is the cable working well? I would get the rest working before replacing the battery, you can always power the laptop on mains until then.

    Is it a Core2 Duo? If so, it is still plenty usable.
  13. iHacker0390 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2012
    Grover CO
    I have a 2,1. Its plenty useable, I have 10.6.8 and Win 10 dual booting on a 120 SSD. It works great on Win 10... Still plenty of life left in these machines.

Share This Page