MBA HD dying - what are my options?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by RedTomato, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Hiya, I haven't been on MR for a while due to personal circumstances.

    My partner's MBA (rev B, 120GB HD, Snow Leopard, fully updated) has just decided to start dying. Hmm. New HD time.

    Oh dear. There's **** all out there :( There is simply no HD that will fit on the market. Apparently it needs an 1.8'' SATA LIF HD, and these things are just not available.

    Apple tell me it will take about 2 weeks from now to repair, which is unacceptable to my partner, as she depends on the MBA for work.

    She only uses it for email and office work, and she only uses about 29GB on the HD, so I looked at getting a small SSD. £125 for a Runcore 32GB inc rapid delivery. Ouch. And it might be too low capacity for her soon. Or £190 for a 64GB Runcore. Eeek.

    For comparison, just last saturday I picked up a 30GB 3.5'' HDD for a works computer for around £10 on Tottenham Court Road with warranty (!). 10 times the price for the same capacity is a bit much.

    Any ideas on low cost HD replacements for a rev B MBA?

    Thanks RedTomato
  2. jakebot macrumors member


    Mar 2, 2007
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    not fun


    I just went through the same thing this past week. As someone who is very technical, having a MBA is another story when it comes to something going wrong with it.

    I looked all over the internet for suitable replacements... it's HARD. Luckily my work is next to a Certified Apple Service shop and they happen to be friends of mine. A Replacement HDD was still crazy expensive coming from their supplier and not apple.

    In the end, they could do the repair for me, and I went online and bought a 64gb SSD from (no, I am not affiliated with them... it seems like they were the only ones I could find who had them in stock AND could ship to Canada.) It cost me $233. I figured if I'm going to pay that much money why not get an SSD.

    Not a fun situation... price we pay for the Macbook Air.

    All I can say is good luck... not a cheap replacement. :(

    Oh, and I noticed you were from London.... it seems my SSD shipped from Ireland, and you could probably get it the next day, then find someone to replace it for you... so could be done fast.
  3. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Hi Jakebot,

    Thanks for the reply. Looks like I may have to unwillingly fork out for a SSD too. I'm happy to install it myself - opening up computer gear is no problem for me.

    Why on earth did Apple decide to be the only people in the world using this type of HD connector :(
  4. ccsicecoke macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2010
    search "MacBook Air Hard Drive" on ebay and there is actually a new one for auction
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Is the Air still under AppleCare? We just had my wife's HD replaced under the warranty..... luckily it didn't take 2 weeks. If it's still under AC, you can use any Apple authorized repair shop, it doesn't have to go to an Apple store.

    Find a nice friendly shop, get them to diagnose the issue with the Apple hardware test. They can order the part while your partner gets the last life out of the ailing beastie. When the part arrives then it's a simple swap for the shop.

    If it's not under AC, then... I have nothing.

    Good Luck.
  6. chickadee macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2009
    This makes me wonder, if an HDD dies and goes to Apple for repair, would they allow someone to pay the difference to have it replaced with an SSD? If so, any idea what that might cost? I know they quoted $280 for a straight HDD replacement.
  7. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Nope, no AppleCare on the MBA as it cost so much extra for the little bit of extra coverage it gave over our works insurance. Even after paying for a new SSD, we've still saved money on not getting the Apple Care.

    Good idea about putting 'Macbook Air Hard Drive' into eBay. Sometimes I forget the simple ideas.

    Actually the UK-sourced MBA HD that just came on sale is an 80GB PATA HD for the MBA Rev A only, so is not suitable. There's some 120GB SATA LIF HDs for the rev B that would do, and quite cheap too, but they're shipped from Hong Kong, and I know it'll take a month for them to come through.

    I just found this guy - he will do replacement MBA HD replacements for £150 for 160 GB. Hmm. Have to wait to ship the MBA to him, and get it shipped back.

    Too late anyway, the 64GB SSD is already on order for delivery in the next day or two. Quite looking forwards to cracking the MBA open to install it.

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