Question about replacing my hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Errk!, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Errk! macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #1
    I am thinking about replacing the hard drive in my MBP. I have a 100 GB drive now and would like to put in a 500 GB. A few questions:

    1) Is there a "better" brand to go with? Anything I need ot know when looking for one?

    2) I have the 3-year Apple Care plan. I'm assuming if I were to do this myself it would void that. If I did find one myself and take it to an Apple store, would they replace it? And if yes, I'm assuming they would charge for this. Any idea how much they might charge?

    3) If someone were to open their MBP and do something like this themself, would Apple know? If it ever had to go in for repair, would it be possible to just put the old original drive back in? Is there something that would trip or something to indicate the computer was opened and/or the drive removed?
     
  2. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #2
    1. Personally i like Seagate or Western Digital, if your going to get a new hdd make sure it's 7200 RPM
    2. If you have the apple care plan, and you open it your self you will i believe void the warranty on it.
    3. If you take it to the apple repair centre and get them to do it, they may charge you a assesment fee and then on top of that labor to fit. The macbook pro hard disk is i believe on the left hand side of the unit, not under the battery compartment like the macbook So you basically having to take the top casing off to get to the hdd. If the hardisk fails that you wnat put in, that won't be covered by apple, only the original components are
     

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  3. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #3
    I prefer Hitachi drives. Have a 160 5400 & 2x200GB 7200s and about to purchase a 320GB 7200. No problems with any. Also have a couple of WD 250 5400s but just prefer the Hitachi drives. they seem a bit faster and quieter but it could just be me.

    Replacing the drive does not void the warranty on the entire unit. The new drive is not covered, nor is any damage you might do replacing the drive.

    Cheers,
     
  4. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    7200 rpm laptop drives are rarely, if ever, necessary. 5400 rpm drives are cheaper per gigabyte and larger 5400 rpm mechanisms offer similar or better performance.

    Besides, the OP wants a 500 gigabyte drive, which I don't believe is currently available in a 7200 rpm variety. Both Hitachi and Samsung offer 500 gb models.
     
  5. ant-macyourself macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #5
    I also like Hitachi drives. I purchased their 200GB 7200rpm model about a year ago and it's performed flawlessly. They're usually known for being a high quality brand.

    Replacing the drive yourself doesn't void your entire warranty (contrary to popular belief), but from what I've heard some uninformed Apple techs might give you a hard time about it. As always with stuff like this, it's at your own risk. If you don't feel comfortable taking that chance it might be a good idea to have it done by an Apple authorized reseller. This can get fairly expensive, though. I was told by one of them that it would be $100 to do the switch - not including any data transfer or OS install. Needless to say I did it myself.
     
  6. MowingDevil macrumors 68000

    MowingDevil

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    #6
    Couldn't have said it better myself. The 7200 generates more heat which is never good in a laptop to begin with. I've ordered the 7200 option only because I'm running very intesive audio applications and using the machine as a studio. If it wasn't for that I'd go 5400 all the way, they're more than fast enough for most uses.
     
  7. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #7
    Most of the newer 7200 drive don't generate any more heat than the 5400s they replace. The 200GB Hitachi drive I have actually ran cooler than the 250GB WD I was using.

    Note: Don't know which MBP OP has but the Hitachi 500GB is a 12.7mm drive and will only fit a 17 inch MBP.

    Cheers,
     
  8. MowingDevil macrumors 68000

    MowingDevil

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    #8
    I don't know the specifics, you might be right, but how is that possible when its spinning 1800x more per minute?!? Thats a helluva lot when you think about it.
     
  9. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #9
    Solid suggestions - thanks.

    As far as concerns as to whether Apple will be able to tell that I've opened up the case...will they? As long as I put the old drive back in should I ever need to take it in for service?
     
  10. vm7118 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #10
    there is no mechanism such that apple will be able to see that you've opened up your case. just make sure to have a very small phillips head screwdrivers and a torx T6 both handy during the process, or you might end up with some stripped screwheads. that will definitely inform apple of your meddling :)

    but as long as you don't break anything, the warranty isn't voided. kinda backwards, right? but that's indeed the case.

    and you won't have a problem if you have any experience opening up desktop pc's.

    and i have to send another vote to seagate/western digital/maxtor, at the expense of hitachi. i recently (about a month ago) purchased a hitachi 7k320, and it has given me NOTHING but problems... even when it worked for the first couple weeks, it was loud, it vibrated my palmrest, and it got hot. then it just started giving me kernel panics. i mistakenly thought it was the RAM at first, so it cost me $100 in RAM as well.

    now, with the stock seagate 7k160 back in, the MBP is fit as a fiddle again. i'm about to get myself a seagate 7k320, which, incidentally, is better than the hitachi anyway.

    by the way, don't listen to anyone who tells you the speed improvements of 7200 rpm drives are outweighed by increased noise/vibration/power usage. that would only be the case with the hitachi.

    check these out:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/500gb-notebook-hdd,1960-13.html

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/notebook-hard-drive,2006-17.html

    http://barefeats.com/note03.html

    in short, those 3 links all say the same thing: 320gb 7200rpm is the sweet spot for notebook drives right now. their power consumption is just barely more than a comparable 5400rpm drive, while yielding significant speed increases. and both the seagate and western digital drives are better than the hitachi, on average.

    there are only two 500gb drives available, and only one in the standard 9.5mm size (the samsung). that drive has only 8mb cache, and performs VERY average-ly. i would stick with a 7200rpm 320gb drive... the seagate, to be exact. there's a reason they have been the standard of excellence for many years.

    EDIT: just wanted to add that my hitachi 7k320 was bought literally THE DAY it was available on newegg, so maybe it was a flawed early-production unit. we will find out in a few weeks, since i am going to be sending it in to hitachi for repair/replacement under the manufacturer's warranty. if i get a good unit back... it will probably see time in my PS3. at least there it won't vibrate my hands or burn my lap. hopefully it won't freeze it up though :(

    but if it is indeed a good unit, i will stop hating hitachi. but that thing caused me so many problems over the last month. and i suffered from the dreaded 8600m gt failure during the same period, so i'm not a happy camper right now anyway.
     
  11. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #11
    Sorry to hear about your Hitachi experience, however, I'm sure there are plenty of other stories about each HD manufacturer. I've seen so many negative posts about WD but every one I've ever owned (desktop and laptop) has performed flawlessly. With the millions of drives manufactured there are bound to be a few lemons.

    Best of luck to the OP on whatever they choose. Also 2nd the note about having the right screwdriver and torx. Don't even attempt it without them and a clear workspace to place all the srews so you don't mix them up.

    Cheers,
     
  12. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #12
    Wow - thanks for all that info. I feel a little better about it now.

    I've opened up plenty of PCs (laptops and desktops) but never a Mac. So I think I'll be OK.
     
  13. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #13
    @vm7118:

    Thanks a lot for your post, very helpful
     
  14. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #14
    Found this Samsung Spinoint M6 for $234.99. How are the Samsung drives? I realize it is 5400rpm and 8mb buffer - I'm not seeing a whole lot of options out there for 500gb drives. I've had problems with Seagate drives in the past and would rather avoid them if possible.

    It really needs to be a 500gb - anything less would be kind of pointless because my goal is to be able to keep my 200+gb iTunes library on my MBP and get rid of the external drive it's on now. So if there is a brand or type that would work better please let me know.
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    Works great.
     
  16. ginger.al@gmail macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #16
    I have a question regarding the hard drive change.

    I've recently changed my HDD for my MBP, and when I put the case back together, there is a space between the keyboard part and the metal part above the cd drive.

    I took it out twice to see it there is anything in between that might keep it up, but there is nothing.

    Did this happened to anybody else?
     
  17. vm7118 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #17
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/500gb-notebook-hdd,1960-13.html

    there are currently only two 500gb notebook drives available. the hitachi, which is only 12.5mm format (only fits in a 17" MBP, no other apple notebook), and the samsung...

    in terms of transfer rates, it appears the samsung does pretty decently. but it has an access time more than twice as long as any other notebook disk, and uses at least 10-25% more power. tom's hardware seems to think they rushed the 500gb capacity out.

    i would recommend a 320gb disk, or waiting a few weeks for a revised samsung 500gb disk, or a 9.5mm hitachi 500gb, or a comparable seagate/WD drive. the current 500gb options just aren't that good.
     
  18. killerwhack macrumors regular

    killerwhack

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #18
    Need to apply a bit of pressure

    There are some retainers or clips that you need to compress together in order to bring the top case flush with the bottom case.
    Squeeze the two together with your fingers. Be gentle.
     
  19. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #19
    I think I might do just that. I'm not reading good things about the 500gb drives and the price difference between those and the 320s makes me think I should just get a 320 to hold me until the 500s are better. Now I just have to hope I can find someone with them in stock. Thanks.
     
  20. wgr73 macrumors 6502a

    wgr73

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    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #20
    NewEgg has them all in stock now! I just got the 320gb WD drive!
     
  21. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #21
    Awesome - that's the one I want. Just making sure - that is the 12.5mm that fits in a 15.4" MacBook Pro? I don't see it say specifically on the page.
     
  22. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #22
    MBP 15s only support 9.5mm

    AFAIK only some of the 500GB drives are the thicker 12.5mm format.

    Cheers,
     
  23. wgr73 macrumors 6502a

    wgr73

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    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #23
    Yeah, I think thats smaller than 12.5mm. It will fit in the MBP 15.4" :cool:
     
  24. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #24
    Whoops - I had it backward. Thanks for the confirmation, wgr.
     
  25. wgr73 macrumors 6502a

    wgr73

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico

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