Replacing Macbook Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Uzurriaga, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Uzurriaga macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi everyone,
    I recently thought it would be a smart idea to volunteer to replace the failing HDD on my friend’s Macbook (white, late ’07 model), since she could get a higher capacity than 120GB this way, as opposed to getting a replacement at the Genius Bar.

    I went on, since I was able to change a couple of components on my 1st generation Macbook Pro without much trouble, and followed the guide step by step.
    Now, I am no rookie with this stuff. I even used to work at an Apple store, but as a specialist, not a genius. However, when I did everything (and it would seem that the installation itself was done properly), the computer screen would remain off once I booted the computer.

    I tried changing it back to its original drive to see if I could at least get it to boot, but the same thing happened. Nothing on the display. I tried starting up while pressing C to run from the Snow Leopard disc, I tried starting up while pressing Option, I tried everything I can think of. I am running out of options and I have no clue what to do.

    Is there something I should have done before putting in the drive? Does anyone know what could be done, aside from taking it to the store and paying the $200 for an HDD replacement? (my former co-workers at the GB seem to be MIA for this…)

    Any help you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated. If I don’t fix this, I’m pretty sure my friend will murder me, or at least rub this in my face for a looooong time.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Those just have the slide-out-of-the-battery-compartment drives, right? There's really not much you could screw up in the process of replacing one. It's not like you've disconnected anything but the drive itself, and even with no drive installed you'd just get a grey "no boot drive" screen.

    Question: Is the computer booting, but the screen just isn't coming on? I wasn't quite sure from your description. If, when you put the original drive in (or boot from an optical disc), you can hear it grinding away booting, the screen is just stuck off, that at least narrows it down to either the backlight or display.

    If it's booting normally I suppose it could be something as simple as the backlight being turned all the way down--tried letting it finish then hitting the brightness adjust keys? (You'd also be able to faintly see the screen if you shine a bright light on it, or behind the apple on the reverse.)

    If it's not booting at all (or if it is and adjusting the backlight doesn't help), you should probably try a PRAM reset/SMC reset, if you haven't already. I suppose swapping the drives could have screwed up one or the other, and it's easy enough to try.

    Otherwise, I can only think that it was a fluke failure while you were working on it. Maybe the new drive could have been a REALLY bad DOA and somehow shorted the motherboard when you tried to boot from it, but that's pretty extreme and unlikely. Static with a drive replacement doesn't seem likely to affect the screen, but I suppose it is winter in the northern hemisphere so that might be a possible cause if it really is a hardware failure...
  3. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    I really don't think there's anything you could have done while changing the hard drive that would cause the display to completely die. Even if your hard drive was REALLY REALLY corrupt the display would turn on and nothing would boot. It's possible you messed up the RAM while swapping out the drive, they're right there nearby. If that was the case you would hear the error beeps and the sleep light indicator would flash when you turn on the macbook, and nothing would come on the screen. The Mac won't do damage to itself and so it will not attempt to boot when the RAM is unseated or damaged. Is it possible you put the hard drive in upside down and forced it in? You could have really ticked it off that way.

    Have you checked the display inverter? If it seems like the Macbook is booting up normally but the screen is still dark, grab a flashlight and shine it at the screen. If the inverter is bad you will see very faint images. That's not something you could have damaged changing the hard drive.

    Also, try this- connect the Macbook to an external display and connect a USB mouse or keyboard. After you start up the Macbook and it gets going, close the screen and wake it up with the mouse or keyboard. See if the external display comes on.

    Otherwise the only thing that would cause the LCD not to power on or display anything at all is the power connection to the LCD. You can't get to that without removing the keyboard or taking apart the display housing though.

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