Replacing the harddrive in a 12.1PB

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by starstreak, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. starstreak macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2004
    Is it possible to replace the harddrive? If so, I got a few questions.
    1) It has the slow 60gig 4200, will getting the 60gig 7200 be worth it? Or should I get a 5400 unit?
    2) How badly will this cut into battery life? I still want to be able to play movies on this unit. Needs to last at least 2hours playing a dvd.
    3) Is the Harddrive user replacable? Uses the standard laptop harddrives?
  2. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    I know the answer to 1 and 3

    1) that speed difference (4600 to 7200) will be night and day.

    3) it DOES use standard 1.8 inch (not sure) notebook hard drives.

  3. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Unless you are a qualified Apple Service Center Tech, you will void any warranty by replacing the HD.
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I've seen a lot of posts suggesting battery life is not affected at all: the HD spins for shorter time periods, and so uses just about the same amount of battery. The HD shouldn't spin much at all when watching a movie.

    EDIT: I should add that I've replaced HDs in both a TiBook and an original iBook. ANYTHING would be easier than the iBook: I had parts (carefully labeled) laying all over my kitchen counter. Despite all that, I'd say the trickiest part is getting all your files copied to the new HD. Carbon Copy Cloner is probably the way to go, and you'll need an external Firewire enclosure as well. Others have done it using an iPod, which will work with CCC as well if you have the space -- but it requires you to copy the data twice!

    EDIT2: As long as you're upgrading, why not bump the size up to 80 GB? They are definitely a pain to upgrade, so you may as well get the biggest availabe HD.
  5. marcsiry macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    I've been thinking of doing the exact same thing to my 12". Is there a generally recommended 7200 RPM drive?
  6. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Just in case you haven't seen this walkthrough on how to replace the hard drive in a 12" PowerBook, here's the URL:
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    > 3) it DOES use standard 1.8 inch (not sure) notebook hard drives.

    It uses the standard notebook hard drive which is 2.5" wide and 9mm thick.

    The Hitachi 7200 RPM drive may be a bit pricey, and the jury is still out on the heat output in the iBook. The Seagate Momentus 5400 RPM is worth a look, it is almost as fast as the 7200 RPM

    Installing a hard drive in the iBook is a bear. Not describable as user replaceable at all.

  8. starstreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2004
    well since I just got it and I want the warrenty, does anbody hayve an idea how much it would cost to get the apple store to swap my harddrive? I can probably get a good deal off the Hitach 7200rpm drive. But if I have 786mb, would I not be accessing the harddrive that much to make it worth it?
    hs anaybody done a startup test with a 4200rpm vs the 7200rpm drive? As it is now, the PB takes as long as my pc laptop to boot and that one has the 7200rpm, and we know PCs should take longer to boot.

    Then again, I suppose it would help with my WoW gaming. I can imagine the heat tho. N TOh epc, my harddrive gets over 100deg while in heavy use.

    Man, I went from getting a $999 Ibook, to a $1599PB to a $1799 PB w/sd to $100 to upgrade ram another 512mb to a faster harddrive?? Sheesh, my wife is gonna kill me! She doesn't even know I got it yet and I'm upgrading it. I'm technically not even gonna be useing it all that much. ;)
  9. alphaq619 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Bay Area
    The Apple Store WILL NOT put in the hard drive for you. They will only install products you buy from their store.
  10. starstreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2004
    So there is no way to upgrade my harddrive without first killing my warrenty?

    Holy smokes! I saw the instructions on replacing the harddrive. Thats a pain in the butt!
  11. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I upgraded my iBook harddrive from the previous drive to a 60gb hitachi 7200 rpm drive. Performance startup and boot time was WAY better. Applications started quicker too. Once an app was open, the speed isn't that much different as everything is in RAM. But you could tell the HD/RAM transfer times were much lower as the system was more responsive. You have a faster system than I did so I think the speed of the hard drive might be a little more visible. As far as the rec to get a 5400 rpm drive, my drive swap was a kinda difficult procedure. If you're going to do it, go all the way and get the faster drive. It was a great upgrade for me.
  12. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    As far as I know, unless you chose the 5400rpm BTO upgrade at the time you ordered, there isn't any way to upgrade the hard drive without blowing your warranty. Yeah, the upgrade procedure is tedious and difficult...the hard drive clearly wasn't designed to be a user-serviceable part. This is unlike some other notebooks I have used or owned, where removing a single screw on a side panel allows you to slide out the 2.5" drive on a carrier sled and easily replace it (that was on a Dell Inspiron 4100).

    There's only one way to find out for sure I suppose...give Apple a call and ask them directly! If you talk to them, post your response here...I'm sure a lot of people would be interested to know Apple's policy on this kind of thing, but I'd suspect Apple isn't going to be terribly cooperative on the issue.
  13. Mark James macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Sarf London
  14. ifjake macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    man, i was going to get the Apple Store to put in my 7200RPM drive in my powerbook after it arrived tuesday so that i wouldn't void the warrantee. i assumed i'd have to pay them a little something to do it, which is expected. but this totally stinks. maybe they're trying not to take business away from their Authorized Technicians, but nothing stopped them from taking business away from their Authorized Retailers. this alters slightly my opinion of Apple's great customer service.
  15. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    Why? Unix and *nix's are notorious for taking a long time to boot. I had a config of linux which took nearly 10 minutes for a full proper boot. The power and beauty of *nix is that it doesn't have to be booted often (I booted that linux box maybe 10 times in multiple years).
    Yeah, the faster it spins, the more heat it's gonna generate. The 7200's are built to deal with this heat and the PB can deal with it just fine too.

    Yeah, I think that's true. They do want you to go to an authorized service center for this.

  16. starstreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2004
    I installed the new harddrive. still formatting and installing OSx so I cant tell you if its any faster.

    BUT for anybody thinking of doing it...DON'T. I learned 3 things that made me cry.
    1) Removing keys can be nerve wrecking. So very thin plastics holding them down. None broken.
    2) I put a small scratch on the case with the screwdriver. I wanted to yell. THat is real minor marks in teh plastic where you had to pry up the unit. I do not know how Apple will open up yur case to do work with out causing damage.
    3) The two clips holding down the left front of the casing. I spent 30 mins trying to figure out how to get it open. I got it open but thats how the screwdriver slip and scratched.

    I hope this was worth it.
  17. starstreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2004
    Ok here are my un scientific on speed increase.
    I had a 60gig 4200rpm (anybody want to buy it?) and installed a 60gig 7200rpm drive.

    From turn-on to the apple logo 15sec vs 13sec
    To the OSX screen 46sec vs 33sec
    To a loaded desktop 56sec vs 46sec

    So OSX took about 10 seconds faster to load. Thats a good jump. Still thinking if it was worth the small scratch I put on the case..

    Oh for those playing Wow
    to the sign in page 22sec vs 14sec
    Thats not bad.
  18. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Link to the instructions please
  19. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    Actually if you do not have enough RAM and the system has to access virtual memory off the HDD the faster HDD, will not only generate more heat and noise however it will drain your battery much faster. If you have ample ram and not doing any intense work the batter life, heat and noise should be fine. :)

    I would not recommend a 80GB yet 100Gb are around the corner and the 80GB will drop in price as the 60Gb will drop even more.

    wait till the 100GB HDD's are out then do the upgrade if you can wait. :)
  20. starstreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2004
    I still say there is nor way you can open this case without putting some sort of mark on it. The surrounding plastic is bound to get dents in it while you pry the case open.
    And the casing won't seal as good as factory. You'll notice a little gap between parts. I dunno why as most screws for the case is to hold the parts together, not to hold them from moving.
  21. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Well, actually the Hitachi harddrive has special fluid bearings and many other performance enhancing features that keep its power consumption low. Granted, a larger RAMDISK obviously decreases overall cache to harddrive and can surely increase battery life. That being said, the drive is just a much more modern piece of technology. It's faster and uses less power. Slightly more heat. I had a 4200 rpm harddrive and did the upgrade and ran some before/after tests. Think of the new iPod... there isn't a bigger battery in there, but it has a better processor than the 3G iPod, and it still ends up going for longer on the same charge.

    I actually didn't use any... HOWEVER, I think that had some instructions for the G3 version of the iBook. I'm not sure if teh G4 is different or not. You have to search around that site for a while. It's not very well organized... I hope that's the place! Let me know if you don't find it.

  22. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    May 10, 2004
    Apple use a nylon screwdriver for prying apart laptop cases. There's a - not very good - picture of the tool here
  23. Snowy_River macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Corvallis, OR
    Well, I just replaced my 12" HD, not because I wanted to, but because I had to (the 40GB drive that came with it - a year and a half ago, so out of warranty - crashed... hard). It wasn't too terrible, but, then, I've stripped several models of PBs down to component parts and put them back together again. My case fits together just as well as it always did, no gaps. I did put a small dent in one spot on the plastic lip, but that's really no big deal.

    As to the question about upgrading without voiding your warranty, of course you can. The Apple Store may not be willing to install your new hard drive, but there are other stores that will. I can name two for you, and I wouldn't be at all surprized if they'd be willing to do it mail-order if you can't find one near you (and these aren't near you). They are The Mac Store in the Pacific NW, and Simutek in Tucson, AZ. Great people at either place. And they are Apple Authorized techs, so any work they do on your computer will not void the warranty.
  24. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I'm actually wondering if my year old iBook G4 should get a 100GB Seagate Momentus 5400.2 for Christmas. I think it's been such a good little computer all year ;), and my iTunes collection now hogs more then half the HD, and it just needs more space.

    On my former laptop, a pismo, changing the HD was pretty straigh forward, but I think I gonna let the pro's do it this time. The service manual I found on this site convinced me that it's worth paying for someone to do this job...

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