Restore Old 2007 macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by vsop4me, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. vsop4me macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
    Hi all, looking for some advice. I have an old macbook model A1181 (2007 I believe) that's been sitting around for the past 4-5 years unused. It's in great condition considering it's age and looking/hoping to restore for my 9 year old daughter. She is currently using a chromebook for school but I really hate that machine and would like to introduce her to the world of macbook as she's alway asking to use my MBP.

    I have two questions/requests for advice:
    1. I am considering getting a cheap SSD to install to get a bit of a boost but not sure if that is recommended and if this model would support that.
    2. The trackpad is worn down a bit where the coating has worn off in some parts and is now smooth and sticky so tracking is inconsistent. Could I buy a skin/protector to cover and would I recover some of the consistency...I think the wearing down of the coating now makes the plastic shiny and sticky but it still works.

    Thanks ahead for any advice.
  2. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
    did the school provide the chromebook? how would they feel about a substitute? how would your daughter feel about using something different than everyone else if that's the case?
  3. vsop4me thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
    It's not supplied by the school so that won't be a problem and it's not a requirement for school. Not concerned with peer pressure.
  4. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
    ok. just thought we needed to get that out of the way.
  5. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    I just finished refurbishing an Early 2008 MacBook that has been around the block a few times with various friends of mine going on to it's 4th owner. It was a mess when it came in, swollen/protruding battery, nail polish on some keys, palm rest was more yellow/brown than white, and the heatsink and fan were quite dirty.

    After getting it completely cleaned up from top to bottom after disassembly and reinstalling OS X, she runs great and looks pretty good for it's age minus the usual palm rest cracks.

    As for your questions:
    1. A cheap 120GB SSD that can be found for under $50 will do this thing wonders, even if it does run at SATA 1. This would by the #1 upgrade in my book. Especially with an old HDD in there as it is. Even a cheap SanDisk will be fine, no need to go for an 850 Evo or anything unless you just want to.

    2. Yeah, I just hit mine with a magic eraser as I was getting all the grime of and it's pretty consistent really. A skin may help though.

    A few notes: Make sure the fan and heatsink are clean. A can of air will usually take care of it but taking the top case off and dusting it from the inside out will help more. Especially if there is junk in the heatsink. May not be an issue if it was kept clean in a pet free area but it can help a ton with noise and heat.

    As far as the OS goes, I'd highly recommend sticking with 10.6 Snow Leopard on these guys. Lion has a lot more UI features using the already weak Intel GMA GPU in these and it creates a lot more heat than necessary and is generally slower than SL in every case. But if you need it for software support it'll run alright with an SSD. If you stick with a hard drive, 10.6 will be much quicker to boot up and launch apps. It also uses less RAM and will run happily in 2GB where Lion really needs 4GB to be happy.

    Chrome still supports 10.6 at the moment, and Firefox does too. Keep away from Safari as it hasn't been updated in ages for 10.6.

    Office 2011 will run great on both as well. 2016 requires Yosemite so it's out of the question. Unless you go the Boot Camp and Windows route that is. I will say it runs Windows 7-10 pretty well even if it is unsupported by Apple other than 32-bit Win 7.

    The Core 2 Duo isn't exactly slow, but it isn't super quick either, but with an SSD and a good browser it should be able to keep up with the Chromebook. Perhaps not in the battery life department but the hardware is built better at least. Chromebook's have their perks though, not much OS maintenance, decent battery, quick updates, and even though it's lower end HW it's newer and usually more efficient. But I'd have her use the Mac in a heartbeat over the Chromebook... Because OS X. :)

    I recently gifted my 11yo niece a 2005 iBook G4 that she uses for writing stories she makes up in Word 2004. Works great for that purpose and it'll get on the web with TenFourFox. Start them young and let them learn. Then upgrade later, a solid plan.
  6. vsop4me thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
    --- Post Merged, Jan 8, 2016 ---
    Thanks BrettApple! That is awesome input based on your experience and I'm going to go ahead and give this a shot.

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