Saving an aging MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Billenium_uk, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Billenium_uk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    #1
    Hi I'm the proud owner of a late 2008 MacBook core 2 duo 2.4ghz with 4gb of RAM (upgraded myself from 2gb just over a year ago) Running snow leopard. I've noticed recently that its begun to slow down a lot - this may be due to the fact that the HDD has just 16gb left of 250gb. I've had a bit of a clean out but to be honest I think I just need more space.

    My question therefore is how easy is it to upgrade the HD in this model MacBook? Also would I be able to go for a Solid state drive and would this offer any performance improvements over standard 2.5" drive?

    I'd quite like to be able to upgrade to Mavericks and want to make sure that I've given my beloved MacBook the very best chance of running it as this will most likely be the last time it's supported and I hate to say it but ill probably need to consider upgrading to a newer model as the RAM and hard driver are the last hope for squeezing any performance improvements out of the aging model.

    Grateful if someone could get back to me on the above and with any other recommendations on how i can improve performance as I'm keen to eek as much life out of this MacBook before I'm forced to upgrade!!
     
  2. Weaselboy, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    It is very easy to upgrade the drive in that model. Just use a 00 size Phillips head drive to remove the back cover, then unscrew the drive hold down, pull the drive cable off and take the drive out. Then use a #6 Torx driver to remove the four little nubs on the sides of the drive and swap them to the new drive.

    Reverse to reassemble. If you Google a bit you can find Youtube videos showing step by step for your model.

    Then put your old drive in an external USB enclosure and use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the old drive to the new.

    Yes, an SSD would provide a nice speed increase in day to use use, particularly when launching applications.

    You might take a look at the new Samsung EVO SSDs. Good bang for the buck.
     
  3. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #3
    Cool thanks for the update. I also considered adding more RAM . But according to apple the maximum you can add is 4gb - I've read that you can add more tho.. Is that something you have any experience/knowledge of??
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #4
    http://www.everymac.com

    Some machines can take more than what Apple quotes. Look up your machine at this web site and it will tell you the max.
     
  5. xpaulinax macrumors member

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    Sep 10, 2013
    #5
  6. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #6
    Well What do ya know seems that it does support upto 8gb if RAM with the firmware version I'm currently running so I've ordered 8Gb will see if that does the trick.. Will most likely upgrade the HD as well as I could do with the additional space - I guess the old internal one will act as a handy portable 250g USB drive too! Did you notice any difference with your MacBook once you'd upgraded the HD? I know in real terms it shouldn't make a difference but presume a new drive wouldn't be as fragmented? (Assuming the Mac file system is anything like windows)

    The SSD option is attractive but just so much more expensive I can get a terabyte drive for the same price as a 250gb SSD!!
     
  7. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #7
    As a former owner of that same model, I would recommend upgrading the hard drive. In fact, the hard drive is probably what is slowing you down. Standard hard drives can slow down as they reach >90% capacity. You are at 95% of capacity, so it's not surprising that you are having issues. Sort through what you have and try freeing up some disk space.

    It's a good move upgrading the RAM, of course, but I'd high recommend a hard drive upgrade as well. You can get a 500Gb HD pretty cheap. If you have the cash, spring for an SSD. You will be floored by its performance.
     
  8. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #8
    Thanks for the update had a feeling it may have been related as its slowed down as the drives filled up! I'm keen on a SSD but realistically not sure I need that much of a performance boost - especially not when I can get a terabyte drive for less that half the price of an SSD. If a new drive will provide a boost in performance and I'm upgrading the RAM anyway I think ill go with a standard drive and see what difference it makes as the SSDs are still a bit pricey for me!!
     
  9. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    #9
    The other thing I forgot to ask was whether my MacBook would support a 7200rpm drive.. And if so whether this would give any noticeable performance increase - I presume 7200 would be more power hungry so would I be expecting the battery to drain quicker? Does anyone have any experience if running a MacBook with a 7200 drive?
     
  10. kingsnap macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    #10
    Just install a 7200 350gb in mine no problem. Same model as your.
     
  11. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #11
    I'm now considering a hybrid drive as I'm not in the market for large capacity SSD but read good things about this drive:-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00BHRWHNI

    The price looks good too - does anyone have experience of hybrid drives? I won't want to compromise battery life too much if possible but keen to squeeze every bit of life out of my MacBook before I'm forced to upgrade to a newer model.
     
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    The hybrid drives speed things up but it's not a massive jump. Either way you've options now
     
  13. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #13
    Thanks - any does what the compromise would be in terms of battery life?
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    None. It's still a mechanical drive
     
  15. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #15
    I know But it's spinning faster than the standard apple drive so suppose it would draw more power...
     
  16. Billenium_uk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #16
    I've upgraded the RAM but not seen much improvement so I opted for a 1Tb hybrid drive.

    Before I attempt to upgrade the drive I wondered if anyone could advise the best way of migrating data across. Ideally if like to do a completely fresh install of mountain lion using a USB installer I've created and then plug the old drive in via USB and copy across the files I need -iTunes/iPhoto library etc. I've done this on windows before with out too much problem. Is it that straight forward? I don't want to clone the old disc as I'm using this an opportunity to get rid of some the years of clutter I've accumulated over time!
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Yes it pretty much is assuming you know your way around the folder structures to do this.
     

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