Should I replace my optical drive or buy an external one?

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
541
96
The motor on my Late 2008 MacBook Pro unibody's optical drive died, so my optical drive doesn't work. When I enter a disk, it makes a few sounds reminiscent of a dying animal, then spits the disc back out. This is a result of something falling on the upper right part of the computer, damaging my drive.

So should I buy a replacement optical drive or an external one? I really only use my drive whenever I'm loading an OS, that's literally the only time I use it. So attaching an external drive isn't an issue. Both the replacement drive and the external drive are around the same price on Amazon, but with the replacement drive, I would be worried about breaking something since it involves removing a couple of cables from the logic board, and prying one up.
 

Mr Kram

macrumors 68020
Oct 1, 2008
2,370
1,169
since your laptop is relatively old, i wouldn't invest in repairing it. get an external when you need it and you can always use it later since the air and new iMacs have no optical drive.
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
541
96
since your laptop is relatively old, i wouldn't invest in repairing it. get an external when you need it and you can always use it later since the air and new iMacs have no optical drive.
Makes sense. It still works great for what I need it to though, holds it's own against even current laptops. I can easily get another few years out of it :)
 

Mr Kram

macrumors 68020
Oct 1, 2008
2,370
1,169
Makes sense. It still works great for what I need it to though, holds it's own against even current laptops. I can easily get another few years out of it :)
i agree. i have a very similar macbook if not the same. it's fine, but i upgraded to an air this year just because. the kids still make good use out of the macbook.
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
541
96
i agree. i have a very similar macbook if not the same. it's fine, but i upgraded to an air this year just because. the kids still make good use out of the macbook.
I would upgrade, but I'm a college student and the cash is best spent elsewhere. Probably when I graduate in a few years though.

Do you think it's worth it to upgrade the RAM though? Right now I have 3GB, upping it to 8GB is like $60 on Amazon, pretty cheap.
 

Mr Kram

macrumors 68020
Oct 1, 2008
2,370
1,169
I would upgrade, but I'm a college student and the cash is best spent elsewhere. Probably when I graduate in a few years though.

Do you think it's worth it to upgrade the RAM though? Right now I have 3GB, upping it to 8GB is like $60 on Amazon, pretty cheap.
as cheap as RAM is these days, i would do it. i upgraded both RAM and HDD in mine.
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
643
40
It depends on what you want to do. Buying a replacement optical drive is relatively cheap and easy to install. You can also remove the damaged drive and use the optical drive's SATA port to install another hard drive. Macsales.com will put you on the right track, and there are a bunch of how to videos on ifixit.com and youtube. If you want to put another hard drive into your machine, the data doubler from macsales.com can be obtained cheaper by going to eBay and getting a cheaper on from a third party.