upgrading HDD in early 2008 MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by psywzrd, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. psywzrd macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    I apologize if this information is already posted here, but the search function is disabled right now.

    Anyway, my early 2008 MacBook (running 10.6.8) has been extremely sluggish lately and I think it's time for me to upgrade the HDD (I've already maxed out the RAM). I ordered this drive off of Amazon:


    I use Time Machine and a Time Capsule for my backups and just want to know the easiest way for me to install this new drive and get the OS AND all of my data and programs onto the new drive. Do I install the OS off the installation disk and then use Migration Assistant to get my data and programs back or is there an easier way to do it just using Time Machine?
  2. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    I googled the same thing just the other day - and found some pretty good logical instructions. I wanted to avoid reinstalling the OS from scratch, I wanted to just clone to another HD.

    Check this out, hope it helps.


    PS: your computer getting progressively sluggish? Might be your HD is about to die, especially if it is loud and clicky. If so, expedite your move ASAP, and backup your important files immediately.
  3. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    Thx for the reply. My HD is completely backed up to my Time Capsule AND CrashPlan so I'm not worried about anything even if it dies on me before the new drive arrives; however, I should be able to just restore everything from my TC backup I think.

    I believe I can just pop the new drive into my MB, boot from my Snow Leopard disk and choose my latest Time Machine backup to restore from. I'm not 100% sure though, and I don't know if that's easier than the method in the link you posted. Hopefully someone can let me know!
  4. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    oh yeah, you can definitely do that. Lots of people post about how they put quality SSDs in their 2008, install the OS, and it flies.

    Follow the instructions in my link if you don't want to reinstall the OS and instead want to clone it to the new drive before you install it.

    If you want to install the OS fresh, then definitely - put the drive in, boot from the install DVD. It will be about 30-45 mins to install, and then another 30-60 minutes to update.

    As long as the drive is a SATA laptop drive, you should have no problem. See iFixit for diagrams on how to open it up, if you need it.
  5. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    Is it better to do it one way vs. the other? Is the end result the same either way?
  6. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    If you have the ability to do a clone, do that instead of a Time Machine restore. It'll go a lot quicker and you'll get everything.
  7. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    I'll probably end up going the Time Machine route. I don't have an enclosure and even though they're cheap enough, I don't want to order one and have to wait for it to come. My computer is so sluggish that it's become almost unusable.

    I assume that I'll be able to find a good tutorial to do this using my SL disk and Time Machine and that everything will work out ok (I know - famous last words;)).
  8. psywzrd, Nov 15, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    So I got my new drive and was able to clone my MB's hard drive to it (borrowed an enclosure from a buddy). All went pretty smoothly except for a couple of issues with Dropbox and Google Drive but I believe I rectified those.

    Anyway, I'm still having some issues that I had before I installed the new drive. My fan seems to run at high speed virtually all of the time. I installed smcFanControl and it's showing my computer's temp as 201F and the fan running at 6208rpm (this is with just Firefox and Safari running so the system is certainly not being taxed very much right now).

    I did reset the SMC a couple of times but it didn't seem to help. Am I correct in assuming that the temperature is too high? Anything else I can do to troubleshoot this (other than taking the computer to Apple)? This computer is way out of warranty but I'd like to be able to use it without the fan making so much noise.

    Also, the computer still seems sluggish to me. For example, jumping between pages in safari is slow and even as I'm typing this message, it's kind of lagging as I type (I'm typing faster than the words appear on the screen). The computer just doesn't seem as responsive as it used to be.

    As I mentioned earlier, the RAM is maxed out at 4GB and now that I have a 1TB drive in it, there is plenty of hard drive space available.

    What can I do to troubleshoot this thing to see what could be bogging it down?
  9. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    well, you have a lot going against you currently.

    You do not want the fan to stop running at full throttle, if your current temp is nearly the boiling point of water. :) Adding the new hard drive is potentially moving the temp up, if runs hotter than the previous.

    Sluggish performance can be caused by a few things. HD leading to a cascading fail is one. Overheating is another. As you swapped out drives and verified the temps are high, focus on that now.

    When you had it open, you likely checked for blockages in the fan path. I wonder if thermal pasting the proc is your best next bet. I never did it but read about it as being effective. I googled 'macbook 2008 thermal paste' and found this thread on apple discussions:

    It mentions ifixit article on repasting, as well as a fan app to jack up fan speed when it's very hot. It also points out what I have heard, which overheating destroys logic boards quickly.

    Hope it helps.
  10. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    I will definitely give that thread a read and see if it's something that I could potentially do. The temperature does seem to have come down a bit since I put the new drive in (it seems to vary between 145 and 170 or so).

    I'm more concerned with the sluggishness. I can't imagine what could be causing that at this point. I don't see anything in Activity Monitor that jumps out at me.
  11. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    You are answering your own question. Your ranges seem above normal operating range. The poster in the thread i linked stated his concern when he is above 135 degrees. The fact that there is nothing in the activity monitor should add worry.

    Your temps are too high, it is holding the temp in instead of venting it out. Just like a human with heat stroke, a computer overheating will act sluggish.

    Human and computer will both have a critical fail when overheat is not alleviated. Your heat problem is bending your logic board, popping solder and capacitors, dramatically increasing its mortality.

    And you are worried about it being sluggish.
  12. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    Well I just got back from the Genius Bar and they say that there is nothing wrong with my computer. Of course it didn't act sluggish or anything while I was there and although the temperature did run high, the genius didn't seem to think it was anything for me to worry about. He also did not give much credence to the temperature reading from smcFanControl and said that if my computer is overheating, it will shut itself down automatically to prevent damage to the computer.

    I guess I'll just continue to monitor it and see how it goes.
  13. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013

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