Upgrading the HDD in MBPs...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by superspiffy, May 2, 2007.

  1. superspiffy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    I bought a MBP with 120gigs of hdd a few weeks ago. After Boot Camp, video captures and so many programs installed, I only have 12.55gigs of hdd left on my Mac partition. I'm worried I may need to upgrade the internal hdd sooner or later as I've already hooked up a 250gig external FireWire hdd for my media files. So if I do want to upgrade the internal hdd, is it as easy as dropping it off to Apple and having them do it? (with or without AppleCare?) I heard opening up the MBP yourself, to upgrade the internal hdd, voids the warrany. Is this true?
  2. McBeats macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2007
    I also heard the same thing...

    (other than ram upgrading) opening up the macbook/pro will Void the warentee. Be careful.

    Anyone else wanna jump in?
  3. deadpixels macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2006
    yes, warranty is out if you do that.

    edit : or course, your busted only if apple finds out about it. i don't think they check the specs of each mbpro they get in for repair.
  4. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Apple will not upgrade your hard drive for you under any circumstances. Period.

    You might be able to get an Apple Authorized Repair Center to do it for you though, without voiding the warranty.
  5. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    I'd just recommend purchasing a small portable firewire hard drive. I have one with a 120gig in it and it's great. Move all your movies and stuff that you don't use on a daily basis to that. If you're on the move and you decide you need it, just grab the cable and plug it in.

    I've heard reports that taking apart the macbook pro & powerbook enclosure is a pain in the rear, and not for the faint of heart.
  6. Marlon_JBT macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2003
    Detroit, Michigan
    I took my 12" PB apart to replace the hard drive... 2 times... and no it is NOT easy. Good thing about taking an Apple notebook apart 2 times is that now it's a piece of cake. :D I will eventually upgrade my internal HD in my MacBook Pro as well... 80GB just isn't enough.

    I'm out of warranty so I don't need to worry about that.
  7. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    I had to take apart a few first generation white iBooks. Those were such a pain in the rear to take apart. Thank god most of the time it was cannibalizing parts from two broken ibooks, to fix one or two others, so I didn't have to do as much reassembly as disassembly
  8. TheJayWay macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I'm salivating for a samsung 250GB...My current 80GB isn't cutting, I've already had to move all of my media to my 250GB external which kinda sucks, can't listen to music while I work unless I'm plugged in at my desk.
  9. himansk macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    you will not void the warranty on the mbp just by opening it up to replace the hdd. it will void the warranty on the original hdd and on any item you damage inside the mbp while servicing it yourself. I have replaced my mbp's hdd couple of months back and it went without a hitch. the problem was that apple wont replace the hdd unless you bought it from apple themselves, and any third party service center charges for labor which is as much as the hdd itself and more.
  10. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    This is true -- when I was feeling the pinch of the 80 gb drive and wanted to upgrade, I found that the local Mac store (not the local Apple store) would upgrade my hard drive for about $90 -- one hour's worth of their labor, plus the cost of the drive. Given that the 160 gb drive I was going to put in there was only slightly more than that, it was going to be pretty painful to pay half the cost in labor. Still not that much, especially considering that the work would be done by a certified technician, so you wouldn't void your warranty, I just couldn't justify it, given that I could probably do it myself if I was just patient and careful.

    I've done a lot of building of computers over the years, and taking them apart and fixing them, so I felt fairly confident that I could do the work myself. Taking apart and working on a MBP is *much* easier than a powerbook of any size or any ibook. Had there not been the videos of the disassembly process on OWC for doing this, though, there's no way I would have attempted it. Being able to watch someone actually do all of the steps in (fairly) real time, and talking you through it the whole way, made all the difference in the world in terms of confidence. I just took my time, laid out my workspace for keeping easy track of the different screws, and worked carefully. The only really scary part is the removal of the top casing -- the part with the keyboard in it, and the disconnecting of the keyboard cable from the motherboard. It's sort of a strange connection, more like a tiny snap than anything I've ever plugged in to a motherboard before. I've had the machine in for service under applecare twice since then (for unrelated issues) and they've never even mentioned it.

    All told, in the video the guy changes out the hard drive in about 15 minutes or less. I did mine in probably less than 45 minutes from start to finish. Both of these numbers make me a little irked that they were going to charge me for a full hour's worth of labor, as they must have been able to do it considerably faster than that. Had the cost been just $45 (half an hour), I would absolutely have paid them to do it.

    All of that being said, if you're not pretty familiar with computer hardware or working on it, I wouldn't recommend it, as you really could mess something up, or even just not get the case back on quite right. Just pay one of the local technicians for it, or else you may even be able to pay OWC to do it as well.
  11. leckie macrumors member

    May 3, 2007
    Why would it void the warranty, you aren't breaking any seals? I'm assuming its the same as a MacBook where its behind the same shield as the ram and its just a case of taking it out and putting the new one in.
  12. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    If only it were that easy on the MacBook Pro's! Upgrading the hard drive in a MBP involves removing the top case (via 21 screws!). Not for the faint of heart, yet not a difficult procedure if you've done computer repairs before.
  13. johnee macrumors 6502a


    I would suggest you go right the source.

    Call Apple and ask them what you can do to allow you to have the hard drive replaced and still keep your orig warranty/applecare valid for all components (maybe even your new hd).

    If you do call, please post their reply.

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