Why the hell isn't the MBP hard drive User Serviceable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phalewhale, May 26, 2008.

  1. phalewhale macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2007
    I have a MBP and cannot understand why the MBP hard drive is not user serviceable when the MB is! I know there are loads of tutorials out there that tell you how you can do it, but if something goes wrong, I would invalidate my AppleCare. Why isn't it as easy as the MB?

    Are there any technical reasons?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I doubt there are any specific technical reasons. Like you I wanted to upgrade my hard drive for ages and even though I'm outside my 3 year warranty I am still reluctant.
  3. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    It is not that hard to do. Takes about 15 - 20 minutes to do if you are experienced and about 45 minutes if you are not.

    Here's a link to videos. Select Hard Drive Tab and then choose the MBP 15".

    The video is excellent!
  4. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    With the Air also enclosed, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Macbook move in this direction also. Apple will say it is for aesthetic purposes, but really it is to get you upgrading your machines more often.

    That said, changing the HD in the Air is a PAIN, but the Macbook Pro isn't that bad.
  5. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The current MacBook Pro chassis pre-dates the MacBook chassis (if only by about four months), so maybe when Apple developed the MacBook, they took into account the complaints about replacing the HDD on the MacBook Pro and modified it appropriately.

    Hopefully the next MacBook Pro chassis will also make it easier.
  6. phalewhale thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2007
    I sincerely hope this is so.

    Again, I know it is possible to change the HD - but since I have AppleCare warranty left, I am reluctant to try it in case of problems.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    It's okay to be worried about the warranty, but damaging anything is unlikely unless you're very careless; I still have 2 and so years left; Apple didn't care.
  8. phalewhale thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2007
    Tried to update my previous post but couldn't.

    Anyway, what I wanted to say is that since the Apple Designers built user serviceable components into the MB, as pointed out earlier. Hopefully, the new MBP will have this ability too. But also, why can't the iMac have this option?

    I dunno...!
  9. creator2456 macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    I have to think that the main reason for it is in order to make more $$$. Not in having people buying a new system sooner than later, but so people spend more money up-front to get the larger HD. If the HD was easy-as-pie to replace, nobody in their right mind would upgrade though Apple because of cheaper alternatives. Just look at the RAM as an example.
  10. phalewhale thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2007
    Very true, although I think the RAM has become cheaper recently (although still not as cheap as crucial).
  11. jne381 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2006
    Grand Rapids
    I don't think it was an issue to try to get people to shell out more money, because they would not have made it so easy to replace in the MacBook.

    The answer is probably just a design issue. It can be hard to fit all that stuff in there all the time. Hopefully they will make it easier in the next revision.
  12. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    it may be alittle more work on the MBP sure, but it is totally doable in 30minutes.

    I see no reason to change it if they choose not to. Its not as easy as the MB, no, but its totally doable.
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
  14. markrivers macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
    based on this..
    i can safely SAY that the macbook AIR isn't for you.
    what if the new MBP goes out like the AIR..
    everthing.. RAM, battery etc are not user servicable?
  15. SamoanDude macrumors regular

    May 22, 2008
    United States Now
    Many of us just keep the old hard drive and if we have to send the MBP back for service we put the old HD back in. It's not overly difficult
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I wouldnt say the mbp's hdd isnt user replaceable. The first time I've ever done it only took me 15-20 minutes and it is very easy to do.

    I just went to ifixit.com and looked at where the screw go and got a piece of paper and just drew where the screws go (that takes nothing but 3-4 minutes to unscrew all the screws).

    If the hdd was easy to replace just like on the macbook that would be even better but I'm not that disappointed on the mbp in upgrading the hdd. I find it very easy just tedious with the screws.
  17. MacDann macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    The worst (scariest) part the first time you do it is getting the top cover off. You'll convince yourself that you're going to break it.

    After the first time, you can do it in about 15-20 minutes.

    And list someone mentioned, I keep the original drive just in case it has to go back to Apple, since I always buy AppleCare on my notebooks.

  18. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Surprisingly the 17" mbp is much easier to take apart because the top part doesnt snap on like the 15" mbp does. 17" mbp top isnt snapped on whatsoever and just comes right off once all the screws (pretty much exactly the same as the 15" mbp just 1 more screw in 2 certain places).
  19. gikku macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2006
    yep, would be seriously nice to have a click in click out, like, dare I say, a Dell or IBM thinkpad. :)
    but that may limit the number of BTO units and associated revenues.
  20. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    The MBP is nothing but a Powerbook case with Intel inside instead of PowerPC. So the design really dates back to 2003.
  21. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Well that would likely explain Apple moving to more "user-serviceable" designs with the MacBook and hopefully the next MBP will be the same.
  22. dblissmn macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2002
    Look at how the cases are arranged

    In order to make the hard drive on a MacBook Pro as easily accessible as it is on the MacBook, Apple would have to move the DVD drive to the side of the computer as opposed to the front. There is no good way with the DVD drive in the front of the computer to have the drive pointing into the battery compartment rather than parallel with it. Because SATA involves a plug you have to pull the drive out directly away from the plug.

    If they moved the DVD drive to the right side as with the MacBook, it allows for the drive to be reachable from the battery compartment, but that raises problems with where you put the ports. If MacBook Pro users are OK with all the ports on one side of the computer, or if they're OK with a redesigned display hinge and some of the ports on the back, than that's another matter. I'd actually be OK with the second option; I'd rather have the DVI port and a set of the less used ports on the back than on the right side, where they interfere with a dual monitor set-up. But even with this option, you've got the components arranged in an asymmetrical way inside the case which could lead to the same irritating left-sided heating you have in the MacBook.

    But I'm not OK with having everything on the wrong side of the keyboard for a right hander, as with the MacBook.

    And I think some people are going to want the DVD drive in front, especially on the 17, where people on a train or a plane would be ejecting DVDs into their neighbor's lap with a side-saddle arrangement.

    If you have the DVD in front, it would take some creativity; either a long skinny battery to fit between the DVD and a hard drive mounted parallel with the front of the computer as in the MacBook, except in this case you'd have the drive and the battery forming an L shape, and it would only work in the 17 anyway as you would not have room in the 15 to slide the drive all the way out -- or a removable panel on the bottom of the computer through which to access the drive.
  23. dcl macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    I was reluctant to replace MBP HD myself (with only one good hand now) and most places I called want $100 - $200 to install it. (REDICULIOUS)

    Amazon - Tech For Less had WD 320Gb for $119 - Best Buy will install any hard drive for $39.

    WATCH OUT - Told Best Buy Tech to ONLY install the HD - nothing else, I had already copied everything over to the HD. - Two hours later went back, new hard drive was in, no scratches, or misalignment in the case, but the kid who put my drive in formated it.:eek: - At least they refunded the $39, but I had to take the time to restore from backup.

    Best Buy Geek Squad is an Apple Authorized Service Provider,
    so if they mess up the computer it will still be under apple warranty.

  24. Victor ch macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

    Jun 19, 2007
    San José, Costa Rica
    O common, I've swaped the HDD of a MBP and its very easy, a tad time consuming but very easy. MB's are easier but trust me, MBP's are not that difficult. I guess the 'Pro' market doesn't quite need to change the HDD that often (likely they can afford the best where such things are not needed)

  25. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I hope not...Although built in 4gig of RAM on the logic board would be cool (ala the Air (which only has 2)) but I think if they didn't give swappable batteries on the MBP, the screaming could be heard from new york, to boston, to london and soon to montreal.

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