How to easily replace or upgrade your MacBook harddrive

Posted by Cam Findlay on 14 September 2009 | Comments

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I had my first harddrive fail on me last week... the "click of death" I had heard about makes so much more sense now!

So there I was... my MacBook was dead as a mouse but through some power googling and having had fixed and built many PC systems in the past I ventured forth and completed the repairs. Saving a bunch on parts and labour if I had have taken it to the mac repair shop...like any good sports car, a mac computer stings you for parts once they breakdown.

So here's how I did it and hopefully someone can learn from this... on a side note... this just isnt for replacing broken hard drive but also upgrading to large ones. If you find you are running out of space this will be the ticket to some more digital storage freedom.

You will need: About 15 mins Size 0 Philips Screwdriver Size 8 Torx Head Screwdriver Coin New 2.5" 5400 rpm harddrive

You can click on any of the photos below for a closer look at the repairs.

Step 1: Is my MacBook really broken?...if you are hearing a clicking noise and seeing this srceen... then yes its time to replace your drive.

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Step 2: Flip that over... you need to take out the battery pack using a regular screwdriver or coin. Last Import - 02Last Import - 03Last Import - 04

Step 3: Unscreem the 3 small screws on the bracket inside the battery bay using a size 0 (zero) philips head and remove the "L" shaped bracket.
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Step 4: Find the small white plastic tab, pull the lower end so that the tab flicks out from under the drive. Give this a pull and the old hard drive should pop out.
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Step 5: Remove the hard drive caddy from the old hard drive using a size 8 torx head screw driver. There should be 4 small screws. Pay attention to the way around the SATA ports are when the drive is within the caddy.
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Step 6: Put the new 2.5" laptop drive into the caddy, making sure to have it the same way around as the old drive you removed, the drive label should be facing up and the ports at the opposite end to the plastic tab. Replace the 4 torx screws. Last Import - 11

Step 7: Fold the plastic tab under the drive, put the drive facing label side down into the battery bay and slide the new drive back into place. Give it a small amount of pressure to seat the SATA ports into position. Replace the L shaped bracket to cover the hard drive bay and RAM slots.  Tighten the 3 small philips screws on the bracket.
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Step 8: Replace the battery and boot up into your OS X DVD or CD by holding down the option key and selecting the dvd as your startup disk.  Follow the instructions to get your operating system installed and running again. Last Import - 13

There we have it... your MacBook now has a new or upgraded drive! Becareful when choosing a replacement drive you can get 7200rpm drives but this will increase your systems runing temparature... I reckomend using a 5400 rpm drive like the Western Digital Scorpio Blue or any of the Fujitsu range. If your doing some heavy audio or video work run your scratch disks from a faster (7200 or even a 10,000 rpm!) external drive via firewire400 or USB2.

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