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Should I change the HDD in my MBP

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've a 2.16 ghz MBP with the 120 gb HDD.

Currently I've only got 35 gb of free space remaining.

I'd like to take out the old HDD and replace it with a 200 gb HDD. I want to load fusion and xp on my MBP and would like some more room.

Is this advisable? I know it will void the warranty. How difficult is it to do and what HDD can someone recommend?

I can purge my MBP of unused apps and archive some files and I am considering that as well. In fact that's likely what I'll do unless it turns out that can replace the HDD with little difficulty and little likelihood of screwing something up.
post #2 of 23
Here's my recommendation for a hard drive.

But as for the process of installing, it's nothing but removing the screws along the side and rear edges of the notebook, the four screws along the bottom rear, as well as two on the inside-front edge under the battery, and two Torx T7 screws under the RAM plate. After that, grasp the top case along the hinge, and pop it off the machine. Run your finger gently but firmly along the edge of the machine between the casing, to release the clips that hold the case in place.

The hard drive is pretty obvious once you see it. Replace the drive, and reattach the case in the reverse order.

If you do it well enough, and don't tell any Apple employee that you opened it, you won't void the warranty. There's no warranty tape to verify it, they go by obvious signs like a poorly reassembled case. Of course, you'll want to keep the old hard drive, because you'll need to put the original drive back in before a repair if you don't want them to call you on it.
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post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post

Here's my recommendation for a hard drive.

5400 RPM? Sure... good storage... but why?

If you're going to upgrade, upgrade to a carefully chosen 7200 RPM drive.
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post #4 of 23
And to add onto what Karelia said.
you could always throw the harddrive you took out of the MBP into an external case and have a media drive?

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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

5400 RPM? Sure... good storage... but why?

If you're going to upgrade, upgrade to a carefully chosen 7200 RPM drive.

Because in my experience, nothing but top-end pro apps get a noticeable increase in speed from having a 7200RPM drive. I really don't think 7200RPM notebooks drives are worth the price increase. I'd rather have more space, myself. Same goes for the 10,000RPM WD Raptors, waaaaay too expensive for the storage size.
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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post

Because in my experience, nothing but top-end pro apps get a noticeable increase in speed from having a 7200RPM drive. I really don't think 7200RPM notebooks drives are worth the price increase. I'd rather have more space, myself.

Obviously programs which depend on page files will benefit the most, but don't forget -- the OS depends on cache files too. When I upgraded my laptop's hard drive from 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM the speed difference was noticeable. It was not an extremely large upgrade, of course, but the price difference between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM is not that great assuming you are looking at quality hard drives. If the greater storage is the priority then all is settled, but if the storage required falls into a range where both speeds are available, the upgrade to 7200 RPM is a great one to make.
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post #7 of 23
Of course, any upgrade is an upgrade. If the price is another $20 tacked onto a $175 drive, sure. But if it comes out to be too much more expensive, I'd rather stay with the 5400RPM and put that money toward the next-largest capacity.
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post

Of course, any upgrade is an upgrade. If the price is another $20 tacked onto a $175 drive, sure. But if it comes out to be too much more expensive, I'd rather stay with the 5400RPM and put that money toward the next-largest capacity.

The value of storage vs. speed will be different for all of us. If the storage is not needed now, and, say, 160 GBs gives us plenty of free space, sometimes it is nicer to get the speed and worry about storage sometime down the road when it matters (and 300 GBs is common place for laptop hard drives). The OP has to make that choice for themselves.

Back to your mention of $20, that is about the difference in price I was encountering when I was shopping around for the right hard drive to use in my own laptop. $20 was a very easy choice to make. If it was, say, $60, it would be much more difficult.

It should also be pointed out that not all hard drives are created equally. A consumer will benefit from reading about different models from different manufacturers (preferably compared in benchmarks) to see which ones offer the best speed, reliability, temperatures and sound levels. New model drives are superior to a one-year-old drive in most cases, but that one-year-old model might be on a very enticing clearance sale.
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post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the input.

Will google the installation process to see how hard.

I like the 320 gb hdd. That'll hold me a while.
post #10 of 23
I had to replace my MBP's hard disk yesterday... it's super easy, providing you own a Phillips and a T6 Torx screwdriver.

you won't find a more thorough guide for replacing your hard disk than the one ifixit provides: http://www.ifixit.com/
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post

Because in my experience, nothing but top-end pro apps get a noticeable increase in speed from having a 7200RPM drive. I really don't think 7200RPM notebooks drives are worth the price increase. I'd rather have more space, myself. Same goes for the 10,000RPM WD Raptors, waaaaay too expensive for the storage size.

Agree with the Raptor comment, WD is crap, IMO..

Disagree with the notebook drive speed. I had a Powerbook AL 15', 1GHz. It shipped with a 4200. It got replaced a year later with a 5400, the boot time was faster, I moved data around a little quicker, it was a nice upgrade. Unfortunately, that one quit 14 months later, they threw another 4200 in... slowed tiger enough I called and complained. "That was the drive it originally shipped with, you just got a lucky upgrade the first time". I eventually got my MBP as a replacement for this one.
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post #12 of 23
I would love someone to post a few examples of a $20 difference between a 5400 drive and a 7200 drive. From my online searches, it seems that, all things being as equal as possible, I can get much larger capacity (30% +) at 5400 than for a 7200 at the same price. At the same capacity, the 7200 is about 50% more. I looked at two Seagate Momentus drives of equal capacity at one of the cheaper online Canadian retailers and there is a 50% price difference ($100 vs $150).

From people that have upgraded, how much of a performance difference can one really expect between a 5400 and a 7200 drive? How much will it impact heat and battery life? I really need to consider a larger drive as 120 gigs is pretty much useless. Am I better to look at larger capacity and the same spin as what shipped with the MBP or go with less capacity and faster RPM? If the performance is minor or only a real benefit when starting up apps, then I think I probably go towards the 5400 with larger capacity.

I am also considering a 500 gig or 1TB external FW800 drive. This would give me a lot more capacity but would be a lot less convenient to have to always plug it in.

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post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmac1036 View Post

Agree with the Raptor comment, WD is crap, IMO..

Disagree with the notebook drive speed. I had a Powerbook AL 15', 1GHz. It shipped with a 4200. It got replaced a year later with a 5400, the boot time was faster, I moved data around a little quicker, it was a nice upgrade. Unfortunately, that one quit 14 months later, they threw another 4200 in... slowed tiger enough I called and complained. "That was the drive it originally shipped with, you just got a lucky upgrade the first time". I eventually got my MBP as a replacement for this one.

I agree with you there, but my argument was between 5400 and 7200. I would pay more to go from 4200 to 5400, but 7200 isn't worth the price-per-gig for the tiny performance boost, at least not in my opinion.
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post #14 of 23
Get more space, you will always want that, unless you could get 1TB. Right now that is max needed for personal use. One day you may want to dual boot OS, or even triple boot OS. If you are going to crack it open then get more space.
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post #15 of 23
I was thinking of buying a faster 7200 RPM drive for my MB, when I upgrade the hard drive... Depending on cost. I could do with something a bit bigger than my current 100GB, but I'm not bothered about having as much as 320GB.

What I want to know is, does having a faster HD mean any additional drain on the battery?

Considering I have a MacBook (with easy-to-access HD and memory) will I invalidate my AppleCare if I swap the drive?
post #16 of 23
Interesting speed test article:
http://www.barefeats.com/5472.html
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

I was thinking of buying a faster 7200 RPM drive for my MB, when I upgrade the hard drive... Depending on cost. I could do with something a bit bigger than my current 100GB, but I'm not bothered about having as much as 320GB.

What I want to know is, does having a faster HD mean any additional drain on the battery?

Considering I have a MacBook (with easy-to-access HD and memory) will I invalidate my AppleCare if I swap the drive?

I believe your AppleCare will be sound, but if you ever need to have repairs on the machine, and Apple deems "in their infinite wisdom" that your hard drive is bad, they will replace it with the stock drive and you'll be out one expensive hard drive upgrade. No compensation. So keep that old drive around, and drop it back in if you ever need repairs.
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post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post

I believe your AppleCare will be sound, but if you ever need to have repairs on the machine, and Apple deems "in their infinite wisdom" that your hard drive is bad, they will replace it with the stock drive and you'll be out one expensive hard drive upgrade. No compensation. So keep that old drive around, and drop it back in if you ever need repairs.

Thanks... Yeah I heard about that from a friend. When he took his MacBook back in for a motherboard replacement he swapped back in the original HD to be on the safe side. Good old SuperDuper!

They wouldn't be like that about the old memory would they? I was planning on selling it for a few quid.
post #19 of 23
How do you go about replacing programs like Office and Photoshop when you replace the hard drive?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammick View Post

How do you go about replacing programs like Office and Photoshop when you replace the hard drive?

I was told you can do this with SuperDuper! but I'm not sure exactly how you'd make a duplicate of your HD to a 2.5" drive externally... Maybe someone else has the answer?
post #21 of 23
Put a SamSung 250G sata drive in there (HM-250Ji model). Take a look at TomsHardware and Storage review. This 250G 5400 PMR drive puts many 7200 rpm drive to shame...
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post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post

I believe your AppleCare will be sound, but if you ever need to have repairs on the machine, and Apple deems "in their infinite wisdom" that your hard drive is bad, they will replace it with the stock drive and you'll be out one expensive hard drive upgrade. No compensation. So keep that old drive around, and drop it back in if you ever need repairs.

No... Apple will NOT replace this at all. I asked the tech on upgrades... They will only replace Apple logo-branded drives. I can buy the drive from Apple & pay the tech to put it in... then after that ALL is covered under warranty.

If I buy my own drive, I have to pay Apple serivce tech to install if under warranty & pay to have it switched if it ever dies.

If you do it yourself or take it somewhere non-Apple certified it will VOID warranty, including applecare.
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post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano2Gfteo View Post

Put a SamSung 250G sata drive in there (HM-250Ji model). Take a look at TomsHardware and Storage review. This 250G 5400 PMR drive puts many 7200 rpm drive to shame...

Think I will try Samsung for my next round of hard drives. WD & Seagate ship refurb drives as replacements.

My old Powerbook & new MBP has lost Hitachi, Toshiba & Fujitsu drives.
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