Upgrade the MacBook Part 1: Change the Hard Drive

This is part 1 of upgrading your MacBook. Part 2 is moving the data to the new drive.

When you purchase a MacBook, the options for hard drive space are 80GB, 120GB, or now, 250GB. I went with the stock 80, but now, more than a year later, I want more. What to do? Why, install your own hard drive, of course! I picked up a 250 GB drive at a local store for $100, and am now in the process of moving all my extra items on this ginormous (for a laptop) drive.

Since I am certain there are more people interested in doing this, here is part 1 of a two part tutorial on what you need to do to get your MacBook up and running with a larger drive (part 2 is moving the data).

The first thing you will need, naturally, is a hard drive. As I mentioned, I picked up a 2.5″ SATA drive with 250 GB and 5400 RPM at a local store for $100. This is a very good price, in my mind, and it fits the bill nicely. Just remember that those are the specs you need to get: 2.5″ laptop drive, 5400 RPM, SATA connection. 7200 RPM drives also work.

With a hard drive available, you are now ready to begin replacing the innards to your computer.

Step 1

While it is likely obvious to me (and hopefully you), it never hurts to mention again.

Step 2

Collect the tools necessary to make the change. From left to right, there is a #7 Torx, and small Philips (star) screwdriver. The Philips is for the RAM door, and the Torx is for the hard drive sled.

Step 3

Flip your MacBook over (onto something soft!), and using a spare piece of change, rotate the battery lock so the left side of the battery lifts out of the compartment.

Step 4

With the battery removed, you’ll need to use the Philips screwdriver to remove 3 small screws holding the RAM door in place. When these screws are out, rotate the metal like you see to expose the hard drive.

Step 5

The RAM door piece is an L shape.

Step 6

On the left side of the battery compartment is a small white tab that is connected to the drive sled. Pull the tab out, and carefully tug on it until the hard drive comes free.

Step 7

After the drive comes free, use the Torx driver to remove the 4 screws, then replace it with the updated drive. Make sure the hard drive label is visible when attaching it to the sled.

Step 8

Going backwards from the original process, lower the drive into the battery compartment with the metal side upwards (like the picture), fold the tab downward, and push the drive into the bay until it snaps into place.

Step 9

After the hard drive is secure, replace the RAM door in the same way it was removed, and attach the 3 Philips screws.

Step 10

Replace the battery, and pat yourself on the back. Now comes the fun part — replacing the data so the computer is usable!

[tags]MacBook, upgrade, hard drive, how to, tutorial[/tags]

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2 comments on “Upgrade the MacBook Part 1: Change the Hard Drive
  1. phalkunz says:

    This looks a lot easier than replacing powerbook’s hard drive. I changed my powerbook’s hard drive once and never wanna do it again.

  2. Dave Lopez says:

    Thanks for taking the time to put this info on the net. This is valued info. Liquid was spilled on my lap top which burned out the mother board. This site has given me the necessary info to transfer my data to my desk top,