Help-Key: How to upgrade the measly HDD on your MacBook

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After much deliberation I have decided to just swap out the hard drive on the MacBook rather than letting the existing 60GB drive crap out. I also now don’t feel that my previous ranting on Leopard was fair considering the possibility that said hard drive was about to die a horrible death. Even though Leopard’s just as buggy as Vista, I´ll give it a go with a fresh hard drive. If I feel it necessary to bitch about Leopard again then I will, but I´ll wait until after I´ve reinstalled it on my brand spankin´ new 320GB Western Digital Scorpio 2.5-inch SATA drive. It´s a simple process, really, in terms of the hardware, but I ran into a hitch involving OS X along the way. It was more of a human error.

Before we get started, make sure you have a #00 Phillips screwdriver and a T8 Torx screwdriver. Ok? Good. Also, be sure to transfer all your files to an external drive, which I did with my Passport. Or you can opt for the FireWire target disk mode if another Mac is accessible to you.

First things, first. Ground yourself before doing anything because you don´t want to be that guy and fry your new hard drive or RAM or whatever it is that you might be installing. Now that we have that out of the way, we’re going to flip that MacBook over and remove the battery by unlocking the battery lock. A coin or flathead screwdriver with a napkin should work. (I don´t like to leave unnecessary battle wounds on my gear in case you´re wondering about the napkin.)

Once the battery is removed you´ll see an L-shaped bracket with three phillips screws along the back. Remove said screws and that will reveal your RAM ports and, to the left, your hard drive, which is easily discernible by the white plastic tab. Flip the tab up from the bottom and pull to the right. Your hard drive should easily slide out.

Be sure not to shuffle around and create static electricity. On each side of the drive you´ll see two T8 Torx screws. Unscrew these. Duh.

Swap the old drive with the new drive and replace the T8 screws. Make sure you don´t tighten them too hard. Tuck the white tab back under drive and slide it back on in. Insert the short end of the L bracket first and then tuck the RAM buffer pads back into the slots before screwing it back in. Replace the battery and lock it up.

Fire your MB back up and insert your OS X disc. Erase and partition the new drive. Replace your files and make any other tweaks you see fit. You should be good to go with your new hard drive now. Wasn’t that painless?

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