Huzzah! New hard drive installed in MacBook Pro!

Posted by on Apr 10, 2009 in Technology | One Comment

Preface: You have to understand that Apple really, really, REALLY doesn’t expect (want?) folks to be upgrading the drive of their MacBook Pros. This was nothing like the nightmare involved in an old clamshell iBook drive upgrade, but boy howdy I’ve never seen so many screws.

Whew. Just a follow-up from a previous post where I mentioned I was considering upgrading the hard drive in my MacBook Pro. Found a walk-through online with photos, so I was somewhat prepared, though I found out too late the Torx driver heads I had were one size too large (doh!). A lunch-break trip to Home Depot took care of that little problem. Everything went pretty much according to plan, with three notable exceptions that I’ll post here for anyone else who may be interested in a similar upgrade:

  1. During the initial “cracking” of the case, I got to the step where you remove the top panel (with the keyboard) but couldn’t get the bloody thing detached at the front middle. The article cautioned about this area and said to rock the panel side to side in order to get it to release. I went on for some time (rocking, shaking, inserting plastic objects in the gaps, etc.) before realizing that I had missed a screw that was holding this part together. Heh. One more screw and voila. =)
  2. On the way out I was in a hurry and made a really unfortunate but laughable mistake. On each side panel there are four tiny screws that need to be replaced. On the first side: Screw 1… done. Screw 2… done. Screw 3… done. Screw 4… whoa. The screw went too far into the hole. Huh? Yeah. Was it the wrong screw? Nope. Weird. Couldn’t get it out, so would have to come back to it. Next! Screw 5… whoa, same problem. What on earth? Couldn’t get it out, and this was going to be a problem. Screw 6… wait a minute. There are only supposed to be four screw holes on each side. That’s when it dawned on me… I had put the screws into the screw holes for the monitor plug. Heh. Yikes. Had to leave, so I finished up the rest of the job and left two screw holes empty in the battery compartment. I banged as hard as I dared, shook, used my tiny magnetic tools… nothing. Maybe it would come out on the trip home. Nope. At home I tried sticky-tack (sidenote: my sticky tack has been in my desk since college, and it pretty gooey at this point), but no luck. In the end, I put Super Glue on the end of my screwdriver, held it to the screw long enough to get a bond, and then unscrewed it out (even though the screws were too small, the threading still prevented them from just coming by pulling). Same trick on the second one, and voila.
  3. One last snafu to mention. In the battery compartment there are three tiny screws that to the casual observer will appear identical to the other tiny screws on the unit. Being a casual observer, natch, I made this error, and put them in the pile with the other small screws. But there is a big difference… these three screws have no counter-sinking bevel, and so if used on the outside of the unit not screw down flush with the case. I found this out the hard way, but noticed and put things right.

Yay! 320GB of goodness. The night before I had used SuperDuper to migrate my main drive’s date onto the new drive by way of OWC’s Mercury On-the-Go FireWire 800/USB 2 portable eSATA drive case. Sheri and I watched a movie on NetFlix while the transfer happened, and I was suprised that it was done by the time the move ended. Man, I love FireWire 800! =)

1 Comment

  1. Cool Grafix | Blog » CD Stuck in Slot-Loading 20″ iMac (Intel)
    July 7, 2009

    […] the success of my MacBook Pro upgrade, I’m going to attempt this repair myself. Don’t have much to lose. =) MacWorld has a […]

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