2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2009 4:27 AM by irons1980
irons1980 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a white Macbook, Core 2 Duo, 2.0Ghz, 1GB RAM and an 80GB HDD (aka the late 2006 version) with Tiger 10.4.11.

I am looking to upgrade the hard drive and while I’m at it, the RAM too. I have done loads of reading around and still have some queries to which I cannot find the answer;

1. What is the largest HDD that I can put into the machine?

I have been told by an Apple reseller here in London that the largest HDD that I can have is 200GB but the speed of the disc is 4,800rpm leading her to suggest a 160GB drive at 5,400rpm. I wasn’t that happy as I was looking to nearer the 250GB mark with this and did a lot of looking around this and other forums which seem to indicate that as long as the physical size of the drive is the same then the actual GB stored on it is irrelevant. The two drives the reseller recommended seem to be the BTO options that I had when I bought the machine.

2. What is the largest amount of RAM that can be put into the machine?

There are 2 slots in the machine for the RAM units, both currently filled with 2 x 512Kb units. Apparently I can put 2 x 2GB in the machine but this is limited to an actual figure of 3.3GB (or 3GB depending on where you read) due to the motherboard/other hardware/software. Does anyone know what affect this would have on the machine? I could put in a 1GB and a 2GB unit to make it up to 3GB but I thought that the machine benefited from having equal RAM in the individual slots.

3. If I can only have 2GB of RAM what configuration would be the best?

I could put in 2GB in either 1x 2GB or 2 x 1GB. I have read references to ‘switching’ which I don’t truly understand but it would appear that the performance is affected as the computer use switches from one unit to another which would lead me to believe that 1 x 2GB would be the best. Is this the case?

4. I have found a way of transferring the old data to the new drive connecting the new drive to the Macbook as an external drive using a USB enclosure, formatting it as GUID using Disk Utility and then simply using Carbon Copy Cloner to transfer the data to the new drive. This drive can then replace the old drive directly, which can then be used to boot the machine. This method appeals as I don’t need to use another external drive to hold the data while I swap the drives over and I can have a copy on my external drive just in case.

Although the above seems simple enough compared to other methods I’ve found I was wondering if anyone has done this in this way and were there any pitfalls that I should be aware of?

For reference the method I found is on this page;

http://www.themacspace.com/blog/2008/11/18/walk-through-macbook-hard-drive-upgra de/

Apologies for the long post but I have done nearly 2 days of digging and still no definite answer.

MacBook 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • GfulDedFan Level 4 Level 4 (3,315 points)
    irons1980 wrote:


    1. What is the largest HDD that I can put into the machine?


    Currently the largest size is 500GB


    2. What is the largest amount of RAM that can be put into the machine?


    You can install 4GB of RAM but your MB will only use a little past 3GB of it (3.3GB).

    3. If I can only have 2GB of RAM what configuration would be the best?


    A 2GB kit which is 2 x 1GB but as stated in #2 you can install a 4GB kit.

    4. I have found a way of transferring the old data to the new drive connecting the new drive to the Macbook as an external drive using a USB enclosure, formatting it as GUID using Disk Utility and then simply using Carbon Copy Cloner to transfer the data to the new drive. This drive can then replace the old drive directly, which can then be used to boot the machine. This method appeals as I don’t need to use another external drive to hold the data while I swap the drives over and I can have a copy on my external drive just in case.

    Although the above seems simple enough compared to other methods I’ve found I was wondering if anyone has done this in this way and were there any pitfalls that I should be aware of?


    I have used this method multiple times. After you clone the new drive in the enclosure, make sure that you test the drive by booting to it. Restart your MB and hold down the option key and select the external (new) drive. The only pitfall would be if you use BootCamp and that is a cloning/transferring method that I'm not familiar with.

    -GDF
  • irons1980 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I take it from your reply that putting 2x2gb will have no adverse effect so I may go with that.

    Thanks for the reboot tip. Wouldn't want to have to take the HD out again as it didn't work!!

    Cheers.