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HuntsMan75 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I have a 2007 MacBook Pro. I never had prooblems with it until recently. While running i'd get delays and Spinning beach balls. Never having had to deal with this or for that matter Apple support, I just took it in to Apple. For a price they diagnosed it as a bad drive.

 

Repairing it through them will cost almost as much as some of these units are selling for used. I want to do this myself. I'd also like to be able to test this thing in the future myself so I don't get stuck with this problem.

 

I'm looking for advice on a) drives for this system, b)repair instructions or online guides, c) test/evaluation software.

 

Thanks.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (244,755 points)

    Visit OWC where you can find replacement drives, SSDs, etc. and online installation tutorials.

  • R.K.Orion Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I'm in the process of dealing with a similar problem. We had a bunch of "orphaned" units that ended up getting put into storage because we made a full move to ML and expect to do likewise with Mavericks. When accounting did the books they realized we were still paying taxes on them because they were captal equipment, thus the word came down from the boss to sell them. Most are early Intels but we also have some PPC units.

     

    In any case we estimated the cost of having it done by 3rd parties was too high so we're prepping the units ourselves. Someone published a link on here to a list of all hard drive test tools, but I didn't save it. It's on here or out on the internet somewhere. We ended up using Scannerz (http://scsc-online.com/Scannerz.html) because it was lower in cost and did exactly what we were looking for. If you can find the link of all the products review it and get what you desire.

     

    A good place for set by step instructions is:

     

    http://ifixit.com

     

    If you need some more obscure parts you might want to try:

     

    http://PowerBookMedic.com

     

    They also have how to guides as well.

     

    It's amazing how fast computers go down in value!

  • HuntsMan75 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks to both of you. I'm new to this site FWIW. I'm also not an electronics engineer or bench tech, but I do have some experience dealing with small pieces of equipment.

     

    @R.K.Orion: If I go the the iFixit.com site are there anythings that I need to look out for, as in tips or tricks I should be aware of taking these things apart. I'm thinking in terms of precautions, like maybe a tight cable or connector that I might bump and end up blowing the whole unit.

     

    Also, how easy is this Scannerz product to use? I looked at their site and it some of the documentation is easy to understand, other stuff looks like its for experts. Just exactly what is FSE and what does that do? What's the difference between FSE and FSE-Lite? For that matter, what's the real difference between Scannerz and Scannerz-Lite, aside from the fact Scannerz-Lite doesn't have all the other stuff the full versions of Scannerz have?

     

    @Kappy: You mention SSDs on the OWC site. Do you know how reliable are SSDs on units like these? I've heard of some people losing everything at the drop of a hat on an SSD. Is this a rampant problem with them? Do you know what brands of SSDs Apple uses? Does OWC sell the same type Apple uses? Do you know if I'll have compatibilty problems? I'm a little concerned because back when this unit was made SSDs were unheard of. Is the performance boost really worth the money? Also, how do the installation instructions OWC has compare to iFixit.com's, in your opinion.

     

    Thank you, gentlemen. If anyone else has comments, please feel free to add them.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (244,755 points)

    @Kappy: You mention SSDs on the OWC site. Do you know how reliable are SSDs on units like these? I've heard of some people losing everything at the drop of a hat on an SSD. Is this a rampant problem with them? Do you know what brands of SSDs Apple uses? Does OWC sell the same type Apple uses? Do you know if I'll have compatibilty problems? I'm a little concerned because back when this unit was made SSDs were unheard of. Is the performance boost really worth the money? Also, how do the installation instructions OWC has compare to iFixit.com's, in your opinion.

     

    I use several OWC SSDs. They are excellent products. Their SSDs are every bit as good as any on the market.

     

    Yes, you can lose everything on an SSD that goes bad. Same as on an HDD. Apple uses several brands. Of late they are using Samsung, I believe.

     

    Is it worth the money? I don't know because I don't know why you want to use one nor what your expectations are.

     

    The SSDs for your type of computer are contained in an enclosure designed to simply plug into the same space and connector used by your HDD. They are quite compatible if you buy the right model. For example, your computer cannot use SSDs intended for 6 Gb/s SATA interfaces. Must stick to 3 Gb/s interfaces.

     

    I've used iFixit's tutorials as well as OWC's. The former are written (or used to be,) while the latter may also be available as a video as well as written.

  • ZV137 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Sorry to interject with  a tip, but here's one I learned the hard way: Any time you work on a laptop, cut out a heavy piece of construction paper, maybe even two of them, tape them over the display. Not ON the display but on the metal or plastic edges surrounding the display. You'd be surprised how easy it is to end up inadvertently scratching or marring an LCD when you're working on a unit.

     

    Another tip: keep exact track of the screws. Some of the screws in these things look almost exactly alike but have different tengths. If you put the wrong one in the wrong hole and force it through because it's too big it might end up going right through a circuit board. A good way to keep track is to tape them with masking tape beside the hole they come out or or, if you print out step-by-step instructions, actually tape them to the take apart diagram.

     

    I'm sure someone that does that sort of stuff every day would think I'm being ridiculous....but I don't do that sort of thing every day.

  • R.K.Orion Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    @R.K.Orion: If I go the the iFixit.com site are there anythings that I need to look out for, as in tips or tricks I should be aware of taking these things apart. I'm thinking in terms of precautions, like maybe a tight cable or connector that I might bump and end up blowing the whole unit.

     

    Also, how easy is this Scannerz product to use? I looked at their site and it some of the documentation is easy to understand, other stuff looks like its for experts. Just exactly what is FSE and what does that do? What's the difference between FSE and FSE-Lite? For that matter, what's the real difference between Scannerz and Scannerz-Lite, aside from the fact Scannerz-Lite doesn't have all the other stuff the full versions of Scannerz have?

     

    To the first part: Never, never, never pull on a cable of any type connected to the logic board without first making sure it will come off easily. I know some of the fix-it manuals and sites say "gently pull it off" but if the cable's been on a long time "gently pulling" on it might pull the connector soldered to the logic board right off the logic board. Every time I have to disconnect something from a logic board, unless I know for a fact I can get it off, usually because I've already had it off at least once recently,  I do the following:

     

    1. Insert a jewelers flat head screwdriver blade between the junction of the connector on the logic board and the actual connector on the cable.
    2. Rotate the blade slightly with light pressure down on the logic board until the connector breaks loose or moves a little.
    3. Move to the other side and do the same. Repeat around the edges as needed. Use common sense,

     

    Eventually the connector will easily be free and then you can "gently pull it off." The other guys tip about putting paper over the LCD is a good trick too. So is keeping track of the screws, but you'll find the never units are a lot easier to work on than the old iBooks and PowerBooks were.

     

    With regards to the second part, I got Scannerz with FSE. Scannerz is easy to use. It only gets tricky when you need to try more advanced diagnostics, but in most cases it will turn out to be the drive or a cable. I could teach my dog to do basice testing with it. Scannerz Lite doesn't look like it has provisions for testing other than "Your drive's bad, go to the Apple Store." I think it's intended for that. You should really visit their site or contact their tech support for more details.

     

    I got Scannerz because we were thinking about refurbishing some older PPC systems and we knew the optical drives on some of them were bad. The Phoenix tool included with Scannez could extract the OS from such a unit and put it onto an external media allowing us to give someone an option to re-install the OS if needed. We decided not to do this because PPC units simply don't sell for much and we can't justify the labor cost of refurbishing them.

     

    As for the difference between FSE and FSE-Lite, I'd suggest going to the web site and reading the product profile under the FSE section. FSE is configurable, FSE-Lite isn't, and that's all I know about the difference

  • HuntsMan75 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you all for your valuable input.

     

    @R.K.Orion:

     

    I checked your profile and read the post you had about reselling your older units. I also noticed that you mentioned something about looking forward to using FSE. I'm afraid I don't fully understand what that thing does. Could you possibly explain it to me and why it would be of value? I'm really not sure I need to spend the extra money on a full version of Scannerz vs. Scannerz Lite, especially if I have no real idea what the extra tools do.

     

    I want to minimize costs as much as possible. It's bad enough that this unit has dropped over $1000 in value over so few years, but I guess that's the way of the high-tech world. After all, an iPhone 3G that cost hundreds of dollars just a few years ago is now only worth tens of dollars...and yet they still work just fine.

  • MrJavaDeveloper Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    HuntsMan75 wrote:

     

    I'm looking for advice on a) drives for this system, b)repair instructions or online guides, c) test/evaluation software.

     

     

    Any SATA drive that will physically fit in the system will do. Unless that's a really odd or abormally shaped drive, that should be about anything. The newer the drive is the better it will almost always be.

     

    Stay away from refurbished units unless you like to gamble. Most refurbished units are not refurbished at all but rather overstocks of replacement drives a manufacturer held on to fullfill warranty obligations. Once the line is discontinued they dump these, *****BUT*****, and this is the critical part - Some manufacturers also use the "refurbished" definition to apply to units that are defective that they want to unload and they're aware the defects won't kick in or be noticable until the reduced warranty on the unit (usually 30 days) has expired.

     

    iFixit.com is a good site, but if you hunt several sites on the web actually have online manuals and guides that can be of assistance too.

     

    As far as test software goes I've been a long advocate of Scannerz on this site for some time. I work very closely with the people that run the company so my favoritism to their products is hardly biased.

     

    If I may offer an opinion, FSE and FSE-Lite aren't for everyone. What it does is register and report on every file system event modification going on in the system. In other words if you delete a file, it will report it. If a file has its contents changed, it will report it. If a file once owned by you has it's owership changed by someone/something else, it will report it...and it will also report which process did it and who owned it at the time. As you might guess, this application can be used for security and backtracking things going on in  a system.

     

    It was included with Scannerz originally I suspect to track excesssive Spotlight activity. Earlier versions of Spotlight would create hundreds of thousands of file modificatons in a minute or so, leaving people with the notioin that their hard drive was failing. It wasn't, it was just being saturated with work by Spotlight (you'll notice this company also sells a Spotlight controller called SpotOff). The fact is any drive intensive program can do likewise (mimic hard drive failure) and FSE and FSE-LIte can expose the difference.

     

    If you don't need or understand FSE/FSE-Lite, my advice would be to go with the Scannerz with FSE-Lite package. I would pick that over the Lite version of Scannerz because it allows cursory mode testing. Although the documentation says cursory mode is primarily for confirming problems, the fact is you can attach any drive to a system and use it just to verify that the drive is working without having it log the drive to the system or register it's files. To me, that itself is worth the price difference.

  • HuntsMan75 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you for clarifying FSE for me, MrJavaDeveloper. I reviewed the documents, and I actually spent some time searching the web for what I think is properly called the Unix file convention that Mac's now use. Is that correct? It makes sense. It's sort of like the old MSDOS except the slash character is reversed and there's no drive letter. I was able to make enough sense out of it to understand it. I'm still not sure I really need it, but I'm still shopping around for stuff. If it makes your friends feel good, I'll likely go with one of their products. I can't see spending the high prices some of the others demand when a drive is only running between $50-$70. Heck I can even get some SSDs for under $100 now, but they just don't have enough space for me.

     

    And now for another annoying question....

     

    Are there any specific drives I should look out for? I know Apple had to do some type of a recall on some of their units because of drive failures, and I suppose any other manufacturers that used the drives had to do likewise. Anyone know of any specific lemmons? I mean specific, such as model numbers and vendors that produced them.

     

    By the way MrJavaDeveloper, your comment about some manufacturers dumping lemmons as "refurbished" was of great value.  I was actually thinking about one of them I saw on a site. For the 10 or 20 bucks you save, that's definitely not worth the risk!! I suppose most of them are OK. One I saw still came with a 6 month warranty, but some of the others had 30 day warranties.

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (29,965 points)

    HuntsMan75,

     

    I'm in love (I admit it) with HGST drive - most come with a three-year warranty (which is about as good as it gets for a spinning platter drive). I have four of these and find them to be exceptional drives.

     

    I don't know that you actually need a 1TB drive, though. Go shopping at OWC and find the HGST drive that's right for you.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Clinton

  • HuntsMan75 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    That looks like a really nice drive. 1TB would be absolutely great. However, I've heard that the 7200RPM internal drives consume more power and run hot. I'm not that concerned about the power consumption because my battery lasts longer than I need it too already for most off line use, but will the unit get too hot and will the fans be running a lot?

     

    I've also heard that the bigger a drive is the more they tend to fail. Is there truth to that or is it more along the lines of an old wive's tail?

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (29,965 points)

    Yes, it will run a smidgeon hotter, but not by much. And large hard drives don't fail any more than their smaller siblings. The HGST also has a three year warranty where many drives have a simple one year warranty.

     

    Just a couple of reasons that I have so many! I use them mainly as clones but do put one in my MacBook pro from time to time when I give my SSD a 'rest'!

     

    Clinton

  • CaptH Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    If you're in a daredevil mode, while you're in there, maybe you could pull out the optical drive, and get both a smaller SSD and a reasonably large HD and create a Fusion drive. The SSD goes where the old HD went, and the new HD goes where the optical was (may require some jury rigging though!)

     

    Here are some links if you're interested:

     

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2014011/how-to-make-your-own-fusion-drive.html

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57550128-263/how-to-make-a-custom-corestora ge-drive-in-os-x/

     

    Lots of info on this on the web, if you're interested.

  • HuntsMan75 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Neat idea but I really need the optical drive to load the original install media when I need it. Remember, this isn't a new system.

     

    ...but I'll keep it in mind for future reference.

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