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Dumb PowerBook hard drive question...


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Dumb PowerBook hard drive question...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-15, 10:08

Can I get a larger/faster hard drive installed in my PowerBook without voiding the AppleCare thing? Could an Apple authorized repair center (or the Apple store itself) do this, so everything's cool?

I recently bought the additional two years, so I'm covered until October 2006. But if, at some point, I wanted to replace the current 80GB/4200rpm drive with a, say, 120 or 160GB/5400rpm drive, do I void that? Is there a way to get a new drive and NOT monkey with the coverage?



I will be getting a camcorder in the first half of 2005, so I was just looking ahead a bit and curious. A year from now, 80GB might not feel as roomy as it does now. And if I go up in capacity, I may as well go up in speed a bit (since that option is a BTO on the PowerBooks, it must be an acceptable, technically-feasible upgrade: 4200>5400rpm).

Part two to my question: any brand or particular specs I should consider? What does Apple use? Is this a 2.5" hard drive? Are they universal? Will any brand "fit" (mounting and space issues)? Any heat or power concerns to be aware of? Are there one or two universally agreed-upon "this is the one you want!" PowerBook hard drives? Looking for a 120GB minimum, 5400rpm.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2004-11-15, 10:49

I don't see why you wouldn't be able to upgrade to a 5400, like you said Apple offers them as a BTO. 7200 on the other hand would probably void your warranty as they run a bit hotter and Apple doesn't 'officially' support them.

You're out of luck AFAIK on a larger capacity drive. 80GB is the max capacity I've heard of for a 2.5". The Hitachi Taravelstar 5K80 is the drive I'd go for (80GB/5400/8MB cache) if I was going from a 4200>5400...but as your not gaining any additional capacity I don't know if the ~170US would be worth it.

Personally I'd get a slimline external FW800 drive for video capture (DV capture, that is). Good ones will have a transfer rate between 50-60 MB/sec...fast enough for DV capture and playback.

So it goes.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-11-15, 10:57

No, actually the hard drive is not a user-installable part. Replacing the hard drive yourself would void the warranty regardless of what you install. I'm not sure if Apple will replace your internal hard drive, but there's a company called MCE that might.

7200 RPM laptop drives really don't generate a whole lot more heat or draw more power than a 5400 RPM one. I wouldn't worry about it - if you upgrade, by all means get a 7200 RPM! It'll speed things way up.

Also, the largest capacity for a laptop drive has been 80 GB for a while now. I think it was in spring of this year that Seagate (I think) announced a 100 GB, 5400 RPM laptop drive, but it's still not very available yet. I recall desktop hard drives were stuck at 120 GB for quite some time, so give it a year or so and I bet you'll see 120+ GB laptop drives out. I wouldn't even be surprised if some companies stopped selling 4200 RPM hard drives, since they're so slow and being replaced with 5400 RPM ones.

I just checked MCE's store and it looks like they offer a hard drive upgrade service for the iBook but not the PowerBook. I know that the TiBook's hard drive was considered user-serviceable, but the AlBook's is not. It's a shame, really... majorly cuts down on the upgrade potential, since the hard drive is often one of the first things that needs to be upgraded (after RAM).

Last edited by Luca : 2004-11-15 at 11:03.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-15, 11:37

Interesting to know. Thanks, guys.

I didn't know laptops currently top out at 80GB, or that the drive wasn't a user upgradeable part in the aluminum PowerBooks. I just assumed they were all along.

As much as I've toyed with an iMac G5 and whatnot, lately I find myself loving this PowerBook more and more. And I'm actually taking it out into the world more and more, getting compliments left and right, enjoying the big screen and lighted keyboard in coffeehouses, etc.



I was just looking for a way to extend its life and power some (going to slap lots of RAM in it soon...still at the stock 512MB).
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FFL
Fishhead Family Reunited
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
 
2004-11-15, 11:45

Yeah, upgrade the RAM... and if you get low on hard drive space, get a portable 2.5" FireWire hard drive.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-11-15, 11:52

I dunno, if you just want to use a hard drive for working on video projects then a larger desktop model would be a better idea. You're not going to be taking those on the road with you, are you? I mean, you can get a 250 GB hard drive for around $150, and a case for $30 or so. Much more bang for the buck than a portable hard drive.

Although an external hard drive is always an option, you might like to get an internal eventually anyway so you have an excuse to upgrade to a faster one. Faster hard drives make such a huge difference in performance. I'd rather have the 1.33 GHz PowerBook with a 5400 RPM drive than a 1.5 GHz with a 4200 RPM.
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k squared
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Verde Amarela
 
2004-11-15, 23:35

You could try a local Authorized Service Provider, perhaps part of a user group? I asked a similar question to an Apple Store employee (if I bought a 12" PB, could they install a HD for me...) The employee told to check out the local user group and find a Authorized Provider.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-16, 01:04

Rockin' city that I'm in, we're down to ONE Apple authorized service provider...the OTHER one went under a month or so ago.

I'll call the remaining one tomorrow and get his take on it, just out of curiosity.

You get spoiled, living in San Diego and Orange County, California for nearly a decade. Seems like you can throw a rock in any direction and hit SOME sort of a Mac retailer/service center, be it Apple themselves or CompUSA, Fry's, Microcenter, independent joints, etc.



The one thing I miss from back there...
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NosferaDrew
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Los Angeles
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2004-11-16, 02:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
I didn't know laptops currently top out at 80GB, or that the drive wasn't a user upgradeable part in the aluminum PowerBooks. I just assumed they were all along.
It's a bitch replacing the HD in a 12" PowerBook (the 15's are easier).

I killed my PB (by dropping it), then opened it up and tried to replace the dead HD with an 80gig HD.
It never rebooted after the first time I went in.
Or the second time. .
The screen turns on fine, but the fan kicks into high gear and nothing else.

I've since bought an iBook to "tide me over", but the PB just sits dead on a shelf.

Think I'm just going to eBay it as parts.
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FFL
Fishhead Family Reunited
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
 
2004-11-16, 09:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by NosferaDrew
It's a bitch replacing the HD in a 12" PowerBook (the 15's are easier).
I've done a couple of them. Not exactly a cakewalk, but definitely easier than a 12" iBook.

Paul - the cost of a replacement hard drive would not be worth the money spent for the extra speed (and extra 20 GB, assuming a 100 GB is available by the time you're ready to part with your $$).

I'd go with an external - either a nice portable 2.5" 80 GB, or a nice fat 250 GB fullsize 3.5".
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-11-16, 09:52

It just sounds to me like Paul is thinking about maybe getting a new one at some undetermined point in the future... if, by then, 100 GB or 120 GB is still the largest you can get, then don't bother. But if there are some breakthroughs in mobile storage technology in the next year or so, you might be able to snag a 160 GB or larger 5400 RPM drive for around $200. I think that would be worth it, and you could even get a cheap external case for your old drive.

FFL's right though, if you want to upgrade sooner rather than later, definitely just go for an external. It's not quite as convenient in the long run, but it's much easier.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-16, 10:29

Yeah, that's good advice and I completely agree, reading all these helpful posts. More bang for the buck, going external.

Perhaps a beefy, honkin' 7200rpm external drive is best. I won't have to open the PowerBook and screw with any warranty issues. And I'll get a faster drive with no 80GB limitations on space, etc.

In a few more years, I'll buy a Rev. B or C 20" PowerBook G5 ( ) with a stock 5400 or 7200rpm 160GB-plus drive (and still have the external one too).

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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2004-11-16, 10:54

If you're going external I'd suggest that you 'roll your own'. Definitely a lot cheaper than buying a stock Maxtor/Seagate/Whatever pre-built. dealmac usually has some good prices on individual cases and hard drives...sometimes *too* good.

I've taken to hording 160-250 drives when there's big rebates attached. Hell, I hardly even burn DVD-R backups anymore...just plug a new drive into one of my FW800 cases, transfer the project(s), unplug and label.

So it goes.
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