I recently upgraded my macbook’s Hard drive and RAM. After skimming the Howtos for the past year, it was a very simple process, and well worth it.
To start, I had to research the type of memory that my MacBook uses. There are a million websites that will give the specs on the RAM you need. I don’t recomend that you buy the “Apple” memory, as it’s much more expensive than just buying regular laptop memory from newegg. Not to mention, it’s the exact same thing.
It turns out that even though Apple only recommends that you use 4GB of RAM in the white macbook, people have been able to get 6GB working, with 1 x 2GB and 1 x 4GB. When I saw this I thought about it for about a half-second and decided against it. 4GB would double my RAM, and dual channel memory works best with two identical sticks.
The Hard Drive
For a little less than a year now, since shortly after I got my macbook I have been looking at hard drives to replace the one that came in the system. I explored many options, including small SSD drives and large 7200RPM HDDs. In the end I decided to go with the new 500GB 7200RPM drive from Seagate. I was a little worried at first that the drive would be loud or create noticeable vibration, but so far neither is true. It is also running quite cool, currently at 35 degrees Celsius after running almost all day.
As I’ve already mentioned, it was quite easy to install the new hardware and get working again quickly. There are a zillion tutorials online about how to do it. The first thing you need to do is check out this episode of Systm, all about upgrading laptop hard drives on Macs and PCs. This one is google: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=macbook+hard+drive+upgrade.
Swapping the RAM is a very simple process. Take out the battery, take out 3 screws on the L-bracket, push the little switches to the other side to pop the RAM out, replace it and put it all back together.
The Hard Drive is even easier. Once you get the L-bracket out, you pull the tab on the hard dive to get it out, put the new hard drive on the tray and slide it back in. If you want to restore your documents and settings you’ll also need a 2.5″ hard drive enclose with USB or Firewire.
After the Hard Drive was back in I put in the OS X disks that came with the computer to install OS X. After the install I plugged in the old hard drive, now in a USB enclosure and chose the option to get documents from another hard dive on the computer. It copied everything in my home directory along with all my applications and network settings. When the computer booted up it looked like I never replaced the hard drive at all. The only thing left to do was Software Update.