Just because they are computer nerds, doesn’t mean they are wealthy. While a computer nerd may have good income, he also has to invest (yep, invest) in more computing power than most people think about, to keep pace with technology. With an annual budget for technology that comes close to a car payment, it’s important to save every bit of money possible, so these guys keep track of the best ways that will help everyone save on tech.
Now, let’s dive in. This is best suited for listening to the audio, as we reference many things along the way. Start the audio, and then sit back and listen as we scroll down though the different aspects of a few major upgrades to keep your computer humming pretty!
Determining the need
On this Apple Macbook Pro laptop, we need to find the amount of memory, hard drive, and other basic information to make sure that we ordered the right stuff.
To do this, we click on the Apple menu, then go to About This Mac.
Tools of the trade?
Breaker bar? I have two, and I don’t know why.
Hammers can be handy when the computer isn’t operating, but usually create more problems.
And the glasses? Well, I use them for distance, so they were also of no help.
I was prepared with a full size screwdriver, and the putty knife has actually worked in a few teardowns, but not in this case.
The actual tools used
Contents here include the following:
- Phillips #00
- Torx T6
- Torx T8
- Straight Blade 1.8mm
- Nylon Pry Tool (aka “Spudger”)
$5 is a small price to pay to ensure you have everything you need.
Memories of memory
This is the stuff that provides the space for programs to run, both allowing for more at the same time, and allowing for larger programs to run faster.
Driving me to compute
There’s also an external hard drive case, where I can take the old hard drive, and put it into good usage as an external hard drive.
This comes in handy for installing old downloaded programs, but also restoring key files. And over the long haul, it’ll serve as a nice place to keep backups.
Starting the disassembly
In this case, you can see that the screw is about the size of the head of a ballpoint pen (or is that a gel pen?), and the hole is about the size of the ball on that pen. Great care needs to be taken here, choosing the right screwdriver, and not forcing just any old screwdriver to work here.
Using the wrong screwdriver here will wind up stripping the head of the screw or worse. At that point, there’s little solution left, other than to demolish the screw, and then replace it later.
For whatever inexplicable reason, there were three longer ones, and usually this is symetrical, but here, one of them is off to the side. You can see it up and to the right in this picture.
Dirtier than I'd like, cleaner than I expected...
I expected gobs of dust bunnies, and major issues with gunk in places that I’d rather not see it.
Instead of the usual canned air, I used a small wipe to clean up the major bits and pieces. You’ll see a few pieces of fluff that I forgot in later pictures, but it’s better than it was.
Note to self: Buy 3 bottles of canned air the next time you are at the store.
First memory chip
Pushing the tabs aside was easy enough, however, and the chip popped right out.
Second memory chip
Another tab hidden on each side of the chip was easily moved, and then moving the upper tabs a second time apiece was good.
New memory chips from OWC
There’s a slot and pin arrangement referred to sometimes as the key, which makes sure that you are placing the chips in properly. Never force these chips in. If you have to force anything on any computer, something’s usually very wrong!
The hard drive
In this case, a standard run of the mill Toshiba is inside of an Apple computer. This drive won’t be hanging around for long, however, as we have the Other World Computing SSD drive ready to go.
The Mercury Electra 3G SSD
I took the time to remove the plastic pull tab from the other drive in the system, and place it into the same spot on the side of this new drive. That will make it easier, should I ever need to pull this drive out.
Drive shock protection at it's finest
Some laptops handle this as just a simple slot, or a sliding cage, while others have fancy bumpers. This places a nice elegant solution into place.
Should have thought to ask...
We’ll be watching for a good solution, but one idea that was floated was furniture glides, which are cheap and hold up to far more pressure than the laptop was designed to withstand.
No drive goes unused
Had we thought it through more, we might have even booted the computer onto the SSD as an external drive, just to see what kind of performance boost we could get out of an external system. The USB 2.0 system, however, would probably have held back the SSD advances significantly.
Using the nylon pry tool, go at a small little space which you’ve created with friction from your fingers. Insert the tool gently, then move along until you can see one of the tabs that’s holding the case together. You can then push in, and prod, and otherwise manipulate the case tab gently, instead of tearing and ripping the entire thing to shreds.
This case is also held with 4 screws, but with the Spudger tool, your case will still look good afterwards.
Hard drive into the enclosure
Note: This was where Benjamin struggled for just a moment as he couldn’t remember if the case top should go “left or right”, but had he payed attention…
Tools for the road
That external hard drive will work on a PC or a Mac, and of course, every nerd needs his glasses.
Closing out the pictures
And how… just how… did I wind up with two breaker bars?
|Power on to login prompt||55||17|
|Password to finder and dock, and beachball stop||15||10|
|Skype load (new version too)||15||10|
|Maps loading (and to location)||18||2|