My experience doing a HD replacement on my MBP
A few weeks ago, I got my MacBook Pro 17" A1297 back from my son. He had been using it until he could replace his dead computer. He told me it had been running very slow for some time, and the battery was dying.
The System was beach balling most of the time, sometimes even without a keystroke to prompt it. After several days of asking questions on iFixit, and the Apple community blogs (which didn't help very much at all), I decided to replace the hard drive. I bought the 500GB Hybrid hard drive and the silicon HD case that is available here on iFixit. I also bought a replacement battery from Amazon since I couldn't find one here.
Again, after several days of questions and answers, I finally tackled the swap. I connected the new hard drive externally to the system I erased it, formatted/partitioned it, and installed OS-X on it successfully.
I the opened up my MacBook Pro and swapped the hard drives without any problems at all. I was surprised at how easy it was. I also replaced the battery at the same time. I am curious as to why Apple thought it necessary to use special screws on the battery, and ordinary Phillips screws on the hard drive.
The MBP is running fine, and I haven't seen very many beachballs lately. I am very happy with the results.
The battery, on the other hand, was not up to par. It would only charge to 47%, even after charging over 24 hours. I have removed it and returned the original battery to service until I can find a usable battery. The defective battery has been returned for refund.
All in all, I am very happy with the parts and the help I have received from iFixit. I will be visiting this site on a regular basis, to learn any helpful tips or tricks.
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