20 minutes - 2 hours
A few weeks ago I rented Saw on iTunes and it had difficulty playing, stalling in the first five minutes. I shut down my Macbook (late 2006 black) and when restarting got the blinking question mark folder. When inserting the OS X software disc, the drive was not recognized. I wanted to do some psychological terror to my Macbook right there and then.
Instead, I slept on it. I learned laptops make poor pillows. After doing some reading about HD issues with Macbooks, I learned it must be the hard drive and possibly the hard drive cable that was broken.
To be doubly sure of a functioning laptop, I replaced both the HD and cable. The cable was very easy to install and the directions were very helpful.
This was an easy repair and cost effective - the cable and the hard drive (500 GB) together were $50. Next time I'll install an SSD on my fiance's newer Macbook Pro and will look to iFixit for directions and advice for doing so.