Guides I've Contributed To

Completed Guides



  • Answer to: Can I load 10.5.8 on this computer?

    As YoloRepair says, you should be able to install 10.5.8 on a (invalid title); the model originally came with 10.5.5 or 10.5.6 preinstalled, so you'll have to install at least that high a revision of 10.5. As I recall, there were 10.5.6/Leopard retail install disks commercially available; you'll need to be sure to start with that, not the 10.5.0 or 10.5.4 retail releases that were also available. Unfortunately, Apple also used the A1278 model ID for the 2009-2012 (really 2015; they've kept making the 2012 generation for the last 2.5 years) (invalid title), an entirely different computer with a similar case. As far as I can tell, there are no parts that work with both the Macbook Aluminum and the 13" Macbook Pro. The dead giveaway that indicates a 2008 Macbook Aluminum is that the Macbook has no FireWire, Thunderbolt, or SD slots - only 2 USB 2.0 ports, a mini-DisplayPort and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The Macbook Pros will all have FireWire and SD slots; the 2011-2012 MBPs will have Thunderbolt as well. There a...
  • Answer to: won't charge or turn on

    If the computer said the battery wasn't charging, then it was probably right. Unless the LED on the MagSafe connector turns orange and the battery indicator in the menu bar shows that the battery is charging, it isn't charging. At that point, you're just waiting for the battery to run out. My guess is that you busted the charger, which is pretty easy to do. MagSafe power adapters (also known as chargers) seem pretty fragile; I look around my office right now, and I can see three where the cable from the charger to the computer has failed. The most trustworthy fix is to replace it. You can get replacements directly from Apple (at an Apple Store or from their web store), from iFixit, or from a variety of online retailers. The specific model type you need is a 60W MagSafe power adapter - not the skinnier MagSafe 2, which only works with the skinnier Macbook Airs and Retina Macbook Pros. Here's a link to an eBay search for 60W adapters. The lowest Buy It Now price I see for a new OEM charger (made by Apple's manu...
  • Answer to: 27" iMac can I upgrade to a fusion drive later

    Officially, no; the drive you get when Apple builds the computer is the drive you're stuck with. The Fusion Drive consists of two physical devices: A traditional spinny metal platter hard drive, and a solid-state NAND cache, similar to an SSD. CoreStorage allows you to format the two physical devices as a single logical volume using Disk Utility; the resulting volume is the Fusion Drive, which stores the most frequently accessed data on the SSD (such as the operating system and applications), and stores the less-used data on the platter drive. In the Mac mini, the two separate drives used to mount in stacked SATA bays, similar to the stacked hard drive cages in towers. Apple has a connector for the PCIe solid-state drive module on the logic board, which in Fusion builds is used for the NAND cache that's mooshed together with the traditional SATA hard drive to create the Fusion Drive logical volume. But there's a good chance that the SSDs Apple uses have special firmware; that's what they did with the 2013/201...
  • Answer to: Can an older OS be installed on a brand new MacBook?

    As machead and mayer say, every Mac OS/iOS device has a software floor - it won't run an operating system that's older than the hardware itself. But let's step back for a moment, and look at the trigger for your desire: What are you doing with your current computers such that you think a new computer with a new OS won't be "perfectly compatible"? What computers are you using now, and what operating system are they running? What does "perfectly compatible" mean in your situation? A new computer with a new OS will connect to your network, share files with your existing computers, and use the networked printers you already own. Are there specific applications that you're worried about? If you have a particular application that won't run under OSX 10.10, you can run an older operating system (OSX, Windows, Linux, Solaris) as an application on top of OSX by using emulator software such as Parallels, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox. The primary intention of these products is to run Windows applications on Mac (or older...
  • Answer to: New SSD not detected

    A new internal drive normally ships unformatted. Unless the operating system on the old boot drive posts a dialog box offering to format the unrecognized drive, the computer doesn't "detect" anything because there isn't anything the operating system can speak to yet. Of course, if the way you installed this SSD was to remove the previous internal HD and install the SSD in its place, without formatting the new SSD and installing a bootable operating system first, then there's no operating system or formatting utility at all. What steps have you already taken? If you can give us a detailed list of the things you've already done, in order, it will be easier to determine where the problem is. A common technique to replace an internal boot HD with an SSD would be to: 1) attach the SSD as an external drive first through USB/FireWire/ Thunderbolt 2) use Disk Utility to format the SSD 3) clone the operating system+user data from the internal HD to the external SSD using Disk Utility, SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner...
  • Answer to: Why is my computer geting slow

    Another issue is RAM fragmentation. Web browsers are notorious for sucking up more and more of your RAM the longer they're running; older browsers (and older operating systems) are worse about this. Many of these browsers don't completely release the RAM when you quit the program; the RAM that the browser was using remains in a chunk separated from the rest. Unfortunately, there's usually not much you can do with this except restart the computer. You can purge the unused RAM using the 'purge' command in Terminal, which will often relieve the problem. I perform the purge operation often enough in Snow Leopard/10.6.8 that I wrote the Purge command up as an Applescript application. You can download it here; it may not work on operating systems later than 10.6, and I'm guessing it won't work if Terminal isn't in the Utilities folder. The first link also leads to instructions for running the Purge command under Mavericks, which may also apply under Yosemite.
  • Answer to: Laptop very slow, replaced HDD & HDD cable, what now?

    How much RAM does the system have? This same model has been around for 2.5 years; the stock build has only 4GB RAM, which is wildly insufficient to do anything more than start the OS. It will take 16GB, which will make the system much faster.
  • Answer to: Where is the reassembly. video?

    There isn't one. iFixit isn't a big company, and it isn't a rich company. Although much of the content on this site is created by iFixit staff, a very large percentage is created by participating members like you and I. We ask and answer questions; we add detail and correct mistakes in repair guides; we create our own repair guides. And we do it on our own time, to expand the pool of knowledge for everyone who comes here. Most of iFixit's guides have no video at all. Many of iFixit's full teardowns (which are usually made when a new device is first released) do have video, as the teardowns are often live-streamed as they happen, and it's easy to post the video once it's been made. The iPad Mini 2 (Retina) has video; the iPad Mini 3 does not - only still photos of the steps. Since the Mini 3 teardown was done the day after the iPad Air 2 teardown, which was live-streamed, it might have been seen as unnecessary. It's unlikely that iFixit's staff is going to go back and create a video for a model that's been dis...
  • Answer to: What is the replacement for the original Hitachi 2TB hard drive?

    Hitachi drives are currently being sold as HGST drives, which is now a division of Western Digital. I'm unfamiliar with the issue iFixit notes with 2009-2010 iMacs, and I wish the product pages had a description of the issue (replace drives with same brand as original or else! ), or at least a link to an explanation. It's possible that different drive manufacturers used different connectors for the thermal sensors, and iFixit is trying to ensure that you don't buy a replacement drive that won't fit your current sensor cable. As iFixit doesn't stock drive sensor cables for aluminum iMacs at all, they may just be trying to prevent further trouble. This eBay search brings up a variety of different sensor cables; only one retailer is specifying the drive brands to which they connect. To my eye, one connector on each of the cables looks identical, while there appear to be small variations in the others. In the closeup photos, the connectors look like they attach to the jumper blocks. One solution would be to buy a...
  • Answer to: Monitor remains black at boot-up

    All Mac Pros are PCI-Express; the switch in video cards was made with the last (dual-core) generation of the G5. If your PRAM battery is dead, that may very well cause a black screen at startup. The PRAM battery (in computers that have them) supplies just enough power to retain certain basic settings the computer needs to know before the operating system loads. When the computer starts, a sync signal is sent through the video card to the monitor, indicating the display resolution. If the battery is dead or weak, that sync signal may not get sent, so the monitor doesn't know that the computer's running. The other common symptom of a dead-or-dying PRAM battery is a clock that's wildly off. The battery keeps the clock running when the computer is powered down; if the battery's gone, the computer will reset to the default start time on shutdown (midnight Jan 1, 1970 is usual for OSX-only Macs). These days, it's possible for a dead battery to go unnoticed for a long time; people commonly set their Date/Time prefer...


  • MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Lower Case Replacement

    I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

  • MacBook Unibody Model A1278 Battery Connector Replacement

    When reinstalling the battery connector/cable, placement of the connector is critical. If the connector isn't positioned accurately, contact with the battery terminals won't be completed. The battery connector cover will help you align the connector, but there will still be a little leeway as you screw the cover down. Position the battery first, to adjust the connector's position; then remove the battery and tighten the cover screws down. You may even want to try plugging the computer into the AC charger before completing the cover attachment, to ensure that battery is charging and the connector is correctly positioned.