View Full Version : iBook HD crash... advice?

26th February 2005, 09:08 AM
G'day all...

My 14" iBook G4 is 6 weeks out of warranty and the hard drive is dead.

My local AppleCentre wants ~$630 to replace the dead 60G with an 80G. They tell me that 60G are rare.

I did some checking and discovered that I can buy a new 80G from a store a couple of blocks away for ~$200.

I think $400+ to install a hard drive at an authorized repair place a little excessive.

What are my chances of installing the drive myself. I am told that getting to the HD in a G4 iBook is tricky. Is this true? Any other suggestions?

[Before dying the hard drive was acting up and booting took forever. I ran smartctl from the smartmon tools and it reported that the HD was failing. The reallocated sector count was increasing steadily and there were errors in the HD's internal error log.]

26th February 2005, 09:18 AM
it is a big job to take apart an ibook. i really don't recommend this.

you must also be carefull with the HD you put in as 2.5" HDs have different heights and depending on you ibook model you will have a max height for you HD.

If you are in melbourne then private me and i will do you something on the labour of taking the ibook apart and putting it back together.

26th February 2005, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the offer... However I am in QLD.

Your reply makes me think that I might have made a mistake. If replacing the HD is really that difficult, perhaps the AppleCentre is not charging excessively?

26th February 2005, 09:42 AM
You're right srnm, the hard-drive is the most pain in the arse thing to get to in an iBook.
I'm a computer tech myself and I know when I get a laptop with a dead HDD, I mumble "Shit, I'm not going to have fun doing this." then start a job which will take me about 2 hours to complete.
So yeah, it might seem high, but the price is justified. If you feel up to doing it yourself, I can send you a copy of the iBook service manual and you can follow the instructions.
It's not for the faint hearted however :P

26th February 2005, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by srnm@Feb 26 2005, 09:24 AM
Your reply makes me think that I might have made a mistake. If replacing the HD is really that difficult, perhaps the AppleCentre is not charging excessively?
Nah thats stupid priceing. have another Apple Centre near you?

26th February 2005, 10:48 AM
When I needed a new HD for my iBook, and bought the new drive myself and took it to the nearest Apple reseller so that they could do it for me. Total was $100 CAN and was definitely worth it for the time and patience it would have taken me to do it myself.


kim jong il
26th February 2005, 11:14 AM
I'd seriously think about getting a couple more quotes or estimates on this before spending $630. $400 is quite a hefty labour charge for a fiddley but straightforward job for the technically inclined. Prices may vary dramatically and I would be surprised if you cannot find a better price.

EDIT: I just considered Decryptions time estimate of two hours makes the labour charge $200 an hour. Up to $100 an hour for a skilled person I can understand but beyond this?? Maybe I am out of touch with current tech fees and $100 plus per hour charges exist. What are they these days?

26th February 2005, 01:04 PM
I like that line "60Gb drives are rare". This translates as "We want to rip you off so we're going to throw a bullshit line". 40Gb and 60Gb drives are the most common sized notebook drives available.

I took apart my wife's iBook, and it wasn't a pleasant experience. You'd first need one of those desk/drawer trays with a dozen slots, as you'll need that to separate the dozen different types of screws in the machine.

A couple of years ago, the standard labour charge at my local Apple Centre was $132/hour. Nice people charge about $90/hour. Replacing the HD in an iBook takes about an hour + testing time + cloning time. Say 2 hours.

26th February 2005, 01:16 PM
Just wanted to clarify that I was given this quote over the phone:
40G $385
60G rare
80G $625

I would have paid $385 for an 80G without fuss...
From what I have read here and on xlr8yourmac I will not be attempting to install the drive myself. I will call the AppleCentre to find out the install-only fee, and some other places to get more comparisons for replacement in my area.

Thanks for all the help!

26th February 2005, 06:07 PM
FWIW i think the iBook takes a 9.5mm high drive, and i think most drives these days are 9.5mm, so you shouldn't have a problem. Its best to check though, just in case.