Resurrecting the white MacBook
#277 Henry, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 2:55 PM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: macbook apple)

In July, my white MacBook suffered a problem. I turned it on, and it went tick-tick-tick ominously from the hard disk and it would boot no more.

This is a 2006 MacBook. Yes, it's an ancient laptop, but it works well, it's fast enough, and it's neat. I bought it used, and it's been very good ever since. I put a new hard disk in it four years ago, and that hard disk has reached its limits. I shelved it for a while, but finally had time to devote to it.

I ordered a new hard disk from OWC - OtherWorldComputing and it was only $55 for a little 2.5" 500 gig hard disk. It arrived yesterday, and I installed it today.

Hard disk and screwdrivers for the upgrade

I watched the video at OWC on how to do the installation, I already had their special toolkit from last time, so it was easy. The battery came out, the L came out, the hard disk popped out and was replaced easily. Everything went back the way it should have, and I had no parts left over.

As this machine is so old, it won't take the latest version of Mac OS X. The best I had on DVD was Lion, which comes from 2011. After this, all versions of OS X were installed through the app store. I think you can download them and burn them to DVD or put them on hard disks, but I never thought to do this, so Lion is all I have.

I turned on my MacBook and it bonged, and then it showed a folder with a question mark in it. That means it couldn't find a bootable device. I inserted the Lion DVD and it saw it and started up. Took some time to come up, but eventually I got a screen of options. First, Disk Utility to create a partition on my new empty hard disk. Made sure to name it "Macintosh HD" so it looks like the original. Then I installed the OS. That took some time.

Installing Lion

Went well, no errors. And it booted. Looks great. I liked the previous version of Mac OS X. I am not so fond of the latest versions. But this looks good and is perfectly functional.

Lion installed

There were software updates, 3 gig of them, and I installed them and rebooted. Did my usual configuration and voila - my MacBook is back in action.

I am amazed that a 9 year old Mac still functions this well. It's a good little machine and I hope I get a few more years out of it.