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Archive for the ‘Hard Drive Upgrades’ tag

MacMedics Bring Your Own Hard Drive Installation Service $150

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So you have an Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro that needs a larger hard drive. Not an uncommon problem.

Maybe someone in your family decided to give you the gift of a bare hard drive, or maybe you have another 2.5” drive that is kicking around. In either case you decide that you don’t have the time, knowledge, or tools to install the drive into your Mac computer. Also, if your Apple laptop is under warranty, the hard drive is NOT a user installable part, so if you install it yourself, you’ll void your Apple warranty. Thankfully, MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Service Provider who employs Apple Certified Technicians.

MacMedics to the rescue! We’ve installed thousands of hard drives in Apple laptops, so we can install yours as well. For $150 we’ll install your new hard drive and perform a bit-by-bit clone of your data from your old drive to your new hard drive. As long as your old drive is healthy enough to copy, $150 is all you pay. In most cases this service can be performed same day, if you bring in your Apple laptop in the morning.

Don’t have your own hard drive and you don’t trust Best Buy to sell you the right speed, brand, or size of hard drive? Don’t worry as both MacMedics service locations in Millersville and Lanham, Maryland stock all sizes, speeds, and types of drives.

So from 160 GB all the way up to 1 TB (depending on your model of laptop), we can help!

Don’t Beat Up Your MacBook Pro Unibody – Your Hard Drive Is Directly Under Your Right Hand!

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Don’t Beat Up Your MacBook Pro Unibody – Your Hard Drive Is Directly Under Your Right Hand!

A client brought us his MacBook Pro Unibody 15” yesterday. He got mad at his Mac and smashed his fist down onto the palm rest.

Sadly, this was a not a good thing for the health of the MacBook.

Here’s the carnage report:

1. Dented Palm rest (We did our best to bang the dent out)

2. Dead hard drive (It’s no longer spinning)

3. Lost hard drive data (Since the drive is not spinning, we can’t recover the data)

4. Voided Apple/AppleCare warranty. (Because the damage was due to abuse the repair could not be handled under warranty, and the client had to pay for a new hard drive)

Written by Dana Stibolt

February 26th, 2010 at 11:31 am

We Fix Macs! MacMedics Can Fix Or Service Any Macintosh Ever Made

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We Fix Macs! MacMedics Can Fix Or Service Any Macintosh Ever Made.

MacMedics can fix Macs. Of course all of the recent Macs are no problem, even the last few generations are no problem for us. If the Apple Store or anyone else has turned you away because they say your Mac is too old to work on, then come see us!

This week we worked on two pretty old Macintosh systems.

Case #1: Replacing the hard drive in a Titanium PowerBook G4. Some people really love old Macs, we sure do. The old Ti-Book had been serving it’s owner’s needs since 2001, but the hard drive died. He saw no reason to retire the machine, so he asked us to replace the hard drive.

No problem. Even though PATA hard drives in the 2.5” form factor are getting harder and harder to find, we still have them. Old hard drive comes out, new hard drive goes in, and we transfer all of the data over to the new hard drive.

See this image large size here.

Case #2: Macintosh Classic (from 1990) that is dead, but it’s owners want the data off it. This one is still a work on progress. We’ve worked on this form factor Mac countless times, but in this case one of the case screws is fused in place, so thus far, we’ve not been able to get the Mac Classic apart. We will drill out the screw on Monday to get to the hard drive. This unit has a SCSI hard drive, something that MacMedics is familiar with. We have to pull data off old SCSI drives on a regular basis, so we’ll hook it up to one of our custom rigs to grab the data.

MacMedics Frequently Asked Macintosh Service Questions: How Safe Is My Time Machine Back Up?

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We had a new MacMedics client call us on the phone and then come by the office with their sick iMac. The complaint was the unit was super slow. Right away I’m thinking a bad hard drive. The client tended to agree with me. The iMac fits our profile for hard drive “retirement” anyways since it’s right at the three years old mark. This is a fine time to “upgrade” and “retire” a desktop hard drive. (MacMedics recommends desktop hard drives be retired after 3 years and 2 years in laptops)

In this case the client was in a hurry, so in trying to find the fastest solution we looked for the “sniper shot” hard drive fix to see if we could put her back in shape without replacing her hard drive. She had a presentation to work on tonight, and she felt most comfortable with the idea of getting her unit back on-line. We offered a low cost rental, since she had her Time Machine data, but she really wanted her iMac back.

We felt comfortable trying some “fixes” on her hard drive, because she had an up-to-date Time Machine back up. Well, when it really came down to it, those fixes and even a new install of her operating system failed to solve the problem. This told us that it was in fact the hard drive that was the cause of the problem.

The client opted for a new hard drive, AND an upgrade to a 1 TB hard drive (from a 500 MB. Read more about iMac hard drive service and upgrades here.), since her hard drive was dying. Because of what we had learned about her drive being super slow, we decided to multi-task and run utilities on her Western Digital TIme Machine volume while the new OS was also installing. As we started looking at it carefully, we learned that the Time Machine drive was also failing.

We’re not big fans of this brand of hard drive, and when we told the client it was failing, she was shocked to hear it. We learned that the drive was less than a year old (don’t forget hard drives can die at anytime. See our website for more info.) When I told her that Western Digital was not my first choice for storing data, she was again shocked as she bought it from the Apple Store.

Here’s the facts folks. Any hard drive can die at any time, and just because it was purchased at the Apple Store does not give you an extra layer of protection. The other thing to remember is that the process of TIme Machine running every hour is rough on hard drives. The other item everybody needs to know, is there’s no such thing as set-and-forget-it the world of hard drive back ups.

All hard drive back up systems need to be tested and monitored on a regular basis. Time Machine is no exception. It does a great job of providing extremely easy to use back ups, but it should not be the only back up you trust your data with. (See my previous post about Time Machine here.) We recommend a double back up. TIme Machine for your first layer of back up, and a “clone” back up for your second layer of protection. Ideally, you should also have some sort of off-site back up as well.

As we store more and more of our digital identity and life on hard drives, it’s akin to more “eggs in one basket”. When you have more data stored in one place, you increase your risk, if that single hard drive fails, you could stand to lose all of the data stored on it. The other thing to keep in mind is as the amount of data you have active and live on your computer grows and grows, TIme Machine loses some if it’s ability to keep a longer record of you past data. The larger your Time Machine hard drive volume is in ratio to your main hard drive, the longer Time Machine will keep you data backed up. Of course having any back up is better than no back up, but Time Machine’s real advantage is in it’s ability to to keep months and months (even a year) of data for you to look back on if you should need a file that you accidentally erased 6 months ago (or longer).

As was the case today with our new client, she came very close to losing her data as, both her primary and her TIme Machine back-up drives were both failing in different ways. That could have proved disastrous.

What can you do to prevent this? Make a clone of your drive. For as little as $99 you can by a portable USB hard drive and either clone your whole hard drive, or just copy your user folder to it. You can also start burning some of your data to DVDs or CDs and storing that data off site.

No matter what you need in terms of a back up, MacMedics can help. Call any of our offices, and we’ll be glad to help you add your first, second, or third layer of back up. It’s important, so don’t delay.

Tip: If you bought a Time Machine drive when you purchased your new Macintosh, it needs to be installed in order to protect you. Don’t start generating data you care about AND can’t stand to lose if you’re NOT backed up. If you’re reading this, and you need help checking you back up or getting it configured, call us we can help. It does not matter if you’re local to MacMedics here in Baltimore, Washington DC, or Philadelphia. We can come on-site, or we can visit your computer via our Desktop Support Software. A back up coaching session over the phone can be set up and running in about 15 minutes. PLEASE, don’t wait!

You can read some of my other posts on Time Machine here:

Congratulations your hard drive made it through another Friday the 13th!

Back up and secure your data! (Then test your back up system!)

Do you use Time Machine as your only back up? Double it!

Installing a second hard drive into a MacBook Pro = Very Cool. Having a mobile bootable backup anywhere = PRICELESS.

Leopard’s Time Machine might not be a powerful enough back up for you.

The Apple Store Cant Upgrade Your Hard Drive. MacMedics Can!

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The Apple Store won’t upgrade your hard drive for you. But, MacMedics can, and we can do so either in or out of Apple warranty.

Here’s a common hard drive scenario that we help MacMedics clients with every day.

Your hard drive has failed, but you’d like to replace with a larger hard drive.

This makes perfect sense. Your MacBook with a 120 GB hard drive kicks the bucket, and in the process of replacing it, you’d like to upgrade it. MacMedics can help!

In Warranty: If your Mac is under warranty AND it’s hard drive fails, we can upgrade you to a larger capacity hard drive “under warranty”. All you do is pay for a new hard drive in the capacity of your choice.

Here’s how it happens:

1. We diagnose your computer’s hard drive as failed.
2. We order a new hard drive from Apple.
3. We install a new third party hard drive in the capacity of your choice.
4. We will install a new operating system on your new hard drive. (good time to upgrade your OS if you wish!)
5. You pay MacMedics for the cost of the new hard drive.
6. We send your old hard drive back to Apple.
7. We give you the Apple replacement hard drive to keep.

Your total cost: Just the price of a new hard drive, assuming we don’t also have to worry about or recover any of your data.

The free “original” size hard drive is yours to keep and you can sell it, keep it as a spare part, or use it to upgrade one of your other Macintosh computers.

Installing a new, large, faster, and more robust hard drive in your Macintosh does not void your AppleCare warranty. The only caveat that you have to keep in mind is that the Apple warranty WILL NOT cover the third party hard drive under Apple’s warranty. But if it should fail it is covered by a 1-year MacMedics warranty.

Out Of Warranty: If your Mac is out of warranty, we can also replace your hard drive with any size hard you would like. Most hard drive “upgrades” or “retirements” are done for our flat fee of $150 plus the cost of the hard drive. (Black or White original MacBooks are done for $99)

Obviously, if we have to recover your data from a failing hard drive, and provide other services in order to get your computer back in shape other charges may apply.

Here’s how it happens:

1. We diagnose your computer’s hard drive as failed.
2. You choose a new hard drive size and speed.
3. We install that new hard drive for you.
4. We clone your data from old hard drive to new hard drive
5. We test and run updates on your computer.

MacMedics keeps all popular hard drive sizes and speeds in stock at all times, so we can get you back on-line as quickly as possible.

This is just one more reason that MacMedics is often a better choice than trekking to your local Apple Store and dragging your iMac or Mac Pro through the mall.

MacMedics Frequently Asked Macintosh Service Questions: iMac Hard Drive Upgrades

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MacMedics Frequently Asked Macintosh Service Questions

What is the cost for upgrading an iMac hard drive through an Apple Authorized Service Provider?

In most cases if your current drive is healthy enough for a large data transfer, and your data is backed up, MacMedics can perform this popular service for $150 plus the cost of a hard drive. A new “top-quality” 1 Terabyte hard drive can be provided with a full three-year manufactures warranty for about $130 making the total procedure with a new 7200 RMP hard drive about $280. MacMedics offers a full 1-year “no-hassle” parts and labor warranty on hard drives that are purchased and installed by us.

Also, if your iMac is still covered by AppleCare, installing a new third party hard drive won’t void your warranty (if performed by MacMedics). Your extended warranty will still be in effect, but will NOT cover the new non-Apple hard drive.

Another scenario that comes up quite often at MacMedics is where an iMac that is under warranty and it’s hard drive has failed. We can still replace your hard drive under warranty AND also offer a new larger, faster third party hard drive. We just charge you for the hard drive upgrade, and the replacement hard drive supplied by Apple is given to you to keep.

Your old hard drive will be placed in a static bag and returned to you (if out of warranty). The old hard drive can serve as a rudimentary “snapshot in time” back up that can be given to friends or a family member to serve as an “off-site back up”.

Obviously if your current hard drive is sick, or your data is in jeopardy, labor costs can be higher. For situations where your data is NOT backed up and the health and security of the data is unknown, MacMedics can remove your hard drive without testing the machine, and perform our Tier-1 data recovery where we make a cold clone of your drive (if possible). Data recovery can be tricky and each case is different, so it’s not always possible to spell out all of the details and possibilities in advance. If the $99 data recovery fee is successful we will copy that data without further inspection or review to any computer or external hard drive if you’re NOT having your computer repaired. See our data recovery “Frequently Asked Questions” at this link for more details.

Don’t forget that if your iMac hard drive (or other Mac desktop) is more than three-years old, then MacMedics recommends a proactive hard drive retirement. See our website for more info.

Not near a MacMedics office? We do accept mail-in repairs! Just put your iMac in it’s original shipping box, and either send it via the carrier of your choice, or call/e-mail us and we’ll arrange to send you a pre-paid shipping label.

The Apple Store does not perform hard drive upgrades, they also can’t rescue data that may be at risk. Folks from all over the world send us their Macs need repairs. If your local Apple Authorized service options are limited, let us help you out. Just fill out this form, and send your iMac in!

Protected: Top Ten Reason Not To Wait In Line At The Apple Store. Come Visit MacMedics Instead!

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More Macintosh service accolades for MacMedics. This time from Johns Hopkins University.

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When you love what you do and do what you love, in MacMedics’ case fixing Macintosh computers, you’re bound to win some raving fans. Hard drive replacements, upgrades, and retirements are a very common repair we do at least a few of them every day (See our special web page at for more info on retiring your hard drive). When a client’s computer is out of service for ANY reason, our Apple certified technicians are all over it until the unit is successfully repaired and tested and back on our client’s desk.

A client from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine checked their laptop into the MacMedics Mac Clinic we jumped right on it. Also, because of our long history and connection to Johns Hopkins, MacMedics offers all Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff a 10% discount on all Macintosh service (parts and labor). If you’re from JHU, just flash your ID badge or show your business card to claim your discount.

It’s always a nice reaffirmation to get some positive feedback for your repair work, so we had a pleasant note waiting for us in today’s e-mail. Here’s what our client had to say about his recent experience with our in-lab service team:

My 2008 MacBook Pro came with a 120Gb hard drive. Needless to say that, if you are into digital photography, you have to upgrade quite fast to a bigger capacity hard drive. MacMedics’ service is simply unbeatable. They are fast, friendly, reliable, and affordable. I turned in my Macbook in the afternoon, I got it back the day after, with a brand new hard drive and a fresh copy of Mac OS X installed. I particularly appreciated MacMedics’ frequent email updates, that kept me informed of every step in the process. Moreover, my impression was that I was treated with the same professionalism and competence as a big business account would have been. This fact only makes a big difference. Best of all? A substantial discount for Johns Hopkins employees. You can’t go wrong with MacMedics!

Sebastien Morisot, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University 
School of Medicine