questionsshould i get a new hard drive or new mac?


I'm not a MAC user, but my sister is. If your notebook has a PowerPC processor, you'd be better off getting a new(er) system with the Intel chip. My sister has a PowerPC and she can't upgrade any more, operating system and/or other software. Her version of Safari is really flaky so she's using a really old Firefox that is the last release for PowerPC. Chrome won't even run on anything but Intel. The list goes on and on.

I found some refurbished MacBook Air systems on the Apple site.

You're probably more familiar with Apple hardware sites than I am. Look around. Good luck.


Are you sure it's the Hard Drive? I'm not a mac user, but lag and freezes doesn't sound very conclusive to me.

I think you should google some troubleshooting first, maybe post in a mac forum before buying new hardware. It could be a software issue or just need some system maintenance or something.

Also, the real question is can you afford a new mac? Them things be expensive. Maybe you have the money though and just want a new laptop, new laptops are always fun.


I'm all for buying a new Mac, although if you can wait until mid-summer ther will probably be some freebies.

But have you tried booting from the install disks and running disk utilities from that? And before you do anything drastic, maybe stop by a store if there is one close and see if they have an input.


@ all. I have had hard drive problems so this is indicative although it could be a bunch of things. It froze when I tried to use disk utility.

I'm afraid to get out my disk to try something since I'm basically clueless. I did email a a Mac repair place so I'll see what they say.

Because of some major health problems I can't get to the store so I have to do what I can from here.

If it is the drive, it's not going to wait for any summer/fall freebies. Thanks for the link, I already scoped them out.


I replaced the HD in a white macbook a few years ago. You have to disassemble the entire computer to do it, including the monitor. The white frame around the monitor is held in place by plastic tabs that will break unless you're very careful. They may even break then, and there are around a dozen. There are a hundred ways to kill the computer while doing the disassembly/assembly. In short, it's not for the faint of heart.

Definitely do what everyone else recommended first. Then, if you discover that it is definitely the hard a new computer. Save yourself the headache.


If you haven't already, try booting disc utility from the recovery sector. I believe on Leopard you need to insert the install disc that came with and then hold cmd+r when you boot the machine. Not positive on that though, double check with google.

Another helpful thing to do is clear space off your hard drive. If it's full or very close to it, that could be part of the cause. A good app to use is called CleanMyMac. It'll clean out a whole bunch of temp files/ other areas that take up space. Quite useful both in freeing up space and with respect to performance. Sometimes a file in the log or cache gets glitchy and deleting the file can help.

If the hard drive is indeed on it's way out, I'd likely personally get a new computer. Better hardware is always nice...but if you don't need it at all and dont feel the price paid is worth the difference then just swap the drive.


I also am using a 2008 white Macbook (so your computer should have an intel processor) and It is actually really easy to boot the computer from the install disk as @okham suggested. All you have to do is put the disk in the computer, restart the computer and hold the option key as it is restarting. A screen should come up that has two options, boot from the hard drive like you normally do or boot from the install disk. If you click on the install disk, it will boot up from that and if your computer runs without any issues, then you know it is not the hard drive, or you could try using disk utility from the install disk and see if that helps.

edit: also, what (s)he said^


I will agree with @rprebel. Try everything else, then it's probably time for a new laptop.


Buy a PC.

Just kidding, but I've been putting up with all the snark from the Apple fan boys for years and this was just too much of a softball to pass up.


Thanks to all for the help. Don't have a clue how to clean out sectors or whatever was said. Not computer literate at all. I know how to do the basics, which is all I need.

I think I know where my disk is to boot off that. But I don't know how that will tell me if the hard drive is gone or not. It seems to work ok if I force quit the applications that freeze but it seems to be getting worse.

On top of that there are other bugs, like if I plug my iPhone in and forget and close it it locks up.

I'm leaning towards getting a new once. If I get a new drive I should upgrade to what ever is the latest OS and by that time the cost will be close to a new aka refurb one one.

I appreciate all the suggestions.


@minkeygirl7: Just a thought. Have you ever run software update or set it to run automatically? If you haven't, there should be a lot of software fixes that would download and possibly fix this problem you're having. I'm not sure since I don't have a Mac here to look at, but I think software update is an option on the same drop down list you use to put the system to sleep or shut it down.


Moving your files from your current machine to a new one is a snap with MacOS. Given that your problem does sound (at least to me) to be a hard drive issue, I'd choose soon. Most failing hard drives fall off the cliff eventually and fail hard so you won't be able to recover. Hopefully you're running Time Machine so you can get your stuff back if it dies.

If you choose to replace the hard drive alone, you can buy a new hard drive, hook it up externally via USB to transfer your OS and files, then swap the drive. As others have said, this is not for the faint of heart. There's plenty of sites offering videos that provide detail instructions for disassembly and reassembly, but you risk breaking the machine.

If you choose a new system, you can just use the Migration Assistant to move your stuff. If you're using Time Machine on the current system, you can use that disk. Otherwise, you can use ethernet, wireless, or firewire. Data as well as applications can be migrated and it's easy to do.


Thanks all for your help. I guess when I said I was clueless didn't quite compute.

Whatever I do I have to hire someone to do it. I heard from a tech guy who feels it is my hard drive but I have to find out how much it would cost and weigh that plus updating my computer vs buying new.

Thanks all


Thanks all. Anything I get done has to be done by someone else since I don't have the knowledge or skills to do it. I didn't even know how to use the disk drive when I got this.

A tech guy I contacted believes its the hard drive so I have to weigh the cost of that (TBD) plus getting it updated vs a new one. Thanks all