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#1 2014-11-09 05:31:09

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

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This is my MacBook. Its a good MacBook, with its 2.2 Ghz Core 2 Duo, Santa Rosa chipset, 6GB of RAM, 750GB drive and black case, but lately I've wanted more....more speed. Better graphics. And the ability to run newer versions of Mac OS X. Originally I was planning to buy a new Retina MacBook Pro this year, however due to money issues thats not an option, and most likely won't be for a couple of years. But I don't want to be left behind until then, I want to be able to do things that can't be done on an EFI32 Mac with a lowly GMA X3100. So I figured - why not give it a brain transplant? The Early and Mid 2009 MacBooks have better graphics, are all round better machines, and are supported by Apple up to Yosemite. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to modify my existing BlackBook case to take one.

So I did, and its awesome. And now I want to share with you how I did it. Doing this mod will give you the following benefits:

- The ability to run Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite (and hopefully 10.11! Just maybe) completely supported, with no MLPostFactor style hacks.
- Better graphics, courtesy of the nVidia 9400M
- 2 3Gbps SATA buses (up from the single 1.5Gbps SATA bus for the HDD, and PATA optical drive bus on the older MacBooks), which will make a higher performance drive that you may have previously installed run faster, and also allow you to install a Data Doubler/Optibay for dual HDDs, or an SSD and HDD)
- Faster RAM (on the Mid-2009 model)
- The ability to install up to 8GB of RAM (on the Mid-2009 model)

You will need the following:

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- MacBook "Late 2007"/"Santa Rosa" or "Early 2008"/"Penryn". Your MacBook must be specifically one of these models - the original Core Duo MacBook, and GMA950 based MacBooks, are, unfortunately, too different internally, with the fan being in a slightly different place, and most of the internal connectors that plug into the logic board being completely different to Late 2007 onwards MacBooks.
- MacBook "Early 2009" or "Mid 2009" logic board.
- Heatsink from an Early 2009 or Mid 2009 MacBook - due to the placement of the nVidia 9400M chip you will need the new heatsink
- Optical drive cable from an Early 2009 or Mid 2009 MacBook (optional) - the 2009 MacBooks have a SATA optical drive.
- SATA SuperDrive from an Early 2009 or Mid 2009 MacBook (optional) - as the 2009 MacBooks now have a SATA optical drive, your old ATAPI optical drive will no longer plug into the new logic board. Alternatively you can also replace your optical drive with a Data Doubler/Optibay as I have, I've also fitted mine with a 240GB SSD.

Now, of course, a bit of a disclaimer before we get started. This guide is for infotainment purposes only. Do not attempt this unless you are familiar with laptop repair and are prepared to perform irreversible modifications to your MacBook. If you damage your MacBook, neither I nor ThinkClassic are responsible, you are on your own. ALWAYS do a full backup of your system before performing any hardware or software modifications.

Now, with that out of the way, lets get started....

Step 1: First step is to jack up your car...I mean, disassemble your MacBook. Logic board, optical drive, its all got to come out.

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Remove the PRAM battery, its small and blue, and between the subwoofer and Bluetooth board. The 2009 boards don't use a PRAM battery and as such it is no longer required.

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Step 2: The 2009 MacBooks have three of the screw bosses for the heat sink in slightly different places to the earlier models, you will need to remove these, completely remove them and try and get the surface as flat as possible. I used a pair of pliers for this, but its up to you what tool you use for the job. You will need to remove the two middle ones, and the one at the bottom, closest to you. Make absolutely sure that you save the screw bosses (small gold things that the heatsink screws screw into), you will need these when reassembling the MacBook.

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Step 3: To the left of the heatsink mounts, there are some small plastic supports which should be removed in order for the new logic board to screw down. Remove these in the same fashion as you did the screw bosses.

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Step 4: Attach the heatsink to the logic board using the heatsink screws and the three screw bosses you removed. Since there is now only the one screw boss in the case for the heatsink assembly, the logic board will now have to come out in order for the heatsink to be installed/removed.

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Afterwards reinstall the logic board. Getting the logic board and heatsink as a whole unit into the case is a bit difficult, and requires a bit of finesse, but much like sticking a V8 into a Toyota Camry, it can be done.

Step 5: Reassemble your MacBook, using the new heatsink, new optical drive cable and optical drive/Data Doubler/Optibay. A brief note - I had to put my MacBook back together without the EMI shield or left IO frame. The machine still screws together and goes back together fine without these parts, but I spent hours trying to figure out why I couldn't get it to work despite having these parts running perfectly for a few days in a scrap 2009 shell. Boot the machine and give it a good run to make sure all is well. Try putting it to sleep, and shutting it down and booting it back up a couple of times, just to make sure all is well.

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Step 6: (Optional) Upgrade to Yosemite (or Mavericks, or Mountain Lion, if you'd prefer). I assume you will have your data backed up already (don't you?), and will know whether you want to do an upgrade or a clean install. Since you are now running a fully supported Mac (as far as Apple knows, at least), you can now download Yosemite from the App Store. Installation is identical to that of any other fully supported Mac.

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The end result:

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I did this upgrade exactly 2 weeks ago. So far I'm glad I did it, and wish I'd done it earlier. I now have Yosemite, and a newer logic board, and an all round better system. Its faster, and just generally better. It feels almost like a new Mac to be honest. To the untrained eye its indistinguishable from a fully supported Mac. Half the time I don't even think about how much of a major epic hack it is - it just works. I did have one complete freeze last night, had to power cycle it to get it to boot back up, but its been fine since, and otherwise its been 100% stable.

Even so, if you have a White MacBook, you can get away without having to do all this hacking - you can get a white bottom case, transfer all your parts over to it, and everything will just screw together. The only reason why all this modification is required is because there is no Black version of the 2009 MacBooks, as such for someone who wants their Blackbook to remain a Blackbook, modification of their existing black lower case is needed.

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#2 2014-11-09 19:29:24

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Very nice, LCGuy.  The blackbooks are kinda neat.

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#3 2014-11-09 21:44:18

uniserver
Member
From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 955
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

very nice.  should get you by.


#I Re-Cap √Mac √NeTX √Amiga Boards - A/B - PSU# (MacCaps.com)  Modern SCSI HD's - For Old Macs - Pre Cfg'd - 10k RPM! 73gb!! $50 + free shipping  -- Mac 128K Re-Ram kits (16 Chips) $35 + shipping, Floppy Issues?-> Bourns Filter Solution 128k - SE/30, $16 + shipping

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#4 2014-11-09 23:16:10

macdrone
Member
From: Rainier, Or
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 230

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Very great idea. Thank you for sharing.

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#5 2014-11-11 02:32:43

GTDave
Member
Registered: 2014-11-11
Posts: 1

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

You sir are a genius.

My black macs been slowing down a fair bit (only 2G of ram) but it's that's not a good enough reason to replace it. I was going to hold off until they brought back the black mac with a retina display, but I can't see that ever happening, looks like an upgrade is on the cards. How much do you reckon this set you back?

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#6 2014-11-11 07:06:52

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Thanks everyone smile

GTDave: In total I believe all this cost me a bit over $600. Mind you, not only did I completely pimp this machine out, but that also included shipping (it all came from the USA, and I live in Sydney, Australia), if you were able to get the logic board locally you'd probably be able to get it for half of what I paid (I paid around $50 for the board itself, and then about the same for international postage)

Basically...assuming you lived in the US, and you picked up a cheap donor 2009 'Book, or you were able to get the parts with cheap shipping, and you didn't want to soup it up much more, you could pull this off for maybe a bit over $100. But once I factored in the 8GB of RAM, the SSD, the Data Doubler, and international shipping for everything, things got more expensive. But still much more agreeable to my bank balance than buying a new Mac. Even so, assuming that your BlackBooks are Santa Rosa/Penryn MacBooks, and that you don't care about going past Lion or running an SSD and HDD, you could easily go up to 6GB of RAM and an SSD, and it'd be a lot quicker even if you don't get the benefits of the 2009 logic board.

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#7 2014-11-17 11:02:54

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

UPDATE: I've run into a problem over the past week where the machine will randomly freeze up, and sometimes power off/reboot if I am not using it on a completely flat surface. I'm suspecting that this may be due to the board flexing in a way it doesn't want to. I'm going to have to find a way to secure the screw bosses to the bottom case....stay tuned...

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#8 2014-11-17 14:10:02

markyb
Member
From: Bedford, OH USA (216)
Registered: 2014-05-16
Posts: 182
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Look for a stick of epoxy that you mix by rolling into a ball and it dries completely strong and solid.
something like
http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/epxy_p … urpose.htm

http://www.asseenontv.com/mighty-putty- … p?p=294611

I used the first link to make my 2008 macbook a unibody macbook to repair the top case cracking permanently.


http://markyb.applefool.com for a list of my computers, my blog, and some random resources.

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#9 2014-11-17 20:51:02

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Currently posting from my iPad. As of this morning, even on a level surface the MacBook shuts down.

Its funny how for the first two weeks, even when I was using it say, on my lap, it was completely solid, then it froze once, and slowly started getting more and more unreliable. I have to go to work now, but when after I finish I'll investigate. Given that its now doing it on a completely level surface, even without me touching the damn thing my guess is that either something's loose, or I've damaged the logic board. Awesome.

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#10 2014-11-17 22:06:45

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 961
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

I'd say something is grounding or something is overheating. Creating new standoffs for the screw bosses with the epoxy putty sounds like a good idea.


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#11 2014-11-26 11:39:09

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Thought I should update this - that night I pulled the logic board out of the MacBook and laid some tissue on the bottom of the case, in order to act as an insulator, and to stop it from flexing.

For 1 week and 1 day the machine was as solid as a rock. Then just tonight it froze up. Just once, but it scared me. I'm hoping it can at least make it into the new year until I do a more permanent fix.

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#12 2014-11-26 18:03:01

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 961
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

I'd think of cutting a piece of vinyl instead of tissue. I also think the suggestion to epoxy putty some screw bosses down would be a good one.


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#13 2014-11-26 20:23:25

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Thats what I intend to do eventually - this is just a temporary fix.

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#14 2014-11-26 21:00:02

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

This stuff: http://sugru.com/

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#15 2014-11-26 21:07:23

macdrone
Member
From: Rainier, Or
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 230

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Dollar store plastic cutting sheet would work also.

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#16 2014-11-26 21:37:47

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,404

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

I haven't tone it yet, but a couple of my PowerBook lids need to have their brass inserts reattached with epoxy putty or the traditionsl sort. What's nice about epoxy is that it can be drilled an tapped in lieu of the brass insert.

@ bbraun: sugru needs to come up with a transparent rainbow color pack for a squishy replacement cover for my Pismo's boring white logo. big_smile

sugruFEETS! cool

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#17 2014-12-21 10:29:25

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

Yesterday I went to Jaycar and bought some JB Weld and decided to give it a go. It can handle up to 260 degrees and people use it to repair engine blocks. So I figure it should be good enough to hold the logic board in a MacBook. I stripped the MacBook out - again...I installed the heatsink, so I could get an idea as to where the screw bosses should go. I used a blue pen to sort of (not very well, but good enough) mark where the screw bosses should go. I made up some JB Weld and put some little pools of it in these areas. The screws went onto the heatsink (not attached to the logic board and were screwed into the screw bosses, and then the heatsink went back in as if it were installed. Alignment of the JB Weld pools with the screw bosses was checked, and more was put around the screw bosses to hold them in. A few hours later I removed the heatsink so that neither it nor the screws would get JB Welded in permanently. The screw bosses were secure enough a that point to withstand unscrewing. I then left it till late this afternoon, reassembled, and all seems to be well. I have an uptime of exactly 2 hours and 1 minute, for the better part of the first hour the machine was on my lap, and being carried around the room, and it seems as solid as a rock. I'm going up to QLD to see my family and friends during which it'll be my main machine, so that'll be a good test for it.

Sorry, no pics of this - I was more concerned about doing it properly, not effing up, and getting the thing back together than taking pics smile

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#18 2014-12-21 14:29:00

techknight
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 449

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

LCGuy wrote:

Yesterday I went to Jaycar and bought some JB Weld and decided to give it a go. It can handle up to 260 degrees and people use it to repair engine blocks. So I figure it should be good enough to hold the logic board in a MacBook. I stripped the MacBook out - again...I installed the heatsink, so I could get an idea as to where the screw bosses should go. I used a blue pen to sort of (not very well, but good enough) mark where the screw bosses should go. I made up some JB Weld and put some little pools of it in these areas. The screws went onto the heatsink (not attached to the logic board and were screwed into the screw bosses, and then the heatsink went back in as if it were installed. Alignment of the JB Weld pools with the screw bosses was checked, and more was put around the screw bosses to hold them in. A few hours later I removed the heatsink so that neither it nor the screws would get JB Welded in permanently. The screw bosses were secure enough a that point to withstand unscrewing. I then left it till late this afternoon, reassembled, and all seems to be well. I have an uptime of exactly 2 hours and 1 minute, for the better part of the first hour the machine was on my lap, and being carried around the room, and it seems as solid as a rock. I'm going up to QLD to see my family and friends during which it'll be my main machine, so that'll be a good test for it.

Sorry, no pics of this - I was more concerned about doing it properly, not effing up, and getting the thing back together than taking pics smile

this_thread_is_worthless_without_pics.gif

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#19 2014-12-22 05:20:34

markyb
Member
From: Bedford, OH USA (216)
Registered: 2014-05-16
Posts: 182
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

I have not seen that emoticon in a decade!


Glad to hear you found a solution LCGuy and I hope the computer lasts through your trip (and way,way beyond) with the new setup. I used JB weld to modify a throttle body in my car 5 or so years ago and still holds as if it were real metal.


http://markyb.applefool.com for a list of my computers, my blog, and some random resources.

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#20 2014-12-22 16:32:01

ScutBoy
Member
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 157

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

LCGuy - I did a similar repair with the busted hinges of a CR-48 Chromebook, where the brass bosses had broken out of their plastic "towers". So far it's been holding great. I hope your repair goes as well.

Last edited by ScutBoy (2014-12-22 16:42:17)

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#21 2014-12-22 17:41:28

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 961
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

I also had a JB Weld repair that went well on a PowerBook 165c. I ended up making a rather large block for the brass boss to sit in and it seems to be holding up well.


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#22 2015-01-18 06:24:29

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

So the MacBook has started locking up again in the past couple of weeks...pulled it apart this afternoon, sure enough two of the screw bosses have come loose. FFS I would've thought that if this stuff is strong enough to repair engine blocks, it'd be strong enough to mount a screw boss in a MacBook.

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#23 2015-01-18 06:48:12

markyb
Member
From: Bedford, OH USA (216)
Registered: 2014-05-16
Posts: 182
Website

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

That's nuts. Did the bosses come out of the JBWeld, or did the JBWeld come off of the MacBook? If the latter, maybe it will work out with some small holes in the case around the bosses for the JBWeld to slither into.


http://markyb.applefool.com for a list of my computers, my blog, and some random resources.

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#24 2015-01-18 06:49:50

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

The screw bosses were loose inside the JB Weld. I've just removed it completely so that I can re-apply it...with a paint scraper it came off a lot easier than I expected...I'm actually wondering if it may have been something to do with the way I mixed it?

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#25 2015-01-18 07:14:44

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 812

Re: HOWTO: Bring your 2007/2008 BlackBook into the Mavericks/Yosemite age

I think I've just figured something out.

Another thing I've noticed is that when I pulled on the JB Weld, the EFI shield (naturally) flexed. Given that the MacBook likely uses it for grounding I'd prefer to leave it in rather than remove it...however I'm wondering if maybe I should take it out, and put some JB weld underneath it in order to anchor it better and give it more strength around the heatsink area.

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