After my recent memory upgrade to 8 GB, I received my hard drive upgrade. Going from 250 GB to 640 GB was intended to provide sufficient space for several virtual machines for development and other purposes. I first connected the 640 GB drive via USB and used Carbon Copy Cloner to image the system drive. I then physically swapped the drives inside the MacBook. However, one step that I neglected to consider was setting the 640 GB drive to be the boot drive. I had to boot the MacBook from the original drive via USB (thankfully, the MacBooks are capable of doing that) and use System Preferences to change the boot drive.
I now have a white, polycarbonate body MacBook (6,1 or late-2009 model, whichever you prefer) up and running with 8 GB RAM and 640 GB hard drive. Works great!
In looking to upgrade my MacBook to a more robust machine (capable of running several VMs without coming to a standstill), I wanted to get the maximum memory possible. Although Apple supports a maximum configuration of 4 GB, I found several references for the 2009+ MacBooks indicating that there was really no reason why the system couldn’t work with 8 GB total. Several users indicated that their machines were running fine this way and I decided that it was worth a 20% restocking fee to give it a shot.
I ordered item #CT2KIT51264BC1067 from crucial.com, which is a kit containing a pair of 4 GB, DDR3, PC-8500 memory sticks. These installed perfectly in the machine and resulted in OSX happily reporting 8 GB system memory available. I also have enough memory to comfortably support a Windows 7 or Ubuntu VM running with OS X rather than requiring me to halt all work except on the specific program I need on the VM.
A caveat: be very careful with the screws on the bottom cover. They are easy to lose (I’m short 1 now as I’ve had the cover off about 3 times). Also, although they appear to be standard Philips (+) screws, they are actually machined screws and you must be very careful with standard screwdrivers as they do not properly contact the screw slots. The correct screwdriver is available but costly, so I used a regular jeweler’s Philips screwdriver and a lot of care.
Next time: upgrading from the 250 GB drive to 640 GB (to make room for full-blown Windows 7 and Linux development environments).
I discovered that the Gentouch78 has more than one version out. If you happen to purchase one of them with the 3.5mm headphone jack and the screen rotation feature working “out-of-the-box,” do NOT apply patches 1 to 3, no matter how tempting. Unfortunately, the backup of the firmware that I thought I’d made didn’t re-install properly. After installing patch 3, I found that the firmware my unit shipped with was actually newer. I haven’t been able to find the firmware anywhere, so now my Gentouch78 is actually less functional than it was when I received it.