Fixing a Trash Picked 2008 MacBook 2,1

When I visited a computer repair shop to have a look at what they had, I saw someone carrying a old apple computer and they were going to put it in the trash. I asked the guy if I could have it and he said he would give it to me for 30 bucks. I did not really know what I would be getting or if parts were missing but I accepted and got the computer. After some investigation I found it had 1gb of PC2 ram and no hard drive. I picked up a power cord and 200gb sata from the same computer store and went home.

Pictures of the computer:

I turned on the computer without the hard drive and it turned on, a good start. The problem was I did not have a sled to screw the hard drive into to keep it from falling around inside the computer. So I taped a paper clip to the hard drive and that did the trick.

Paper Clip Hard Drive:

Hard Drive in Computer:

Originally I wanted to get a version of OSX on the computer but it would not boot the cd drive. It also would not boot to usb. So I took the hard drive out again and put it in my sata to usb adapter and plugged it into another computer. From there I set the hard drive (connected through usb) as the primary hard drive. I tried installing OSX from there but it did not work. In the end I decided to try lubuntu and sure enough it installed to the hard drive. I then threw it back into the MacBook and it booted. It takes like 5-6 minutes to boot though.

After some more work like replacing the battery with a new one (I got on Amazon for $18) and putting some upgraded ram in the computer I was good to go.

The Ram Cards:

So this computer can do some basic tasks:

  1. Browse the web (scored a shocking 65mb upload and 36mb download on its built in wireless adapter)
  2. Play some games! It can play valve's GoldSrc games like DOD 1, HL 1, CS 1.6, ect. Sadly I can't get Minecraft or CS Source to run.
  3. Office tasks: you can send email, use a word processor and do some other cool stuff.

In the end I think the computer works fine and I am surprised they were going to throw it away.

Specs of the computer before restoration:

Intel Core Duo Processor
1gb Ram
0gb Hard Drive

Specs of the computer after restoration:

Intel Core Duo Processor
4gb Ram
200gb Hard Drive

Comments

  • That's not too bad of a machine. I've been wanting one that can run at least El Capitan for a while now, but sadly my original MacBook Air (2008) is stuck on Lion. Not that that particular machine works right, but oh well. Good find!

  • Yeah thanks. It has a hard time running open gl graphics but sort of works.

  • It looks like it's in good condition. What is the speed of the Core (2?) Duo processor?

  • Replacing the thermal paste and putting an SSD in will make it sufficiently fast.

  • @calvinb said:
    Replacing the thermal paste and putting an SSD in will make it sufficiently fast.

    SSD might not be a bad idea but I would have to reinstall the os. For now I don't want to open it up and risk breaking something. And the screws holding the case together are warped anyway.

  • @Erito17 said:
    It looks like it's in good condition. What is the speed of the Core (2?) Duo processor?

    No it is not a Croe 2 Duo that kind of caught me off guard too. It uses the less well known Core Duo. I just checked and it says it has a clocking speed of 1.83 ghz.

  • @Win98Rocks said:

    @Erito17 said:
    It looks like it's in good condition. What is the speed of the Core (2?) Duo processor?

    No it is not a Croe 2 Duo that kind of caught me off guard too. It uses the less well known Core Duo. I just checked and it says it has a clocking speed of 1.83 ghz.

    That's one of the early 2006 models, right?

  • @jamie1130 said:

    @Win98Rocks said:

    @Erito17 said:
    It looks like it's in good condition. What is the speed of the Core (2?) Duo processor?

    No it is not a Croe 2 Duo that kind of caught me off guard too. It uses the less well known Core Duo. I just checked and it says it has a clocking speed of 1.83 ghz.

    That's one of the early 2006 models, right?

    I believe so.

  • It also seems like there is still a market for these computers. If you search MacBook 2.1 on ebay you can find quite a lot. Here is a very yellow one:

    https://ebay.com/itm/Apple-Macbook-2-1-A1181-1-83GHz-100GB-SSD-4GB-RAM-OS-X-10-6-Office-Good-Battery-/253419270472

  • edited February 14

    @Win98Rocks said:
    SSD might not be a bad idea but I would have to reinstall the os. For now I don't want to open it up and risk breaking something. And the screws holding the case together are warped anyway.

    Just use Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility to copy the contents of the old HD to the new SSD. Then install the SSD and boot it. Problem solved!

    (I did exactly this using Carbon Copy Cloner to upgrade an aging MacBook Pro hard drive to an SSD)

    As for the case screws you may be able to find replacements on eBay or somewhere. Check your nearest electronics dealer too. They may have the small screws you need.

  • @Erito17 said:

    @Win98Rocks said:
    SSD might not be a bad idea but I would have to reinstall the os. For now I don't want to open it up and risk breaking something. And the screws holding the case together are warped anyway.

    Just use Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility to copy the contents of the old HD to the new SSD. Then install the SSD and boot it. Problem solved!

    (I did exactly this using Carbon Copy Cloner to upgrade an aging MacBook Pro hard drive to an SSD)

    As for the case screws you may be able to find replacements on eBay or somewhere. Check your nearest electronics dealer too. They may have the small screws you need.

    Not a bad idea, I will check out that program. I think if I just get a smaller screw driver that would also work.

  • @Erito17 said:

    @Win98Rocks said:
    SSD might not be a bad idea but I would have to reinstall the os. For now I don't want to open it up and risk breaking something. And the screws holding the case together are warped anyway.

    Just use Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility to copy the contents of the old HD to the new SSD. Then install the SSD and boot it. Problem solved!

    (I did exactly this using Carbon Copy Cloner to upgrade an aging MacBook Pro hard drive to an SSD)

    As for the case screws you may be able to find replacements on eBay or somewhere. Check your nearest electronics dealer too. They may have the small screws you need.

    I second the use of CCC. It works perfectly for me every time, even on my slightly unstable Hackintosh.

  • Speaking about Core 2 Duo and Core Duo processors, I successfully swapped the Pentium Dual Core in another computer to a Core 2 Duo I has laying around.

  • edited September 15

    AFAIK, you can install Windows in the computer using bootcamp, since it uses a Core Duo

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