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MacBook Air Portable Genius, 4th Edition by Paul McFedries

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Replacing the Hard Drive

Replacing the MacBook Air hard drive is a pretty radical form of maintenance, to be sure! However, no hard drive lasts forever and MacBook Air’s is no exception. Use it long enough and often enough, and one day the hard drive will go belly up and you’ll need to replace it. As long as you have MacBook Air backed up, as described in Chapter 8, you won’t lose any data, and you’ll have your computer back on its digital feet in short order.

How hard is it to swap out the old hard drive for a new one? Well, that depends on which version of MacBook Air you’re using: a third-generation MacBook Air (which came out in late 2010) or later, or an earlier version. The next two sections explain the differences.

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It’s worth noting here that that opening the case technically voids your MacBook Air warranty, if it’s still in effect.

Working with a third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation MacBook Air

As I explain in Chapter 9, doing anything inside the case of a third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation MacBook Air is problematic because Apple now uses tamperproof Torx screws to secure the case. Because screwdrivers that work with tamperproof Torx screws (particularly the teensy T5 screws used in the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation MacBook Air) are often hard to find, and because (as I write this) the flash storage that Apple uses for these hard drives isn’t readily available, ...

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