2009 MacBook Pro upgrades, restoration, & tips

Or else what? This is my trusty old Apple MacBook Pro. It’s a mid-2009 model, but I bought it on.


Or else what? This is my trusty old Apple MacBook Pro. It’s a mid-2009 model, but I bought it on
February 10th, 2010, brand new. It was my first Macintosh computer. This was the cheapest 15-inch model they had
at my local electronics store and was cheaper than the current 15-inch MacBook Pro. This unit here has a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2
Duo processor and it came with 4 GB of RAM and a 250 GB 5400 RPM mechanical hard drive. This is the original hard drive that came
with it. I took it out for some important reason that
I’ll explain in a moment. And in my memories box I have the original
RAM that came with it. No. I have a lot of memories. Well, not really. The original RAM that came with it is 4 GB,
two sticks each with 2 gigs, by Samsung. I’m gonna safely put away my memories box,
because I wanna keep my memories safe. It also has an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
card with 256 MB of video RAM. When I bought it, it came with Mac OS X 10.6
Snow Leopard, but this computer was around before Snow Leopard came out, and if you bought
it around that time it would have come with Leopard 10.5. It’s possible to downgrade this computer to
Leopard even if it came with Snow Leopard, because the hardware has been the same since
it came out in June 2009 until they updated it in June 2010, I think. I’ve used this as my main computer for years,
until May 2015, when I bought the HP 15 laptop I already did a video about. Of course, when this MacBook was brand new,
I loved using it more than anything else, like most people who get their first Mac. Of course, over the years, the novelty wore
off, but I was able to do some upgrades on it as shown in the video title, which make
this computer still quite capable and fun to use today. The saying “Once you buy a Mac, you never
go back” doesn’t apply to me, as I now have an HP laptop. I did install Mac OS X on it but I use Windows
10 about 90% of the time. But anyway, back to this MacBook. During those five years, this MacBook has
been through some upgrades, both hardware- and software-wise. I already talked about the original hard drive
and RAM, but I didn’t talk about the new hardware I put in it. The reason I took off this hard drive is because
it died in November 2011. If I plug it in, it just makes clicking sounds
and the computer doesn’t recognize it. I wanted to get an SSD, but back then they
were still quite expensive, and so I got a Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500 GB hard drive,
also 5400 RPM, even though it seemed quite faster than this thing here. And I’ve had it for the longest time. However, there were some problems with the
new hard drive. The EFI firmware on this computer notices
that it’s an unsupported hard drive, and for some reason it would become unbearably slow. Like, I tried to install Mac OS X on it, when
I got the new hard drive, and it was forever stuck at the “installing” phase. The problem was that the EFI firmware on this
computer didn’t like the new hard drive, even if it didn’t have anything unusual. What I had to do was downgrade it from 1.7
to 1.6. I’ll put a link to download this old EFI firmware
in the description. It’s a CDR image file. You burn it using Disk Utility on Mac OS X,
then you boot from it. It will make some scary low-pitched beeps,
but then it will restart with the old EFI firmware. But with the old EFI firmware, no version
of Mac OS X newer than 10.8.2 will work. Suddenly, the video is less grainy, because
I switched from 1080p 60 fps to 720p 30 fps, because I don’t, I’m gonna run out of space
real soon. So, anyway, with the newer EFI firmware, the
hard drive is too slow to be usable, and with the new EFI firmware I can’t run anything
newer than Mac OS X 10.8.3. For the longest time I was stuck with Mac
OS X 10.7 because I could fully upgrade that, while I couldn’t fully upgrade 10.8. Recently, I downgraded it to Snow Leopard,
because I like it better than Lion, but a little bit after that I got something new. On July 12th, 2016, there was a big sale on
Amazon for Amazon Prime users. I wasn’t one of them, but I signed up for
a 30-day free trial and bought this solid state drive. It’s a SanDisk SSD Plus, 240 GB. The price for this discounted was just below
the non-discounted price of the 120 GB model of this, so I think it was a pretty good deal. Here it is, it’s pretty glossy, but it’s in
place of the original hard drive now. Speaking of what’s under this computer, I
also had to buy new replacement screws for the bottom cover because I lost the original
ones, and I also had to replace the rubber feet, because they got lost over time. The rubber feet cost me €5. No one else gets ripped off like I do. I’m gonna screw the screws back in, but not
on this video to save time, because I want to talk about some other upgrades I’ve done
to it. As seen in my HP Stream 13 vs. MacBook Pro
video, the power adapter cable ripped, so I bought a new one. On Amazon an original one was €40 compared
to €90 on the Apple website, so that was another good deal, but it had nothing to do
with Amazon Prime. The power brick looks the same. It’s this square shape, with the plug that
you can … take out, and you can put an extension cable, and it has these for wrapping the cord
around. This is a 60 W power adapter. This 15-inch MacBook, 2.53 GHz mid-2009, is
the only 15-inch MacBook which has a 60 W power supply. All the other 15-inch MacBooks, newer and
older, use an 85 W power supply. So maybe it’s like a glorified 13-inch MacBook,
I don’t know. Oh well, it has worked well enough for me. The MagSafe plug itself is different, though. It looks really cool, but … but if you plug
it in like this it covers the Ethernet port, and it also barely covers the FireWire port,
even if I never use that, because I don’t have any devices with FireWire. Plugging it in like this fixes the problem,
but if you have it on a desk like this, it’s gonna bend the cable quite a bit, so you have
to be careful. The older style plug and the newer style plug
in the current retina MacBook Pros has a T-shape with the cable that starts from here, which
I think is a better design, but oh well. The other ports in this computer on the left
side are a Mini DisplayPort, so you need an adapter for VGA, HDMI or DVI, two USB 2.0
ports, an SD card slot, a line-in jack, and a headphone jack. Here’s the button with the lights to check
the battery level. And let’s talk about the battery. This one, the battery I showed at the beginning,
is the original battery, but it no longer holds a proper charge. It only lasts for about 10 minutes, or maybe
15 minutes. It’s had more than 1500 charge cycles, even
though I tried to be careful with it. And I don’t understand this “warning: do not
remove the battery.”. Like, why not? Here’s what it looks like on the other side. The replacement battery I got was by this
company called Lizone. I don’t know if it’s pronounced Lie-zone,
or Lee-zone. I would assume that the first part is an abbreviation
of “lithium”, but just like the anagram “GIF”, which is supposed to be pronounced “jif”,
but everyone pronounces “gift” without the T, because the G stands for “graphics”, we
may never know. Also, we may never care. Anyway, I got that replacement battery and
I already installed it. … the two 4 GB RAM sticks by Kingston, so
now this computer is maxed out at 8 GB of RAM. Replacing the battery isn’t too hard: take
off the bottom cover, and there are three screws here. The problem is that they’re very particular
pentalobe screws. The Lizone battery came with some … it didn’t
come with the SSD of course, it came with a generic instruction manual, it doesn’t tell
you how to take apart the MacBook. It came with some screwdrivers. For example, I needed the Phillips one to
take off the bottom cover. It also came with a tri-wing, pentalobe T5
and 6-points. The problem is none of those work for those
three screws. It uses a very specific type of pentalobe
screwdriver that unscrews screws only used to hold the battery on the 2009 MacBook Pro,
that’s how specific it is, the greedy bastards who try their hardest to lock you out of your
own shit that you paid your own goddamn money for. I couldn’t find the screwdriver I needed on
Amazon, and on iFixit it was €18 including shipping, which was too expensive for me. I found it on eBay for €3 plus €1 shipping
from China. It took two weeks to arrive, but here it is,
and this one worked perfectly, so I was able to unscrew the screws, take off the old battery,
put in the new one, and put everything back in. So, to sum up, this computer has pretty much
all its upgradeable parts upgraded: new SSD, new battery, and more RAM. I could have bought a bigger SSD, of course,
but 240 GB was all I could afford, and again, it was cheaper than the non-discounted version
of the 120 GB one. I don’t have to install that much stuff on
this computer anyway, just my iTunes library and some apps, but 240 GB is enough. I’ll screw the bottom cover later. Now I’ll show you the other sides. On the front there’s the thing to help you
open it, sleep light and infrared sensor for the Apple Remote. On the right side there’s a Kensington lock
slot and a DVD-RW drive which Apple calls SuperDrive. It’s slot-loading, the disc just slides in
there, and it doesn’t support mini CDs and mini DVDs, it only supports the regular sized
CDs and DVDs. On the back there’s nothing special. At the top it has a VGA webcam, which isn’t
very good. About over here there’s the microphone, and
there’s the power button which is not built into the keyboard, because where the newer
Macs have a power button, this one has an eject button for the SuperDrive. This model has a glossy LCD with a resolution
of 1440*900. There’s a model which has a matte screen with
a gray bezel, but that was more expensive. Suddenly it’s dark and grainy again. While 60 fps looks really cool, my OnePlus
One camera kinda makes it look a bit too grainy, so maybe it’s best if I keep 30 fps on this
video. The keyboard has fared well over the years. It’s a little worn out, but you can’t really
notice it. I like that it’s also backlit, but I usually
keep the backlight at the minimum, otherwise I turn it off completely. The trackpad is still a pleasure to use, especially
with a few gestures, like two-finger scrolling, three fingers to go back and forward a page
on the web browser, and four fingers using Mission Control. You can see I mentioned Mission Control and
not Exposé, which is in Snow Leopard. And that’s because on the SSD I was able to
install Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the newest version that this computer supports. It’s still running the old EFI firmware, but
somehow with this SSD, which is also supposed to be not supported by Apple, it works, and
I’ve had it for almost two months, so … it’s still working, so that’s great. So, basically, it’s a fully updated mid-2009
MacBook Pro, well, except for the processor and the graphics card which are soldered into
the motherboard. Now we’ll turn it on. I’ve already shown how fast it starts up,
but I’ll show you again. It’s not the fastest thing in the world, but
it’s much faster than what it used to be, when I had the mechanical hard drive and Lion
or Snow Leopard, and for a brief time even Mountain Lion before 10.8.3. It took over three minutes to boot up, and
about ten minutes to finish loading all the startup apps. I should put a lighter background to get rid
of some of the glare. We’ll put the original Mac OS X El Capitan
wallpaper, and make the menu bar and dock bright. A solid state drive doesn’t just make a computer
much faster. It also makes it quieter because of no moving
parts, the only noise this computer now makes is from the CPU fan, and it’s much less fragile,
you can shake the computer all you want and it won’t risk being damaged, and also it’s
resistant to magnetic fields. In fact, I turned off the sudden motion sensor,
a feature MacBooks have, which parks the hard drive heads if the computer detects sudden
movements, but on SSDs this feature is useless so I turned it off. A very important feature that should be enabled
on SSDs is TRIM. On any computer running Windows 7 or newer,
and on Macs which come with SSDs, it’s enabled by default, but on Macs with third-party SSDs,
it’s not enabled automatically. You have to have Mac OS X El Capitan or newer,
but it’s just a matter of typing this command on the Terminal, and then rebooting your machine
when it prompts to. When I first rebooted, after running that
command, the System Information app still still said TRIM was disabled, but rebooting
a second time enabled it. I’m not gonna show too much stuff running,
this video has been long enough, but I can demonstrate that for a computer of this age,
I’d say it can still do quite a lot of stuff. People are impatient because Apple hasn’t
come out with MacBook models with the newest Intel processors for a while, but if you upgrade
your old one with more RAM, an SSD, and a new battery, like I did, you can squeeze more
time out of it. People consider computers from 2009 obsolete
and throw them out, but unless it’s a really cheap model, or something with little upgradeability,
with a little tender loving care there’s no need to treat it as garbage. For example, old computers usually struggle
at playing YouTube videos, but this computer isn’t old for that yet. It can still play YouTube videos up to 1080p
flawlessly, and this has nothing to do with the solid state drive. Because it’s running the latest version of
Mac OS X, it can run the latest versions of popular apps, like iMovie, GarageBand, Pages,
Keynote, Final Cut Pro, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Butt, etc., even the latest
versions of web browsers, like Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and Opera, and more. There are some limitations from the old hardware,
for example, the Bluetooth 2.1 antenna, which limits some features like Apple Continuity,
but I’ve never found a need for it, and the feature where iPhone calls are routed to other
devices linked to your iButt account actually works on this old Mac. This computer can render video even at 1080p
60 fps with no issues. The only thing you need more of is patience. Because, even if this Intel Core 2 Duo is
capable, it’s not very fast for intensive tasks like rendering video. If you want, this computer can also run Windows. Apple only supports Windows 7 on this 2009
model, but it can also run Windows XP and anything newer, including 10. The Mac OS X install DVD came with Boot Camp
drivers for Windows XP, Vista and 7. Boot Camp is the name of the assistant that
helps you set up a secondary partition and install Windows. It’s in the Utilities folder, and from this
Boot Camp assistant you can download more recent drivers, which you should do to have
Windows on a Mac working as well as possible. As I said, Apple only supports Windows 7,
and when I tried to install the Windows 7 drivers on Windows 10 it complains that it’s
not Windows 7, but Windows pops up with a compatibility wizard, then you just say the
program didn’t work, and it’ll try some compatibility settings, which will make the drivers install
with no problems. Well, actually, there is a problem. If you update the video card drivers, the
brightness will be stuck at the maximum, on Windows, of course, not on Mac OS X. A workaround to adjust the brightness with
updated video card drivers is to go to Device Manager, disable the video card, adjust the
brightness and then re-enable it. I’ve also tried a couple of Linux distributions
on here, but not many. I tried Ubuntu 10.04 back in the day. Recently I tried Linux Mint 18, which I had
to install in legacy BIOS mode for best results, just like Windows. The only issue is that the Wi-Fi drivers don’t
work, but the Ethernet drivers do, so I just connected to the Internet using Ethernet,
and went to the “Additional Drivers” settings to download and install the Wi-Fi drivers,
which are pretty easy, it doesn’t involve using the terminal. However, even if Linux is great, I don’t have
much use for it, so I got rid of my Linux Mint test install. Unfortunately this computer isn’t compatible
with the newer version of Mac OS called Sierra. However, you can install it using a patch
tool, which will make it compatible, because MacOS Sierra isn’t too different under the
hood. And it’s compatible with some Intel Core 2
Duo Macs, so if you use this patch, it will work just as well as El Capitan, but for the
sake of everything working perfectly in a supported manner, I’m keeping El Capitan for
now. Even if you stick with El Capitan, it will
last for years to come. Hell, I was going to keep Mac OS X Snow Leopard
on this computer forever, if I hadn’t bought that SSD and discovered Mac OS X El Capitan
works on it. Unforunately, the newest version of Google
Chrome doesn’t run on it, and the newest version of Safari that it runs, version 5, is from
2013, which is quite outdated for the new web standards, but the newest version of Firefox
does run on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, at least for now. And the newest version of Microsoft Office
it runs is 2011, which is more than good enough. So, yeah, if you’re stuck with Snow Leopard,
you can still use it quite a bit. Of course, a lot of apps aren’t compatible
anymore. I can’t sync my iOS 9 devices with Snow Leopard,
because it’s not compatible with iTunes 12, so I’m glad El Capitan works on this, and
it’s quite fast, too. The battery for now works okay. It’s at 73% and 4 hours 14 minutes remaining. I discovered it doesn’t last as long as the
original battery when it was new. But Apple advertised this computer as having
a 7-hour battery life, and I never got up to that, not even on the original battery. 4 to 5 hours is an okay battery life for me. This replacement Lizone battery is not as
good as the original one, but it’s new, so you don’t have to keep the computer plugged
in all the time, like what I had to do when I had the old battery. So, that’s my restored and upgraded MacBook
Pro. Of course, it’s not really impressive, if
you compare it to newer Macs and newer computers in general, but for what it is, with these
upgrades, it works great and can still be used for quite a while. This computer has had a very good run and
is still running great, even if it can’t do CPU-intensive tasks fast, for basic functionality
like web browsing, documents, music, and watching movies, even though it’s not a 16/9 display,
it’s great, so I don’t see any reason to throw this computer away just because it doesn’t
have an Intel Core i- processor or a retina display or it’s 7 years old. I bought it 6 and a half years ago, but it’s
a 7-year-old model. So, yeah, that’s it about my 2009 MacBook
Pro. Thank you for watching.

71 thoughts on “2009 MacBook Pro upgrades, restoration, & tips”

  1. if you compare 2009 macbook pro and late 2011 which mine dad have they are same with design, that which he have is scratched at bottom and touchpad is cracked,
    we upgraded ram from 4gb to 16 because it was on 4gb with el capitan even slower than with yosemite and mavericks. look at late 2011 specs

  2. Hi TheComputerGuy96,
    I received the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on Windows Update section!
    What do you think about the update? – Is it good? Are there any bugs or crashes?

    Thanks for the answer!

  3. PLease check out my new channel. IN my latest video is show you how to add greenscreen affects to a video for you tube plz check it out sorry for ad

  4. I have the same one … I am wondering what to install now I have 10.9.5 version system
    What are you recommend about ?
    Thanks advanced 🙂

  5. Apple doesn't want you to, but Mac OS Sierra runs on this computer. Check out the video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODvmFbbWmX8

  6. Thank you for the video.I just had my older/backup MBP upgraded & was curious about other possibilities and mods.
    Your vid was very helpful and you seem like a very nice,decent wonderful person.
    fwiw, I wish you well.. ;^]

  7. Well explained video, great job keep it up!
    I own a mid 2009 MacBook Pro 15, (yes I know is 2017…)I have upgraded to an 480GB SSD, upgraded to 8GB Ram and replaced the thermal paste due to overheating problems. I was blown by how fast it was, opening apps booting up and so on…
    The big problem that I have with it, is overheating, it gets at times even up to 105 degrees Celsius. I did some research to troubleshoot the issue but no luck.

    My question is, do your MacBook has the same overheating problem (105 Celsius).

  8. Hey i need some help, I just got the exact same model as you (2009 15" 2.53ghz 4gb ram 250hdd) but my Mac has already been updated to El Capitan 10.11.6. I'm looking to do the exact same upgrades as you did can you recommend which type of RAM and SSD I should get. I've never done this before what else will I need? An adapter? btw I don't plan on upgrading the battery. If u can help let me know thank you

  9. Thank you Computer Guy.. for your advice on updating my browser. I am currently downloading El Captain . Hope this will prevent freezing of videos from U Tube.. let you know how this went .. Thanks again to take time to help me as l am anything but a computer geek ..😀

  10. Idk if you still answer your comments on this video but I'm about to buy one of these from someone tomorrow so my question is will it work with adobe Premiere cc and 2017 ?

  11. I just trash picked a 2009 MBPro, and while it does need a new battery (currently gets maybe a little over an hour depending on what I'm doing), the immediate upgrade I'm going for is the 8GB upgrade. Found a kit through Walmart for $31. If it's still a bit too slow after the upgrade then LInux is it's future. Probably Ubuntu MATE 16.04. I've got a 2010 MacBook that runs superbly with High Sierra, Win7 and MATE. I have to say, that in the past 10 years or so, the two best laptops that Apple came out with were the 2010 Unibody MacBook and the MacBook Air. Everything else…meh. I've got a 2016 MBPro with the touch bar through my work and I suppose it's ok, but the touchbar is pretty much useless except for controlling the volume and brightness, and I could have done that with the the function keys, and the need to carry around a multi-port hub to get anything done is just ridiculous. Apple needs to think a little more utilitarian in it's designs and stop being so damn greedy. I wouldn't even mind if they made a really ultraportable machine with the ability to snap it into a thicker portable base dock that had all the needed ports plus maybe an additional battery. You know, kind of what Dell and IBM did back in the day. But that would make too much sense.

  12. This computer runs Mac OS High Sierra just fine! Not bad for a computer that Apple considers vintage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq5q6gZeyMg

  13. did you have to change to hard drive sata cable? i heard 2011/2012 are better then the ones before to get the most of your ssd.

  14. Ciao, ho lo stesso tuo computer ed ho fatto le stesse tue modifiche per potenziarlo, solo che facendo dei test la velocita di scrittura e lettura del disco Fusion Drive si attestano intorno ai 100 mega … Sembra strano che non riesca ad andare più veloce … Secondo te da cosa può dipendere???

  15. I've owned my 17" 2009 MacBook Pro all these years, and I never knew that was a button on the side. I thought it was just a placeholder for something that got removed. I guess you learn something new everyday.

  16. May I ask how long the battery lasts? Ive had one of these for years but it just stays plugged in because the battery can barely last 15 minutes like yours used to. Thanks!

  17. Hi. Which other brands and models of SSD might be good for the same MacBook Pro (Mid-2009)? I have seen some Sandisk of 480, 960GB on a very good price, but I dont know (and cant find anywhere) if I can use them with that MacBook Pro. Thank you for any information.

  18. Still rocking my late 2011 with dead gpu, 12gb of ram, 120gb SSD + 1tb HDD instead of the DVD and a bit of fixes for the gpu problem (EFI var to force the hd 3000 and a removed a resistor to cut the power to the gpu) installing Mac was easy, but I was the first one to find out how to install Windows in a dead gpu machine (which is even harder than on a old Mac with a working gpu). It's announced that Mojave won't be compatible with it but I don't really care since macos versions newer than sierra are not for me. I am also buying the replacement higher resolution matte screen since the glossy one is not that great under light and is hard as hell to film as you should know.

  19. i have one problem, my mac pro 2009 will not store application longer time when i install it works properly but when i shut down and then turn on my computer it will be removed so i have to be reinstall every time. so if you have any idea please send me .

  20. Hello, very good educational video, I have a question, can I you change the core 2 duo processor to a core i5, of the macbook pro (mid- 2009) ??

  21. Thanks for your video! I have a similar MacBook Pro model, also 2009, and am in dire need of an upgrade. However, how do you know that after making all your upgrades, the logic board won’t just die on you? Is there an indicator of this? I guess I am concerned about that happening.

  22. Grate video bro! nice sound
    Do you know if I can upgrade my MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)?
    already have two of 4GB each..

  23. 2019 and this computer is still great! I bought a mint condition mid 2009 Macbook Pro with all accessories and the box too for only $100! I upgraded the Ram to 8GB for $50 and today I ordered a Kingston 1TB SSD!!!!! from Amazon for $112 ( Yes this is a real SSD for that cheap!) Thanks for your video , I did not know that I needed the Torx 6 screwdriver or the sudo trimforce command. With this computer upgraded I fully expect it to last for another 2 years. So in 2021, I will buy another old Macbook and use the SSD drive from this one. By the way I still have a 2008 iMac that still runs like a champ as well. I can still use these computers for anything office related, web browsing, watching videos on Youtube and even with multitrack audio recording, I can get up to 30 tracks with a effects and without stuttering or freezing. Why spend hundreds on a PC or thousands on a new Mac when I can save money and still have pretty good performance.

  24. I have an early 2009 MBP. Only runs El Capitan and iCloud document synch doesn't work. With upgraded SSD and RAM, it runs okay.

  25. So many good quotes in this video! Lmfao! “Nobody gets ripped off like me!” And my fav is about the …”greedy bastards!!”

  26. What is the max amount of SSD memory (or whatever it is sry) can a 15 inch 2.53 GHz mid 2009 can hold?

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