Do you have an old MacBook or iMac that just isn’t running as well as it used to? So do I. It’s a 27-inch iMac from 2009. It sports a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. It’s been a great machine for me over the years, but these days (6 years after I bought it) it’s a bit too slow and frustrating for my liking. So I have begun the process of deciding whether to buy a new Mac, buy a refurbished mac or spruce up my old Mac myself and get a bit more life out of it. Depending on how old your Mac is and what condition it is in, you may come to a different conclusion, but in my case I’ve decided I want to see what I can do to pump some new life into my old Mac—on my own.
Being a tech blogger, the very first thing I wanted to do was check with a couple of experts to see what they had to say on the subject. Jeff Suovanen (JS), a technical writer with iFixit (the free repair manual for everything) and the lead technician from Mac Of All Trades (a leading site for buying/selling used Macs) were kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Here’s what they had to say.
What does a non-technical person need to know before attempting to refurbish their older Mac product?
JS: For most first-timers, the biggest barrier is their own fear—but in reality, there’s nothing particularly difficult about working on Macs. If you arm yourself with a few basic tools and take advantage of all the great web-based resources out there, like the free guides on iFixit, Mac repair can be accessible to virtually anyone.
LT: If you don’t keep backups of important files, now is the time to start. The computer and it’s parts are replaceable, but your family photos, personal documents, and other files often aren’t.
What does an individual need to do in order to get their old Mac running as fast and as up-to-date as possible?
JS: Once a Mac’s OS and software are optimized, RAM is probably the most common performance bottleneck. Fortunately, upgrading RAM is usually inexpensive and straightforward; for many people, it’s their first experience with electronics repair. If you can replace the batteries in your TV remote, you can replace ...