It’s Alive…It’s Alive! — Buy Nothing New for a Year!


Revived Macbook.

Revived Macbook.


As our luck would have it, we’ve already had a couple of major challenges with our resolution in the way of our much-relied-upon technical devices, which we take for granted in this day and age, and especially this resolution. Joe lost, and then found, and then tried, unsuccessfully, to revive his cell phone, which he dropped in a snow bank back in February. Further back than that though, only mere weeks after making our New Years resolution to buy nothing new for a year, our business Macbook up and quit on us. I went to check our fun-filled Facebook page, and there on the screen to greet me was a blinking folder with a question mark on it, as if it had amnesia. This can’t be good, I thought. I shut her down and restarted her to get the same blinking question mark folder.


After a little Google legwork, and running a few POST108_iMac-Qestion-mark-folder-of-doomtests, it was confirmed—the Macbook’s hard drive had bit the dust. This being our sole business computer, it had to be replaced or fixed. Not being a computer expert, I was at a loss of what steps to take next. Luckily, we have some very tech-savvy friends. I contacted one guru and was provided with such helpful advice and information, that I will forever be indebted. (Though a bottle of 2 Gingers should take care of things!) Basically my choices would be to either just dump the old one in the garbage and buy a whole new laptop, or to replace the hard drive in the computer that I already had. To purchase a new Macbook, I’d have to shell out upwards of $1,000, and even to purchase a used Macbook that would be equivalent to the one I had would cost me $300-$500. I could write all of this off as a business expense and go ahead and bite the bullet, but that would just go against our posture of buying nothing new and spending as little as possible.  Not willing to buy a whole new machine, I was left with the simple task of just replacing my hard drive—yeah…simple…

2013-03-04 21.55.01Our friend walked me through the possible solutions and even gave me links on where to buy the parts that I would need: a Mac toolkit, which has specialized tools to break into these things, as well as a hard drive. Worried about my ability to replace a hard drive on my own, it took me a couple of weeks to commit to making these purchases, but I finally purchased the toolkit from Amazon for $20 and the hard drive from Other World Computing for $80. They arrived the next week, and I again procrastinated, needing time to sit down in quiet without meddling little hands nearby. Finally, one night at around 9:30pm, Joe and I sat down to the task. We followed a great and easy-to-follow tutorial on It was SO easy, and only took about 20 minutes to remove the old drive and replace the new one! I couldn’t believe it. Why had I waited so long to do this?

The next step was to reinstall the operating system software. I pulled out the disk that the guy gave me when I bought the laptop a year and a half earlier. (I actually bought this Macbook used, off of Craigslist for a great 34951d1352211459-how-buy-snow-leopard-dvd-apple-mac-os-x-snow-leoparddeal at $300.) I popped that bad boy in and followed the instructions on ifixit. The first half of it went smoothly, and then it asked me to insert disk 2. What disk 2? I had no disk 2—and therefore, no operating system installed on the laptop. I jumped through so many hoops trying to get an operating system up and running on this old machine without spending any money. I went from trying, unsuccessfully, to install the software that came with our iMac to a friend trying to send me their copy of an operating system to countless phone calls with Mac support and store associates. Long story short, Apple no longer makes/carries the old software that came on my Macbook originally. Finally, one of the friendly associates at an Apple store recommended that I just buy a newer version of the Apple operating system that would still work on my 2006 machine. I caved and purchased the new software from Apple, and it only cost me $20! So, after a week, the new disk came in the mail, and today, I installed it with such ease, it was like nothing ever happened. So, almost three months later, my Macbook is alive and kicking once more!

And it only cost me:

Mac Toolkit          $20

New Hard drive   $80

New OS disk       $20


So, I saved on the low-end $180 and up to $880 on the higher end of things, and I did not have to buy a new computer! It just goes to show that a little, well a lot, of perseverance goes a LONG way!




  1. Deborah says:

    Well done! Being thrifty is so great when it works out!

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