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Apple shares MacBook break-in tips

Easy no more

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Apple has published instructions for upgrading hard drives and RAM in its MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, and user-friendliness took another step backwards.

Before the "unibody" MacBook and MacBook Pros were introduced last October, memory replacement in both was a breeze. The MacBook in particular was an upgrader's delight, with both its RAM and its hard drive easily accessible by even the least handy of users.

No more.

Whereas a RAM upgrade on the older MacBook Pro was a three-screw affair, you now need to remove eight screws of three different lengths to gain access to the RAM slots of both the MacBook and the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple's flagship 17-inch MacBook Pro ups the screw count to 10, also of three different lengths. Instructions for upgrading its RAM or hard drive include the helpful suggestion of "note the screw lengths and locations so you can replace the screws correctly. Put them aside in a safe place."

Battery-replacement instructions for the big boy are simple: don't. As we noted earlier, an ailing battery in a 17-incher requires a trip to an Apple-authorized service provider.

Clearly, Apple doesn't want everyday users mucking about inside of its precious machines. For example, although the Mac Pro remains easily user-serviceable - at least at the drive, RAM, and card level - replacing an iMac's hard drive is not a job for mom nor pop.

Upgrading your Mac has never been easy. And it just got harder. ®

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