Best to listen carefully when a drive is involved
20 minutes - 2 heures
My 13" MacBook stopped booting due to the OS not being found. I tried a friend's extra OS X-installed hard drive with no luck so I assumed that the hard drive cable was to blame.
The iFixit repair guide was a lot better than the various YouTube videos I'd looked at. I should have paid a bit closer attention to which size screwdriver to use for which screws, as I ended up stripping one screw a little bit, but overall the process went pretty cleanly.
Unfortunately after the replacement nothing changed. I tried some RAM resets and then booted in Verbose mode only to realize the alternate hard drive had a version of OS X that wasn't supported by my hardware. Whoops. Then after reinstalling the original hard drive I realized that the hard drive was the problem all along.
Make sure to try alternative boots and run in verbose mode before determining the cause of the problem. Assumptions can lead you down an unnecessary path. Also, if the hard drive might be the problem, listen really closely. I've heard hard drive clicking before, but I missed it this time (prior to try the repair) and would have caught it with a bit more care.
Getting the spudger and screwdrivers was worth it though, as now I can fix many other things much more easily. In fact I was able to fix my mother's old handheld CD player.
Phillips #0 Screwdriver
Phillips #000 Screwdriver
MacBook Hard Drive Cable