New, Old Project: MacBook Oreo!


My parents sent my MacBooks.

Way, way back in 2011, after I had moved from Australia back to Texas, I had a MacBook White that started having issues with the screen and some other stuff. A friend had a MacBook Black that wouldn’t work for him, so he gave it to me. Then I moved back to Japan and left the MacBooks in a closet at my parents’ house. They sent them to me, and after about six hours trying various combinations of parts:

Voila: MacBook Oreo.

Basically a 2006 MacBook Black Core Duo. It has the Japanese keyboard from the MacBook White (the MacBook Black Keyboard is in really good condition, and I plan to protect it to save it for later. The MacBook White keyboard is starting to the edge chip, as it is known to do). It also has the MacBook White’s SuperDrive, as the Black’s was broken.

MacBook White briefly booted, but the screen is damaged, the right speaker connection literally fell off (it would need to be soldered), and I wouldn’t be surprised if it needed something else. I could see me MAYBE putting a 2009 logic board and new screen in there, but it probably isn’t worth it.

I’m installing Tiger on the MacBook Oreo, but given it is a Core Duo with 2GBs of RAM, I am thinking a light install of some flavor of Linux will be a better choice. I want to make it my Presentation and Internet machine, which is essentially all I need at school, and I am not going to take my 2012 MacBook Pro to school with me anymore. I may just sell it, I don’t edit on it, because I edit on the Mac Pro…


Tiger is a great choice I reckon - it’s lightweight and fast, and has the benefit of being one one the OS releases that Apple spent 2 years refining. 10.4.11 was a great OS.


It was a no-go on Tiger. The other SuperDrive borked itself halfway through the install and I never could get it finished. I am now installing Snow Leo. I think Linux Mint is going to be where I want to go with this, as soon as I am sure everything is working correctly in an OS.


At least the hardware is old enough there should be built in drivers for everything…


Coming at you from the MacBook Oreo, but I definitely have an issue. The fan insists on running at full speed. It’s getting really hot, but I don’t know if that is from charging batteries that haven’t been charged in 7 years or if it’s because even Linux Mint is just too much for it to handle…

I suppose it’s also possible I need to change the thermal paste. But this is definitely unusable anywhere there are other people.


More than anything it’s provably a sensor or sensor software issue…


Seemed to be a couple of different things. I swapped out the 12 year old thermal paste for some Thermal Grizzly. One application helped, but I tend to be really conservative thermal paste. Going back and adding an additional application worked even better. I reseated all of the sensors, and that helped a bit more. And finally, I realised there were rather significant differences in build quality between the MacBook Black’s keyboard and the MacBook White’s keyboard.

The Black is thicker (I’m going to guess the metal underside plays a role in thermal dissipation), the material of the MacBook Black feels like a ThinkPad or other Premium Business Model. It has better key travel, better stability, and isn’t cracking or showing age at all. The trackpad is also significantly better and works much better with Mint (the White is way overly sensitive and I kept having to dial down the settings.

Holy crap, the MacBook White is a POS. No wonder my 2008 MacBook White isn’t the one I managed to bring back to life and the 2006 MacBook Black is. Even though the MacBook Black is older and less powerful, it’s clearly made with significantly better materials and quality control.

Last point, the MBB struggles with YouTube beyond 360p, but honestly, that’s not bad considering. I think it can do 480p for talking head type vlogging, but not anime music videos. I have yet to test my collection of videos on it to see what will and won’t run. But the Linux Mint OS is snappy, in part I am sure because I’m running an SSD.


Yup. this is usable:


Nice, I had both models back in the day and I loved my MacBook Black when i had it though my keyboard had seen some wear, yours look very untouched in that respect.

now i’ve got a final model of the mcabook unibody and a Mid 2010 MBP 13" and a dead A1297.


The trackpad is super shiny, you can’t tell in this photo. But the rest of it? Pretty much perfect condition. The 2008 MacBook White on the other hand is in pieces. There’s a huge black burn across the heatsink and fan, one of the speaker solder points fell off, the screen has lines, I think the battery is dead (I need to try to charge it one more time), and the keyboard has edge cracking and just isn’t as good or as satisfying. The MacBook White is crap. I only know it now when comparing the build quality to my 2012 MacBook Pro and the 2006 MacBook Black. Apple REALLY cut costs in order to make the MBW a budget entry and it shows.


I just ordered an “acceptable” condition MacBook White for $100. No RAM, but it appears to be in decent condition, and it comes with a battery, charger, spinner harddrive, a superdrive. I think I can piece together the parts I have (I have 4GBs of ram in mine as an example), and I think my keyboard is in much better condition, so I should be able to make a $250 unit out of it. What parts are leftover, I can toss up myself.

Also, of course I have all the original packaging except the gray cloth covers for both the Black and the White, and I can probably easily stitch a pouch together for it for pennies.

EDIT: Haven’t even got the new parts computer yet and IT’S ALIIIIIIIIVE:

EDIT 2: BAH after three attempts to install Lion, I give up. It keeps randomly shutting down or not booting. It will run 10.6 Snow Leo, but won’t update. I’ll wait for the parts computer to arrive. But good try!


To my genuine shock, I received the “acceptable” MacBook White, and it’s…. In way better condition than reported. It did come with 2GBs of RAM, but they were badly corroded and didn’t boot. Put my 4GBs of ram in it and it boot up. There’s some serious yellowing of the components (magic eraser helped), but they’re actually physically in better shape than my unit. Running 10.7.5, but I’m going to try to get Yosemite on here, because that can be done. I’m going to ditch the broken parts on mine, keep the parts that work, and I have all my original packaging and what not, so altogether, not bad. If I can get Yosemite working, this can probably be a daily driver, especially with an SSD. Also it SEEMs like this can actually do 6GBs of ram?

Not too shabby.

It doesn’t seem to like my aftermarket charger, but it came with its own aftermarket charger that works. I thought it was the real deal, so I am mildly disappointed, still… I wasn’t expecting this much for $100, with shipping. It was a great deal.