MacBook 5,1 and MacBook 5,2

Apple announced a MacBook unibody aluminum model (13-inch MacBook 5,1) featuring a new Nvidia chipset at a Cupertino, California with the tagline: The spotlight turns to notebooks. Made of a unibody aluminium case with patered edges, this model had an integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics up to five times faster than the original MacBooks’ Intel chipset. The MacBook unibody aluminium model was thinner than the original polycarbonate MacBooks. The keyboard of the higher-end model included a backlight.

MacBook 5,1 (13-Inch, Late 2008 Aluminum) and MacBook 5,2 (13-Inch, Early-Mid 2009)

Introduced on January 21, 2009, the 13-inch MacBook 5, 2 was a feature-bump of the existing low-end white MacBook model. The processor ran at a slightly slower clock-rate. The amount of RAM was doubled to 2 GHz. The bus speed was increased to 1066 MHz. The graphics chipset received a significant upgrade. This MacBook model was shipped in a single configuration, and was replaced in June 2009 with a new model. Introduced in May 2009, the MacBook 5,2 (13-inch, Mid 2009) was a modest speed-bump of the previous MacBook. The processor speed was increased by 6.5% to 2.13 GHz. The hard disk capacity was increased to 160 GB. This MacBook model was shipped in a single configuration, with 2 GB of RAM. It was replaced in October 2009 by the unibody polycarbonate model.

Release Dates

  • MacBook 5.1 unibody aluminum: Announced on October 14, 2008
  • MacBook 5.2 (Early 2009): Introduced on January 21, 2009
  • MacBook 5.2 (Mid 2009): Introduced on May 27, 2008.


  • Processor: 2.0 GHz, 2.13 GHz or 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (P7350/P8600, P7450). Front side bus 1066 MHz. Speed: Chipset 1066 MHz system bus. System memory: DDR3.
  • Memory: 2 GB (two 1 GB), expandable to 8 GB (4 GB supported by Apple).
  • Hard Drive: 120 GB. Optional 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB or 520GB.
  • Internal Slot-loading Super-Drive: 4 × DVD+R DL writes, 8× DVD±R read, 4 × DVD±RW writes, 24 × CD-R, and x CD-RW recording.
  • OS: Latest possible operating system OS X 10.11 El Capitan officially. macOS 10.12 “Sierra” unofficially with Sierra Patcher.
  • Display: 13.3-inch LED backlit glossy widescreen LCD, 1280 × 800 pixel resolution. (WXGA, 16:10 = 8:5 aspect ratio).
  • Graphics:Integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M with 256 MB shared with main memory (up to 512 MB available in Windows through Boot Camp).
  • Connectivity: Integrated AirPort Extreme 802.11a/b/g/draft-n (BCM4322 chipset). Gigabit Ethernet Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
  • Peripherals: 2 × USB 2.0.  1 × Firewire 400. 1 × Optical digital / analog audio line-in. 1 × Optical digital / analog audio line-out.
  • Camera: iSight Camera (640 × 480 0.3 MP).
  • Ports: Mini DisplayPort, replacing the previous model’s mini-DVI port. Two slots for PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM (1066 Mhz).
  • Input: Multi-touch glass trackpad which also acts as the mouse button. Combined optical digital input/analog line in. 1 × Combined optical digital output/analog line out.
  • Video out: Mini DisplayPort.
  • Battery: MacBook 5.1 – 45-watt-hour removable lithium-polymer. MacBook 5.2 – 55-watt-hour removable lithium-polymer.
  • Weight: MacBook 5.1 – 4.5 lb (2.0 kg). MacBook 5.2 – 5 lb.
  • Dimensions: MacBook 5.1 – 0.95 in × 12.78 in × 8.94 in. MacBook 5.2 – 1.08 in (Height) × 12.78 in (Width) × 8.92 in (Depth).

Apple Numbers, Discontinuation, Price

Apple Order Number: MB881/A


  • On June 8, 2009.
  • In October 2009 – MacBook 5.2 (Mid 2009).

Prices: This model was shipped with one price of US$999.


Troubleshooting with MacBook 5.1: Occasionally you may have problems while working with your computer, but if you experience a problem with your MacBook, there is usually a simple and quick solution. Think about the conditions that led up to the problem. Keep in mind that making a note of things you did before the problem occurred will help you narrow down possible causes and find the answers you need. Note the following:

  • The applications which where running when the problem occurred. Sometimes problems that occur with a specific application, but not with the others might indicate that this specific application is not compatible with the version of the Mac OS installed on your computer.
  • Any new software that you recently installed, especially software that added items to the System folder.
  • Any hardware that you installed, such as additional memory, a peripheral, etc.

On rare occasions, an application might “freeze” on the screen. Mac OS X provides a way to quit a frozen application without restarting the computer. To force an application to quit:

  1. Press Command – Option-Esc or choose Apple Menu > Force Quit from the menu bar.
  2. The Force Quit Applications dialog appears with the application selected. The application quits, leaving all other applications open. If you need to, you can also restart the Finder from this dialog. Next, save your work in any open applications and restart the computer to make sure the problem is entirely cleared up.

If the problem occurs frequently, choose Help > Mac Help from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Then search for the word “freeze” to get help for times when the computer freezes or doesn’t respond.

On the other hand, if the problem occurs only when you use a particular application, check with the application’s manufacturer to see if it is compatible with your computer.

If you know an application is compatible, you might need to reinstall your computer’s system software.

If your MacBook freezes during startup, or you see a flashing question mark, or the screen is dark and the sleep indicator light is glowing steadily (not in sleep). The flashing question mark may mean that the computer can’t find the system software on the hard disk or any disks attached to the computer.

Wait a few seconds. If the computer doesn’t soon start up, shut it down by holding down the power button for about 8 to 10 seconds. Disconnect all external peripherals and try restarting by pressing the power button while holding down the Option key. When your computer starts up, click the hard disk icon, and then click the right arrow. After the computer starts up, open System Preferences and click Startup Disk. Select a local Mac OS X System folder.

If that doesn’t work, try using Disk Utility to repair the disk:

  • Insert the Mac OS X Install DVD into your computer.
  • Restart your computer and hold down the C key as it starts up.
  • Choose Installer > Open Disk Utility. When Disk Utility opens, follow the instructions in the First Aid pane to see if Disk Utility can repair the disk.
  • If using Disk Utility doesn’t help, you might need to reinstall your computer’s system software.

If your MacBook doesn’t turn on or start up Try the following suggestions in order until your computer turns on:

  • Make sure the power adapter is plugged into the computer and into a functioning power outlet. Be sure to use the 60W MagSafe Power Adapter that came with your MacBook. If the power adapter stops charging and you don’t see the indicator light on the power adapter turn on when you plug in the power cord, try unplugging and replugging the power cord to reset it.
  • Check whether the battery needs to be recharged. Press the small button on the left side of your computer. You should see one to eight lights indicating the battery’s level of charge. If a single indicator light is on, connect your power adapter to recharge.

If the problem persists, return the computer to its factory settings by disconnecting the power adapter, removing the battery, and holding down the power button for at least 5 seconds.

If you recently installed additional memory, make sure that it is correctly installed and is compatible with your computer. See whether removing it and reinstalling the old memory allows the computer to start up.

Press the power button and immediately hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys simultaneously until you hear the startup sound a second time. This resets the parameter RAM (PRAM).

If you still can’t start up your MacBook, see “Learning More, Service, and Support” for information about contacting Apple for service.

If the screen suddenly goes black or your MacBook freezes, try restarting the computer:

  1. Unplug any devices that are connected to your MacBook, except the power adapter.
  2. Press the power button to restart the system.
  3. Let the battery charge to at least 10 percent before plugging in any external devices and resuming your work. To see how much the battery has charged, look at the Battery status icon in the menu bar. The screen might also darken if you have energy saver features set for the battery

If you press the battery button, and all battery indicator lights flash five times quickly,this means that your battery needs to be replaced. Contact an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP).

If you press the battery button, and the battery indicator lights flash from left to right and then from right to left, five times in a row, this means that your battery is not recognized. Check that your battery is installed properly in your computer.

Using Trackpad and Keyboard

Here are some guidelines Apple suggests the users follow when working with trackpad and keyboard on their MacBook:

Use the trackpad to move the pointer and to scroll, tap, double-tap, and drag. How far the pointer moves onscreen is affected by how quickly you move your finger across the trackpad. To move the pointer a short distance, move your finger slowly across the trackpad; the faster you move your finger, the farther the pointer moves. To fine-tune the tracking speed in System Preferences, choose Apple menu to go to System Preferences, and then click Keyboard & Mouse. Next click Trackpad.

Some useful trackpad and keyboard tips and shortcuts:

Secondary clicking or “right-clicking” lets you access shortcut menu commands. To set this option, select Place two fingers on trackpad and click button for secondary click in the Trackpad pane of Keyboard & Mouse preferences. Alternatively the user can secondary click by holding down the Control (ctrl) key while the user clicks.
Two-finger scrolling lets the user drag two fingers to scroll quickly up, down, or sideways in the active window. To set this option, select Use two fingers to scroll and Allow horizontal scrolling in the Trackpad pane of Keyboard & Mouse preferences.

Using the MacBook Battery

When the MagSafe power adapter is not connected, this MacBook draws power from its battery. The length of time that you can run your MacBook varies, depending on the applications you use and the external devices connected to your MacBook. Turning off features such as AirPort Extreme or Bluetooth wireless technology can help conserve battery charge. However if the battery runs low while you are working, you should attach your power adapter immediately and let the battery recharge. To replace a low battery with a charged one when your computer isn’t connected to a power adapter, shut down your computer. You can determine the charge left in the battery by looking at the battery level indicator lights on the battery itself. Press the button next to the lights, and the lights glow briefly to show how much charge is left in the battery. You can check the charge with the battery in or out of the MacBook. Important note: If only one indicator light is on, very little charge is left. If no lights are on, the battery is completely drained and the MacBook won’t start up unless the power adapter is connected. If this happens, plug in the power adapter to let the battery recharge, or replace the drained battery with a fully charged battery. The amount of battery charge left can also be checked by viewing the Battery status icon, which will be found in the menu bar. The battery charge level displayed in the status iconis based on the amount of power left in the battery with the applications, peripheral devices, and system settings the user is currently using. If you prefer to conserve battery power, you should close applications and disconnect peripheral devices not in use, then adjust your Energy Saver settings.

Charging the Battery: When the power adapter that came with your MacBook is connected, the battery recharges whether the computer is on, off, or in sleep. The battery recharges more quickly, however, when the computer is off or in sleep, as the battery doesn’t drain because the computer does not perform any operations.

To replace the battery: Place the right side of the battery into the battery compartment. Gently press the left side of the battery down. Use a coin to turn the latch a quarter turn counterclockwise to lock the battery into place.

Boosting Memory

This MacBook has two memory slots that you access by removing the computer’s battery. The computer comes with a minimum of 2 gigabytes (GB) of 667 MHz Double. Data Rate (DDR2) Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory (SDRAM) is installed. Both memory slots can accept an SDRAM module that meets the following specifications:

  • Double Data Rate Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (DDR2 SO-DIMM) format. 1.25 inch.
  • 1 GB or 2 GB.
  • 200-pin.
  • PC2-5300 DDR2 667 MHz Type RAM

It is possible to add two 2 GB memory modules for a maximum of 4 GB of memory. For best performance, the user can fill both memory slots and install an identical memory module in each slot. Important warning: Apple recommends that the user invites an Apple-certified technician install memory. Consult the service and support information that came with your computer for information about how to contact Apple for service. If the user attempts to install memory and damage the equipment, such damage will not covered by the limited warranty on the computer.

How to Install Additional Memory

Installing memory involves removing and replacing the battery. The following procedure includes instructions for removing the battery from this MacBook, adding memory, and replacing the battery:

Remove the battery:

  • Shut down your MacBook. Disconnect the power adapter, Ethernet cable, USB cables, and any other cables connected to the MacBook to prevent damaging the computer.
  • Turn over the MacBook and locate the battery latch. Use a coin to turn the latch a quarter turn clockwise to unlock the battery, and gently remove it.

Install memory:

  • Loosen the three captive screws that secure the L-bracket, pull out the long end first to remove the bracket, and place it to the side (Levers on the memory slots spring out when you remove the bracket).
  • To remove a memory module installed in a slot, move the lever all the way to the left in one swift motion until the edge of the memory module pops out. Pull out the memory module. Repeat to remove the other memory module.
  • Insert the new memory modules in the slots: 1) Insert the gold edge first, with the notch on the left side. 2) Use two fingers with firm, even pressure to push in the memory modules. You should hear a click when the memory is inserted correctly. Note: The new memory module may have some residue on it from a lubricant that makes the memory easier to install. The residue is normal and should not be wiped off. c) If the levers don’t return to the closed position, move them to the right to close them. d) Replace the L-bracket by inserting the short end first and tightening the screws.

MacBook 5,1 Models

MacBook (13-inch, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Late 2008 Aluminum)

MacBook (13-inch, Late/Aluminum 2008)
Model IdentifierMacBook5,1
Model NumberA1278 (EMC 2254)
Part NumberMB467LL/A
Family13-inch, Late 2008 Aluminum
Display Size13.3 inches
Dimensions12.78 x 8.94 x 0.95 in
Weight4.5 pounds
Processor2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
Storage250GB HDD
Optical8X DL "SuperDrive"
See alsoSell your MacBook (13-inch, 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Late 2008 Aluminum) online now

MacBook (13-inch, 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Late 2008 Aluminum)

MacBook (13-inch, Late/Aluminum 2008)
Model IdentifierMacBook5,1
Model NumberA1278 (EMC 2254)
Part NumberMB466LL/A
Family13-inch, Late 2008 Aluminum
Display Size13.3 inches
Dimensions12.78 x 8.94 x 0.95 in
Weight4.5 pounds
Processor2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
Storage160GB HDD
Optical8X DL "SuperDrive"
See alsoSell your MacBook (13-inch, 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Late 2008 Aluminum) online now

MacBook 5,2 Models

MacBook (13-inch, 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mid 2009)

MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
Model IdentifierMacBook5,2
Model NumberA1181 (EMC 2300)
Part NumberMC240LL/A
Family13-inch, Mid 2009
Display Size13.3 inches
Dimensions12.78 x 8.92 x 1.08 in
Weight5.0 pounds
Processor2.13Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
Storage160GB HDD
Optical8X DL "SuperDrive"
See alsoSell your MacBook (13-inch, 2.13Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mid 2009) online now

MacBook (13-inch, 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Early 2009)

MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)
Model IdentifierMacBook5,2
Model NumberA1181 (EMC 2300)
Part NumberMB881LL/A
Family13-inch, Early 2009
Display Size13.3 inches
Dimensions12.78 x 8.92 x 1.08 in
Weight5.0 pounds
Processor2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
Storage120GB HDD
Optical8X DL "SuperDrive"
See alsoSell your MacBook (13-inch, 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Early 2009) online now


  • The LED display replaced the fluorescent tube backlights used in the previous model which contain mercury.
  • The FireWire 400 port was removed in the MacBook aluminium model. Thus this MacBook doesn’t support Target Disk Mode, used for data transfers or operating system repairs without booting the system.
  • Though the processor of this MacBook model ran at a slightly slower clock-rate, other specifications were improved: the bus speed was increased to 1066 MHz, and the amount of RAM was doubled to 2 GHz.
  • The graphics chipset received a significant upgrade to the same chipset used in the more costly MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008).


MacBook Review [Video]
CNET’s Dan Ackerman runs through updates to Apple’s line of laptops, with more processing power for the MacBook Pro, MacBook and MacBook Air. Published on June 5, 2017 by CNET.


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