Installing MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Late 2011 Dual Hard Drive

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Use this guide to install a second hard drive in place of the optical drive.

There are many benefits to adding a second hard drive to your laptop such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using our optical bay hard drive enclosure.

Relevant Parts
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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

  • Remove the lower case.

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Edit Step 3 Battery Connection  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

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Edit Step 5 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the camera cable out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Though not recommended by iFixit staff, some users opt to omit this step completely. For information on this, see the step comments.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board. Pulling it upward may damage the logic board or the cable itself.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Carefully move the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable out of the way as you peel the camera cable off the adhesive securing it to the subwoofer and the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

  • De-route the camera cable out from under the retaining finger molded into the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the antenna connector closest to the logic board up from its socket on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

  • De-route the antenna cable from under the finger molded into the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the following five screws:

    • Two 10.3 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 3.1 mm Phillips screws

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Pull the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly and the Subwoofer upward near the center of the side of the optical drive until they clear each other.

  • Move the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly and the subwoofer away from the top of the optical drive.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Pull the right speaker/subwoofer cable out from under the retaining finger near the side of the optical drive.

  • Pull the right speaker/subwoofer cable upward to disconnect it from the logic board.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive cable connector up from its socket on the logic board.

  • Bend the hard drive cable away from the optical drive.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 2.7 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive upward from its edge closest to the display and remove it from the upper case.

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Edit Step 16 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive cable away from the optical drive.

  • Be sure to pull on the connector, not the cable itself.

  • Remove the two black Phillips #0 screws securing the small metal mounting bracket. Transfer this bracket to your new optical drive or hard drive enclosure.

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Edit Step 17 Dual Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the plastic spacer from the optical bay hard drive enclosure by pressing in on one of the clips on either side and lifting it up and out of the enclosure.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Make sure that the hard drive connectors are facing down before placing it into the enclosure.

  • Gently place the hard drive into the enclosure's hard drive slot.

  • While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hard to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic spacer while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Use two Phillips #1 screws to secure the drive to its enclosure.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Attach the optical drive bracket to the new enclosure with two Phillips #0 screws.

  • Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Don't ditch that drive! You can still use your optical drive externally with the help of our SATA Optical Drive USB Cable.

  • Align the cable's SATA connector with the drive's port and plug in securely.

  • Plug the USB connector into your laptop and your optical drive is ready for use.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Late 2011 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Does void the warranty?

jfondeur, · Reply

No, it does not void the warranty. More specifically: http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/display...

oakdragon12, · Reply

How much weight can I save by removing the optical drive?

gunes314, · Reply

Also wondering how much weight I'd save by just removing. My drive is broken for ages, but I have not needed it in ages. The HD was already replaced by a cheap SSD (second best thing after upgrading to 8GB), so I'd appreciate losing some weight. I mean, the computer. Although I could lose some too... erm... well, anyway, I guess the lack of the DVD would not interfere with anything, right? Opinions?

Carlos Duarte do Nascimento, · Reply

I'm thinking you'd probably be OK losing the DVD drive without a problem. Just make sure the optical drive cable is secured or you might hear it rattling in there from time-to-time.

John Adam Wickliffe, · Reply

Hey guys,

this website is amazing. I read it to guide me on fixing my mac book pro, but on the video, the girl gives a wrong information.. She says that is not possible replace just the keyboard... But I managed to replace only my keyboard. It is boring because I have to remove approximately 70 screws but it is possible. Thanks a lot! You guys helped me save about US$300 thats because in Brazil some technicians would charge me with that amount!

I posted some pictures on your facebook page..

renatumb, · Reply

Tip: Use one of those weekday pill holders to have a cheep way to store screws you remove and each day of the week can be for different sizes or parts. It has been handy to have (much less expensive than the magnetic mat.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Great tutorial. I found that using a Phillips #0 in lieu of the #00 worked much better.

kschmesk, · Reply

Is this step of removing the battery connector required?

manodh, · Reply

yes - as with disassembly of any electronic component you have to remove any power source. You don't want to accidentally turn the Mac on

khull,

This step is not really required. Apple does not recommend it.

Steven Layton, · Reply

Rather than be careful of the corners of the connector i would say don't use the spudger anywhere near the corners. While the corner looks like the obvious place to begin to pry it up from, it will break. Levering from the sides as the instructions suggest works well.

ausmkv, · Reply

"Carefully pull the camera cable out of its socket on the logic board."

I followed these instructions to the letter, heeding the warning to pull vertically.

The camera cable broke at the connector.

The connector was pretty tight in the socket. Had to use a tiny screw-driver to free it. There was no way simply pulling would have worked.

A quick google of "macbook pro camera cable broken" shows that this has happened to many other people, and been reported to ifixit. But no mention in the instructions. Disappointing.

The MBP no longer boots. The cable is soldered to the LCD, which must be replaced. $500?

Someone, PLEASE fix the instructions. It looks like many people have been hit by this.

Brian, · Reply

Actually it says to pull parallel away from the board, so horizontally. It never said vertically and actually warns against pulling verticaly.

Technic Mender, · Reply

I'd to disassemble my MBP two times because my SSD did not work properly in optibay. While doing it a second time, I omitted steps 6 and 8. It is really not necessary, but step 6 is really scary.

nicholas, · Reply

Do you even need to do this?? I've seen guides where they just leave those on and slide the superdrive out from underneath that module..??

Philip, · Reply

I've replaced 4 dvd's with hdd's already, in different macbooks, so wasn't too fussed about #5. However; this time I broke the camera connector cable :(

The connector is stil in it's socket, and I can't get it out no matter what I try. My guess is that some of the glue that connects the socket to the logic board, got into the socket as well. Prying with a small screwdriver, pulling with a pair of tweezers... nothing works. And this mbp belongs to a friend who uses his camera a lot for skyping...

I hope we're still friends after I tell him.

The thing is; I think it might be possible to do the whole operation with that cable still in its sockets; if you pull the rest of the cable free of the fingers, you can probably fold it out of the way when you lift the dvd out.

puchelaar, · Reply

This is Sooo Unnecessary!! don't do it!

grant reynolds, · Reply

I actually found it necessary to do this step. If not done you can rip chord, if you read the wording carefully and do as it says it should not break.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Is all of these screws can be removed by phillips #00 screwdriver? I can't remove left 10.3 screw and bottom 3.1 screw. Another screws can be removed easily… My macbook pro is 13-inch, Late 2011. What can be wrong?

Ilya, · Reply

Note the position of the little grounding rings when removing the red (10mm) screws. You'll have to make sure to re-seat them when reassembling!

James, · Reply

I think you should remark when re-assembling the machine, you should pay attention to the metal clip in Step 9, the upper left screw position, it's easy to miss when assembling, because there are so many wires, and it may be very easy forgetting putting the metal clip back in place.

Mac, · Reply

No idea how I'm supposed to put back the "grounding rings". Anybody?

Sarge Izzard, · Reply

As far as the grounding ring goes, it slips back over the screw hole, be patient and gentle. You may have to finagle the airport board under it first and then lay the board flat and reattach the subwoofer. I will see if I can add a pic in the near future. But that the best way to describe it.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Another comment on step nine I have is about the subwoofer. In my case the screw hole that is for the "One 5 mm Phillips screw" (its currently circled in yellow) was broken [Mind you I have never dropped this computer so it came that way from apple. So be carful, it may be fragile and need some repair. Apple really needs to have better quality control on parts like this .(also they won't care that it was that way, they didn't like that I opened the computer, so even though its their fault, I should never have known and therefore they shouldn't be held responsible in their mind.) This may not void warranty as an over all upgrade, but any parts 'broken' or in my case 'found broken' during the fix are not covered any longer. So just be aware of this possible defect. Happy fixing.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

The bay and dvd drive cable at iFixit is $40.00 (http://www.ifixit.com/Apple-Parts/9-5-mm...)

But for $10 more you can get an external casing that will protect your super drive form MCE (http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/merch...) A total of $50 dollars. It is what I used and works great and looks pretty and is guaranteed to protect your superdrive. MCE also gives you a disk with software to patch the DVD Player to work with external dvd drives. So For an extra $10 dollars you get better software functionality and a case for your super drive. It works great.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

It is not a good idea to put fast SSDs into the optibay. System tries to negotiate at 6 Gbit, but it fails; disk is recognized but it couldn't even be formatted. I've waisted a lot of time to find a reason. After swapping SSD with original mac's HD both work properly, one at 6, another at 3 Gbit

nicholas, · Reply

No problems here with a Samsung EVO in the optical bay. Only downside that is not really fast (80-90 mb/s) but amazing performances on booting time, shut off and opening programs.

Mike, · Reply

I have to withdraw my comment. It is NOT a good idea to put a SATAIII SSD in the optical bay. It gives random freezes. Swapping it with a HD is indeed better. Better read/writes too. Only downside is that SMS won't work on the optical bay so treat your baby with care. Also Sleep issues might occur when placing a HD in the optical bay (a total freezing system). I already wasted a HD that was in the optical bay.

Mike, · Reply

I've replaced the optibay with a samsung 840 pro but can't format it nor copy files (a few files work) to it. Do you suggest putting the HDD in the optibay instead? Did you clone the HDD to the SSD before swapping them? Will my Mac boot from the HDD the first time I boot even though it's in the optibay? I would really appreciate an answer, I've spent too many hours trying to figure it out!

Carl, · Reply

Also had this same problem. Tried and failed a Samsung firmware upgrade. Ended up send drive back to Amazon.

Andrew,

Okay it seems like some models of MacBook Pro have issues with a fast (6Gbit/s) SSD in the optical bay. Even though my Mac says it offers 6Gbit on both bays it simply didn't work in the optical bay. So I switched places between the two drives and everything seems to work. My Mac booted from the old HDD in optical bay automatically and then I cloned it afterwards and changed the startup disk to the new one. As said before, don't put a fast SSD in the optical bay!

Carl, · Reply

Make sure you have removed the 2 screws at the end of your super driver unit and move it to your NewHD bay with the metal piece eye loop.

Kamiiyu, · Reply

Normally with the HD enclosure there come a set of screws. use these to screw down the HD in the enclosure since you need to flip it up side down to reinstall it into the MBP

Bart, · Reply

Here they picture Crucial as their choice, you can also find some great options at Samsung (it is what I installed and it works just as good if not better than the crucial I installed in my wife's iMac. here is their site http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/solid...

Its just another great option. Also when installing SSDs make sure to enable TRIM support (crashes can and probably will occur if you don't) TRIM enabler is available free and the pro version is $10 http://www.cindori.org/software/trimenab... It is the easiest solution for this issue.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

With the particular drive bay adaptor I used, these attachment screws were already fitted to the adaptor but were found at the sides, not underneath. Indeed, the adaptor had no screw holes on the underside.

jjsanderson, · Reply

At first I couldn't get my machine to even turn on - thought it was the battery connector, but in the end I just had to reset the SMC. (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964 - see "Resetting the SMC on portables with a battery you should not remove on your own").

talksrealfast, · Reply

I have the drive installed with this bay, but the drive does not appear in the Disk Utility. I see a 'Nvidia MCP79 AHCI' in the system information, but no drive listed with it. Is there some special driver needed to get the MCP to see the drive?

toddfletcher, · Reply

Replaced the optical with hdd, as well as replaced the hard drive with an ssd. Now I get the circle with a line through it. But, when I hold the option key down, it gives me both hard drives, PLUS, the thumb drive I have in the USB port with a Mountain Lion installer. It even shows the recovery disks, but gives me the circle with the line when I choose one. Any help is appreciated.

claude, · Reply

it does not recognize the hard drive in the enclosure, what should i do?

elvin00, · Reply

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