Installing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 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
Image #1

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 5-Point Pentalobe screws along the top edge of the battery.

  • You do not necessarily have to follow steps 3-6 to remove the battery in order to replace the hard drive. However it is recommended to remove all power sources from electronics before working on them.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to bend back the finger of the "Warning: Do not remove the battery" sticker while you remove third five-point Pentalobe screw hidden underneath.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery by its plastic pull tab and slide it away from the long edge of the upper case.

  • Do not try to completely remove the battery just yet.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Tilt the battery back enough to access the battery cable connector.

  • Pull the battery cable connector away from its socket on the logic board and remove the battery from the upper case.

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Edit Step 7 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Apple sticks a small strip of clear plastic with adhesive applied to one side to the logic board behind the camera cable connector to keep it in its socket. When moving it out of the way, be sure not to break any surface-mount components off the logic board.

  • Hold the end of the cable retainer down with one finger while you use the tip of a spudger to slightly lift the other end and rotate it away from the camera cable connector.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

  • Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board, not straight up.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Peel the camera cable off the adhesive securing it to the optical drive.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • This step is only required if you have an anti-glare display. If you have a glossy display, skip this step.

  • Disconnect the Bluetooth cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

  • Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board, not straight up.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the Bluetooth antenna cable from its socket on the board.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • This step is only required if you have an anti-glare display.

  • Remove the two 8 mm Phillips screws securing the Bluetooth/camera cable retainer to the upper case.

  • One of the screws may remain captive in the Bluetooth/camera cable ground loop. If replacing the display, be sure to transfer this screw to the new unit.

  • Lift the Bluetooth board/cable retainer assembly out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the optical drive connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3.5 mm Phillips screw securing the inner side of the optical drive to the upper case.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 3.5 mm Phillips screws securing the outer side of the optical drive to the upper case.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive from its left edge and pull it out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 16 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the optical drive cable by pulling it straight away from the optical drive.

  • If you have a CD or any other object jammed in your optical drive, we have an optical drive repair guide.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • 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 18 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 19  ¶ 

  • 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 20  ¶ 

  • 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 21  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • 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 23  ¶ 

  • 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 15" Unibody Mid 2009 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

Question: why do you remove the battery? According to Apple's official manual, this is not required (not for the mid-2009 and not for the mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro) - see pages 37 ff:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

alexkli, · Reply

Quote from alexkli:

Question: why do you remove the battery? According to Apple's official manual, this is not required (not for the mid-2009 and not for the mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro) - see pages 37 ff:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

I'm interested by your experience.

Did you have removed the optical drive without removing the battery ?

I'm just in this step now and if it is possible I would proceed like you because removing the battery void the warranty (and there is a sticker).

Thanks in advance.

youyou, · Reply

Looks like my note to step 3 appears on all repair guides that have the same step. I meant that in the context of the hard drive replacement only.

Did you have removed the optical drive without removing the battery ?

I haven't yet done anything, waiting for my MacBook Pro 15 inch mid-2010 to arrive.

alexkli, · Reply

I missed the notes and went ahead and purchased the 5 point driver for the battery before I realized it was not necessary.

I've edited the repair guide to remove the section on the battery, but I don't have the points to approve the changes.

Chris Davis,

Please note - the step about removing the battery is part of a pre-requisite guide, that is used for many of the guides, most that do require removal of the battery. Also, working inside a disassembled laptop with the battery still connected risks damaging/shorting out very expensive parts.

Eric Essen, · Reply

Absolutely. To be clear -- ALL of the above discussion is ONLY in reference to replacing the hard drive.

Chris Davis,

I replaced a hard drive in a MacBook Pro of an earlier model than this without removing the battery. The hard drive wasn't right. It only worked at about half speed, and I had to replace it once more. The second time I removed the battery and all went well. The recommendation by the iFixit staff to remove the battery before working on electronic equipment is a good one.

doug, · Reply

Removing the battery is not necessary for the hard drive removal/replacement procedures.

Erik, · Reply

My T6 (appears to be same screw driver you have - $6 on amazon for 20piece set) did NOT fit int he battery screws...not sure if I had the wrong screws or what, but I went ahead w/o battery steps and it was pretty easy.

Anthony Ettinger, · Reply

I also noticed that the new SDD (from crucial) didn't have the 4 screws, so I had to move those off the old HD and onto the new one.

Anthony Ettinger,

I would recommend leaving the camera cable plugged into the motherboard, and simply sliding the optical drive out from underneath it carefully. If you mistakenly life this connector straight up (as I did) you can damage either the cable connector or the motherboard socket. I damaged the connector on the cable and now the wifi antenna doesn't work. Replacing this damaged cable is about 10X more of a pain (in time and money) than the effort to slide the optical drive out from beneath this cable instead of disconnecting it.

Frank Stickney, · Reply

When reassembling, which adhesive should be used to reattach the camera cable?

Daniele Tamponi, · Reply

When installing the HD bay, the screws here will not go back. Not sure if the bracket/holes are somehow different. After completing the install, everything seems secure. Does anyone think not having these screws is critical beyond securing the drive?

toddfletcher, · 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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