Installing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 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 securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm (14.1 mm) Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 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 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Note: For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), removing the battery is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not remove the battery, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

  • 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 your finger to carefully peel back the corner of the warning label to reveal a hidden Tri-Wing screw.

  • Remove the last 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-Wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

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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 away from the logic board 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.

  • Pull the battery cable connector away from the center of the logic board.

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Edit Step 7 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling its connector away from the socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing.

  • Carefully rotate the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing (with AirPort/Antenna cables still attached) out of the lower case.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case:

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the optical drive bracket to the upper case near the fan.

    • Two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

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Edit Step 13 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive cable out of the optical drive.

  • Be sure to pull by the edges of the connector, not by the cable itself.

  • Optical drive remains.

  • 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 14  ¶ 

  • 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 15 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 16  ¶ 

  • 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 17  ¶ 

  • 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 18  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • 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 20  ¶ 

  • 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 2010 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Tri-wing Y1 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Step 8: The cable needs quite a hard pull to come out, be careful to pull straight! When reconnecting I used 2 wooden sate stick to push the connector back in.

Now running an sad for startup and the old HD as capacity storage. Thanks for the great manual on how to do these!

Bart, · Reply

Step 1 (technically step 9 - replacing the base plate) Apparently one of my screws was a micron or two smaller than the others. This screw belongs to the hole above the optical drive, which is also apparently a couple of microns smaller than the others. It took seven attempts to figure which screw had originally been in that hole; all the other screws were too large, but fitted perfectly everywhere else.

Bizarre much?

Will, · Reply

It might be a matter of how the screws are driven in, and not that they're slightly different sizes. When I reassembled my MacBook, a couple of the screws, including the one over the optical drive you mention, were hard to drive in and jutted up a little bit instead of sitting entirely flush. Swapping screws didn't help. The solution was to unscrew them and drive them in at a bit of an angle - perpendicular to the slightly curved surface of the back plate where the screw holes were, instead of fully vertical with respect to the ground the Macbook is sitting on. Doing it that way, the screws were easier to drive in and they all ended up flush in their holes. Didn't matter which screws they were. (I swapped a few around just to check after reading this.)

Andrew Janke,

I discovered a great way of organizing the screws. I used an ice cube tray and added the screws in order, keeping the different kinds together. So when it came to reversing the steps, the screw order was an added control step to returning everything in its place.

leonie, · Reply

A 1/16th flathead screwdriver easily removes the tri-wing screws in this step. I could not find a Y0 Tri-wing driver at any local stores.

Jon Daniels, · Reply

I'd like to add that for me, a 1/16th flathead screwdriver did NOT allow me to remove the tri-wing screws holding the battery in place. After several careful attempts, it became obvious I was perilously close to stripping the screw(s), so I abandoned the attempt to unscrew the tri-wing screws with a flathead screwdriver altogether. As it turned out, I didn't need to remove the battery to do what I needed to do (keyboard replacement), but it would have been a whole lot easier had the battery been easily removable.

dave, · Reply

The Tri-wing screw driver is impossible to find in retail, amazon and ebay are great bets but they vary wildly in quality... I ordered two, and both were so cheap, and barely got the job done. It could be worth getting it here. When you do get it, make sure you push, the Y0 screws were very tight in my macbook, pressing hard prevents you from stripping the Y screw.

Abe, · Reply

I believe they are Y1 screws, no?

Mark,

Short of taking out the battery is there something else I can do to protect the motherboard?

Bruce Bell, · Reply

Is removing the battery necessary?

bname, · Reply

It is not strictly necessary. As mentioned above, removing the battery is the only way to be sure that no parts of the logic board are electrified. It is very easy to replace the hard drive without removing the battery, but it is safer to remove the battery first.

Daniel Brauer,

Note: removing the battery can cause a hitch with OS X 10.9 Mavericks installation to a blank drive, or at least it did for me.

Disconnecting the battery makes the hardware clock reset to something like Jan 1, 2000. This causes the Mavericks installer to fail its self-check with the error message: "This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading."

To fix this, you need to open up Terminal from the Utilities menu in the bootable OS X installer environment and use the `date` command to set your Mac's clock back to the correct time before proceeding with the "Install OS X" menu selection, as described here: http://blog.mconserv.net/2013/10/install...

Andrew Janke, · Reply

Thanks for that warning, Andrew.

Max Fenton,

Happened here too, thanks for the tip!

Franco Bianchi,

As a note, my Mid-2010 Unibody Macbook did not have this third screw, just two to remove the battery.

Max Fenton, · Reply

Can anyone answer this question. I cannot afford the entire 80 dollar repair kit listed here and the tools needed only list a spunger t6 and a phillips...it appears from some of these comments there are more drivers needed. I am afraid to do this anyway but not having the right tools off the bat will just make things more difficult while waiting for an order to come in...can someone list the exact tools I would need ? Any help would be appreciated...I am ready to order this but want to put in one order....ifixit, can you clear this up perhaps ?

laurie, · Reply

Answered my own question ... the list at the top of this page is dif from the list when you order the part.....

laurie, · Reply

This step is optional. If the cable is to hard to remove, you can just leave it connected and just make sure the cable stays on the side while you remove de optical drive.

Bernak, · Reply

Be extremly carefull while unscrewing these screws. They are made from a more delicate metal than the ones on the outside of the Mac. If You bought the 54 piece set available on Ifixit - be warned - the phillips screwdriver caps do not do the job, and You should have a "shallower" phillips screwdriver here.

michalwoloszanski, · 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

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