MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

  • Author: iRobot
  • Time required: Example: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

You can install hard drives up to 9.5mm thick.

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use a coin to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery out of the computer.

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Edit Step 3 Memory Cover  ¶ 

  • Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.

  • The screws are captive to the metal memory cover so you cannot lose them.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Rotate the L-shaped memory cover so it clears the battery compartment opening and lift it up and out of the computer.

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Edit Step 5 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Grasp the white plastic tab attached to the hard drive and pull it to the right, removing the hard drive from the computer.

  • The hard drive goes back into its compartment with the label facing down.

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Edit Step 6 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two black T8 Torx screws securing the silver bracket to the hard drive.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Rotate the hard drive and remove the two black T8 Torx screws on the other side of the drive.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Lift the silver metal hard drive bracket off the hard drive.

  • You'll need to transfer this metal bracket to your new hard drive.

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Core 2 Duo device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Coin

$2.95 · 1 In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

This upgrade is so easy. Just do it. Even your dad could do this.

After the upgrade to a 320 GB 7200 rpm, the MacBook (1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo A1181, with 2 GB of ram) works like a new computer. However, the fan comes on so easy - and stays on forever. Is this due to the increased speed of the hard drive? Is there a way to turn down the hard drive speed when used on AC power?

suselfunk, · Reply

The rubber guide came off on mine too. The mistake is that the screws without the flanges go on the outside edge of the Mac and the flange ones towards the inside. If you do it backwards it will pull the rubber guide off and then an otherwise effortless install will take a while longer to complete.

MarkBookPro, · Reply

it's really easy to do this - there's no need to pay someone else! thanks for this awesome tutorial.

andreahull, · Reply

Very simple and easy! The biggest challenge was the walk to Radio Shack in cold weather to go get a !#!@ torx! The OSX installation guide was also a big help.

rsimmons1980, · Reply

Bought a Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 (128 GB SSD), removal was quick and easy. This was my wife's mac, I personally do not own Apple products. My challenge was that I had to erase the drive (which in the process re-formats the ssd) which got the install up and running.

russcrandall, · Reply

If I had known about ifixit earlier I would not have purchased my new Mac. This was so easy. Now I have two computers.

The only thing I become stuck on was the recognition of the HD for uploading from a CD. Need to partion new HD. After that no trouble.

Thanks ifixit.

feade, · Reply

Worked well for me. Cloned the old drive to the new while the old was still in the computer, swapped drives, booted up, everything worked. Even licensed software like Adobe CS didn't throw any wobblies. Also disk operations (such as bootup and opening applications) now much faster.

C T, · Reply

Went perfect, I bought the complete kit this time and had all the right tools. The installation was done before I knew it, even surprised the wife. I just wish the back-up installation and OS 10.9.2 had gone that easy, but that's another story. All is up and running and the wife is happy as a clam.

pauldk, · Reply

I used this guide plus the Thermal Paste guide to resolve my MacBook RRS (Random Restart Syndrome) issue. My MacBook would randomly restart after the fan kicked into high speed. When I removed the heatsink I discovered an an irregular patch completely free of thermal compound of about 15-20% of the area on one of the processors. I removed and re-applied the thermal paste. I ran a memory test utility overnight that previously caused a restart after a couple of hours, and the probelm seems to be solved. TIme will tell.

ServiceDocs, · Reply

This guide was seriously helpful, so thanks for putting this together. I found a thick ribbon of dust/muck whatever between the fan outlet and the exhaust port that was almost as dense as felt. My fan must have been fighting like crazy trying to pass air through that blockage, which explains the high temps and excessive fan noise. Wish I'd done this sooner...

Thanks again!

skraggle, · Reply

Just R&R'ed the fan in my black MacBook Core 2 Duo tonight. Took me 30 minutes tops and I was taking my time. These instructions are SPOT ON! Great job ifixit.com! Two thumbs up!

Follow the instructions exactly as you see and have a piece of paper taped to the table next to you that you can outline all the screws you took out so you know where they go back in. I expected this to be a LOT harder, but it was one of the simplest repairs I've ever done to ANY computer!

mikeutter, · Reply

Piece of cake--or should I say gum. If you don't have a magnetized screwdriver, load up a stick of gum and chomp on it until it's needed then use a bit to retain screw on the driver. And if you should tear the black tape, or if the silver tape won't stick any more, just bubblegum it together. The instructions were clear and correct, which made for a very simple repair.

Mike Woodruff, · Reply

My battery does not pop out when after step 1. Any idea why, and how do fix it?

Calvin, · Reply

Quote from Calvin:

My battery does not pop out when after step 1. Any idea why, and how do fix it?

Will not drop out even if you turn it upside down?

skraggle, · Reply

Somehow, now my isight camera doesn't work and the light is always on. Cannot figure out what I did wrong.

josefsalyer, · Reply

Somehow the plastic disc with the slot for a coin got dislodged from the case, and I can't seem to get it open now. Any tips/links on how to open this without the aid of the plastic disc?

Peter Wood, · Reply

i broke my disc off as well. I used two toothpicks to rotate the thing. hi tech.

howard bederman,

please pay attention that screws are native to metal pieces otherwise you are going to be a stupid like me trying to unscrew unsuccessfully until I reread the guide

manochu, · Reply

Lay the screws out in a ”timeline” like a circle, Then when you reassemble just start from the end of the “timeline”

decristoforo, · Reply

In some cases, two of the screws might be T8, being the other ones T10.

alvarogmp, · Reply

screws without the flange go nearest to the Sata connector(???)

gbelford, · Reply

As seen in the photo, yes as you said

Julio Molero, · Reply

If I had known it was so easy, I would have done it earlier!!!! Thanks!

Luigi, · Reply

When sliding in the new hard drive, I had one of the T8 Torx screw to fold the rubber guide glued on the sides of the hard drive slot (but why did they used rubber guides????).

So the SATA connector was no more reachable.

Had to open the whole case.

Heep it in mind and close the screws very well

Ezio Ricca, · Reply

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