MacBook Pro 15" Core Duo Model A1150 Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

You can install hard drives up to 9.5mm thick.

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to push both battery release tabs away from the battery, and lift the battery out of the computer.

Image #1

Edit Step 2 Memory Door  ¶ 

  • Remove the three identical Phillips screws from the memory door.

  • Make sure to record which sets of screws came from where. This will help when re-assembling.

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Lift the memory door up enough to get a grip on it, and slide it toward you, pulling it away from the casing.

Image #1

Edit Step 4 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws in the battery compartment near the latch.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 6 screws:

    • Two 10 mm T6 Torx screws on either side of the RAM slot.

    • Four 14.5 mm Phillips screws along the hinge.

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the four Phillips screws on the port side of the computer.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees and remove the two Phillips screws from the rear of the computer.

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees again and remove the four Phillips screws from the side of the computer.

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Do not yank the upper case off quickly. The case is attached to the logic board via a ribbon cable.

  • Lift up at the rear of the case and work your fingers along the sides, freeing the case as you go. Once you have freed the sides, you may need to rock the case up and down to free the front of the upper case. This stage can be quite tricky. Over the DVD reader are 4 tabs set back which pull out vertically.

  • Note that the two small tongues on the left hand front of the upper case may bend while you remove the upper case. When re-installing, you may need to bend them back to fit in the grooves in the lower case.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cable from the logic board, removing tape as necessary.

  • Remove the upper case.

Image #1

Edit Step 11 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the orange hard drive ribbon cable from the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to carefully loosen the adhesive securing the sleep light and IR sensor connectors to the top of the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the two silver Phillips screws securing the hard drive retaining bracket to the lower case.

  • In some machines these screws may have T6 Torx heads.

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Slide the Bluetooth board out of its slot next to the hard drive. The Bluetooth board is still connected to the orange hard drive cable, so don't try to remove it entirely from the computer.

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive up with one hand and use your other hand to remove the retaining bracket from the side of the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the orange hard drive cable.

  • After installing the new hard drive, make sure the vent hole (on top) is not covered by the orange ribbon cable.

Image #1

Edit Step 17 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two silver T6 Torx screws and black rubber bumpers from the right side of the hard drive.

  • You'll need to transfer these screws and bumpers to your new hard drive if you're changing drives.

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the two black T6 Torx screws and black rubber bumpers from the left side of the hard drive.

  • You'll need to transfer these screws and bumpers to your new hard drive if you're changing drives.

  • 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 Pro 15" Core Duo Model A1150 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 32 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

500 GB 5400 RPM 2.5" Hard Drive

$74.95 · 7 In stock

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 43 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

i found that i needed to "rock" the upper case left to right, not up and down, in order to remove it. and although i was trying to be careful, the keyboard ribbon cable was so tight that the connection popped off when i released the upper lid. took a minute to find the connection on the logic board.

when i was removing the hard drive, for whatever reason, there was no bluetooth board on top of the retaining bracket.

other than that, the directions were fantastic. i'll recommend you to all my friend!

the only sad part is that it turned out the hard drive was not the source of the "rice crispies" noise, which is what sent me on this journey in the first place. i now think it's the right-hand fan. whoo hoo! more maintennance!

thanks again,

steve shelley

Steve Shelley, · Reply

Even better than little bags or a sorting tray--get an old egg carton, 12 or 18, and use a Sharpee to mark the step number on each egg holder. That way, bumping the table won't screw up your sorting, and you can easily find the right screws in the right order.

Bruce campbell, · Reply

Worked for me exactly as shown! Thank You!

Mark Adsit, · Reply

One thing that was not mentioned is if you are upgrading to a larger capacity hard drive from the original, you can clone the original hard drive (if it hasn't crashed) to the new one then do the swap. You can then use the Universal Drive Adapter to format the smaller drive and use it as you wish.

netdude21, · Reply

Before beginning, I found some small plastic bags and labeled each of the with the location the screws would come from once removed and the appropriate step number. Once the screws were removed I placed them in the labeled bags and did not have to worry about mixing screws up. Also, provided a good way to insure that no steps were skipped in the reverse process

rpbetancourt, · Reply

If you don't have any plastic bags, you can always print out the photos in black and white as you go, and then tape the screws on to the print outs over the circles that denote the screw positions in the photos. This method helps get every single screw back in it's exact location, even months after a tear down. ;o)

Adam, · Reply

Quote from Adam:

If you don't have any plastic bags, you can always print out the photos in black and white as you go, and then tape the screws on to the print outs over the circles that denote the screw positions in the photos. This method helps get every single screw back in it's exact location, even months after a tear down. ;o)

Thank you very much!

Evgeniy, · Reply

When I did this, I used a empty egg carton to store my screws. I wrote the steps where I removed screens in Sharpie on the bottom of the "egg cup" and then dropped the screws in as I went. Then I just worked backwards to put it all back together.

mark93, · Reply

Quote from rpbetancourt:

Before beginning, I found some small plastic bags and labeled each of the with the location the screws would come from once removed and the appropriate step number. Once the screws were removed I placed them in the labeled bags and did not have to worry about mixing screws up. Also, provided a good way to insure that no steps were skipped in the reverse process

I Generally just use a piece of paper with a rough sketch of the system and locations of the screws with prestik.

Tarn Alcock, · Reply

Getting these screws in and out is difficult because most screwdrivers are longer then the battery compartment is deep and so will be slightly off plumb. When you go to re-assemble the computer, getting these screws to seat is one of the hardest parts of the re-assembly. It's very important to be gentle and not to strip the threads.The screw should tighten and come to a stop after 3-4 turns. If you turn 6 or more turns and don't feel it grab, then back off and try again, making sure that everything is in alignment.It might be easier to start with the left screw, because it is further away from the latch mechanism.

dalphotography, · Reply

A T6 worked but was too small. A T7 was better.

Nelson R Pardee, · Reply

Be careful when reassembling your laptop -- do not put the screw into the DVI port! It will not come out.

Scott Rose, · Reply

by Scott Rose Jan 4 @ 11:12 PM

Be careful when reassembling your laptop -- do not put the screw into the DVI port! It will not come out.

To keep this from possibly happening, I placed 2 pieces of tape over the DVI connector pin holes.

rpbetancourt, · Reply

Be careful in step 4, these two screws are shorter than the four screws in step 6, dont mix them up!

brendantully1, · Reply

If you still have the DVI to VGA adapter that came with the computer plug it in to the plug and screw it tight, that way you will not put one of the screws into the holes.

netdude21, · Reply

there are 2 push buttons inside the harddrive bay which release the front of the upper case.

mforgie, · Reply

this is an annoyingly difficult step. it is VERY hard to get the front part off without bending the unit improperly. Would be great to know where the two "push buttons" are.

lessig, · Reply

On my MacBook, there were no pushbuttons. Rather, two mini phillips screws were holding the case on inside the battery bay. The two screws are under two ball-bearing-like nubs that help hold the battery in the bay.

khank, · Reply

Quote from khank:

On my MacBook, there were no pushbuttons. Rather, two mini phillips screws were holding the case on inside the battery bay. The two screws are under two ball-bearing-like nubs that help hold the battery in the bay.

I just realized these were the screws mentioned in Step 4, which I missed originally. Did you miss step 4 too?

khank, · Reply

I discovered that I didn't need to take the case off completely. I just propped it up with a small screwdriver and was able to remove the airport card and replace it with a new one fairly easily.

schemedream, · Reply

That's not so difficult step. you shoul know , that front edge of upper case holding only on 5 plastic "locks" 4 in front edge upon the superdrive, 5-th near the "sleep light, open laptop button"

just lift up the rear edges of upper case to 35-40 degrees

Hofmann78rus, · Reply

[I d just say carefule on the prising open - these are fragile screw tab fixings joined to the uppercase. - Patience and gentle pressure and all works fine .

daithid, · Reply

Getting the top case off, especially right above the optical drive slot was a @#$%^. !^$%. Was finally able to work it loose by twisting in the budger. Be careful.

Archhawk, · Reply

the two push pins are in the battery area behind the front of the open button

mykeylynx, · Reply

Quote from Archhawk:

Getting the top case off, especially right above the optical drive slot was a @#$%^. !^$%. Was finally able to work it loose by twisting in the budger. Be careful.

I agree! It was really very difficult just ROCKING the front panel. NOT done! Do not pry it from the front of the unit, as the soft metal edge gets scratched! I turned the unit upside down and slowly pried the keyboard apart left-to-right from INSIDE the Battery Bay, slipping a plastic pen to keep it apart. When I finally looked at what was holding it down, it was these 5 grey&black plastic SNAP slots, and 4 of them were behind the DVD slot.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=40...

Mario da Silva, · Reply

I found I had to push with a little force from underneath the battery compartment where the touch pad is located to free the bottom edge of the case. The case came away with two loud snaps. At first I thought I'd broken something, but then it appeared that it was just the plastic above the slot loading super drive that was held in very tightly and needed some encouragement.

Joshua May, · Reply

There are several clips along the front of the case in front of trackpad and above the optical drive slot. These need to be gently levered open (eg using an old credit card), and clipped closed on reassembly. Start at the left hand side. Take care not to bend the aluminum top. When reassembling, check the top panel for kinks/bends and straighten by hand before reassembly.

cheongi, · Reply

The way I did it was to lift the back to about 45% (the ribbon cable is long enough) and then used the spudger to force the 4 snap tabs in front of the optical drive to separate, working from the right edge towards the middle (they will 'pop'), ending with the last tab to the left of the sleep light.

Hilal Malawi, · Reply

not necessary. just attach a string around both the screen and the keyboard. it will stay in a steady position..

-urdus.

urdus, · Reply

I found that the ribbon connecting the top part of the case to the logic board wasn't long enough and the connector did have to be disconnected.

Joshua May,

Quote from urdus:

not necessary. just attach a string around both the screen and the keyboard. it will stay in a steady position..

-urdus.

Excellent tip! Thanks, this allowed me to skip steps 10 and 11 (any unnecessary tinkering with the logic board is recommended).

rpbetancourt, · Reply

you dont need to do this. disconnect the sleeplight and IR sensor connectors instead. Just lift the harddrive cable where it is glued. It can still be connected to the logicboard. Dont lift the harddrive too much when disconnecting it.

urdus, · Reply

I fully agree with urdus. Step 11 is un-needed when replacing the harddrive.

sanjaygovindjee, · Reply

Quote from urdus:

you dont need to do this. disconnect the sleeplight and IR sensor connectors instead. Just lift the harddrive cable where it is glued. It can still be connected to the logicboard. Dont lift the harddrive too much when disconnecting it.

philip Aronson, · Reply

Yikes! I did Step 11 and now I have loose ribbon cable. How do I attach it back? Do I have to solder it?

bruce vivero, · Reply

I agree with Urdus... less one step if you're careful enough...

Mario da Silva, · Reply

I also removed this ribbon, (while actually trying to clean my fan, it was ignorantly done...) anyways, now my hard drive is not recognized when I startup... How do I reconnect this?? Please help...

Chase, · Reply

This was a pain in the !!* for me. It was really stuck on the original drive but good. In finally getting it off, the connector came out of the bluetooth. I had to CAREFULLY slide the ribbon connector back into the bluetooth card. Not easy to do with my big fat fingers.

Archhawk, · Reply

I didn't have a budger/spudger, so I cut the brush side off a used plastic toothbrush and used the handle after sharpening the cutoff end into a wedge... works great!

Mario da Silva, · Reply

I use UN-DU scrapbookers adhesive remover <http://un-du.com/>. (It is hexane.) It temporarily dissolves adhesive bond, then evaporates and the adhesive is sticky again. Much less risky than a spudger.

cheongi,

Agreed! Two hugely tricky steps here. The larger of the two components really did NOT want to come away from the hard drive case (I was afraid of tearing the ribbon cable), AND I accidentally pulled the Bluetooth ribbon out from the case. Heck of a job to replace it! Anyone know where I can get the opaque plastic sheath for the Bluetooth board?

dave, · Reply

The whole replacement was easy "Stevie Wonder" could of done this! Make sure that the you are careful with the IR sensor and sleep light and it should be noted the the screw to remove HDD seating bracket is directly under a few wires.

nshardyjr, · Reply

in my version, the screws are TORX

lupuss, · Reply

these were Torx T-6 in my case

Dan, · Reply

no Bluetooth board here

lupuss, · Reply

torx and no bluetooth board- late 2007 mbp.

also, orange cable seems attached all the way across and drive wont come up on left side.

Nick, · Reply

Torx and no bluetooth card in MBP from March 2008.

Nicolai Fabritius, · Reply

I couldn't figure out how to 'slide' the Bluetooth board out, so I just left it in place and pulled the hard drive out.

Hilal Malawi, · Reply

NOTE TO ORIGINAL MBP CORE DUO OWNERS: This picture makes it look like the retaining bracket comes off when you lift out the hard drive at this point, but it does NOT. The bracket is attached to the hard drive via 2 Torx screw (step 17), which must first be removed.

Curtis Wayne, · Reply

in my version the left side rubber bumpers are locked in the casing of the MBP and you have to slide out the unit to the right

lupuss, · Reply

Quote from lupuss:

in my version the left side rubber bumpers are locked in the casing of the MBP and you have to slide out the unit to the right

As were mine.

cgollner, · Reply

My new Hitachi drive has the "do not cover" hole right under the place where the IR and sleep sensors need to be attached. The stock drive had the hole on the other end of the hard drive. I just made sure the adhesive didn't seal off the hole, and I think it should be alright. Otherwise, install was easy and these directions were outstanding. Thanks.

kkir, · Reply

I had the same problem with my Western Digital Scorpio 2.5in 500GB SATA 16MB. Otherwise, the instructions were awesome. I had to have the tape "just" left of the breather hole and the ribbon cable wasn't flush, but I don't think it's too big a deal. Drive was recognized by the laptop immediately and good old Time Machine restore is on its way.

Arthur Lee,

Thanks, I managed to put a new 320 GB drive in. Next I partitioned the drive for MAC OS 10.4 and Windows with Disk Utility. Selected Volume Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for Mac OS 10.4 and MS-DOS File System for Windows. Next I restored Mac OS 10.4 with Carbon Copy from the old 100 GB drive, BUT how to restore Windows?@#$%^&* Carbon Copy doesn't do that.....??

Barbara, · Reply

Quote from Barbara:

Thanks, I managed to put a new 320 GB drive in. Next I partitioned the drive for MAC OS 10.4 and Windows with Disk Utility. Selected Volume Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for Mac OS 10.4 and MS-DOS File System for Windows. Next I restored Mac OS 10.4 with Carbon Copy from the old 100 GB drive, BUT how to restore Windows?@#$%^&* Carbon Copy doesn't do that.....??

My new SATA 500GB Hitachi was Initialised and Partitoned with Disk Utility when inside an external USB box ($20.00), and then all the contents of the 80GB was CCC'd over. When the new drive was switched over and tested before reassembly, everything came up identical to the original HD. (but I don't use Windows)! Kudos to CCC, and this site for clear instructions! Thanks, Guys/Gals.

Mario da Silva, · Reply

On my MBP, the orange cable was glued for it's length on the top of the original drive. Rather than try to peal it off, I removed the sticker underneath which was easier as the orange cable came with it. It also made putting it back easier.

Stephen Spicer, · Reply

On my macbook the bumpers are white and the screws are silver. Note that the bumpers are different on the right side than the left side in size as well!

David Rees, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 119

This Week: 374

This Month: 2,011

All Time: 678,308