MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Optical Drive Replacement

Prerequisite Only

Prerequisite Only

Please note that this guide is only a prerequisite for other guides.

Optical Drive replacement.

Optical Drive replacement.

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Edit Step 1 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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

  • Do not lift up on the cable as you disconnect it from the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • 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 4  ¶ 

  • Remove following two screws:

    • Take care, as these screws are unusually easy to strip. Apply firm pressure while unscrewing. Read comments on the right before proceeding.

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips screw

    • One 3.9 mm Phillips screw

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

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Beware of step 8. Screws strip extremely easily. For some reason, that are extremely tough to get out and the metal is extremely soft so you are likely to screw yourself over real quick even if you use the right screwdriver. Happened to me and now it's impossible for me to take the @$%# thing off so I have to return my HDD bay and deal with having a useless disc drive.

Alex Pascal, · Reply

I got burned here also. Unfortunately iFixit defaults to comments off, so I didn't see this until it was too late.

eawortman,

Yes, and I got stuck on step 8 for this simple task. Is there no way we can get the drive out while leaving the wireless/bluetooth board in place? I prefer to drill a small hole in the plastic of the board to reach the drive's screw underneath and find a way to slide it out towards the hard disk side.

Albert Kok, · Reply

I had the same thing happen with the 3.9 mm screw. To remove the drive afterwards I used a 1/16" drill bit to carefully remove the (stripped) screw head. I left most of the screw threads intact, and the remaining "post" is enough to hold the airport/bluetooth fixture in place with the one remaining screw. These are some seriously soft screws, folks, be careful!

Steve, · Reply

i also screwed the screw, never saw a screw this soft. Still figuring out how to "unlock" it again...

KlawWarYoshi, · Reply

Hmm. well, unfortunately after putting everything back together, my trackpad no longer works, and I can't login to my computer. removing the dual drive caddy and closing it back up returns trackpad functionality, but I really want the extra drive space. Anyone have any suggestions?

Russell Humphress, · Reply

Does anyone know the part number of the 3.9mm screw? It got chewed up the second I tried to loosen it..had to get a 3.5mm drill bit and gently remove the head. I was able to remove the remain piece of the screw, and would of course like to replace this thing..

Ole Andre, · Reply

Well. I too stripped the head on the left side screw. First I used a cheap #000 screwdriver. Stripped the head and the driver. Not realizing just how bad I had stripped the screw I got a #0000 and the right one came out. I made sure to apply firm downward pressure to minimize slip. The left side was to far gone. So...

I broke the housing. Yep. I'm a brute.

Anyway. I rolled it up out of the case as if I had actually removed the screw. Only to realize I don't have a T6. [facepalm]. I've spent way too much time just getting that #0000. I'll order myself a nice kit for future 'repairs'.

Oh and yes, the bluetooth and wifi work just fine. The right screw and the tight fitting of the housing seem to keep it in place ok.

David Couch, · Reply

Also stripped the right screw, taking to to Apple Genius Bar, hopefully they can get it out...

Adrian, · Reply

I also failed here.... How can i unscrew both screws if the star of the head is destroyed??

Alex de Graaff, · Reply

I located the part number for the 2 easily stripped screws in this step. The 3.9mm is Apple part 922-8974 and the 8.6mm is Apple part 922-9107 pbparts.com has them available for $2 each.

Hope this helps, it was not easy to track down.

Roger, · Reply

I too stripped the screw on the right, and while I tried a few basic things to remove the screw, eventually I drilled out the screw head so I could remove the airport/bluetooth housing. Only the head came off, enough to free the housing, but it sits pretty snugly on there with just the one screw and that's enough for me.

talksrealfast, · Reply

The part numbers from Roger on Feb 11 aren't right. They were too large.

dan Lim, · Reply

Hi, Dan. The Apple part numbers supplied were used to order exact replacements now in my MBP 15. I have also checked them against Apples official Screw Chart for the MBP 15. I am very sorry you have been supplied the wrong screws but the part numbers listed are correct.

Roger, · Reply

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