MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Hard Drive Replacement

When replacing your hard drive, you must transfer the Torx screws from the old drive to the new one.

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Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

  • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

  • Grab the translucent plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

  • If the latch is depressed it will lock the battery in place.

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Edit Step 4 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the single Phillips screw securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • This screw is captive to the hard drive bracket.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive by its pull tab enough to grab and remove the retaining bracket.

  • Lift the hard drive out of the upper case, minding the cable attaching it to the computer.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive from its cable by pulling the cable connector straight away from the drive.

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Edit Step 7 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove two T6 Torx screws from each side of the hard drive (four screws total).

  • You'll need to transfer these screws 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" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 25 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

At step 7, the side screws are very tight. Both T6 Torx and 1.5 Hex keys dont work for me. I fear the screws could get damaged if i try more. How do i unscrew them?

svelcme, · Reply

Perfect instructions. I am now running a Crucial SSD drive and the improvement is amazing. Thanks.

Carlos, · Reply

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

aguib, · Reply

Quote from aguib:

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

I assume you have the newer model, with the built-in battery. It's still removable with tools, but these are the wrong instructions for that model.

lgc90, · Reply

when will there be a guide for the other unibody macbook pro. that does not have an access door?

irishking, · Reply

Is there a manual to show, how disasembly the display, i mean, after step 5, to check the display between lcd and aluminiun back case?

Max

Max, · Reply

On other guides you state the height of the HD that can be supported, e.g. http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Insta... , I have read ( but have not confirmed ) that the uni-body MacBook Pro can be fitted with the 750GB and 1TB 12mm drive from Western Digital.

Can you confirm this?

Many thanks in advance.

ahothabeth, · Reply

Quote from SHerwood Ball:

My display and aluminum casing has separated.

I don't know if it just snaps back together or does it need to be glued.

I dropped mine on the carpeted stairs and the display still works.

I'm hoping I can just snap it back together and that no plastic pieces or teeth of the snapping

portion have been broken........

SHerwood Ball, · Reply

When you say "left fan" is this "left when looking at the logic board after turning the computer over and looking it up opening it up" or "left when sitting at the computer keyboard and typing on it"?

thvv, · Reply

We always use left and right in reference to the computer when you're using it.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg,

when trying to remove the first screw (the bracket one) i didn't succeed. i think i've damaged the screw. is there any way to unscrew it? it seems fixed - maybe due to hot temperatures. the computer is still in warranty, at least until middle December - would warranty include this kind of repair? may i fixit myself? how can i remove the screw? thanks in dvance

raul, · Reply

In step 7 one uses a 1.5 hex key not a T6 torx, which is too small and ill-shaped.

dporritt, · Reply

Quote from dporritt:

In step 7 one uses a 1.5 hex key not a T6 torx, which is too small and ill-shaped.

I am trying to use a 1.5 hex key for removing the screws and it is not working at all. I am going to have to get to the store and get a T6 Torx I guess.

Chris Morris, · Reply

I wonder whether the rubber sheeting used to insulate the original drive is sold somewhere… My new hard drive needs some, because in its current 'naked' state it causes a lot of vibration in the body.

Bert Vanderveen, · Reply

Quote from Bert Vanderveen:

I wonder whether the rubber sheeting used to insulate the original drive is sold somewhere… My new hard drive needs some, because in its current 'naked' state it causes a lot of vibration in the body.

I'm not sure about a source for the original sheeting, but you can improvise with a layer of electrical tape or duct tape trimmed to size. Make sure you leave the 'do not cover' vent hole uncovered.

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

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