MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 Hard Drive Cable Replacement

The hard drive cable includes the IR sensor/sleep indicator.

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 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 5-Point Pentalobe screws along the top edge of the battery.

  • 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 a spudger to bend back the finger of the "Warning: Do not remove the battery" sticker while you remove third five-point Pentalobe screw hidden underneath.

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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 back 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.

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Edit Step 7 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • These screws are captive to the hard drive bracket.

  • Lift the the retaining bracket out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive by its pull tab and pull it out of the chassis, minding the cable attaching it to the computer.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 10 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the hard drive and IR sensor cable to the upper case:

    • Two 1.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 4 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Slide the hard drive and IR sensor bracket away from the edge of the upper case.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the hard drive and IR sensor cable off the right speaker body/upper case and remove them from your computer.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

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iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

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Portable Anti-Static Mat

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I found that the smaller cable branch to the IR sensor was glued down to the case. The new part (purchased from ifixit.com) didn't have a sticky backing so I carefully removed some of the sticky material from the original cable and stuck it to the new cable. This kept the cable in place when I replaced the hard drive. I could see how one might accidentally bend or fold the cable in a way that could damage it when placing the hard drive.

shanebanderson, · Reply

Question: why do you remove the battery? According to Apple's official manual, this is not required (not for the mid-2009 and not for the mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro) - see pages 37 ff:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

alexkli, · Reply

Quote from alexkli:

Question: why do you remove the battery? According to Apple's official manual, this is not required (not for the mid-2009 and not for the mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro) - see pages 37 ff:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

I'm interested by your experience.

Did you have removed the optical drive without removing the battery ?

I'm just in this step now and if it is possible I would proceed like you because removing the battery void the warranty (and there is a sticker).

Thanks in advance.

youyou, · Reply

Looks like my note to step 3 appears on all repair guides that have the same step. I meant that in the context of the hard drive replacement only.

Did you have removed the optical drive without removing the battery ?

I haven't yet done anything, waiting for my MacBook Pro 15 inch mid-2010 to arrive.

alexkli, · Reply

I missed the notes and went ahead and purchased the 5 point driver for the battery before I realized it was not necessary.

I've edited the repair guide to remove the section on the battery, but I don't have the points to approve the changes.

Chris Davis,

Please note - the step about removing the battery is part of a pre-requisite guide, that is used for many of the guides, most that do require removal of the battery. Also, working inside a disassembled laptop with the battery still connected risks damaging/shorting out very expensive parts.

Eric Essen, · Reply

Absolutely. To be clear -- ALL of the above discussion is ONLY in reference to replacing the hard drive.

Chris Davis,

I replaced a hard drive in a MacBook Pro of an earlier model than this without removing the battery. The hard drive wasn't right. It only worked at about half speed, and I had to replace it once more. The second time I removed the battery and all went well. The recommendation by the iFixit staff to remove the battery before working on electronic equipment is a good one.

doug, · Reply

Removing the battery is not necessary for the hard drive removal/replacement procedures.

Erik, · Reply

My T6 (appears to be same screw driver you have - $6 on amazon for 20piece set) did NOT fit int he battery screws...not sure if I had the wrong screws or what, but I went ahead w/o battery steps and it was pretty easy.

Anthony Ettinger, · Reply

I also noticed that the new SDD (from crucial) didn't have the 4 screws, so I had to move those off the old HD and onto the new one.

Anthony Ettinger,

In some models, the screws circled in orange are actually 9.5mm Phillips.

Ryan Brierley, · Reply

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