MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Optical Drive Replacement

Replace the optical drive in your MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010.

MacBook Pro not reading CDs? Use this guide to replace a burned-out optical drive.

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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

    • Three 13.5 mm (14.1 mm) Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 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 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Note: For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), removing the battery is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not remove the battery, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

  • 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 your finger to carefully peel back the corner of the warning label to reveal a hidden Tri-Wing screw.

  • Remove the last 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-Wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

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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 away from the logic board 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.

  • Pull the battery cable connector away from the center of the logic board.

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Edit Step 7 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing.

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

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case:

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the optical drive bracket to the upper case near the fan.

    • Two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 13 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive cable out of the optical drive.

  • Be sure to pull by the edges of the connector, not by the cable itself.

  • Optical drive remains.

  • If you have a CD or any other object jammed in your optical drive, we have an optical drive repair guide.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Remove the two black Phillips #0 screws securing the small metal mounting bracket. Transfer this bracket to your new optical drive or hard drive enclosure.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Tri-wing Y1 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 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

Used this guide to replaced optical with ssd with caddy. Perfect! :-)

miguelcosta1978, · Reply

Step 1 (technically step 9 - replacing the base plate) Apparently one of my screws was a micron or two smaller than the others. This screw belongs to the hole above the optical drive, which is also apparently a couple of microns smaller than the others. It took seven attempts to figure which screw had originally been in that hole; all the other screws were too large, but fitted perfectly everywhere else.

Bizarre much?

Will, · Reply

It might be a matter of how the screws are driven in, and not that they're slightly different sizes. When I reassembled my MacBook, a couple of the screws, including the one over the optical drive you mention, were hard to drive in and jutted up a little bit instead of sitting entirely flush. Swapping screws didn't help. The solution was to unscrew them and drive them in at a bit of an angle - perpendicular to the slightly curved surface of the back plate where the screw holes were, instead of fully vertical with respect to the ground the Macbook is sitting on. Doing it that way, the screws were easier to drive in and they all ended up flush in their holes. Didn't matter which screws they were. (I swapped a few around just to check after reading this.)

Andrew Janke,

I discovered a great way of organizing the screws. I used an ice cube tray and added the screws in order, keeping the different kinds together. So when it came to reversing the steps, the screw order was an added control step to returning everything in its place.

leonie, · Reply

A 1/16th flathead screwdriver easily removes the tri-wing screws in this step. I could not find a Y0 Tri-wing driver at any local stores.

Jon Daniels, · Reply

I'd like to add that for me, a 1/16th flathead screwdriver did NOT allow me to remove the tri-wing screws holding the battery in place. After several careful attempts, it became obvious I was perilously close to stripping the screw(s), so I abandoned the attempt to unscrew the tri-wing screws with a flathead screwdriver altogether. As it turned out, I didn't need to remove the battery to do what I needed to do (keyboard replacement), but it would have been a whole lot easier had the battery been easily removable.

dave, · Reply

The Tri-wing screw driver is impossible to find in retail, amazon and ebay are great bets but they vary wildly in quality... I ordered two, and both were so cheap, and barely got the job done. It could be worth getting it here. When you do get it, make sure you push, the Y0 screws were very tight in my macbook, pressing hard prevents you from stripping the Y screw.

Abe, · Reply

I believe they are Y1 screws, no?

Mark,

Short of taking out the battery is there something else I can do to protect the motherboard?

Bruce Bell, · Reply

Is removing the battery necessary?

bname, · Reply

It is not strictly necessary. As mentioned above, removing the battery is the only way to be sure that no parts of the logic board are electrified. It is very easy to replace the hard drive without removing the battery, but it is safer to remove the battery first.

Daniel Brauer,

Note: removing the battery can cause a hitch with OS X 10.9 Mavericks installation to a blank drive, or at least it did for me.

Disconnecting the battery makes the hardware clock reset to something like Jan 1, 2000. This causes the Mavericks installer to fail its self-check with the error message: "This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading."

To fix this, you need to open up Terminal from the Utilities menu in the bootable OS X installer environment and use the `date` command to set your Mac's clock back to the correct time before proceeding with the "Install OS X" menu selection, as described here: http://blog.mconserv.net/2013/10/install...

Andrew Janke, · Reply

Thanks for that warning, Andrew.

Max Fenton,

Happened here too, thanks for the tip!

Franco Bianchi,

As a note, my Mid-2010 Unibody Macbook did not have this third screw, just two to remove the battery.

Max Fenton, · Reply

Can anyone answer this question. I cannot afford the entire 80 dollar repair kit listed here and the tools needed only list a spunger t6 and a phillips...it appears from some of these comments there are more drivers needed. I am afraid to do this anyway but not having the right tools off the bat will just make things more difficult while waiting for an order to come in...can someone list the exact tools I would need ? Any help would be appreciated...I am ready to order this but want to put in one order....ifixit, can you clear this up perhaps ?

laurie, · Reply

Answered my own question ... the list at the top of this page is dif from the list when you order the part.....

laurie, · Reply

This step is optional. If the cable is to hard to remove, you can just leave it connected and just make sure the cable stays on the side while you remove de optical drive.

Bernak, · Reply

Be extremly carefull while unscrewing these screws. They are made from a more delicate metal than the ones on the outside of the Mac. If You bought the 54 piece set available on Ifixit - be warned - the phillips screwdriver caps do not do the job, and You should have a "shallower" phillips screwdriver here.

michalwoloszanski, · Reply

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