MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Cable Replacement

Replace a broken hard drive cable.

Use this guide to replace a hard drive cable that is torn or has broken connectors.

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Wedge your fingers between the lower case and the vent, and lift upward to release the clips holding the lower case to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case.

Image #1

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits.

  • If present, grab the plastic tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the device.

  • If the plastic tab is missing, use a spudger to pry the connector up from its socket.

  • Pull the tab parallel to the face of the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 4 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.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use the hard drive's pull tab to lift it out of the upper case.

  • Don't try to completely remove the hard drive just yet! Its cable is still connected.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive connector away from the body of the hard drive.

  • Remove the hard drive from your MacBook Pro.

Image #1

Edit Step 8 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the hard drive cable assembly to the upper case:

    • Two 1.6 mm Phillips screws securing the shield that covers the hard drive cable connector.

    • Two 2.2 mm Phillips screws securing the hard drive cable connector to the upper case.

  • Remove the shield from the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive cable out of the upper case.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

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 · 39 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

important to reassemble the "lower case" successfully: the threads of the seven 3mm phillips screws are drilled at an angle :-/

mysterioes, · Reply

I recommend using anti-static protection, i.e., wearing a ground strap, or at least touch metal chassis inside the computer before unplugging cables. Otherwise, you might create an ESD discharge into your RAM and have to replace it like I did!

d68ef792, · Reply

This step is a little difficult in reverse, that is, when re-attaching the battery. It helps to tilt the laptop up so you can see the edge of the board that accepts the plug. It may look like there are two slots for it, it goes in the bigger slot that is further away from the board.

yary hluchan, · Reply

Is this step really necessary? It is not part of the instructions how to replace the HDD in Apple's User Manual of the 2011 17" MBP.

Tobias Hahn, · Reply

As it says in the step: "Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits." It is not required, but it is simple insurance to avoid a $1000+ repair should you accidentally short components on the board with something metal.

Andrew Bookholt,

There was no tab on my model. Battery is affixed to board and screws must be removed.

bhodges2, · Reply

Mine also, and looks as if removing connector could damage motherboard.

Stephen,

* There is no tab on the A1297 (late 2011) model's battery connector. Be careful with the connector, it chips off the edges easily! Otherwise the same as bhodges2 & Stephen's notes.

** (Pleas also include the exact Model and Part numbers like P/N: MD311D/A; Mod.: A1297 in the comments and notes for your MBP)

Pinguman, · Reply

Why are there no guides for the Late 2011 17" MacBook Pro A1297 (2.4GHz i7 quad core, MD311LL/A)??? I just replaced the RAM in mine and discovered that not only is there no tab on the battery connector, but the connector pulls straight up, perpendicular to the logic board, rather than parallel. I almost ripped the wires out of the connector by trying to pull it out parallel to the logic board like this guide instructed! After finally getting it out, my advice to those with the Late 2011 model is to use a spudger to loosen the edges of the connector then lift the connector straight up to get it out safely.

Dave, · Reply

The screws are NOT captive to the bracket.

Stephen, · Reply

on my 2009 A1297 the screws are captive.

Lucienp, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 2

This Week: 11

This Month: 105

All Time: 9,998