MacBook Unibody Model A1278 Optical Drive Replacement

Prerequisite Only

Prerequisite Only

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

Replacing the optical drive.

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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 white plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

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Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 3 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

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Edit Step 6 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the subwoofer connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the optical drive connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the subwoofer to the upper case.

  • The longer of the two screws is on the right.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The subwoofer is still connected to the right speaker, so don't completely remove it just yet.

  • Lift the subwoofer off the optical drive, and set it above the computer.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the camera cable bracket to the upper case.

  • The leftmost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive from its right edge and pull it out of the computer.

  • The hard drive cable may become disconnected from the logic board when removing the optical drive. Ensure it is connected during reassembly.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Unibody Model A1278 device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

On my model, it seemed the top-left was 3.5mm and the bottom 4 were 3 mm.

Jim, · Reply

Me, too, broke the subwoofer connector from the motherboard. I'd suggest removing the padding first so that you can see what kind of connector it is, then pry it loose (insert spudger where the cables enter the connector).

petterwolff, · Reply


You can complete this guide without doing step 6 just BE CAREFUL as you already should be.

kenneth rhem, · Reply

The subwoofer cable is NOT removable on some models, attempting to remove it, brakes it off the circuit board and them you are @@%#$$, like me. Thanks iFixit. Also it is not necessary to remove it to replace the optical drive.

todd, · Reply

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