Installing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Dual Hard Drive

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Use this guide to install a second hard drive in place of the optical drive.

There are many benefits to adding a second hard drive to your laptop such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using our optical bay hard drive enclosure.

Relevant Parts

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

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.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

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.

Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

Image 1/2: For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), disconnecting the battery connector is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not disconnect the battery connector, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

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

  • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

Edit Step 5 Optical Drive  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Disconnect the camera cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 5 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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

  • Do not lift up on the cable as you disconnect it from the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove following two screws:

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove following two screws:

    • Take care, as these screws are unusually easy to strip. Apply firm pressure while unscrewing. Read comments on the right before proceeding.

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips screw

    • One 3.9 mm Phillips screw

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

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Remove the three 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 11 Optical Drive Cable  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Pull the optical drive cable out of the optical drive.

Edit Step 11 Optical Drive Cable  ¶ 

  • 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.

  • 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.

Edit Step 12 Dual Hard Drive  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove the plastic spacer from the optical bay hard drive enclosure by pressing in on one of the clips on either side and lifting it up and out of the enclosure.

Edit Step 12 Dual Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the plastic spacer from the optical bay hard drive enclosure by pressing in on one of the clips on either side and lifting it up and out of the enclosure.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Make sure that the hard drive connectors are facing down before placing it into the enclosure.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Make sure that the hard drive connectors are facing down before placing it into the enclosure.

  • Gently place the hard drive into the enclosure's hard drive slot.

  • While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hand to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic spacer while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic spacer while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Use two Phillips #1 screws to secure the drive to its enclosure.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use two Phillips #1 screws to secure the drive to its enclosure.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Attach the optical drive bracket to the new enclosure with two Phillips #0 screws.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Attach the optical drive bracket to the new enclosure with two Phillips #0 screws.

  • Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Don't ditch that drive! You can still use your optical drive externally with the help of our [product|IF107-120|SATA Optical Drive USB Cable].

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Don't ditch that drive! You can still use your optical drive externally with the help of our SATA Optical Drive USB Cable.

  • Align the cable's SATA connector with the drive's port and plug in securely.

  • Plug the USB connector into your laptop and your optical drive is ready for use.


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

Comments Comments are onturn off

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

Great advise! Love it! :)


I used to do that and that worked really great until I bumped it by accident and the entire tray went on the rug! I spent the next day sorting things out.

Now I use these:

The lower ones 50 to a package. I mark them w/ blue tape. Often if it's part like the fans, or the optical drive I'll tape the screws into/near the holes where they belong. I did this a lot especially w/ the bottom screws from MBPs until I'd done so many I knew exactly where the longer ones went.

Richard Sato,

I wrapped the screws in a piece of blue masking tape and wrote the number on the little pouch I made. Then I stuck the blue tape pouches on the underside of the case bottom in order.


I take double-sided tape, put that on a piece of paper, stick the crews to that, and label them.


Best I've found is a bead sorting tray. They're like $5 at Wal-Mart and they have a lid that seals up and won't let them jump between containers.


@Will, in my case I had the same result as you did. As a reminder to myself the next time I need to open the computer, I put a dot of white paint on those two screw's head and a very, very thin ring of white on the very edge of each hole, that way I'll know they go into those two holes.

Roger, · Reply

Actually the four screws on the bottom were not threaded all the way up. I didn't check to see if the thread gauge was the same on them, but it wasn't until I had about four screws out (I didn't take them out in the order that the bottom all came out first) that I noticed a difference. I then took out the rest of the bottom ones to see if they matched the two that were already out that weren't threaded to the top. They did. So I went under the assumption that those were all bottom screws and when I put it back together everything went fine with no resistance.

So there are three types of screws: Four for the bottom, three long ones as indicated and three others that might be slightly smaller than the bottom ones.

wresnick, · Reply


Although its more than a year since your contribution, I thought you might be amused to know that it is not just that the screws go in more easily when at an angle, Apple actually drilled and tapped the holes at a 15% angle. I too had tried to drive them in straight. An Apple "genius" - I was in for something else - clarified the design for me. It was done so that the screws lay flush on the angled part of the lower case. Nice design, but since Apple encourages DIY memory and drive changes, they could have mentioned this little ... trap.

H Stahl,


Intel Core i7, 2,2 GHz, RAM 16 GB

Mountain Lion

May someone help me?

I have installed the second drive with ssd 840 evo, but when I try to copy the file from the new drive to the main hd this in not allowed (errore -36)

Piero, · Reply

Hey everyone, here's the very best way to PERFECTLY organize your screws AND keep track of the order of the procedure: Get a piece of plain corrugated cardboard and a pen (I like using a Sharpie). For EACH step of the disassembly, draw a simple diagram of the layout of the computer on the piece of cardboard, with dots or Xs where the screws are located. Right after you remove each screw from the computer, poke a hole in the cardboard in its corresponding diagram position with your screwdriver and place the screw in that hole. If there are other non-screw related parts to be removed, you can add notes below each step diagram to remind you of where they go or how they should be placed. This cardboard method is great not only because your screws will not go flying or get mixed up by accident if bumped, but each screw goes EXACTLY back where it came from and you can keep the cardboard as a template for future use if necessary!

- zerø K

zeroK, · Reply

for all the mac 2011 owner. we should pressure apple to accept their fault. they gave as a piece of junk while they took our $2000. -betrayed apple fanboy

mindful, · Reply

These instructions worked great for me. I ordered a replacement battery from Key Power (on Amazon) for my 15" Macbook Pro (mid-2010). Cost was $74 shipped.

Battery came with 3 different screwdrivers to help with installation. I just needed the one size though, since my 2010 seemed to use all the same size screws.


Marcos, · Reply

During re-assembling (put the screws back in), it is important to note that the 3mm threaded holes are not completely vertical, but bent a little bit such that the hole direction is rectangular to the tapered surface. The force of the screwdriver must point towards the direction of the hole. Otherwise the screw gets jammed

kusi, · Reply

There is a FOOLPROOF WAY TO ORGANIZE ALL SCREWS and other parts removed.

Print the repair guide.

Yes, the actual photo of the bottom of the laptop with the circles around the screws.

When you remove the screw, tape it to the photograph.

You will tape the screw to the exact location that you just removed it from.

Same thing with any part you remove.

splashzoneent, · Reply

Worked like a charm! Took less than 20 minutes.

It's Oct. 2015, and the fan cost me about $10. it was the same brand/model...

SUNON MG62090V1-Q020-S99 .


1- no T6 screwdriver- was careful using needle nose players to loosen 2 screws protruding up, then use a small phillips to push real hard into the T6 slots, SLOWLY turn , also used a small flat head screwdriver (for eye glass repair) was able to grab thread on T6's, made a small mark with screw driver across the top so I could see when it started to turn.

2- no spudger -made one; cut a little strip 1/2" x 1 1/2" of plastic. couldn't get it to slide under plug, there's an edge where plug fits. so lifted old fan out, pulled upward on the plug it popped right out with very little effort. I used my home made spudger to push the new plug into place.

3- download free "Macs Fan Control" This is how I was alerted to the fan not working in the first place. Program shows temperature of all key components in the computer.

cheers- Durango CO!

Dgodrummer, · Reply

nails work pretty well as well...

Sibe Jan Kramer, · Reply

At first sight I was confused when I read the description at this step, 'cause it seemed that disconnecting the battery connector was optional, in order to eliminate static discharge. While it's a helpful advice in other circumstances (as mentioned as an example changing hard drives), when changing the battery it is not an option - you have to disconnect the battery connector.

It would have been better to mention the optional disconnecting recommendation in a side-note.

Other than that, an excellent guide!

Damienn, · Reply

the fact that this step is optional can not be stressed enough. i tried disconnecting the battery and in the process it short circuited which now leaves me with an even more expensive problem than i had before when i just wanted to change hard drives (at least the new hard drive works fine..)

the hard drive changing worked though.

nina, · Reply

Excellent guide, it was as easy as a breeze to replace my battery. I can't believe I nearly followed Apple in their saying that this part was not user replaceable. Great job for this description, and many thanks. iFixIt is THE reference for Mac owners.


Patrick Demaret, · Reply

So - I have a weird comment about this. I wanted to make sure that I was getting the right model - so I opened up my laptop and then thought "well, why not just remove the battery while i'm in here, it's shot anyway". Though, I forgot about the stupid screws (Apple really did us over on that one!). Though I disconnected the battery connector and didn't bother to re-connect it when I was finished and just put the cover back on.

Here's the weird part - when I went to turn my laptop back on...MY BATTERY WAS RECOGNIZED...AND WORKING! I was under the impression that the connector "connects" the battery's charge to the laptop, but this just doesn't make sense! Plus, now my very dead battery is in "normal" condition according to the system report. I haven't worked for apple, but have about 5 years of IT experience and am baffled by this! I'm starting to think i've experience a miracle! Has this happened to anyone else?

Shelly, · Reply

Possibly disconnecting the battery caused the System Management Controller to reset. That might have been your problem rather than the battery itself. See

Duke Briscoe,

I'd just like an advise of where to dispose the old battery. Thanks

Jaime Serafim, · Reply

Beware of step 8. Screws strip extremely easily. For some reason, that are extremely tough to get out and the metal is extremely soft so you are likely to screw yourself over real quick even if you use the right screwdriver. Happened to me and now it's impossible for me to take the @$%# thing off so I have to return my HDD bay and deal with having a useless disc drive.

Alex Pascal, · Reply

I got burned here also. Unfortunately iFixit defaults to comments off, so I didn't see this until it was too late.


Yes, and I got stuck on step 8 for this simple task. Is there no way we can get the drive out while leaving the wireless/bluetooth board in place? I prefer to drill a small hole in the plastic of the board to reach the drive's screw underneath and find a way to slide it out towards the hard disk side.

Albert Kok, · Reply

I had the same thing happen with the 3.9 mm screw. To remove the drive afterwards I used a 1/16" drill bit to carefully remove the (stripped) screw head. I left most of the screw threads intact, and the remaining "post" is enough to hold the airport/bluetooth fixture in place with the one remaining screw. These are some seriously soft screws, folks, be careful!

Steve, · Reply

i also screwed the screw, never saw a screw this soft. Still figuring out how to "unlock" it again...

KlawWarYoshi, · Reply

Hmm. well, unfortunately after putting everything back together, my trackpad no longer works, and I can't login to my computer. removing the dual drive caddy and closing it back up returns trackpad functionality, but I really want the extra drive space. Anyone have any suggestions?

Russell Humphress, · Reply

Hey, I got same problem on trackpad

Did you solve the issue? I wanna use trackpad

Help me


Does anyone know the part number of the 3.9mm screw? It got chewed up the second I tried to loosen it..had to get a 3.5mm drill bit and gently remove the head. I was able to remove the remain piece of the screw, and would of course like to replace this thing..

Ole Andre, · Reply

Well. I too stripped the head on the left side screw. First I used a cheap #000 screwdriver. Stripped the head and the driver. Not realizing just how bad I had stripped the screw I got a #0000 and the right one came out. I made sure to apply firm downward pressure to minimize slip. The left side was to far gone. So...

I broke the housing. Yep. I'm a brute.

Anyway. I rolled it up out of the case as if I had actually removed the screw. Only to realize I don't have a T6. [facepalm]. I've spent way too much time just getting that #0000. I'll order myself a nice kit for future 'repairs'.

Oh and yes, the bluetooth and wifi work just fine. The right screw and the tight fitting of the housing seem to keep it in place ok.

David Couch, · Reply

Also stripped the right screw, taking to to Apple Genius Bar, hopefully they can get it out...

Adrian, · Reply

I also failed here.... How can i unscrew both screws if the star of the head is destroyed??

Alex de Graaff, · Reply

I located the part number for the 2 easily stripped screws in this step. The 3.9mm is Apple part 922-8974 and the 8.6mm is Apple part 922-9107 has them available for $2 each.

Hope this helps, it was not easy to track down.

Roger, · Reply

I too stripped the screw on the right, and while I tried a few basic things to remove the screw, eventually I drilled out the screw head so I could remove the airport/bluetooth housing. Only the head came off, enough to free the housing, but it sits pretty snugly on there with just the one screw and that's enough for me.

talksrealfast, · Reply

The part numbers from Roger on Feb 11 aren't right. They were too large.

dan Lim, · Reply

Hi, Dan. The Apple part numbers supplied were used to order exact replacements now in my MBP 15. I have also checked them against Apples official Screw Chart for the MBP 15. I am very sorry you have been supplied the wrong screws but the part numbers listed are correct.

Roger, · Reply

Alright, Genius bar just made it worse, ended up taking a drill to it hoping to break the head off so I could pull it out bit it just wouldn't come off. In the end I pushed a flat screw driver down as hard as I could and It shifted.

I know many of you wont want to put a drill to your shiny (expensive) mac, but the screw is surrounded and strong so you wont break through or damage anything.

Just have a steady hand ;)

Adrian, · Reply

I stripped both screws before reading these comments- disaster.

The only reason for removing these screws is so you can get access to the Torx screw beneath the Bluetooth/wireless board (ie the top left screw circled red in step 9). I Had the idea of drilling directly into the black wireless/Bluetooth plastic board directly above this top left Torx screw shown in step 9. I could then use a long thin Torx screwdriver to reach through the hole and unscrew it, without having to remove the stripped screws holding the wireless/Bluetooth board in place at all. Be careful drilling into the board(!), but worked perfectly for me. Once the Torx screws are removed, it just takes a bit of jiggling to carefully remove the optical drive out from under the board, and put the hd drive in.

If you're reading this before having stripped the two screws, I'd recommend not even trying to unscrew the Bluetooth board and just drill a hole in it, assuming you have steady hands. I'll try to upload a photo to show what I mean.

Laurence, · Reply

Hello there, I'm looking for some help. I am planning on doing this "procedure". I have the 54 Bit Driver set from iFixIt. If I have to unscrew the 8.6 mm Phillips screw and 3.9 mm Phillips screw. What bits should I use from the 54 Bit Kit? The PH1, PH0, PH00, PH000? I really don't want to strip the screw, which one should I use?

Josh, · Reply

Josh I would use the PH00 bit from the 54 Bit Kit. Apple use a different non standard screw head design to Phillips which does not have the cam-out geometry and uses a pointed tip. The PH0 and PH00 bits are a reasonable approximation. I have to say that even with the best match between the screwdriver and screw they may still strip as the original screws seem to be made of painted cheese. If that happens you could try using a tough steel small flat screwdriver bit to drill/scrape out a round hole in the screw head and then gently force in the next largest slotted bit. This has worked for me twice.


As a warning i had to take a near new refurbished mid 2012 MacBook Pro into Apple to have a missing/stripped bottom case screw repaired under warranty and in the process of taking it apart they stripped five more screws and damaged the LCD screen cable, upper case and keyboard, speaker, Bluetooth module and several other assemblies. It was all repaired properly under warranty but it took over 2 weeks and the only original parts I got back were the logic board and baseplate. Some of these MacBook Pro's are a real challenge and come with stuck and sometimes pre stripped screws from the factory. Take your time and remember Apple keep all the screws at genius bars, if you ask nicely and give the the Apple part number they are often happy to fit them for you. Good Luck!


I found success using the CR-V 1.5 bit without stripping either screw head.

Firmly plant the tip and maintain pressure throughout unscrewing and re-screwing.

Use a magnet if needed to get the 3.9mm screw out.

chris, · Reply


I've mailed with pbparts and got the clarification:

* = 8.6mm screw

* = 3,9mm screw

PBParts said: Measurements from iFixit are better than the printed length by Apple manuals. I'll give these screws a try.

Robin Kluth, · Reply

All you need to unscrew the short screw (and don't screw up) is a soldering iron. You should apply heat to aluminum column located below the head of the screw. Loctite-like glue in thread loses its grip when heated, so you probably will unscrew that little bastard without any issues. It worked for me, even with semi-stripped head!

Dvadzatdva, · Reply

Just use Philips #000 bit and put pressure.

Filip, · Reply

Siht. I screw up the screw too. And then I realize there are 24 comments in this step. Now I make 25 of it. That little fcuking 3.9mm...

Anyway, so I drilled that striped screw head with 3mm tip, totally striped that screw so seperated rim, removed Airport supports, there still 1mm of screw steam thingy, got rid of that using small nipper, put new screw in.

Use very, I mean very sharp even your finger bleed when touch the edge of small screw driver. Regular #0 or #00 driver will distroy your screw head.

Anonymous, · Reply

I stripped the screw on the right, and finally got it out with one of the screw extractors sold by iFixit:

anonymous 5548, · Reply

I used a Philips PH000 with applied pressure and the screws came out fine.

jasonmartinegoudy, · Reply

Made same mistake here (rushed through the directions and didn't even notice the warning!). I completely stripped the smaller screw but I was able to get it out easily with an extractor drill bit, the kind readily available in hardware stores (Grabit Micro was the brand name here in the U.S.). Ordered a replacement screw from pbparts re the advice above (thanks for the part number!).

yonidass, · Reply

I actually found this section to be the most difficult, the T6 screws are soft as butter, apply plenty of pressure when removing. The one towards the front of the laptop looking from the back is the most problematic.

Richard Howell, · Reply

I found that placing the SSHD back into the laptop was a major issue; it was a very tight fit back into the rest of the machine.

joelfirenze, · Reply

Mine too. I'm going to retry back in original position which is less likely to overhead or be shocked because no rubber mounts

Failing that buy a WD 7mm drive which is not ideal.


The bay and dvd drive cable at iFixit is $40.00 (

But for $10 more you can get an external casing that will protect your super drive form MCE ( A total of $50 dollars. It is what I used and works great and looks pretty and is guaranteed to protect your superdrive. MCE also gives you a disk with software to patch the DVD Player to work with external dvd drives. So For an extra $10 dollars you get better software functionality and a case for your super drive. It works great.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

It is not a good idea to put fast SSDs into the optibay. System tries to negotiate at 6 Gbit, but it fails; disk is recognized but it couldn't even be formatted. I've waisted a lot of time to find a reason. After swapping SSD with original mac's HD both work properly, one at 6, another at 3 Gbit

nicholas, · Reply

No problems here with a Samsung EVO in the optical bay. Only downside that is not really fast (80-90 mb/s) but amazing performances on booting time, shut off and opening programs.

Mike, · Reply

I have to withdraw my comment. It is NOT a good idea to put a SATAIII SSD in the optical bay. It gives random freezes. Swapping it with a HD is indeed better. Better read/writes too. Only downside is that SMS won't work on the optical bay so treat your baby with care. Also Sleep issues might occur when placing a HD in the optical bay (a total freezing system). I already wasted a HD that was in the optical bay.

Mike, · Reply

I've replaced the optibay with a samsung 840 pro but can't format it nor copy files (a few files work) to it. Do you suggest putting the HDD in the optibay instead? Did you clone the HDD to the SSD before swapping them? Will my Mac boot from the HDD the first time I boot even though it's in the optibay? I would really appreciate an answer, I've spent too many hours trying to figure it out!

Carl, · Reply

Also had this same problem. Tried and failed a Samsung firmware upgrade. Ended up send drive back to Amazon.


Okay it seems like some models of MacBook Pro have issues with a fast (6Gbit/s) SSD in the optical bay. Even though my Mac says it offers 6Gbit on both bays it simply didn't work in the optical bay. So I switched places between the two drives and everything seems to work. My Mac booted from the old HDD in optical bay automatically and then I cloned it afterwards and changed the startup disk to the new one. As said before, don't put a fast SSD in the optical bay!

Carl, · Reply

Hello Carl. What have you done after switching places between the two drives? Can you explain it with more details please? I have the HDD in the hard drive place, and an SSD in the optibay, and I have a lot of freeze / beachball. Thanks.


I'm on a Macbook pro 13" Late 2011.


I have the startup set to the SSD in the optibay.


I've already done it. switch the hard drives and reboot, that's all. Working without beachballs XD


My understanding is that SSDs will work (at 6Gbps) in the optical bay of late-2011 13" MBP models but not in late-2011 15" or 17" models and not in earlier 13" models. Are those of you reporting problems installing on late-2011 13" models (MD313LL/A [2.4Ghz] or MD314LL/A [2.8 GHz])?

Steve, · Reply

I'm experiencing the same issues with the HDDs in the optical bay. I've tried multiple drives (WD caviar blue 3G and a Seagate 6G) with no luck thus far. I replaced the SATA cable and that didn't help with either drive. My SSD still works fine in the main bay but I would like the extra storage.

For those of you who got the HDD in the optical bay working, which HDD (brand and model) did you use?

My MBP is a Late 2011 15" (8.2)

woestmab, · Reply

My understanding is that SSD in the optibay for 2011 MBPs will only work on the late-2011 13" model (not the 15" or 17"). I can confirm that it works in my late-2011 13" MBP. I have a Samsung EVO 500GB in my optibay (HGST 1TB in the hard drive bay) with no problems at all: negotiated link speed of 6Gbits for both drives and not beach balls or other slowdowns.


I'm not trying to put an SSD in the optical bay. As I said, I've tried multiple HDDs but none of them seem to work. I know that it's possible to put an HDD in the optical bay because I bought the computer with one in it but it seems that none are recognized. I have tried multiple brands and speeds with no luck. I would like to know which specific model of HDD works in the late 2011 15" optical bay.



Many people have this problem and they all had the 2011 MBP model. The SATA controllers are both 6Gb/s on optic drive and HDD from 2012 (mid 2012 anyway). And of course we're talking about the non-retina. The last non-retina came out mid 2012.

maniajami, · Reply

I just installed a Crucial M200 6 GB/s ssd in a 2012 15" Macbook Pro, working without issues. It seems the 2011 models are problematic.

Martin G, · Reply

Make sure you have removed the 2 screws at the end of your super driver unit and move it to your NewHD bay with the metal piece eye loop.

Kamiiyu, · Reply

Normally with the HD enclosure there come a set of screws. use these to screw down the HD in the enclosure since you need to flip it up side down to reinstall it into the MBP

Bart, · Reply

Here they picture Crucial as their choice, you can also find some great options at Samsung (it is what I installed and it works just as good if not better than the crucial I installed in my wife's iMac. here is their site

Its just another great option. Also when installing SSDs make sure to enable TRIM support (crashes can and probably will occur if you don't) TRIM enabler is available free and the pro version is $10 It is the easiest solution for this issue.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

With the particular drive bay adaptor I used, these attachment screws were already fitted to the adaptor but were found at the sides, not underneath. Indeed, the adaptor had no screw holes on the underside.

jjsanderson, · Reply

At first I couldn't get my machine to even turn on - thought it was the battery connector, but in the end I just had to reset the SMC. ( - see "Resetting the SMC on portables with a battery you should not remove on your own").

talksrealfast, · Reply

I have the drive installed with this bay, but the drive does not appear in the Disk Utility. I see a 'Nvidia MCP79 AHCI' in the system information, but no drive listed with it. Is there some special driver needed to get the MCP to see the drive?

toddfletcher, · Reply

Replaced the optical with hdd, as well as replaced the hard drive with an ssd. Now I get the circle with a line through it. But, when I hold the option key down, it gives me both hard drives, PLUS, the thumb drive I have in the USB port with a Mountain Lion installer. It even shows the recovery disks, but gives me the circle with the line when I choose one. Any help is appreciated.

claude, · Reply


My mbp shipped with OS 10.8, and I had upgraded twice to 10.10

I've a 10.7 USB which upgraded my old MBP.

My plan today was to boot with my new ssd, my time machine back up and the Lion usb plugged in.

I would then click on the Lion usb, and tell it to put the OS and time machine back up on the ssd.

So I help down ALT and when it started it gave me the options of the usual Mac internal or the Lion USB.

I clicked Lion, but instead of taking me to the install options (Disk utility, restore from time machine etc etc) it gave me that grey circle with a diagonal line through it. The no entry sign - grey on grey - that I think you have.

Some googling said that it is because I was trying to usb a 10.7 install on a MBP that shipped 10.8

You can't go back, apparently.

So if any of the OSs are older than the mac you got, you will get this error. The grey in grey no entry.

I just cloned my HDD to my ssd (Carbon copy cloner free 30 day trial) using an external stat-usb3 wire and all is good.


it does not recognize the hard drive in the enclosure, what should i do?

elvin00, · Reply

simple question, how do I use the removed drive to play a DVD? Why don't I just use digital media...yadayada...I know. I'm currently in the hospital, did this drive swap for busy work. The littles want to watch an old DVD and I can't solve the issue.

gator6, · Reply

This will give you instructions on how to get your DVD player to work in an external enclosure:


I have a 17" Macbook Pro6,1 unibody with an Intel Core i5, 2.53GHz. I was successful installing a 250GB SSD in the DVD bay, and I'm able to boot from it. I did this by first installing OS X 10.9.4 on the SSD mounted into an external HD case, testing the system to see if it would boot up into the SSD, then installing the SSD and carrier in the DVD drive bay. The system now boots up from the SSD with no problems. If you are having installation problems, I recommend trying this method.

roger hall, · Reply

This is really for step 23: reassembly

You can not get the orginal screws back in to hold the new optical drive replacement in place because there is a black plastic filler running along the front edge of the part. There is no place for the screw head to go. I had to remove some of the plastic to get the machine reassembled. Whoever tested this overlooked what I think is a major problem. How many macbook pros are out there with only one (maybe two if you're lucky) screw holding this thing in place?

I got extra screws and have no idea why. The bits included in the kit are poor and don't work on most of the screws. I had to use my own tools instead.

eetech, · Reply


I'm using a 13' MBP mid 2010 and I just swapped my HDD for a SSD. Al works perfectly fine!

So i bought the unibody laptop dual drive (from iFixit) and replaced the optical drive for the original HDD from my MBP. The installation with this guide went perfectly, however, the HDD is not recognized in disk utility.

I put the old HDD back on the original HDD bay, the HDD boots and works. I placed back the optical drive in the optical bay, also works. But when i put the HDD in the unibody laptop dual drive (iFixit), it is not recognized via the USB-port(however, the HDD starts spinning) or when installed in the optical bay.

So i think there is a software issue where my MBP does not recognize a HDD in the optical bay. Is there a way to force the OS to look for storage/HDD via the optical bay STATA cable?

All help is welcome!



Leon, · Reply

Leon: did you fix your issue? I'm facing the same problem.

Rafael Borges,

No, afraid not..


also having the same problem, not recognizing second hdd


Same here: installed original hdd in optical bay and it won't mount. Tried it using the sata cable on different computer, and the drive spins, but doesn't mount either. Would love to get a fix (or at least an explanation) for this. The whole point was to add extra storage, but so far, no dice.


Did you ever find a solution?

I installed mine, but the ssd I'm using was a bootable usb running Yosemite, and now that I plugged it in, I'm getting a circle with the slash through it when I try to boot to it, and I can't unmount it or reformat it from the recovery Disk Utility or in Mountain Lion on the stock hdd still inside.



I followed the tutorial and everything works fine when I use an HDD 320 go but when I use the new HDD I bought which is an Hitachi 1T 7200T 2.5 P I have some trouble. The disk utily takes a long time to recognize the new hard drive and then starts not responding.

I tought my new HDD might be broken but when I use it with an external portable HDD Enclosure it works fine...

Any ideas?



Julie Odeursa, · Reply

I just have finished installing second SSD to my MBP (unibody 15` 2010).

First one was changed like one year ago. Samsung 500GB SSD. It is in my HDD bay and I'm running system from it.

Today I put a new Samsung 1TB 850 Evo 1 SSD in to my optic bay.

I encounter problem with SSD not recognized by Finder.

But It was recognized by Disk Utility.

What I did was I erase new SSD by Disk Utility. Then the new partition was created and now It has been seen by Finder.

So If you see it in Disk Utility just erased it.

Some extra info in under this link-->

Wish you all luck :)

rybafly, · Reply

Hi all,

I did this and all seemed to be working fine, both drives showed up and all was good then about 20 minutes later i got a message saying that "the drive had been ejected incorrectly" or something like that. The drives have now disappeared from finder and Disk Utility. I took the SSD out of the superdrive caddy and put it in an external USB3 caddy, it's working fine. I even left this connected over night (all OK). This morning i put the SSD back into my Late 2011 MacBook and the same thing happened, 20ish minutes and then the eject message... Have i missed something?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Steven Vacher, · Reply

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