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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.

  1. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Lower Case: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the eight 4 mm Phillips screws securing the lower case to the MacBook.

    According to this page, the 8 screws are not identical.

    Can anybody tell me where each kind of screw is supposed to go?

    Gregoire - Reply

    They are all 100% Identical. You were probably looking at a different model, or Apple has entered the wrong information... Hey, It happens...

    weeowey weeowey -

    The screws on the Late 2009 are identical. The blue lock compound might make tightening some require a little more effort.

    svenaustx - Reply

    Can I replace it with a SATA 3 cable?

    nm - Reply

    A1342 macbook does not have the right controller to support sata III

    weeowey weeowey -

    hi, i just got back from the apple store and they are really keen for me to upgrade to a new laptop since my battery is old and the screen is cracked, so glad i found ifixit i would love to upgrade this puppy! gonna make it a real sleeper! styler hall wrote about sticking 16 gb of ram in his a 1342 ? is this a simply mather of ordering 3 4gb sticks ?aslo i currently have 4 gb and would like to upgrade to 8 ( or indeed 16) does that mean i need to buy all new sticks or can i continue to use the old one and stick a new one next to it ?

    thanks again mick van aar, perth western aus.

    michelvanaar - Reply

    The A1342 will take up to 16 GB of RAM, however, there are only two RAM slots, so use two 8-GB RAM modules. Other World Computing (OWC) is a great reference source for info on exactly which RAM to use with which model; prices are usually much better on EBay though. Add an SSD from OWC and your machine will really scream!

    I hope that helps!

    gdesbrisay -

    Gregoire is right. The 8 screws are absolutely NOT identical, I’m looking at them right now, weeowey weeowey.

    John Guzman - Reply

    I just wanted to say that, in 2020, i used these instructions to replace the magsafe socket on my A1286, mid-2012, pre-Retina MacBook Pro. The internal layout is not quite the same but close enough for me to do the job. I skipped the steps of fully disconnecting the fans and speakers because of what others had said about breaking the sockets. it just meant I had to be extremely careful when lifting up the main board so that I did not tear and break the connections. I was able to disconnect the old magsafe socket with the board flat and in situ, but there was no where near enough room to be able to aline and press home the new par home. Reluctantly i had to lever up the board. This was difficult as there is a tapped post that holds a screw in the way close to where the USB sockets are, that prevented the board lifting up and out. I had to be quite forceful to manouevre the sockets out from the edge of the case.

    Paul Burridge - Reply

  2. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 2, image 1 of 3 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 2, image 2 of 3 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • The lower case is constructed of rubber-coated aluminum. Do not excessively bend the aluminum during removal, as any permanent deformation will cause tolerance issues after reassembly.

    • Slightly lift the lower case near the vent opening.

    • Continue running your fingers between the lower and upper cases until the upper case pops off its retaining clips.

    • The location of these three clips is shown in the third picture.

    Do the retaining clips have to be re-engaged when replacing the lower case?

    John Morley - Reply

    Answering my own question, the clips re-engage when the lower case is correctly positioned. You can help them by gently pressing the lower case with your thumbs midway along the two short sides. When everything is correctly aligned the eight screw holes line up.

    John Morley -

    Rather than running your fingernail down the sides to free up the retaining clips, I found that using an old credit card, inserted about 1/4”, to run along the left and right side popped those end retaining clips right off with no problem. You may need to twist the card slightly when in the middle area to help pop those off.

    bdahl385 - Reply

  3. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Battery: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge. This step is optional and is not required.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

    • It may be easier to use your fingernails to lift up on both sides of the connector.

    you do not need to remove the battery when replacing the hard drive or ram

    brilldoctor - Reply

    beware not to lift the connector to close of the angle, as the picture suggest it. It might broke the angle. Attack by the middle.

    naamol - Reply

    Not necessary?

    hikkymemo - Reply

    Be careful of the corner of the battery cable connector when trying to pry it off with the spudge. I knocked the corner of mine. No operational impact but was not very pleasing!

    jljordanweb - Reply

    Not necessary, but a good idea, so as to avoid any spurious charges going through the boards...

    svenaustx - Reply

    @Svenaustx - What could happen if not removing this battery? Worst case? Not a geek on this but did change RAM on my Macbook Pro "15. Can't remember disconneting the battery back then. Shouldn't it be sufficient shutting the Mac off and ensure it has been used for an hour or so before replacing RAM?

    Allan Clarke -

    i used a metal pry and noticed some sparking when i disconnected the battery. replaced ram. now it wont turn on. did i fry it?

    Ian Lynch - Reply

  4. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Rear Vent: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following screws from the optical drive side of the rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

    Hi, i have an issue with the screw in the middle: it is blocked and the top is now damaged... Any suggestion?

    Corrado - Reply

    I have a problem with the two middle screws

    Harlan Shannon - Reply

    same here...

    rekidjinwoo - Reply

  5. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following screws from the port side of rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

    The left-most philips screw in this picture does not seem to go in properly. The best I could do was use the screw with least of the blue screwlock on it and then err on the side of leaving the white plastic a bit Ioose in that location.

    QuincyMB - Reply

    Be very careful when putting the Torx screws back as they are very easy to leverage and seems to bend the white piece at some point, making me nervous they could crack it. Don't overdo these.

    QuincyMB - Reply

  6. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Carefully lift the rear vent out of the upper case.

    you can actually stop disassembling now and try to replace it now. after removing two t6 screws it came off pretty easily

    grze - Reply

    Good tip, thanks! I skipped ahead to step 17 and had no problem getting the magsafe board out from under the logic board and the new one installed. Saves a lot of work disconnecting connectors indicated as Fragile!

    matt15 -

    Thank You! Saved me an hour or so of work and a lot of stress!

    15sweyandt -

    I also did Step 6, then skipped to Step 17 & 18. Once I had the display data cable off, I could remove the 2 T6 Torx screws holding the MagSafe board on and remove it. You can reach under the logic board with the point of the spudger to work the cable out of the socket. Note how you maneuver the board out of the tight space so you can maneuver it back in. When you put the new MagSafe board in, plug in the cable first. If you bend the wires so the plug approaches the socket at the appropriate angle, you can nudge it in with the pointed end of the spudger.

    hpendleton -

    Thanks a lot for this hint! You saved my macbook, when I failed to unscrew the fan because of one completely destroyed screw. Thanks to your comment I skipped steps 7-16 and went straight to replacing the magsafe board without problems. The spudger and some 3D imagination and done,

    Sebastian M -

  7. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Optical Drive: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the single 12 mm Phillips screw securing the top of the rear speaker housing to the upper case.

  8. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the single 2.2 mm Phillips screw inserted horizontally into the side of the optical drive.

    • This screw is located in a gap within the right speaker assembly, and is visible only from the hinge edge.

    Finding this screw wasn't easy

    Leonardo Echeverria - Reply

    Where did you find that Screwdriver?

    jesusalbaregidor - Reply

    I put my laptop vertically so I could get the screw out. Trying it sideways while the laptop laid flat wasn’t working.

    Mr Poofy - Reply

  9. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.

  10. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the rear speaker connector up off the logic board.

    • Pry up underneath the wires.

    • This connector is very delicate and easily broken.

    Step 10. If you are having difficulty with the small connector, insert something thin and long underneath it (preferably not metal, as you can scratch the motherboard that way). There is some space under it that you can use to get it loose.

    Remember, the amount of force required to loosen it is very small. Take a break if necessary if you are getting frustrated.

    Stephen Eilert - Reply

    I would recommend not removing this as part of this step. You can easily slide the drive under the speaker wire -- just lift it from the side with two screws carefully.

    Matt Mastracci - Reply

    i just broke the connector! Be very carefully here. Needed to sold the speaker cabels then...

    rafa74 - Reply

    I broke it, obviously... I tried to put it back; it seems to be solid enought, but the speaker now sounds really bad(low and noisy-undefined). Any ideas on how to fix it?

    gl84 - Reply


    I now have the same as the rest of the loyalty of Ifixit’s…. I glued it and have the crappy tinny low volume sounds, thanks

    Peter -

    Same here. I broke it too, tried to glue it back and have sound, luckily, but very bad quality. THIS STEP IS UNNECESSARY!

    Jens Lubbadeh - Reply

    This step has been very badly explained. I too have now broken my speaker connection. As others have said, you're just trying to lift the cable up NOT "PRY THE SPEAKER CONNECTOR UP OFF THE LOGIC BOARD" as instructed here! Doing this will break the soldered connection to the board. Now I need to take it to a professional for a solder repair.

    Nick - Reply

    Hi There, broke the connector.

    I could not remove the cable even with the broken off connector.

    Soldered it back on, low wattage and very little tin needed.

    When putting the drive back in, I found that the loudspeaker cable could easily fit under the drive holder.

    So, in future in case of problems with the drive, no more broken off connectors..

    vos474 - Reply

    Do not try to remove that connector ! It is too much fragile. As other users did, I broke it … And I don’t know if it will be possible to repair it.

    Jean-Pierre Giovanni - Reply

    Same here, I was very careful, but the connector broke off, of course. Tried to glue it back, but now the sound it very low, noisy, almost useless. Any idea to fix it? :)

    szezo - Reply

    Are you f****g serious? This step is unnecessary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My connector broke!!!!! How can i fix it????

    Jack son - Reply

  11. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Carefully rotate the rear speaker assembly (with AirPort/Antenna cables still attached) out of the lower case.

  12. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.

    The connector broke while removing it... be careful

    Leonardo Echeverria - Reply

  13. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 13, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the single 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the optical drive bracket to the upper case near the fan.

    The screw here in my laptop was stuck. If this happens to anyone else I recommend using needle nose pliers, and put rubber band over the screw, and grasp the screw by the sides with the plier to work it out slow until you can unscrew it.

    Mr Poofy - Reply

  14. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 14, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.

  15. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 15, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

  16. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Optical Drive: step 16, image 1 of 1
    • Pull the optical drive cable connector away from the body of the optical drive.

    Don't forget to put this connector on the new enclosure!

    Gregoire - Reply

  17. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 17, image 1 of 1
    • 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.

  18. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Dual Hard Drive: step 18, image 1 of 2 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive, Dual Hard Drive: step 18, image 2 of 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.

    is it 9,5mm or 12,7mm for the caddy? My stuff macbook pro mid 2010, need advice what size is compatible. Thank you

    Adi Purba - Reply

    All Macbooks use 9.5mm Optical Drive Caddy, also, If you’re wondering as well, the Optical Drive runs at SATA II speeds just like with the main hard drive area, so if you’re using a SSD, then it’s going to run at a slightly slower speed.

    - PS5iscool - - Reply

  19. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 19, image 1 of 3 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 19, image 2 of 3 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 19, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    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

    This is an extremely late response to an old comment, but… whatev’s. My 2011 MacBook Pro had that issue: the main (HDD bay) SATA operated at 6Gbit, and while the optical bay said it was 6Gbit, the “Negotiated Link Speed” was like 1.5Gbits regardless of what you put in it (I can understand 1.5Gbits for an optical drive, but not for an SSD). Some of the early 2012 models did the same thing, from what I understand, but that was corrected pretty early on; both my 13” and 15” 2012’s run at 6Gb/s on both SATA busses.

    AJH -

    It’s not wise to swop the optidrive for an HD as there is no physical protection. The caddy is only intended for an SSD.

    Ben Ormerod - Reply

  20. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 20, image 1 of 2 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 20, image 2 of 2
    • Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic spacer while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

    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

  21. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 21, image 1 of 2 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 21, image 2 of 2
    • Use two Phillips #1 screws to secure the drive to its enclosure.

    Where are these screws coming from? Were they part of the original optical drive?

    Bradley DeHerrera - Reply

    The new enclosure should include these two Phillips screws.

    Sam Omiotek -

    Can someone show the step of removal process of hdd/SSD placed in the caddy? I am unable to revert this process. Do we have to apply back greater force to remove back the hard drive/SSD from the caddy?

    Tarun Kumar Verma - Reply

    Gads, I wish they made a caddy where the optical drive was removable without having to remove the entire caddy. That is a major peeve of mine. Like… just mount it the other way! I don’t want to have to go through this entire process every time I upgrade the secondary drive.

    AJH - Reply

  22. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 22, image 1 of 1
    • 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.

    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.

    Rory -

    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

    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

    My installation went great thanks to the guide. I did notice a small thing that might make a good tip, and that is to inspect all the visible screws. I saw one that was slightly raised, and when I poked around with the spudger, I found 2 more that had worked themselves out a bit. Its probably something super rare but at the age of these things, it wouldn't hurt to check.

    Tineyi Chapisa - Reply

  23. Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 23, image 1 of 3 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 23, image 2 of 3 Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Dual Hard Drive: step 23, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    There is a small metal button in the front of the drive and you can use that to eject the drive if you were wondering.

    Joseph Landry - Reply

    Maybe that explain the eject button mechanism maybe….

    - PS5iscool - - Reply


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

120 other people completed this guide.

Jake Devincenzi

Member since: 04/18/2011

115,673 Reputation

57 Guides authored


when i did i have a gray screen and in the middle i have a question mark in a file and it flashing

Rayan Sait - Reply

You haven't installed and software on the new hardrive. Install some using a boot disk or USB

Jesse Mora -

Hi! I have a big problem... I have MB unibody 09. After install the hdd the MB doesn't switch on, so I reinstall the dvd unit and after try sometimes the laptop starts and at the status bar appears there has no a battery and the fan works very hard.

I find an area near the switch battery ( in the mainboard), that I unplugged to install the hdd, where there is an small chip that takes a very high temperature when I plug the batery connector... So what could be the problem, and what can I do?

I followed step by step so I Don't know where can be the problem... Some help please!

Diego de Vicente Contreras - Reply

Is it possible to remove the optical drive and connect a sata extension cable where it was connected to the motherboard? The sata extension cable would stick out thru the cd entry. this way one could had a sata port to connect external hard drives faster than by the usb 2.0 ports! I don't understand much about electronics so I'm sorry if it's a stupid question.

adridiaspereira - Reply

Question. Do you have to format the 2nd hard drive before you install it?


Daniel Rechter - Reply

I would make sure it is formatted. I would use a external hard drive case or usb to sata adapter to format it in disk utility first before installing it on the second sata connector. I would also hold down option and command P R all at same time to reset your Macs configuration, and then when it restarts again and chimes then hold down option until you can select your original hard drive with Mac partition or usb installer. So you can install a fresh copy of MacOS after using disk utility in the setup menu of usb installer to create new raid 1 or 0 configuration partitioning. Then install fresh copy of MacOS…

Black Einstein - Reply

Gr8 thread m8. The pictures are awesome and the instructions are perfect. This took me 20 minutes tops.

Joelynn Carter - Reply

Is anyone having the “Error Code 36” Error when trying to utilise this HDD in the disk drive bay? I had tried the dot_clean error so many times plus a multitude of formatting options and I am getting no where with it, I simply cannot use the drive at the moment as every time you attempt to move a file to it you get the error.

Tom Rundle - Reply

Thanks very much for a very clear set of instructions that made this much easier for me than your general difficulty rating suggested. My only hitch was stripping the head of one of the 5.2 mm Phillips screws holding the vent. I tried a few things but then gave up and decided to drill the head of the screw off. Unfortunately, I was not able to grip enough of the remaining screw head to remove it and replace it. I decided I would leave that for another day and simply reassembled everything. Perfect.

papagordie - Reply

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