Introduction

Use this guide to replace a burned-out solid state hard drive.

  • Shut down and close your computer. Lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

  • The special screwdriver needed to remove the 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

When you say:

Remove the following ten screws:

Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

Do the 8mm & 2.5mm dimensions refer to the LENGTH of those screws, or the size of the pentalobe? That is, are there other sizes of pentalobe drivers like there are for hex, phillips and torx? When only one dimension is provided, it is usually the socket/driver size, not the screw length, maybe since the length cannot be seen when the screw is installed.

Can I suggest that you clarify your instructions so folks are confident they are only in need of _one_ pentalobe driver?

Nerdily yours,

Larry (whose iPhone 4S can now get through a day without 6 recharges thanks to ifixit.com ;-)

larryleveen - Reply

The 8mm and 2.5mm are the length of the screws. One pentalobe P5 screwdriver suffices for all the screws (P5 is implicitly the size of the pentalobe screw heads).

Michael Welham -

I sourced all the parts from ifixit, plus a magnetic project mat which I found to be very useful for organising the teardown and reassembly.

Allen - Reply

Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.
  • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

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In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.
  • In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally contact its socket.

My macbook air's configuration (Mid-2011 core i5) has a different battery connector. It slides into a receptacle on the logic board. If your battery connector does not look like the one pictured, use the pointy end of a spudger to depress the small indentation in the middle of the battery connector cable terminal, and pull aft to release the clasp mechanism.

Ethan Cross - Reply

Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.

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Use a spudger to help lift the free end of the SSD just enough to grab it with your other hand. Do not lift the end of the SSD excessively.
  • Use a spudger to help lift the free end of the SSD just enough to grab it with your other hand.

  • Do not lift the end of the SSD excessively.

  • Pull the drive straight out of its socket and remove it from the logic board.

  • When reinstalling the SSD, be sure it is properly seated before reinstalling its retaining screw.

When you've completed all these steps to replace your SSD, don't despair if the MacBook Air shows a flashing folder with a question mark when you first power up the MacBook Air.

- Power off the machine, then keep the option key (= Alt key) pressed down, power on the machine again, and keep the option key pressed down until a prompt appears.

- If you've set a firmware password, then type it in at the prompt

- You should now be prompted for a hard drive to boot from. Select "EFI Boot"

- The MacBook Air should now boot to a window showing "OS X Utilities"

- Click on the  at the top left, then select "Startup Disk..."

- Select your SDD/Hard drive, and restart.

Michael Welham - Reply

When replacing the SSD, be careful about the connector orientation. Replacement boards look almost the same if they are upside-down. Note that the connector is not reversible - there is a notch that will only line up if the board is right-side up. If it doesn't seem to line up, flip the board over.

shamino - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Andrew Optimus Goldberg

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One Comment

Excellent instructions. Very easy to do. I used this screwdriver to remove the screws from the bottom of the case: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N1R...

and I used the Pentalobe-6 from this set to remove the screw holding in the OEM SSD:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FE2...

After removing the stock drive, I installed a Samsung M.2 EVO 850 512Gb drive. It is working quite well. I used this adapter so that the M.2 drive fit in my 2012 Macbook Air:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NH2...

feinberj - Reply

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