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You can install hard drives up to 9.5mm thick.

  1. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement, Battery: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Use a coin or spudger to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

    I used this guide plus the Thermal Paste guide to resolve my MacBook RRS (Random Restart Syndrome) issue. My MacBook would randomly restart after the fan kicked into high speed. When I removed the heatsink I discovered an an irregular patch completely free of thermal compound of about 15-20% of the area on one of the processors. I removed and re-applied the thermal paste. I ran a memory test utility overnight that previously caused a restart after a couple of hours, and the probelm seems to be solved. TIme will tell.

    ServiceDocs - Reply

    This guide was seriously helpful, so thanks for putting this together. I found a thick ribbon of dust/muck whatever between the fan outlet and the exhaust port that was almost as dense as felt. My fan must have been fighting like crazy trying to pass air through that blockage, which explains the high temps and excessive fan noise. Wish I'd done this sooner...

    Thanks again!

    skraggle - Reply

    Just R&R'ed the fan in my black MacBook Core 2 Duo tonight. Took me 30 minutes tops and I was taking my time. These instructions are SPOT ON! Great job! Two thumbs up!

    Follow the instructions exactly as you see and have a piece of paper taped to the table next to you that you can outline all the screws you took out so you know where they go back in. I expected this to be a LOT harder, but it was one of the simplest repairs I've ever done to ANY computer!

    mikeutter - Reply

    Piece of cake--or should I say gum. If you don't have a magnetized screwdriver, load up a stick of gum and chomp on it until it's needed then use a bit to retain screw on the driver. And if you should tear the black tape, or if the silver tape won't stick any more, just bubblegum it together. The instructions were clear and correct, which made for a very simple repair.

    Mike Woodruff - Reply

    My battery does not pop out when after step 1. Any idea why, and how do fix it?

    Calvin - Reply

    Quote from Calvin:

    My battery does not pop out when after step 1. Any idea why, and how do fix it?

    Will not drop out even if you turn it upside down?

    skraggle - Reply

    Somehow, now my isight camera doesn't work and the light is always on. Cannot figure out what I did wrong.

    josefsalyer - Reply

    Somehow the plastic disc with the slot for a coin got dislodged from the case, and I can't seem to get it open now. Any tips/links on how to open this without the aid of the plastic disc?

    Peter Wood - Reply

    i broke my disc off as well. I used two toothpicks to rotate the thing. hi tech.

    howard bederman -

    Outstanding guide - thank you!

    owen bullock - Reply

    My computer will not charge when plugged in. It will stay on as ling as the plug is in the wall however if the power source gets disconnected it will shut down immediately. I removed the battery and put it back in that did not help. It worked and charged fine 2 days ago. I have a backpack with a laptop storage area. I went to hang the backpack up and it fell and ever since the battery is not functioning. Is there some fix I can try or is my only solution to replace it? I would have thought that dropping it would affect more than the battery?

    Beth Tomasek - Reply

    Better leave the back pack where it cannot fall. Hindsight is so much better than foresight . I learned the hard way too!

    Loy Lum - Reply

    Many of the tiny screws in this project were quite sticky. I found some blue Loctite residue that must have been when the Apple repair shop worked on the laptop years ago. I have found that it is important to hold the correct driver firmly down in the screw and then just tweak the driver in short bursts to loosen it before unscrewing it with a smooth turn.

    Patrick Langvardt - Reply

    Be really careful while doing this to not use too much force while doing this step, because the plastic disc can break off and it can be a cosmetic issue along with functionality issue. This happened to me first hand so please take my word for it…

    [deleted] - Reply

    Probably worth mentioning at this stage that the caddy you propose to use should not have lugs on the front corners, like those used in unibody 1278 and onwards.

    harwood - Reply

    Hehe, still my mac os running! After, already bit more than 10 years of use!

    I put new heat paste now for the second time. Maybe this helped for staying young so long.

    Thanx for all the repair guides!!!

    Fabien - Reply

  2. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the battery out of the computer.

    I just replaced the battery as indicated (with a iFixit part), but the computer says there is no battery connected, even after letting the power plug in for more than one hour.

    Jean Wallemacq - Reply

    I think I found the way to have the new battery to charge!!!!!


    Essentially, you have to follow a very precise order: 1/shut down the computer, 2/take off the magsafe connector, 3/remove the old battery, 4/put back the magsafe connector, 5/put the new battery, 6/power on, each time leaving a few seconds in between.

    Jean Wallemacq - Reply

  3. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement, Memory Cover: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.

    • The screws are captive to the metal memory cover so you cannot lose them.

    • Using The Flexible Extension sold by iFixit will help with this step.

    please pay attention that screws are native to metal pieces otherwise you are going to be a stupid like me trying to unscrew unsuccessfully until I reread the guide

    manochu - Reply

    Lay the screws out in a ”timeline” like a circle, Then when you reassemble just start from the end of the “timeline”

    decristoforo - Reply

    The screws have to unscrewing positions, first they unscrew from the whole body BUT if you move the lid without entirely removing the screws, they will remain attached to the lid. This I find much more recomendable!

    Wytchkraft - Reply

    I found when putting this back in that I had to use a spudger to work the mesh/foam into the slot where the memory cards are so the bracket would lay flat again when screwed back in.

    slwatts2 - Reply

    What size screwdriver

    edward greene - Reply

    Edward: Philips 000

    johnsawyercjs - Reply

  4. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Grasp the right end of the L-shaped memory cover, then pull it towards you so it clears the battery compartment opening.

    • Lift the memory cover up and out of the computer.

    That looks so easy!

    caiden rutledge - Reply

  5. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Grasp the white plastic tab attached to the hard drive and pull it to the right, removing the hard drive from the computer.

    • The hard drive goes back into its compartment with the label facing down.

    When I tried, I wasn't sure which "label" should be facing down and I've chosen the wrong side — so the screws would almost fit, they were just a little wrong. When I tried to fit back the hard drive, it wouldn't slip till the end. So I took it out and tried the other side and it worked just fine.

    Priscila Gonzaga - Reply

    Will putting in a HDD work without the HDD bracket?

    Stephen Valleser - Reply

  6. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two black T8 Torx screws securing the silver bracket to the hard drive.

    In some cases, two of the screws might be T8, being the other ones T10.

    alvarogmp - Reply

    Would the hdd fit without the bracket?

    Stephen Valleser - Reply

    hei, did you find an answer to that? Thanks

    I can’t recall but looks like years ago I screwed the screw trying to replace the hard drive with another one then I gave up, now I want again to replace the HDD but literally can get that screws out. Thanks

    Riccardo iDex -

  7. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Rotate the hard drive and remove the two black T8 Torx screws on the other side of the drive.

    screws without the flange go nearest to the Sata connector(???)

    gbelford - Reply

    As seen in the photo, yes as you said

    Julio Molero - Reply

    It’s never good to hold a hard drive by the flat sides! Always hold by the edges to avoid damaging the disk and mechanism.

    mel - Reply

  8. MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the silver metal hard drive bracket off the hard drive.

    • You'll need to transfer this metal bracket to your new hard drive.

    • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

    If I had known it was so easy, I would have done it earlier!!!! Thanks!

    Luigi - Reply

    When sliding in the new hard drive, I had one of the T8 Torx screw to fold the rubber guide glued on the sides of the hard drive slot (but why did they used rubber guides????).

    So the SATA connector was no more reachable.

    Had to open the whole case.

    Heep it in mind and close the screws very well

    Ezio Ricca - Reply

    This happened to me too, although it was caused by the harddrive tray catching on the rubber strip rather than a loose screw. Had to take top off of laptop and need double-sided tape to re-attach the rubber strips.

    thunderdiligence -

    I just installed a Samsung SSD, and the label doesn't go down. The Samsung logo faces down. Otherwise the holes in the drive holder don't line up.

    Pete - Reply

    Will the 120-GB-OCZ-TL100-SSD fit in a early MacBook A1181 that currently has 500 GB HDD??

    jock_pedro - Reply


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

857 other people completed this guide.


Member since: 09/24/2009

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646 Guides authored


This upgrade is so easy. Just do it. Even your dad could do this.

After the upgrade to a 320 GB 7200 rpm, the MacBook (1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo A1181, with 2 GB of ram) works like a new computer. However, the fan comes on so easy - and stays on forever. Is this due to the increased speed of the hard drive? Is there a way to turn down the hard drive speed when used on AC power?

suselfunk - Reply

The rubber guide came off on mine too. The mistake is that the screws without the flanges go on the outside edge of the Mac and the flange ones towards the inside. If you do it backwards it will pull the rubber guide off and then an otherwise effortless install will take a while longer to complete.

MarkBookPro - Reply

it's really easy to do this - there's no need to pay someone else! thanks for this awesome tutorial.

andreahull - Reply

Very simple and easy! The biggest challenge was the walk to Radio Shack in cold weather to go get a !#!@ torx! The OSX installation guide was also a big help.

rsimmons1980 - Reply

Bought a Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 (128 GB SSD), removal was quick and easy. This was my wife's mac, I personally do not own Apple products. My challenge was that I had to erase the drive (which in the process re-formats the ssd) which got the install up and running.

russcrandall - Reply

If I had known about ifixit earlier I would not have purchased my new Mac. This was so easy. Now I have two computers.

The only thing I become stuck on was the recognition of the HD for uploading from a CD. Need to partion new HD. After that no trouble.

Thanks ifixit.

feade - Reply

Worked well for me. Cloned the old drive to the new while the old was still in the computer, swapped drives, booted up, everything worked. Even licensed software like Adobe CS didn't throw any wobblies. Also disk operations (such as bootup and opening applications) now much faster.

C T - Reply

Went perfect, I bought the complete kit this time and had all the right tools. The installation was done before I knew it, even surprised the wife. I just wish the back-up installation and OS 10.9.2 had gone that easy, but that's another story. All is up and running and the wife is happy as a clam.

pauldk - Reply

A cinch compared to early MacBook Pros

Kev in Australia

kevinarthurlock - Reply

Thank you so much !!!

higewang - Reply

Hi I was wondering if anyone has a good suggestion for SSD for this Macbook... I am trying to find a decent priced ones, preferably less than 50 bucks. Thanks!

Shawn - Reply

ebay ebay ebay

jim bennett -

Perfect! I changed original HD with a new SSD..... Guide was perfect! Les than 15 min.

Before I copied all data with Disk Utility.... And now works fine! Thanks!

Joe Doc - Reply

I have both a MacBook 1,1 and 3,1. Are the hard drives compatible? The 3,1 keyboard died and I'm wondering if I can put it's hard drive in the 1,1 shell (which otherwise works, I got the 3,1 when I couldn't do anything being stuck at OS X 10.5.8)?

Sean McAnally - Reply

Have a problem here with brand new Samsung 850 EVO 250 Gb. I was about to replace my standard HHD with it. But i'm not able to boot from it. System doesn't recognize it. Any advices, what may be the cause?

Andrey Kivokurtsev - Reply

That's Samsung's fault for putting the label on the wrong side, Pete! Excellent presentation!

decompoza - Reply

Hard drive is easy! I want to change mais LCD Screen!

Clodoaldo Castro - Reply

Haven't been using my black MacBook so I decided to throw a ssd in it to give it new life and man does it ever feel new. Quite quick now and boots alot faster. Might just run server on it to manage the apple devices in the home. Installation is easy.

James Anderson - Reply

What kind of SSD did you use? were you able to upgrade your OS??

Andrew Villagomez -

I also have a white core2duo macbook (2008 model) and i am thinking about to replace the 160GB HDD to an 256GB SSD to make it faster! I would like to know are there any good SSD suggestion that suitable for this old macbook? Thanks you!

Chace Cheung - Reply

Anyone have any issues installing a Samsung 250GB 850 EVO SSD in A1185 (early 2009) MacBook?

I’ve read up a bit on the process and understand that one method is to clone your home HDD to the SSD using Disk Utility and a USB to SATA cable (unfortunately no longer provided with the Evo as it used to be). Additionally I’ve read that booting in recovery mode will enable you to do this.

Anything else to note here? Common hick-ups with the Samsung, or issues upon installation? Any advice much appreciated thanks everyone!

RUP - Reply

is this bracket necessary or can I do without?

Sam the Techman - Reply

I'm also wondering this.

Tristan Gale -

Great job — thank you!

Doug Hogg - Reply

I just installed a 500 GB Samsung 850EVO SSD in a 2008 Macbook4,1. I had to reformat the SSD for Mac, so I put it in an Inateck enclosure for a 2.5” hard drives — worked great. Gave the MacBook a whole new lease on life, and if it dies, I will put the SSD in another used computer. :-)

Doug Hogg - Reply

The hardest part of this guide is having a torx screwdriver… Otherwise great guide

H4ZE - Reply

It was a lot easier to do then read about doing it. While I was right there I figured weelll might as well max out the ram lol, all 4 gigs of them. I installed a Hitachi 500Gb 7200 RPM mechanical hdd.

Walter Lawler - Reply

I have a macbook 2007 an it will not trun on

Cheryl Richardson - Reply

This is great! After the upgrade to a 320 GB 7200 rpm, the MacBook (1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo A1181, with 2 GB of ram) works like a new computer.

You will regret that I updated late!

find a word free

gaelic - Reply

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