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Use this guide to replace your hard drive cable. A new hard drive cable also provides a new IR sensor.

  1. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement, Remove the lower case screws: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

    David Kilbridge - Reply

    Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

    mastover - Reply

    I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

    adlerpe -

    That's exactly what I do for all my repairs! It's the best way to keep track of all of the parts ' original location and to make sure that you don't miss any parts during reassembly.

    joyitsjennie -

    Great idea and one I use often

    Thomas Overstreet -

    Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing it here.

    Laura Sharkey -

    I used a 00 that fit but the screws were very tight so I used a tiny paintbrush with some wd40 on it and put it around the edges of the screws. Worked like a charm

    valentinedhdh - Reply

    I use a magnetic mat and place the screws in order on that :)

    Cary B - Reply

  2. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement, Lift the lower case away: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

    In the introduction you should link fixers to this excellent doc:

    It is really critical, super easy, and free(!) to clone your existing drive onto the new one you will install. I ran into one error, but SuperDuper! support replied immediately on how to fix it...Thanks ifixit and SuperDuper! (I ponied up the $28 for the software anyway, I was so impressed!)

    Mike - Reply

    Long story short: I drank the AppleKoolAid back in 1984 and have always left the guts of my machines up to Apple - until recently when I needed to swap the SATAs from my original MacDaddy (2009 13" MBPro that I killed in 2018 - coffee + blackout = OOOOPS) into a pristine 2009 MBPro from a Goodwill in North Carolina through eBay. I need the files from iCal and MacMail that can't be opened in my newer machines.

    Well . . . I ain't never done nuttin' like that, before!

    Enter Luke Miani on YouTube. He raves about you guys! So, I watched everything I could, read your site, bought the right tools and at the ripe old age of 72, I sat down, this morning and did the work. Now my original MacDaddy lives in MacDaddy2.0.

    Am I allowed to cry?

    Seriously, I can't thank you enough for your bitchen site and killer tools. I wish I'd'a been turned on to this shizzle 30+ years ago.


    kath myers - Reply


    That was a brilliant read.

    Yes, I came across ifixit a few years ago. Totally helped me out on several occasions.

    Glad your Mac repair journey worked out.


    Cary B -

  3. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement, 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.

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

    Quote from gansodesoya:

    why is step 3 necessary?

    Just to disconnect any power source to avoid damages by short-circuits.

    MrKane - Reply

    How do you get that battery connector back on? Do you just press it in back in place after you're done?

    Horace Chung - Reply

    yes. I usually plug it in before I screw it down so I can lift the battery a bit and have enough slack to be able to go straight down on the connector, otherwise it comes in on a bit of an angle, which can't be good (though not necessarily bad).

    maccentric -

    This step almost finished me, and I did extensive damage to the battery plug. Fortunately, I later replaced the battery, and the replacement came with a new plug! :) Newbies need to know - 1. The battery plug is like a thin lip on a thicker lip, so you need to pry BETWEEN 2 thin lips to get it off, else you are trying to yank out the socket. 2. Mine was initially VERY tight, and trying to get it out broke the plastic on all sides of plug, even though I was as careful as possible. Luckily, this didn't hurt functionality and I later replaced the battery. AFTER disconnecting once, it was never so tight again,

    Jeff Diamond - Reply

  4. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement, Hard Drive: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Remove two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

    • These screws are captive to the hard drive bracket.

  5. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the the retaining bracket out of the upper case.

  6. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the hard drive by its pull tab and pull it out of the chassis, minding the cable attaching it to the computer.

  7. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the hard drive cable by pulling its connector straight away from the hard drive.

    I guess it's probably my fault that I broke the SATA cable during this step (unless the cable was somehow already weakened), but for anyone reading this, be extra careful. My connector was fitted really tightly, and when it finally came out it ripped the cable, which is pretty expensive in its own right (although you can get a cheaper deal on eBay).

    nitrous - Reply

  8. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement, Hard Drive Cable: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following four screws securing the hard drive and IR sensor cable to the upper case:

    • Two 1.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 9.5 mm Phillips screws.

  9. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Slide the hard drive and IR sensor bracket away from the edge of the upper case.

    • Carefully peel the hard drive and IR sensor cable from the upper case.

  10. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive cable connector up off the logic board.

  11. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Cable Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the hard drive/IR sensor cable assembly out of the upper case.

    • If your replacement part does not come with the hard drive bracket and indicator light, you will need to pull those off of the part you are removing and install them on the new part.

    • Your replacement part may come with several adhesive foam bumpers. These are to ensure a snug fit of both bracket and hard drive. Apply only as needed.

    I had the same challenge with the ribbon cable clamp. There is a tiny orange ribbon, visible in the lower left corner of the photo for step 10, above, that needs to be connected to the new part using a tiny clamp, also visible right there in step 10. To open it, you flip up part of the clamp that is opposite the ribbon. That will release the ribbon, and enable you to slide the ribbon into the new clamp, which then you can adhere to the bracket. Hope that's helpful for future fixers.

    Bryony - Reply

    Thank you, Bryony! Very helpful clarification on how to open the clamp. All set now.

    Lucas -

    To connect the orange ribbon for the IR sensor you have to have to lift the little handle on the back part 90 dregrees up of the black plastic terminal piece. So now its open.

    After you did this its totally easy to insert the orange ribbon flat cable. After that close the little handle again - thats all!

    Jpat70 - Reply


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

210 other people completed this guide.



I had an SSD installed but it stopped working after a few months and I got the flashing question mark folder. It was very odd as the disk drive still worked, and the SSD did externally. Heard it could be the SATA as SSDs are more sensitive to damaged cables, so replaced it on the off chance and it worked! Definitely recommend trying this first if you have had the same problem

AC1 - Reply

Wow, this worked so GOOD! ...and those derps at the local Apple retailer told me to "let the computer go, and take a look at the new ones we have here!"

Did troubleshooting with ifixit, ordered part from ifixit and followed step-by-step guide provided by ifixit! You guys rule!

Many thanks from Sweden!

Mikael Parkman - Reply

This worked like a charm. My mid 2010 MacBook Pro is back. Although it was temping to claim my Mac as dead and buy the latest baddest MacBook, I had to try a $50 fix. It worked. I saved over $1200 now. I want to see how long my 2010 Mac lasts now. Thanks

David Cantu - Reply

This went very smoothly. I had already tried replacing the hard drive, so there were only a few new steps for me. Glad I didn't have to take apart the bracket and light in the last step. Time machine is chugging away as I speak, and my 2010 is not on the scrap heap just yet.

David Haye - Reply

This is the second time this cable has failed in this machine (Apple fixed it once for free). Seeing the FIVE right-angle bends the cable makes to get from the disk to the motherboard connector makes it clear why this part fails. Being able to buy this cable from iFixit and follow the step-by-step guide is GREAT--since Apple refuses to touch machines after they are five years old.

One hint for reassembly: first pin the cable down with the four screws, then attach the motherboard connection, then use something to temporarily hold the disk connector/cable out of the way, then pre-place the sensor/light cable against the case so you know where you want it to go, then cheat the paper glue cover off of the sensor/light cable as you smooth it against the case. Then the disk connector goes onto the disk, the disk seats easily, and then the retaining bracket is trivial.

Removing the sensor/light/disk-seat from the case was a little fiddly. It feels "stuck" because the cable is GLUED to the case!

David Eckhardt - Reply

Does the cable cord have a # on it, asking because I need to buy a new one & they all have #’s on them. Which # is associated with a 2009/2010 MacBook Pro.?

Valerie Semenoro - Reply

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