MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 Hard Drive Cable Replacement

Replace the hard drive cable in your Mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody.

Use this guide to replace a broken hard drive cable. The hard drive cable also contains the sleep LED and the IR sensor.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

  • Remove the lower case.

Edit Step 3 Battery Connection  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery Connection  ¶ 

  • 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. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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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 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • These screws will remain attached to the hard drive bracket.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive bracket.

  • The hard drive bracket may be firmly seated against the upper case.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the attached pull tab to lift the hard drive out of the upper case.

  • Don't try to completely remove the hard drive just yet. It is still attached to the hard drive cable.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive cable away from the body of the hard drive.

  • Remove the hard drive.

Edit Step 9 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 9.7 mm Phillips screws

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel up the thin IR sensor/sleep LED ribbon cable from the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Pull the front hard drive bracket containing the IR sensor/sleep LED away from the front edge of the upper case.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive cable.

  • 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.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Your replacement part may or may not come with the front (sensor) bracket. If it does not, you'll need to transfer it to your new cable.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip the ZIF connector on the hard drive cable.

  • Gently pull the sensor bracket cable out of the ZIF connector.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive cable up off the sensor bracket.

  • Remove the adhesive backing from your new hard drive cable, stick it onto the sensor bracket, and connect the sensor bracket cable.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 device page.

Required Tools

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Thank you Ifixit and Andrew "Optimus" Goldberg, the parts and tools arrived today i went to the shop to buy lunch when i had returned (15 mins later) my Husband had replaced the part (hdd cable) and my Macbook pro is super speedy again. Nice repair guide thank you i doubt i can say thank you enough.

carynturner, · Reply

After many hours of trying to get my SSD drive to work, I read elsewhere that other users had issues with the HD cable that came with the laptop. From when I opened the envelope until my SSD booted was less than 30 minutes. If you have the right tools this is an easy fix. Just keep in mind that there is adhesive on the cable that goes to the bracket -- don't forget to peel off the paper backing and line it up correctly.

mbj, · Reply

Hello, I have a mid 2009 Macbook pro 13. I have bought a hard disk cable that looks almost the same as the original one except for greater width and shorter length. I guess that this new cable fits the 2012 model, SO YOU MAY HAVE TO UPDATE THE GUIDE accordingly.

Electrically the wider cable also works on the mid 2009 model (at least for disk access) though it does not fit mechanically.

My friends be careful when you buy this part.

palbarede, · Reply

thanks, Ifixit! Like many, my laptop developed the flashing question mark with startup even though when I removed the drive and put in external enclosure it worked perfectly, and putting in a different HD with a good system install on it also failed. thankfully I found out about the ribbon cable issue with a web search. The part fit perfectly and was easy to install, took about 10 minutes and I was up and running again.

Larry Schwartz

1schwartzmd, · Reply

Thank you so much for this guide! My MacBook pro works! I had the folder of death on my screen so I just swapped out the ribbon and now it turns on. Easy fix and saved a lot of money. EASY TO DO!!!!

Landon, · Reply I can identify the cable should I buy? thank you

Andrey, · Reply

I purchased the HDD cable with the bracket, so my installation was a breeze. Remove the old cable and install the new one. Four screws and done. Here was my problem with the MacBook Pro 13 Mid-2012. Bought the i7 model off Craigslist from a student. Seller said the hard drive went bad and she replaced it with a smaller 250GB drive. I thought no big deal because I was going to install an SSD anyway. I bought a 500GB SSD and it would not boot. Rapidly flashing Apple, No sign, and Folder with question mark. The drive booted fine with an external USB case. 750GB drive would not even recognize in the MacBook. Went to Apple and they would not touch it since it had a third-party drive installed, but they suggested replacing the cable since everything else worked. Sure enough, the HDD cable was bad and the replacement cable works perfectly! The 500GB SSD is recognized and boots OS X. Easy fix. So if your hard drive appears bad, check it first, and then determine if the cable is bad.

Peter Hillman, · Reply

Does void the warranty?

jfondeur, · Reply

No, it does not void the warranty. More specifically:

oakdragon12, · Reply

How much weight can I save by removing the optical drive?

gunes314, · Reply

Also wondering how much weight I'd save by just removing. My drive is broken for ages, but I have not needed it in ages. The HD was already replaced by a cheap SSD (second best thing after upgrading to 8GB), so I'd appreciate losing some weight. I mean, the computer. Although I could lose some too... erm... well, anyway, I guess the lack of the DVD would not interfere with anything, right? Opinions?

Carlos Duarte do Nascimento, · Reply

I'm thinking you'd probably be OK losing the DVD drive without a problem. Just make sure the optical drive cable is secured or you might hear it rattling in there from time-to-time.

John Adam Wickliffe, · Reply

Hey guys,

this website is amazing. I read it to guide me on fixing my mac book pro, but on the video, the girl gives a wrong information.. She says that is not possible replace just the keyboard... But I managed to replace only my keyboard. It is boring because I have to remove approximately 70 screws but it is possible. Thanks a lot! You guys helped me save about US$300 thats because in Brazil some technicians would charge me with that amount!

I posted some pictures on your facebook page..

renatumb, · Reply

Tip: Use one of those weekday pill holders to have a cheep way to store screws you remove and each day of the week can be for different sizes or parts. It has been handy to have (much less expensive than the magnetic mat.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Great tutorial. I found that using a Phillips #0 in lieu of the #00 worked much better.

kschmesk, · Reply

I tried the PH #00 for the 10 screws that hold the bottom case and it's too big, instead PH #000 works perfectly. Are you sure this screws are #00?

Alex, · Reply

The likely problem with your wifi is not the card but the antenna leads that go into the plastic clutch

. Ifixit don't have a guide to change this as it it includes the isight camera so the screen has to be disassembled which is fairly hard

I got round it by using the camera cable from the old set and cutting off the new one

brian whittle, · Reply

Is this step of removing the battery connector required?

manodh, · Reply

yes - as with disassembly of any electronic component you have to remove any power source. You don't want to accidentally turn the Mac on


This step is not really required. Apple does not recommend it.

Steven Layton, · Reply

My Battery does not get recognized after i disconnected it, screw this site!

Diego Hernandes,

Rather than be careful of the corners of the connector i would say don't use the spudger anywhere near the corners. While the corner looks like the obvious place to begin to pry it up from, it will break. Levering from the sides as the instructions suggest works well.

ausmkv, · Reply

wonder why apple does not recommend it?!

Peter, · Reply

I would recommend it, one careless short and the whole board is dead......

John, · Reply

simply remove the battery rather than disconnecting the cable

toiu, · Reply

Don't know what the deal is with the battery, but this IS a necessary step to keep from frying the logic Board if you accidentally touch something and short it out. I did this step every time during my troubleshooting and The battery was ALWAYS recognized by the system the next time I turned the MBP on. So be safe and don't fry your logic board in the process...

fasthans, · Reply

What are the changes of it broke when i bend it?, after i disconect it does not work anymore

Diego Hernandes, · Reply

The guide worked perfectly, as it has in the past (our family has three Mid-2012 Macbook Pros that have been separately upgraded with RAM and SSD).

The PH00 screwdriver fit perfectly.

One note on getting the screws to seat easily and thread perfectly...always turn them gently a couple turns to the left (CCW or Anti-Clockwise) until you hear a small click. That's where the threads will grab. Works with any screw, but when threads are fine, this will help ensure that the screw is at the correct angle and will grab and seat perfectly.

Great guides. Thanks!

timgunkel, · Reply

Got RAM in but only one slot is working and now I can't remove! The RAM won't pop up like before and tabs don't seem to do anything. Please advise.

Sal Ergrapes, · Reply

The replacement cable comes without the sleep led attached. Thus you have to remove the flat cable of the sleep led from the socket of the old hd cable. Take your fingernail and lift the side of the socket opposite to the cable. It's really tiny! Afterwards insert the new cable and push gently on the part lifted up before.

Skyynet, · Reply

Hi, I feel like this article is missing an important step at the end. How do I replace the new IR sensor/sleep LED with the old one that is still attached to the front hard drive bracket? I see Skyynet answered this but it is still nor clear. Pictures would be nice. Thanks!

Reece, · Reply

You just gently pull out the old cable and insert the new cable into the small plug as skyynet suggested. It all seems to smoothly realign and guide itself.. you don't have to do much work to get things to affix.


Hi. What is the purpose of the 5 black rubber pads that are shipped with the cable kit?

coffeenow, · Reply

Step 13 has the note: "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." - This would be if the drive width had a gap and allowed it to move "sideways" in and out of the torx post holes. I didn't need them.


it's not clear whether the new cable should come with a new bracket or the old one is also fine ? here in europe most hdd cables ship without bracket

natalie, · Reply

Yes, this was fiddly and it needs extra photos. I only got this done with the aid of a magnifying glass.

John Walker, · Reply

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