MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Optical Drive Replacement

Prerequisite Only

Prerequisite Only

Please note that this guide is only a prerequisite for other guides.

Optical Drive replacement.

Optical Drive replacement.

Edit Step 1 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the cable as you disconnect it from the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Remove following two screws:

    • Take care, as these screws are unusually easy to strip. Apply firm pressure while unscrewing. Read comments on the right before proceeding.

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips screw

    • One 3.9 mm Phillips screw

  • Carefully rotate the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing (with AirPort/Antenna cables still attached) out of the lower case.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Beware of step 8. Screws strip extremely easily. For some reason, that are extremely tough to get out and the metal is extremely soft so you are likely to screw yourself over real quick even if you use the right screwdriver. Happened to me and now it's impossible for me to take the @$%# thing off so I have to return my HDD bay and deal with having a useless disc drive.

Alex Pascal, · Reply

I got burned here also. Unfortunately iFixit defaults to comments off, so I didn't see this until it was too late.

eawortman,

Yes, and I got stuck on step 8 for this simple task. Is there no way we can get the drive out while leaving the wireless/bluetooth board in place? I prefer to drill a small hole in the plastic of the board to reach the drive's screw underneath and find a way to slide it out towards the hard disk side.

Albert Kok, · Reply

I had the same thing happen with the 3.9 mm screw. To remove the drive afterwards I used a 1/16" drill bit to carefully remove the (stripped) screw head. I left most of the screw threads intact, and the remaining "post" is enough to hold the airport/bluetooth fixture in place with the one remaining screw. These are some seriously soft screws, folks, be careful!

Steve, · Reply

i also screwed the screw, never saw a screw this soft. Still figuring out how to "unlock" it again...

KlawWarYoshi, · Reply

Hmm. well, unfortunately after putting everything back together, my trackpad no longer works, and I can't login to my computer. removing the dual drive caddy and closing it back up returns trackpad functionality, but I really want the extra drive space. Anyone have any suggestions?

Russell Humphress, · Reply

Does anyone know the part number of the 3.9mm screw? It got chewed up the second I tried to loosen it..had to get a 3.5mm drill bit and gently remove the head. I was able to remove the remain piece of the screw, and would of course like to replace this thing..

Ole Andre, · Reply

Well. I too stripped the head on the left side screw. First I used a cheap #000 screwdriver. Stripped the head and the driver. Not realizing just how bad I had stripped the screw I got a #0000 and the right one came out. I made sure to apply firm downward pressure to minimize slip. The left side was to far gone. So...

I broke the housing. Yep. I'm a brute.

Anyway. I rolled it up out of the case as if I had actually removed the screw. Only to realize I don't have a T6. [facepalm]. I've spent way too much time just getting that #0000. I'll order myself a nice kit for future 'repairs'.

Oh and yes, the bluetooth and wifi work just fine. The right screw and the tight fitting of the housing seem to keep it in place ok.

David Couch, · Reply

Also stripped the right screw, taking to to Apple Genius Bar, hopefully they can get it out...

Adrian, · Reply

I also failed here.... How can i unscrew both screws if the star of the head is destroyed??

Alex de Graaff, · Reply

I located the part number for the 2 easily stripped screws in this step. The 3.9mm is Apple part 922-8974 and the 8.6mm is Apple part 922-9107 pbparts.com has them available for $2 each.

Hope this helps, it was not easy to track down.

Roger, · Reply

I too stripped the screw on the right, and while I tried a few basic things to remove the screw, eventually I drilled out the screw head so I could remove the airport/bluetooth housing. Only the head came off, enough to free the housing, but it sits pretty snugly on there with just the one screw and that's enough for me.

talksrealfast, · Reply

The part numbers from Roger on Feb 11 aren't right. They were too large.

dan Lim, · Reply

Hi, Dan. The Apple part numbers supplied were used to order exact replacements now in my MBP 15. I have also checked them against Apples official Screw Chart for the MBP 15. I am very sorry you have been supplied the wrong screws but the part numbers listed are correct.

Roger, · Reply

Alright, Genius bar just made it worse, ended up taking a drill to it hoping to break the head off so I could pull it out bit it just wouldn't come off. In the end I pushed a flat screw driver down as hard as I could and It shifted.

I know many of you wont want to put a drill to your shiny (expensive) mac, but the screw is surrounded and strong so you wont break through or damage anything.

Just have a steady hand ;)

Adrian, · Reply

I stripped both screws before reading these comments- disaster.

The only reason for removing these screws is so you can get access to the Torx screw beneath the Bluetooth/wireless board (ie the top left screw circled red in step 9). I Had the idea of drilling directly into the black wireless/Bluetooth plastic board directly above this top left Torx screw shown in step 9. I could then use a long thin Torx screwdriver to reach through the hole and unscrew it, without having to remove the stripped screws holding the wireless/Bluetooth board in place at all. Be careful drilling into the board(!), but worked perfectly for me. Once the Torx screws are removed, it just takes a bit of jiggling to carefully remove the optical drive out from under the board, and put the hd drive in.

If you're reading this before having stripped the two screws, I'd recommend not even trying to unscrew the Bluetooth board and just drill a hole in it, assuming you have steady hands. I'll try to upload a photo to show what I mean.

Laurence, · Reply

Hello there, I'm looking for some help. I am planning on doing this "procedure". I have the 54 Bit Driver set from iFixIt. If I have to unscrew the 8.6 mm Phillips screw and 3.9 mm Phillips screw. What bits should I use from the 54 Bit Kit? The PH1, PH0, PH00, PH000? I really don't want to strip the screw, which one should I use?

Josh, · Reply

Josh I would use the PH00 bit from the 54 Bit Kit. Apple use a different non standard screw head design to Phillips which does not have the cam-out geometry and uses a pointed tip. The PH0 and PH00 bits are a reasonable approximation. I have to say that even with the best match between the screwdriver and screw they may still strip as the original screws seem to be made of painted cheese. If that happens you could try using a tough steel small flat screwdriver bit to drill/scrape out a round hole in the screw head and then gently force in the next largest slotted bit. This has worked for me twice.

Roger,

As a warning i had to take a near new refurbished mid 2012 MacBook Pro into Apple to have a missing/stripped bottom case screw repaired under warranty and in the process of taking it apart they stripped five more screws and damaged the LCD screen cable, upper case and keyboard, speaker, Bluetooth module and several other assemblies. It was all repaired properly under warranty but it took over 2 weeks and the only original parts I got back were the logic board and baseplate. Some of these MacBook Pro's are a real challenge and come with stuck and sometimes pre stripped screws from the factory. Take your time and remember Apple keep all the screws at genius bars, if you ask nicely and give the the Apple part number they are often happy to fit them for you. Good Luck!

Roger,

I found success using the CR-V 1.5 bit without stripping either screw head.

Firmly plant the tip and maintain pressure throughout unscrewing and re-screwing.

Use a magnet if needed to get the 3.9mm screw out.

chris, · Reply

Hi,

I've mailed with pbparts and got the clarification:

* http://www.pbparts.com/shop.php//9229107... = 8.6mm screw

* http://www.pbparts.com/shop.php//9228974... = 3,9mm screw

PBParts said: Measurements from iFixit are better than the printed length by Apple manuals. I'll give these screws a try.

Robin Kluth, · Reply

All you need to unscrew the short screw (and don't screw up) is a soldering iron. You should apply heat to aluminum column located below the head of the screw. Loctite-like glue in thread loses its grip when heated, so you probably will unscrew that little bastard without any issues. It worked for me, even with semi-stripped head!

Dvadzatdva, · Reply

I actually found this section to be the most difficult, the T6 screws are soft as butter, apply plenty of pressure when removing. The one towards the front of the laptop looking from the back is the most problematic.

Richard Howell, · Reply

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