MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Optical Drive Replacement

Replace the optical drive in your MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009.

This guide will show you how to replace the SuperDrive from your laptop (requires a SATA SuperDrive).

10 Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end.  Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

10 Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

  • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Grab the translucent plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

  • Grab the translucent plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

  • If the latch is depressed it will lock the battery in place.

2 Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

Image 1/1: One 5.4 mm Phillips screw.

2 Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 5.4 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 14 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

2 Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

2 Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

5 Edit Step 6 Optical Drive  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

5 Edit Step 6 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Deroute the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the optical drive connector straight up off the logic board.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image 1/2: The rightmost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove two 8 mm Phillips screws securing the camera cable bracket to the upper case.

  • The rightmost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

  • Lift the camera cable bracket out from the upper case.

6 Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/1: One 3.5 mm Phillips screw.

6 Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case:

    • One 3.5 mm Phillips screw.

    • Two 2.5 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive from its left edge and pull it out of the computer.

1 Edit Step 12 Optical Drive  ¶ 

Image 1/1: If you have a CD or any other object jammed in your optical drive, we have an [guide|772|optical drive repair guide].

1 Edit Step 12 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the optical drive cable by pulling it straight away from the optical drive.

  • If you have a CD or any other object jammed in your optical drive, we have an optical drive repair guide.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the two black Phillips #0 screws securing the small metal mounting bracket. Transfer this bracket to your new optical drive or hard drive enclosure.


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

Now that you've finished, share your repair story with others.

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Be extremely careful removing the drive retainer bracket screws. Stop immediately if they resist. These were extremely tight in my case, and I (carelessly) ended up stripping two, even using the correct screwdriver. Keep your extractor handy. (Apple technicians suggest the Alden Grabit-Micro.)

Michael Ahlers - Reply

Since 2010, My Macbook Pro's Superdrive is not work..

It is not read DVD or CD... and I can't write DVD/CD...

I fix it ;)

I cleaned the superdrive's lens with alcohol...

After I clean the superdrive's lens, my Superdrive is working!!! ;)

Thank you!

Peter - Reply

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

aguib - Reply

Quote from aguib:

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

I assume you have the newer model, with the built-in battery. It's still removable with tools, but these are the wrong instructions for that model.

lgc90 - Reply

when will there be a guide for the other unibody macbook pro. that does not have an access door?

irishking - Reply

Is there a manual to show, how disasembly the display, i mean, after step 5, to check the display between lcd and aluminiun back case?


Max - Reply

On other guides you state the height of the HD that can be supported, e.g. MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Model A1211 Hard Drive Replacement , I have read ( but have not confirmed ) that the uni-body MacBook Pro can be fitted with the 750GB and 1TB 12mm drive from Western Digital.

Can you confirm this?

Many thanks in advance.

ahothabeth - Reply

Quote from SHerwood Ball:

My display and aluminum casing has separated.

I don't know if it just snaps back together or does it need to be glued.

I dropped mine on the carpeted stairs and the display still works.

I'm hoping I can just snap it back together and that no plastic pieces or teeth of the snapping

portion have been broken........

SHerwood Ball - Reply

When you say "left fan" is this "left when looking at the logic board after turning the computer over and looking it up opening it up" or "left when sitting at the computer keyboard and typing on it"?

thvv - Reply

We always use left and right in reference to the computer when you're using it.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg -

Directions were great and the worn dc in board was replaced. The hardest part of the procedure is disconnecting the data display cable. A better description of step 21 is to slide the connector parallel to the circuit board towards the outside corner. Reconnecting correctly took several tries.

I used the tip of the spudger to nudge the corners a little at a time to seat the connector.

The ribbon connector for the keyboard has to be inserted all the way before seating the retaining cap. It took me three tries . First try power button did not work second try numbers keys did not work.

Thanks for the directions ...could not have done it with out them!!!

landryd - Reply

Hola. Poseo un MacBook Pro Late 2008 y debo cambiarle las cornetas. Me sirve unas cornetas de un MBP Late 2011?

jegonzalez80 - Reply

Hi, My name is Jess I need help asap I accidentally dropped my macbook Pro and i cant find the silver screw for the top left back side, Does any one know if I can replace it with an eye glass screw?? If you can help at all Please e-mail me at thx please help me my bf is going off... ;(

Jess - Reply

The fixit PH00 is the wrong screw driver for this entire job. It did not fit in the screws, it was too pointy and caused screws to be rounded off.

mattrittgers - Reply

About midway along each edge is a snap. To release each snap, gently slide the flat edge of a Spudger under the lower case, then lift the lower case away.

jonathansturges - Reply

I have an late 08 macbook pro and replaced my cd drive with a hd caddy and hard drive put in it. everything works but my wifi is saying no hardware installed. Bluetooth and camera working just the wifi isn't. Everything was working just find before i did this but now i cant get my wifi back on. I checked the cable looks to be inserted properly any one else had this happen or have any solutions ?

myjellio - Reply

And in that case, I lost my camera and bluetooth connection.

Ian Ho - Reply

You have to be EXTREMELY careful when detaching and reattaching this cable!!! It carries your Bluetooth, iSight camera, and Wifi connections!! I was being very careful when reattaching it and ending up either messing up the connector on the logic board or the cable itself- both cases are equally as bad. The cable doesn't snap back in or have guides, and it is therefore difficult to know if it's in as far as it needs to be, etc. If you mess up the connector on the logic board (that's what it's connecting to), you have to replace the entire logic board, and if you mess up the cable itself (it has very small, delicate metal connectors), you have to replace your entire display!! Each costs around $500/ea! I did a ton of research before embarking on this procedure and really wish someone had made a note of this prior- learn from my mistake!

Evan Roth - Reply

I had some difficulty getting the 'isight' cable back on. Pay close attention when you remove it as you will need to reattach the cable at an angle to get the small protrusion on the right side of the connector passed the little black plastic block that is glued onto the system board. It looks like this little block is there to keep the cable from slipping out... so it makes it tricky getting it back in.

Andrew Gill - Reply

Personally I would avoid disconnecting the cable from the socket as advised in this step, one should be able to proceed simply by carefully lifting the cable free from the adhesive holding it on to the optical drive.

Like others here, I followed Step 6 as per the guide and ended up with no Bluetooth or iSight camera, due to somehow damaging the connector and/or socket, despite taking the utmost care. It is possible to carefully slip the old drive out, and a new drive in, with the cable connector in situ (at least that was the case on my Late 2008 MacBook Pro).

Trevor - Reply

You can remove the small smooth block that is blocking this plug pretty easy. Once you connect the plug then you can stick that block back in place, it's just glued down.

Melyn Vicente - Reply

I can't remove one of the Two 2.5 mm Phillips screw, the one on the top of the picture.

It seems to be very tight and I am using a newertechnology PH00 from my Mac repair tool kit.

I am afraid to damage the head of the screw. What do you suggest to do?


Francisco - Reply

You most likely need a jewelers screwdriver to remove the two 2.5 mm screws. they are very tiny and very tight

jsjamieson33 - Reply

ph 000 will do the trick

jsjamieson33 -

The screws outlined in red are actually 3mm long.

bmehilos - Reply

I ruined the head of the 3.5 mm Phillips screw. What kind of screw is this (M1, M1.2, ...?)?

Michael Domhardt - Reply

The top screw was locked tight for me also and I eventually stripped the phillips screw head. The only thing I could do is drill it out. Since I replaced the optical drive with an SSD, I didn't need the screw after all.

Darren Deffner - Reply

One more thing - you need to remove the bracket next to the cable.

shigmas - Reply