MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 Upper Case Replacement

Replacing the upper case requires the removal of nearly all the components found within your MacBook Pro.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 5-Point Pentalobe screws along the top edge of the battery.

  • You do not necessarily have to follow steps 3-6 to remove the battery in order to replace the hard drive. However it is recommended to remove all power sources from electronics before working on them.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to bend back the finger of the "Warning: Do not remove the battery" sticker while you remove third five-point Pentalobe screw hidden underneath.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery by its plastic pull tab and slide it away from the long edge of the upper case.

  • Do not try to completely remove the battery just yet.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Tilt the battery back enough to access the battery cable connector.

  • Pull the battery cable connector away from its socket on the logic board and remove the battery from the upper case.

Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

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

  • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

  • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the three T6 Torx screws securing the left fan to the logic board.

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the left fan connector from the logic board.

  • Pry up from beneath the wires.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the three T6 Torx screws securing the left fan to the logic board.

  • Lift the left fan out of the upper case.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Apple sticks a small strip of clear plastic with adhesive applied to one side to the logic board behind the camera cable connector to keep it in its socket. When moving it out of the way, be sure not to break any surface-mount components off the logic board.

  • Hold the end of the cable retainer down with one finger while you use the tip of a spudger to slightly lift the other end and rotate it away from the camera cable connector.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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

  • Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board, not straight up.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the subwoofer connector straight up from the connector jack.

  • Be careful to pry the connector, not the socket. It's possible to accidentally pry the socket up from the logic board.

    • Removing the foam applied to the top of the connector will make it easier to see and avoid prying up the socket.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive/IR sensor cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 1.5 mm Phillips screws securing the cable cover to the logic board.

  • Lift the cable cover out of the upper case.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the trackpad flex ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Use your fingernail to flip up the locking flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the battery indicator ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 7 mm Phillips screw securing the display data cable retainer to the upper case.

  • This screw may remain captive in the display data cable ground loop. If replacing the display, be sure to transfer this screw to the new unit.

  • Remove the display data cable retainer from the upper case.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket.

  • Make sure to pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board, not straight up from its socket.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Using the tip of a spudger, flip up the keyboard backlight ribbon cable retaining flap.

  • Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws:

    • Seven 3.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

    • Two 8 mm T6 Torx screws securing the DC-In board to the upper case.

  • Do not remove the logic board yet! There are components on the underside of the logic board attached to the the upper case that must first be disconnected.

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the logic board assembly from the left side and work it out of the upper case, minding the port side that may get caught during removal.

  • Do not entirely remove the logic board yet!

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Lift the logic board enough to gain clearance and use a spudger to pry the microphone up off the upper case.

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Slide the logic board away from the port openings and lift the assembly out of the upper case.

  • Before reinstalling the logic board, it is easiest to press the microphone down into its housing in the left speaker to keep it in place.

Edit Step 28 Upper Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 28 Upper Case  ¶ 

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

  • These screws are captive in the hard drive bracket.

  • Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.

Edit Step 29  ¶ 

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Using its attached tab, lift the free end of the hard drive and pull it away from the edge of the upper case.

  • Do not try to remove the hard drive just yet.

Edit Step 30  ¶ 

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

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

  • Remove the hard drive and set it aside.

Edit Step 31  ¶ 

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the hard drive cable off the adhesive securing it to the right speaker housing.

Edit Step 32  ¶ 

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the hard drive and IR sensor cable to the upper case:

    • Two 1.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 4 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 33  ¶ 

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Slide the hard drive and IR sensor bracket away from the edge of the upper case.

Edit Step 34  ¶ 

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the IR sensor/sleep light ribbon cable off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

Edit Step 35  ¶ 

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Peel the camera cable off the adhesive securing it to the body of the optical drive.

Edit Step 36  ¶ 

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Edit Step 36  ¶ 

  • This step is for anti-glare display machines only. Skip this step if you have a glossy display.

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

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the AirPort antenna off its socket on the AirPort card.

  • Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board, not straight up.

Edit Step 37  ¶ 

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Edit Step 37  ¶ 

  • This step is for anti-glare display machines only. Skip this step if you have a glossy display.

  • Remove the two 8 mm Phillips screws securing the Bluetooth/camera cable retainer to the upper case.

  • One of the screws may remain captive in the Bluetooth/camera cable ground loop. If replacing the display, be sure to transfer this screw to the new unit.

  • Lift the AirPort board/cable retainer assembly out of the upper case.

Edit Step 38  ¶ 

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Edit Step 38  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3.5 mm Phillips screw securing the inner side of the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 39  ¶ 

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Edit Step 39  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 3.5 mm Phillips screws securing the outer side of the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 40  ¶ 

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Edit Step 40  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 41  ¶ 

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Edit Step 41  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the subwoofer and right speaker assembly to the upper case:

    • Two 3.2 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 2.6 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw.

Edit Step 42  ¶ 

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Edit Step 42  ¶ 

  • Lift the subwoofer and right speaker assembly out of the upper case.

Edit Step 43  ¶ 

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Edit Step 43  ¶ 

  • This step is for glossy display machines only. If you have an anti-glare display, skip this step.

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

  • One of the screws may remain captive in the camera cable ground loop. If replacing the display, be sure to transfer this screw to the new unit.

  • Lift the camera cable retainer out of the upper case.

Edit Step 44  ¶ 

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Edit Step 44  ¶ 

  • Remove the outer two T6 Torx screws securing both display hinges to the upper case (four screws total).

Edit Step 45  ¶ 

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Edit Step 45  ¶ 

  • Open your MacBook Pro so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

  • Place your opened MacBook Pro on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T6 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

Edit Step 46  ¶ 

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Edit Step 46  ¶ 

  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your other hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

  • Remove the last remaining 6 mm Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

Edit Step 47  ¶ 

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Edit Step 47  ¶ 

  • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

  • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

  • Lift the display away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

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Anti-Static Project Tray

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Question: why do you remove the battery? According to Apple's official manual, this is not required (not for the mid-2009 and not for the mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro) - see pages 37 ff:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

alexkli, · Reply

Quote from alexkli:

Question: why do you remove the battery? According to Apple's official manual, this is not required (not for the mid-2009 and not for the mid-2010 15-inch MacBook Pro) - see pages 37 ff:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacB...

I'm interested by your experience.

Did you have removed the optical drive without removing the battery ?

I'm just in this step now and if it is possible I would proceed like you because removing the battery void the warranty (and there is a sticker).

Thanks in advance.

youyou, · Reply

Looks like my note to step 3 appears on all repair guides that have the same step. I meant that in the context of the hard drive replacement only.

Did you have removed the optical drive without removing the battery ?

I haven't yet done anything, waiting for my MacBook Pro 15 inch mid-2010 to arrive.

alexkli, · Reply

I missed the notes and went ahead and purchased the 5 point driver for the battery before I realized it was not necessary.

I've edited the repair guide to remove the section on the battery, but I don't have the points to approve the changes.

Chris Davis,

Please note - the step about removing the battery is part of a pre-requisite guide, that is used for many of the guides, most that do require removal of the battery. Also, working inside a disassembled laptop with the battery still connected risks damaging/shorting out very expensive parts.

Eric Essen, · Reply

Absolutely. To be clear -- ALL of the above discussion is ONLY in reference to replacing the hard drive.

Chris Davis,

I replaced a hard drive in a MacBook Pro of an earlier model than this without removing the battery. The hard drive wasn't right. It only worked at about half speed, and I had to replace it once more. The second time I removed the battery and all went well. The recommendation by the iFixit staff to remove the battery before working on electronic equipment is a good one.

doug, · Reply

Removing the battery is not necessary for the hard drive removal/replacement procedures.

Erik, · Reply

My T6 (appears to be same screw driver you have - $6 on amazon for 20piece set) did NOT fit int he battery screws...not sure if I had the wrong screws or what, but I went ahead w/o battery steps and it was pretty easy.

Anthony Ettinger, · Reply

I also noticed that the new SDD (from crucial) didn't have the 4 screws, so I had to move those off the old HD and onto the new one.

Anthony Ettinger,

Top left screw in this picture isn't a torx screw, and should be left in place. The screw you want is a bit further down than the one circled.

digitalwraith, · Reply

Good catch! It's fixed now.

Andrew Bookholt,

I didn't understand the description of the step to remove the fan connectors and I broke them both off. However! If anyone else does this, don't panic, the soldered connections are not electrical; they're just there to secure the fan connector. If you have the equipment you may be able to solder them back on, but I just put the whole thing back together - carefully sliding the jack back over the pins - and held it down with polyimide tape. I am using my Macbook Pro right now and the fans are definitely working.

thesqueedler, · Reply

Could not figure out what this step was telling me to do. The warning made me very cautious. Never got the board out because of this step. (Then I broke the subwoofer, but I can live with that.)

boz, · Reply

Not sure what this is supposed to do. I tried to gently pry subwoofer off but it broke. :-(

boz, · Reply

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