MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive Replacement

Replace your hard drive.

Upgrade your hard drive for more storage space!

Sections
Tools
Relevant Parts
Relevant Parts (continued)

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:

    • Three 13.5 mm (14.1 mm) Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 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 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Note: For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), removing the battery is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not remove the battery, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

  • 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 your finger to carefully peel back the corner of the warning label to reveal a hidden Tri-Wing screw.

  • Remove the last 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-Wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

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 away from the logic board 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.

  • Pull the battery cable connector away from the center of the logic board.

Edit Step 7 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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

  • These screws are captive to the hard drive bracket.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Lift the the retaining bracket out of the upper case.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive by its pull tab and pull it out of the chassis, minding the cable attaching it to the computer.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive cable by pulling its connector straight away from the hard drive.

Edit Step 11 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove two T6 Torx screws from each side of the hard drive (four screws total).

  • You'll need to transfer these screws to your new hard drive if you're changing drives.

  • If desired, peel the pull tab off your old hard drive and transfer it to the side of your new drive.

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 device page.

Required Tools

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Y1 Tri-wing Screwdriver

$7.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I went all over the place trying to find that stupid 7.4 mm Tri-Wing bit or driver to remove the battery per your instructions then I took a harder look and realized there was no need for all that SMFH!

Richard Vera, · Reply

We have you remove the battery because as long as it is connected, certain components on the logic board are electrified. If you accidentally drop something metallic on the board or touch the wrong part with a screwdriver, you could fry the board be out another $700+.

Andrew Bookholt,

I bought the 1TB and the tool kit. Got it today. The step by step directions made it a piece of cake. Afterwards I booted up my MacBook Pro off of my system software cd. The new hard drive didn't show up so I called iFixit and talked to Scott. He told me how to format my drive and had me up and running in about 2 minutes. You guys are awesome! My computer works great and I went from a maxed out 500 GB hard drive to a full 1 TB Hybrid hard drive. Thanks for the new lease on life.

josephpass, · Reply

So, SSD´s can replace an the original HDD without any sort of fitting?

Nico Sauer, · Reply

My original harddrive crashed and I bought a new ssd. How do I install the latest OS (Maverick) on it? I had it on the former HDD and I downloaded it through App Store.

Roffe, · Reply

Thanks for instructions, I ordered the triwing screw driver especially to shoe in my Tb SSD.

This allowed me to disconnect the battery, there were a couple of minor reboot issues, but my main problem is that my battery has stopped charging. The little green light stays on, whilst the battery although acknowledging it is connected isn't charging.

Any tips? People have talked about SMC, which will be first move, followed by reconnecting the battery cable.

Thanks though for the guide a big help, onwards and upwards!

zeristor, · Reply

SMC reset did the job.

zeristor, · Reply

Step 1 (technically step 9 - replacing the base plate) Apparently one of my screws was a micron or two smaller than the others. This screw belongs to the hole above the optical drive, which is also apparently a couple of microns smaller than the others. It took seven attempts to figure which screw had originally been in that hole; all the other screws were too large, but fitted perfectly everywhere else.

Bizarre much?

Will, · Reply

It might be a matter of how the screws are driven in, and not that they're slightly different sizes. When I reassembled my MacBook, a couple of the screws, including the one over the optical drive you mention, were hard to drive in and jutted up a little bit instead of sitting entirely flush. Swapping screws didn't help. The solution was to unscrew them and drive them in at a bit of an angle - perpendicular to the slightly curved surface of the back plate where the screw holes were, instead of fully vertical with respect to the ground the Macbook is sitting on. Doing it that way, the screws were easier to drive in and they all ended up flush in their holes. Didn't matter which screws they were. (I swapped a few around just to check after reading this.)

Andrew Janke,

I discovered a great way of organizing the screws. I used an ice cube tray and added the screws in order, keeping the different kinds together. So when it came to reversing the steps, the screw order was an added control step to returning everything in its place.

leonie, · Reply

Great advise! Love it! :)

Ririds,

I used to do that and that worked really great until I bumped it by accident and the entire tray went on the rug! I spent the next day sorting things out.

Now I use these:

http://www.sciplus.com/p/50-114-CLEAR-PL...

The lower ones 50 to a package. I mark them w/ blue tape. Often if it's part like the fans, or the optical drive I'll tape the screws into/near the holes where they belong. I did this a lot especially w/ the bottom screws from MBPs until I'd done so many I knew exactly where the longer ones went.

Richard Sato,

I wrapped the screws in a piece of blue masking tape and wrote the number on the little pouch I made. Then I stuck the blue tape pouches on the underside of the case bottom in order.

Roscoe,

@Will, in my case I had the same result as you did. As a reminder to myself the next time I need to open the computer, I put a dot of white paint on those two screw's head and a very, very thin ring of white on the very edge of each hole, that way I'll know they go into those two holes.

Roger, · Reply

Actually the four screws on the bottom were not threaded all the way up. I didn't check to see if the thread gauge was the same on them, but it wasn't until I had about four screws out (I didn't take them out in the order that the bottom all came out first) that I noticed a difference. I then took out the rest of the bottom ones to see if they matched the two that were already out that weren't threaded to the top. They did. So I went under the assumption that those were all bottom screws and when I put it back together everything went fine with no resistance.

So there are three types of screws: Four for the bottom, three long ones as indicated and three others that might be slightly smaller than the bottom ones.

wresnick, · Reply

Hi,

Although its more than a year since your contribution, I thought you might be amused to know that it is not just that the screws go in more easily when at an angle, Apple actually drilled and tapped the holes at a 15% angle. I too had tried to drive them in straight. An Apple "genius" - I was in for something else - clarified the design for me. It was done so that the screws lay flush on the angled part of the lower case. Nice design, but since Apple encourages DIY memory and drive changes, they could have mentioned this little ... trap.

H Stahl,

MacBookPro8,2

Intel Core i7, 2,2 GHz, RAM 16 GB

Mountain Lion

May someone help me?

I have installed the second drive with ssd 840 evo, but when I try to copy the file from the new drive to the main hd this in not allowed (errore -36)

Piero, · Reply

Hey everyone, here's the very best way to PERFECTLY organize your screws AND keep track of the order of the procedure: Get a piece of plain corrugated cardboard and a pen (I like using a Sharpie). For EACH step of the disassembly, draw a simple diagram of the layout of the computer on the piece of cardboard, with dots or Xs where the screws are located. Right after you remove each screw from the computer, poke a hole in the cardboard in its corresponding diagram position with your screwdriver and place the screw in that hole. If there are other non-screw related parts to be removed, you can add notes below each step diagram to remind you of where they go or how they should be placed. This cardboard method is great not only because your screws will not go flying or get mixed up by accident if bumped, but each screw goes EXACTLY back where it came from and you can keep the cardboard as a template for future use if necessary!

- zerø K

zeroK, · Reply

for all the mac 2011 owner. we should pressure apple to accept their fault. they gave as a piece of junk while they took our $2000. -betrayed apple fanboy

mindful, · Reply

These instructions worked great for me. I ordered a replacement battery from Key Power (on Amazon) for my 15" Macbook Pro (mid-2010). Cost was $74 shipped.

Battery came with 3 different screwdrivers to help with installation. I just needed the one size though, since my 2010 seemed to use all the same size screws.

Thanks!

Marcos, · Reply

A 1/16th flathead screwdriver easily removes the tri-wing screws in this step. I could not find a Y0 Tri-wing driver at any local stores.

Jon Daniels, · Reply

I'd like to add that for me, a 1/16th flathead screwdriver did NOT allow me to remove the tri-wing screws holding the battery in place. After several careful attempts, it became obvious I was perilously close to stripping the screw(s), so I abandoned the attempt to unscrew the tri-wing screws with a flathead screwdriver altogether. As it turned out, I didn't need to remove the battery to do what I needed to do (keyboard replacement), but it would have been a whole lot easier had the battery been easily removable.

dave, · Reply

The Tri-wing screw driver is impossible to find in retail, amazon and ebay are great bets but they vary wildly in quality... I ordered two, and both were so cheap, and barely got the job done. It could be worth getting it here. When you do get it, make sure you push, the Y0 screws were very tight in my macbook, pressing hard prevents you from stripping the Y screw.

Abe, · Reply

I believe they are Y1 screws, no?

Mark,

Short of taking out the battery is there something else I can do to protect the motherboard?

Bruce Bell, · Reply

Is removing the battery necessary?

bname, · Reply

It is not strictly necessary. As mentioned above, removing the battery is the only way to be sure that no parts of the logic board are electrified. It is very easy to replace the hard drive without removing the battery, but it is safer to remove the battery first.

Daniel Brauer,

Note: removing the battery can cause a hitch with OS X 10.9 Mavericks installation to a blank drive, or at least it did for me.

Disconnecting the battery makes the hardware clock reset to something like Jan 1, 2000. This causes the Mavericks installer to fail its self-check with the error message: "This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading."

To fix this, you need to open up Terminal from the Utilities menu in the bootable OS X installer environment and use the `date` command to set your Mac's clock back to the correct time before proceeding with the "Install OS X" menu selection, as described here: http://blog.mconserv.net/2013/10/install...

Andrew Janke, · Reply

Thanks for that warning, Andrew.

Max Fenton,

Happened here too, thanks for the tip!

Franco Bianchi,

As a note, my Mid-2010 Unibody Macbook did not have this third screw, just two to remove the battery.

Max Fenton, · Reply

Can anyone answer this question. I cannot afford the entire 80 dollar repair kit listed here and the tools needed only list a spunger t6 and a phillips...it appears from some of these comments there are more drivers needed. I am afraid to do this anyway but not having the right tools off the bat will just make things more difficult while waiting for an order to come in...can someone list the exact tools I would need ? Any help would be appreciated...I am ready to order this but want to put in one order....ifixit, can you clear this up perhaps ?

laurie, · Reply

Answered my own question ... the list at the top of this page is dif from the list when you order the part.....

laurie, · Reply

Taking the battery out is the easiest part once you have the Tri-Wing screwdriver

http://www.ifixit.com/Store/Tools/Y1-Tri...

Tao, · Reply

And yes, taking the battery out does naturally make the hardware clock reset.... It's easily fixed. See Andrew Janke's comment above.

It's a small hassle, compared to needing to possibly replace your logic board because a surge from your battery fried it.

Tao, · Reply

Ne trouvant pas de tournevis Y1, j'ai utilisé avec succès une pince électrique à bouts fins pour déserrer la vis puis j'ai terminé avec un tournevis plat très fin (1.5x35)

Ivan Keller, · Reply

I stripped the Y screw! Arghhhh. Any help ideas?

erinandjoy, · Reply

Be VERY careful when you are lifting up the drive. Otherwise, you'll need to buy a new hard drive/IR sensory cable! Learn from my fail!

goodski, · Reply

After having changed the drive my disk works some times only, other times not. Some times it will boot other times not. I see that the sleep indicator is not working. Might have damaged the cable? Thought I was really careful when changing the drive.

Eivind Johansen, · Reply

what is the maximum tall of supported harddrives?

patrick, · Reply

i just successfully installed a Samsung spinpoint 1000Gb HDD.

Sibe Jan Kramer,

I looked up the Samsung spinpoint: It's 9.5mm thick/tall.

The Hitachi removed in the video is also 9.5mm thick.

enlimydna, · Reply

yes 9.5 mm work fine!

KlawWarYoshi, · Reply

Making your SATA3 drive work, in your early or late 2011 15"mbp:

If you are unfortunate, and have the "faster" SATA3 chipset for the optical bay, use a hard drive that is either ONLY SATA2 or has a bootable utility you can use to FORCE the drive to run at SATA2 (3gpbs) ONLY. Otherwise, the hard drive (in the optical bay) will NOT be recognizable by the system...This is a lesson in futility, but....There is a cure. I know for *SURE* if you use fast (as of 2014.08) HGST 7k1000 (model HTS721010A9E630), you will NOT be able to run it at 6Gbps. You WILL be able to run it at 3Gbps though, and that beats 0Gbps!

1. Get the HDDFT10.iso (from here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.p... ),

2. Burn it to a CD

3. Plug in a USB keyboard WITH FUNCTION KEYS (You WILL need them)

4. Holding down the Option key, select the CD when you boot up

5. When prompted, hit F1 to change drives

6. Hit F3 to change to 3Gbps

7. Reboot

8. *POOF* magic Pixie Dust rains down upon you...and your MBP

clay, · Reply

If you want to install OSX on it, this is what I've done (without a USB or bootable drive). First, if you're replacing the hard drive with the SSD (for example), then you just need to plug in the harddrive you replaced and boot it up via USB. Format the new hard drive you installed as a Mac OS Journal (eg: a drive that Mac understands it can install an OS on). Then, restart the computer, press CMD+OPT+R to start up the internet recovery off of the USB-attached hard drive, which will allow you to install a copy of Lion or Mavericks or Yosemite (depends on what was on your old hard drive) to the new one within the computer.

So far, It's installing and it seems to be doing amazingly well.

kratsgfixit, · Reply

Kratsgfixit-

Could you format the new drive before taking out the old one and replacing it? I'd rather know I had it formatted correctly, etc....before taking the old one out and putting a new SSD in. Could I just put the new SSD into one of those eSata drive holders (sorry can't remember official name) that connects via USB and do it using the instructions you provided in your post?

Liz,

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