Introduction

Use this guide to replace the hard drive bracket nearest the front edge of your MacBook Unibody Model A1278. This bracket also contains the infrared sleep sensor and its cable.

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

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

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

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

Great tutorial ! great step !

Leo Etcheverry - Reply

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

    • One 3 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

On my model, it seemed the top-left was 3.5mm and the bottom 4 were 3 mm.

Jim - Reply

Make sure you have a good quality Phillips screwdriver. Mine had removable tips and had a small play at the connection. As a result I didn't have a good feel and damaged my screws (those securing the fan and the top left in step 23). Game over for me installing new thermal paste...

Be very carefull with your screws! Especially those on the inside.

Nickolas Michelinakis - Reply

You can get away with a Phillips #00 for many of the screws involved but the 4 at the bottom case split are likely to strip if you don’t use a JIS #00 or, in a pinch, a Phillips #000.

Bill Cole - Reply

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

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Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the subwoofer connector straight up off the logic board.
  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the subwoofer connector straight up off the logic board.

Me, too, broke the subwoofer connector from the motherboard. I'd suggest removing the padding first so that you can see what kind of connector it is, then pry it loose (insert spudger where the cables enter the connector).

petterwolff - Reply

DO NOT REMOVE THE SUBWOOFER CONNECTION. Step 6 IS NOT NESCESSARY.

You can complete this guide without doing step 6 just BE CAREFUL as you already should be.

kenneth rhem - Reply

The subwoofer cable is NOT removable on some models, attempting to remove it, brakes it off the circuit board and them you are @@%#$$, like me. Thanks iFixit. Also it is not necessary to remove it to replace the optical drive.

todd - Reply

Oops, I followed Step-6 and my subwoofer connector came off from the motherboard!!! Please suggest me what needs to be done now?

Srinivasan - Reply

Happened the same to me ... step 6 is a @%#$$. You should put now a way to repair the damage done. I just have four small tin marks on the board ...

stratorick - Reply

Happened the same problem to me ... step 6 is a @%#$$**%%#. You should put now a way to repair the damage done. I just have four small tin marks on the board ... and looking to sky for help

Badruddin Hisbani - Reply

Just “4 small tin marks” is what the the motherboard half of the subwoofer connector looks like.

Bill Cole - Reply

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

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

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Remove the two Phillips screws securing the subwoofer to the upper case.
  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the subwoofer to the upper case.

  • The longer of the two screws is on the right.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
The subwoofer is still connected to the right speaker, so don't completely remove it just yet.
  • The subwoofer is still connected to the right speaker, so don't completely remove it just yet.

  • Lift the subwoofer off the optical drive, and set it above the computer.

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

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

This step is not necessary. Drive can be released without removing the screws.

mcbohdo - Reply

If you’re replacing the subwoofer, you DO need to remove the left screw but not the right screw. This is fortunate, because if you are stuck with a Phillips #00 instead of a JIS #00 screwdriver, you may well strip the heads of these screws.

Bill Cole - Reply

Remove the three 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.
  • Remove the three 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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

  • The hard drive cable may become disconnected from the logic board when removing the optical drive. Ensure it is connected during reassembly.

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Remove the single Phillips screw securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.
  • Remove the single Phillips screw securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • This screw is captive in the hard drive bracket.

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Lift the hard drive by its plastic pull tab and remove the freed hard drive bracket.
  • Lift the hard drive by its plastic pull tab and remove the freed hard drive bracket.

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Lift the hard drive out of its supports and disconnect the SATA cable by pulling the connector straight away from the hard drive.
  • Lift the hard drive out of its supports and disconnect the SATA cable by pulling the connector straight away from the hard drive.

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Remove the four 10.3 mm Phillips screws securing the mid wall to the upper case.
  • Remove the four 10.3 mm Phillips screws securing the mid wall to the upper case.

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Lift the mid wall out of the upper case.
  • Lift the mid wall out of the upper case.

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

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Peel the hard drive cable from the adhesive securing it to the upper case, and maneuver the plastic retaining block out of the upper case. During reassembly, be sure the two pins on top of the plastic retaining block mate to the holes on the underside of the midwall.
  • Peel the hard drive cable from the adhesive securing it to the upper case, and maneuver the plastic retaining block out of the upper case.

  • During reassembly, be sure the two pins on top of the plastic retaining block mate to the holes on the underside of the midwall.

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Use the pointed end of a spudger to flip the lock on the ZIF connector. Use the pointed end of a spudger to flip the lock on the ZIF connector.
  • Use the pointed end of a spudger to flip the lock on the ZIF connector.

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Pull the hard drive bracket cable out of its socket. Pull the hard drive bracket cable out of its socket.
  • Pull the hard drive bracket cable out of its socket.

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Peel the connector side of the sleep sensor cable up from the adhesive securing it to the upper case. Be especially careful peeling the folded section of the cable, as this is area will be more easily damaged. Be especially careful peeling the folded section of the cable, as this is area will be more easily damaged.
  • Peel the connector side of the sleep sensor cable up from the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

  • Be especially careful peeling the folded section of the cable, as this is area will be more easily damaged.

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Remove the two 5 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.
  • Remove the two 5 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

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Insert the tip of a spudger between the hard drive bracket and the front edge of the upper case to free it from its recess. Insert the tip of a spudger between the hard drive bracket and the front edge of the upper case to free it from its recess.
  • Insert the tip of a spudger between the hard drive bracket and the front edge of the upper case to free it from its recess.

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Pull the hard drive bracket and sleep sensor assembly out from the recess in the upper case. Remove the bracket slowly and carefully to ensure you do not rip the sleep sensor cable, which may still be adhered to the upper case.
  • Pull the hard drive bracket and sleep sensor assembly out from the recess in the upper case.

  • Remove the bracket slowly and carefully to ensure you do not rip the sleep sensor cable, which may still be adhered to the upper case.

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After ensuring the cable is freed of all adhesive, remove the hard drive bracket and sleep sensor assembly from the upper case.
  • After ensuring the cable is freed of all adhesive, remove the hard drive bracket and sleep sensor assembly from the upper case.

  • If your new bracket cable is not pre-folded, use the old one as a guide to crease it for proper fit in your MacBook.

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Conclusion

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

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Sam Lionheart

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