MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Hard Drive Replacement

Replace the hard drive in your MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009.

When replacing your hard drive, you must transfer the four locating pins (removed with a T6 screwdriver) from the old hard drive to the new one.

Sections
Tools
Relevant Parts
Relevant Parts (continued)

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 4 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 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 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • 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 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 8 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the 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 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 13" Unibody Mid 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 10 In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

The T6 Torx screws from each side of the hard drive do not fit exactly in The Crucial M500 240GB I used as a replacement; they are a tiny bit too long. As a result, the SSD is harder to fit in the available space. Amazing performance though, well worth this little intervention.

I have to update my iMac 24" next.

Cyril, · Reply

I'd suggest using the free software "Super Duper" to clone the hard drive. It worked wonders for me and after the 2 hour clone, I was up and running in 5 minutes!

cmoore22739, · Reply

I wholeheartedly agree. Super Duper! made the task effortless.

danzeitlin,

The T6 torx screws on the side of the existing Hitachi drive fit my Crucial M500 240GB replacement perfectly. Be aware that they were originally installed into the HDD with blue Loctite, so it takes a bit of effort to break them loose.

Thanks ifixit for excellent guidance!

danzeitlin, · Reply

Huge thank you for this guide! The HD on my mid-2009 MacBook Pro died yesterday (it was the original 160GB HD from 2009, so I can't complain, I guess) and instead of shedding a few hundred euros to the Apple geniuses, I saw this tutorial and thought I could give it a try. I bought a new HD (this time 500GB), replaced the fried one, reformatted the new one and now I'm doing a fresh install of OS X. Total cost: 41euros and some careful screwdriving here and there. Et voila!

Thank you, thank you, tank you!

Sara, · Reply

What do you do when your laptop doesn't read your new hard drive?

amberscheme, · Reply

Get the upgrade kit. Very useful when I needed to start from old hard drive and it has a very complete set of heads.

I did a clean install of Yosemite and initially it gave me a install corrupted message. I had to put back the old SODIMMs to get past that. New drive works great.

menevets, · Reply

I have this MacBook Pro (mid-2009) and after putting in a partition 2 years ago so that I could download Windows (needed for a statistics program), and after a rather unfortunate fall on the floor, my MacBook does not start up. I have erased the windows section of the HD but can't remove the partition. When I attempt to repair disk in Disk Utility, it says it cannot repair it. My MacBook has therefore been laying dormant for the last 2 years, but I have always been convinced that there was something to be done. The questions are these: Can I put in a new SSD HD? What do I do if I cannot use a program like Superduper? Can I still save what is stored on the old HD? How would I do that? I'm a bit of a novice...

CSR, · Reply

It looks like you need a Phillips #000 screwdriver for the 10 bottom screws. I tried the #00 and it's too big. Good thing I bought a 23 piece precision screwdriver set or else I would have been screwed.

scott523, · Reply

The 10 screws that hold tha bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesnt fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough. The only thing that I needed a #000 driver for was the keyboard screws. They're so small they look like specks of dirt or sand. I stripped out 4 of them & now will need to grind the heads off with a Dremel/rotary tool. The other thing that sucks is iFixit doesn't have a tutorial for keyboard replacement!

iphonetechtips,

Perfect man!Many thanks!:)

wertaerte, · Reply

Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

twisk, · Reply

thanks twisk, I wish i would have read your tip before I finished putting the bottom of my laptop back together. I managed to get all screws in somehow, but one was in fact too-tight.

BTW, big big thanks to the Author: Andrew Bookholt. Just used this guide and my trackpad now works again.

xitxit2,

i too need a #000 for the bottom of the case -- i got the recommended screwdriver (#00) and unfortunately it's too big

plins718, · Reply

Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

mastover, · Reply

I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

adlerpe,

That's exactly what I do for all my repairs! It's the best way to keep track of all of the parts ' original location and to make sure that you don't miss any parts during reassembly.

joyitsjennie,

The colours you used for these circles are indistinguishable for colour-blind people. Please consider using something like the palette suggested by visibone: http://www.visibone.com/colorblind/

Eric Sorenson, · Reply

Squares, Circles, Triangles (you get the idea) would work as well to distinguish the different screws.

danzeitlin,

I'd use a Phillips #000 screwdriver also. The #00 can work, but if the screws are in really tight, it doesn't get far enough down into the screws to get purchase, so it will start to strip (and I agree that the screws are pretty soft). On mine, the screws for the fan were really tight, started to strip with #00, needed a #000 and quite a bit of pressure to get them to move.

jonathanmorgan, · Reply

I thought it took a 000 as well. However, I tried both and realized the 00 works best.

john, · Reply

Hi i was wondering if you can add 16gb to this model? or is 8 the maximum?

Igor, · Reply

The Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13" does support 16 GB RAM, but it is very picky about the type of RAM. OWC sells a 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB). I think it's got to be 1066 (aka 1067) MHz RAM. A lot of 8 GB modules on the market now are faster than 1066 MHz, and reports I've read say people start getting kernel panics if they use the wrong RAM.

Some info here:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/ma...

"1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM"

"*Originally, both the official and actual maximum RAM was 8 GB. However, as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, if running OS X 10.7.5 or higher, updated with the latest EFI, and equipped with proper specification memory modules, this model can support up to 16 GB of RAM."

Our Mid 2010 already had "the latest EFI" (i.e. Boot ROM version in System Profiler), so the reference to updating it may not be relevant.

Winston,

I used a 00 that fit but the screws were very tight so I used a tiny paintbrush with some wd40 on it and put it around the edges of the screws. Worked like a charm

valentinedhdh, · Reply

I had the same problem. The #00 screwdriver worked for some of the screws but some others were too tight and I had to use a #000. Maybe it was because the cover had slightly bent because the battery inside had basically doubled its width, but I still found that the #000 was a much better fit for these screws. Even the ones that came out with the #00 came out much easier with the #000. I would suggest updating this guide to suggest using a #000.

tarriojuan, · Reply

Had no idea they were so expensive.

Franklin, · Reply

why is step 3 necessary?

gansodesoya, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Just to disconnect any power source to avoid damages by short-circuits.

MrKane, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Removes the possibility of any current flow. This is especially important if you are trying to mitigate the damage to the circuitry due to a spill on a keyboard.

amiller770, · Reply

I'm thinking of ordering the spudger. I was thinking of order the heavy duty spudger... or should I just order the normal. Will either of the spudgers work for this DIY?

shockaaa, · Reply

Once you have a set of spudgers, you will wonder how you ever went without them. :-)

Brian,

$@$@. Don't use an non-isolated screwdriver for this. I just shorted-out my battery :(

Lukas Besch, · Reply

You are absolutely right, never use a screwdriver on the logic board or any connector! Delicate use of fingernails or a credit card will get you through most situations if you lack a spudger.

Logan Bean,

How do you get that battery connector back on? Do you just press it in back in place after you're done?

Horace Chung, · Reply

yes. I usually plug it in before I screw it down so I can lift the battery a bit and have enough slack to be able to go straight down on the connector, otherwise it comes in on a bit of an angle, which can't be good (though not necessarily bad).

maccentric,

Would it not be advisable to drain the battery completely before attempting to repair, if you want to be sure you don't get a spark when removing the battery connector?

Berlugana

bduault, · Reply

Disconnecting the battery connector is not that different from simply unplugging a battery from an older model MacBook with a removable battery. You're not trying to protect yourself from a "spark", but the internal circuitry when taking the MacBook apart.

amiller770,

I neglected step 3 and now my computer won't turn on. Could I have shorted out my logic board?

Plamen, · Reply

I can't seem to loosen one of the screws... I know they are not supposed to come out, but one will not loosen, at all...... Any ideas on how to get it loose?

David, · Reply

You can stop here if you only need to replace the hard drive, right?

Joe Ireland, · Reply

Only if you don't want a hard drive in your MacBook Pro. ;P

*Step 7: REMOVE HDD

*Step 8: REPLACE HDD

Key steps if you need to save or access data. That is, unless you use an external HDD. Then yes, you can stop at step 7.

iphonetechtips,

Straight-forward and easy to follow.

No problems except minor ones from not reading all the text...easily fixed by reading :-)

Used Carbon Copy Clone rather than Super Duper to clone drive.

JOSEPH BLANKIER, · Reply

I did this exactly with a 7200 RPM WD Scorpio that I had been using in my MacBook 13" Unibody (before Apple discontinued that). I get a nasty crash on boot, even with the OS X 10.6 Install DVD. I mean BSOD-equivalent crash. The MacBook Pro is brand new. Anybody know why this happens?

Blake, · Reply

I fixed it. I don't know which of the following did it. 1) I ran all software updates to the OS using the MacBook before transferring the drive again into the MBP, and 2) when I installed the drive I disconnected the battery – perhaps this reset the SMC. While booting, I held Option and it recognized the new HD right away. From then on, it booted fine.

Quote from Blake:

I did this exactly with a 7200 RPM WD Scorpio that I had been using in my MacBook 13" Unibody (before Apple discontinued that). I get a nasty crash on boot, even with the OS X 10.6 Install DVD. I mean BSOD-equivalent crash. The MacBook Pro is brand new. Anybody know why this happens?

Blake, · Reply

This could be from the Apple firmware update for 7200 RPM Drives. They released an update because these were causing vibration that people were complaining about. Maybe it wouldn't function without update?

iphonetechtips,

I guess it's probably my fault that I broke the SATA cable during this step (unless the cable was somehow already weakened), but for anyone reading this, be extra careful. My connector was fitted really tightly, and when it finally came out it ripped the cable, which is pretty expensive in its own right (although you can get a cheaper deal on eBay).

nitrous, · Reply

Had no issue since installation of a 7200RPM WD Scorpio 750GB drive and had no issues with vibration. I did notice back when I got this MacBook Pro though, the pre-installed Apple branded drive was only performing at half of the 3Gbps potential (1.5)

I could see letting Apple get away with that on a consumer level machine but for the premium price, I expect performance.

Needless to say even running the same HDD on my same MBP, I've had not a single problem with the HDD upgrade. Best money spent on it along with additional RAM.

Brian, · Reply

Does anyone know how I can get another set of the T6 screws I took out of my old HD? I forgot to save them and now my new SSD rattles around in the laptop!

help

TimAndSusanna Decker, · Reply

Have you tried calling your local Apple store? The screws Apple uses throughout their devices are usually machined in large quantities of "odd" lengths that are not easily (if at all) found anywhere but from them. Good luck!

Andy,

Hi there. We sell the Screw Set for the MBP 13" Mid 09 which includes the hard drive T6 screws you require. Hope this helps.

Walter Galan,

Are the screws for the hard drive available along? The problem is that the only answer I'm seeing (from Walter above) is a $59 for the 4 screws needed, there has to be a more economical choice.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

alfredperlstein, · Reply

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