MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 SSD Installation

Replace the hard drive in your Early 2011 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Replace the clunky, spinning hard drive inside your MacBook Pro 13" Unibody with a lightning fast SSD.

Some drive bays have a height of 7 mm, while others have a height of 9.5 mm. Depending on the size of your drive bay, you may need to use a spacer to make your SSD fit properly.

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Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips screws

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Step 2  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

  • Remove the lower case.

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Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket.

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Step 4  ¶ 

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

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Step 5 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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

  • These screws will remain captive to the hard drive bracket.

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive bracket.

  • The hard drive bracket may be firmly seated against the upper case.

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the attached pull tab to lift the hard drive out of the upper case.

  • Don't try to completely remove the hard drive just yet. It is still attached to the hard drive cable.

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Step 8  ¶ 

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

  • Remove the hard drive.

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Step 9 SSD Installation  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 6.0 mm T6 Torx hard drive retaining posts from the sides of the hard drive.

    • Transfer these screws to your new SSD.

  • If desired, transfer the pull tab over to your new hard drive.

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • For 7 mm SSDs, you'll need to apply a spacer to ensure a good fit.

  • Peel the backings up off the adhesive strips mounted on the spacer.

  • Press the spacer onto the SSD as shown; proper orientation will ensure the spacer does not cover any screws or screw holes.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 category page.

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