MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 SSD Dual Drive Installation

Use this guide to install a second hard drive in place of the optical drive.

  • Author: Dozuki System
  • Time required: 20 to 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

There are many benefits to adding a second hard drive to your laptop such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using our optical bay hard drive enclosure.

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 securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

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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.

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Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

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

  • 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 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the cable as you disconnect it from the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove following two screws:

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips screw

    • One 3.9 mm Phillips screw

  • Carefully rotate the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing (with AirPort/Antenna cables still attached) out of the lower case.

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

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Step 11 Optical Drive Cable  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive cable out of the optical drive.

  • Be sure to pull by the edges of the connector, not by the cable itself.

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Step 12 Optical Drive Replacement  ¶ 

  • Optical drive remains.

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Step 13 Dual Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the plastic positioner from the optical bay hard drive enclosure by pressing in on one of the clips on either side and lifting it up and out of the enclosure.

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Step 14  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 15  ¶ 

  • Make sure that the hard drive connectors are facing down before placing it into the enclosure.

  • Gently place the hard drive into the enclosure's hard drive slot.

  • While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hard to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.

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Step 16  ¶ 

  • Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic positioner while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

  • Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • Use two Phillips #1 screws to secure the drive to its enclosure.

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Step 18  ¶ 

  • Attach the optical drive bracket to the new enclosure with two Phillips #0 screws.

  • Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 category page.

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