MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 SSD Dual Drive Installation

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

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

There are many benefits to adding a second SSD to your laptop such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using an 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  ¶ 

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Step 7 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.

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Step 8  ¶ 

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

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing.

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

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Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case:

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the optical drive bracket to the upper case near the fan.

    • Two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.

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Step 12  ¶ 

  • 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 13 Optical Drive Replacement  ¶ 

  • 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.

  • Optical drive remains.

  • If you have a CD or any other object jammed in your optical drive, we have an optical drive repair guide.

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Step 14 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 15  ¶ 

  • 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 16  ¶ 

  • 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 17  ¶ 

  • 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 18  ¶ 

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

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Step 19  ¶ 

  • 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 Mid 2010 category page.

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