MacBook Unibody Model A1278 SSD Dual Drive Installation

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

  • Author: Dozuki System
  • Time required: 30-45 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 Access Door  ¶ 

  • 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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Step 2  ¶ 

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

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Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 5  ¶ 

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

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Step 6 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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

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Step 7  ¶ 

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

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Step 8  ¶ 

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

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • 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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Step 10  ¶ 

  • 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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Step 11  ¶ 

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

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

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Step 12  ¶ 

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

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Step 13  ¶ 

  • 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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Step 14 Optical Drive Replacement  ¶ 

  • Remove the optical drive cable by pulling it straight away from the optical drive.

  • This connector is particularly deep, so be sure to pull away from the drive at the center of the connector.

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Step 15 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 16  ¶ 

  • 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 17  ¶ 

  • 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 18  ¶ 

  • 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 19  ¶ 

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

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Step 20  ¶ 

  • 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 Unibody Model A1278 category page.

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