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A guide to replacing the hard disk on a Macbook

Table of Contents


The guide to replace the hard disk on older Macbooks with a physical hard drive with step by step instructions and warnings.

Newer Macbook Regular/Air/Pro's

Within the last couple of years, it has become common practice for apple to solder the solid state hard drives directly to the bezel of the computer. Do not attempt to remove these. If you have one of these models, it is recommended that you bring the computer directly to a apple certified technician.


Instructions and images for replacing the Hard Drive in a Macbook (Like model number A1342) can be found here: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Unibody+Model+A1342+Hard+Drive+Replacement/1670

Macbook Air

Instructions and images for replacing the Hard Drive in a Macbook Air (Like model numbers A1237 and A1304) can be found here: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Air+Models+A1237+and+A1304+Hard+Drive+Replacement/860

Macbook Pro

Instructions and images for replacing the Hard Drive in a Macbook Pro (like model number A1297) can be found here: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+17-Inch+Unibody+Hard+Drive+Replacement/3401

Older Macbooks

Opening the Computer

  • Shut down the computer.


    Always shut down the computer before opening it to avoid damaging its internal components or causing injury. After you shut down the computer, the internal components can be very hot. Let the computer cool down before continuing.

  • Unplug all external cables from the computer.
  • Unplug the power cord.


    The power supply in your computer is a high-voltage component and should not be opened for any reason, even when the computer is off.

  • Turn over the computer and place it on a soft cloth.
  • Use a screwdriver/coin to release the battery latch. Turn the coin a quarter turn clockwise to unlock the battery.

Battery compartment latch

  • Lift out the battery from the battery bay.

Battery compartment opening

  • Touch a metal surface inside the battery bay to discharge any static electricity.


    Always discharge static before you touch any parts or install any components inside the computer.

Battery removed

Removing the Hard Drive


Before you can remove the hard drive, you must remove the battery and RAM door.

  • Loosen¿but do not try to remove¿the three captive screws along the RAM door.

Screws to be removed

  • Holding the long end of the L-shaped RAM door, pivot it out from the battery bay. If
    necessary, use a nonmagnetic, plastic card (such as a library card) to tilt the RAM door up and out of the battery bay. Be careful not to bend the RAM door.

Bracket removal

  • Useful Information

    Remember to replace the RAM door after you have finished working inside your computer. The computer will not function properly if the RAM door is not replaced.


  • Unroll the hard drive pull tab.

Pull tab to remove hard drive.

  • Pull the tab straight out to slide the drive out from the recessed rubber rails in the battery bay.

Hard drive partly out

  • Hold the drive only by the sides when removing and replacing it.

Hard drive lifting out

Replacing the Hard Drive

  • Slide in the replacement hard drive, and tuck the pull tab underneath the drive.
  • Install the replacement RAM door by first aligning the short end at the notch near the hard drive opening.

Bracket replacement

  • Use a plastic card, if necessary, to tuck in the EMI gaskets located on the RAM door so they do not protrude from the edge of the battery bay. Make sure the three screws align with the holes in the bottom case before tightening them.

Closing the Computer

  • Replace the battery by tilting the foot end of the battery into the battery bay first. Then press and hold down the other end of the battery as you turn the coin to lock it into place.

Battery compartment closing

  • Connect the power cord.
    Warning: Never turn on the computer unless all of its internal and external parts are
    in place and it is closed. Operating the computer when it is open or missing parts can
    damage it or cause injury.
  • Restart your computer and restore the operating system that came with your computer.

Next Steps

Use the software install discs that came with your computer to install Mac OS X and the applications that came with your computer.