Tech / Repairs

[How To] Replace An Optical Drive With A Hard Drive Or SSD In A MacBook Pro

So you really wanted to buy the Retina MacBook, but didn’t have the extra cash to spend right? Well thanks to this tutorial you can now remove the silly optical drive to be just like the expensive Retina Model, except this method give you a second hard drive or solid state drive…

Today we are going over replacing your MacBook’s optical drive with a Hard Drive or SSD. You will need a special Caddy to perform this installation. The process is rather simple, but please follow the instructions and read the warning below…

Check out the video. The links for the Hard Drive Caddy are below.

WARNING: This is not a repair or procedure Apple stands behind. Though it’s completely reversible, it will void Apple Care. Should you damage anything in the process it will also void Apple Care, so BE CAREFUL! I highly¬† recommend putting your optical drive back in before taking your MacBook to an Apple Store for different problems or other maintenance. Out of sight, out of mind.

This tutorial is provided for educational and instructional purposes. cannot be held responsible for any damage you may incur from this process. Proceed at your own risk. This is not recommended for beginners or people unfamiliar with the internal components of a MacBook.

That being said, the whole operation is really easy. Unscrew some stuff, remove a couple cables, and your set to go. Be very careful when handling the cables and components inside your MacBook.

If your interested in a less intrusive upgrade that Apple actually allows (and has instructions for on their website), check out the recommended tutorials below.

Happy modding!

Buy a hard drive Caddy here

Buy a solid state drive here

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  1. Mark

    December 18, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Hi Dom, thanks for the great video! I replaced the optical drive with a SSD, and placed the old optical drive in a USB case. CD’s load on the now external optical drive and I can view the contents, but the DVD app does not find them. An error appears saying “A valid DVD drive could not be found. [-70012]. Any way to fix this? Thanks


    • Dom Esposito

      December 18, 2012 at 6:48 am

      I’m honestly not sure, Mark. It may be that the DVD app still wants to think there’s an internal optical drive. Have you tested any third-party DVD apps?


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