11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2011 1:39 PM by S.U.
DanBroadhead Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm planning to replace the hard drive in a MacBook Pro 13" mid-2010 - its the latest model just purchased.

I've searched the discussions on replacing the hard drive, and I've seen conflicting information on whether the 13.3" Macbook Pro will accept the 12.5mm height drives, or only the 9.5mm height drives.

And Apple support is no help - they don't know.

Can someone confirm exactly, whether the 12.5 mm drives will fit or not?

MacBook Pro 13" mid 2010 model, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    The 12.5 mm drives will fit in all unibody MBP's, so they will fit in your 13". They will also fit in the 17" original MBP, but not in the 15" original MBP.

    Good luck!
  • bistec2 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    12.5mm will definitely fit!

    No a simple perfect fit but [1.5TB drive in a Macbook pro 13"|http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2702800&tstart=0]
  • OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)
    DanBroadhead wrote:
    I'm planning to replace the hard drive in a MacBook Pro 13" mid-2010 - its the latest model just purchased.

    I've searched the discussions on replacing the hard drive, and I've seen conflicting information on whether the 13.3" Macbook Pro will accept the 12.5mm height drives, or only the 9.5mm height drives.

    And Apple support is no help - they don't know.

    Can someone confirm exactly, whether the 12.5 mm drives will fit or not?


    Having done this switch personally, 12.5mm drives fit perfectly. There are 1TB drives that are available for around $100.

    Just don't pull old drive out and put a new one in. Clone your current drive to the new in an external enclosure (they're cheap) using something like Carbon Copy Cloner. Then start up from the cloned new drive to make sure there are no issues. Then switch out the drive.

    If you don't clone, then you'll be spending hours installing and updating your software and OSX. You'll have to find every single password. You'll have to fix your user preferences. I can't be bothered with that hassle!
  • bistec2 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Right now your max size for an internal HDD in a MBP is 1Tb. Forget about the link on the 1.5TB.
  • astrodog73 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Is there a reason anyone is aware of why Apple don't offer a 1TB drive in new MBPs???
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    I have no idea what Apple's reason might be, but if the pricing of other options is any guide at all, what Apple would charge for it as an option would be much more than any sensible person would pay.

    It will always make more sense to buy a Mac with its standard, base-model hard drive, replace it yourself for half what Apple would charge, and use the stock drive for backup or external storage. Doing so gets you two drives for less than the price of a single Apple-upgraded drive, as well as a three- or five-year warranty on the self-installed drive instead of the one-year warranty you'd have on an Apple-upgraded drive. And it doesn't affect the computer's warranty.
  • DanBroadhead Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks everyone - it looks like you've answered my question, and I'll mark it as such.

    I think that my confusion is related to the mac terminology that you guys are using that I am not familiar with yet - I'm brand new to the world of Apple and Macs, so I've got a lot to learn ahead of me.


    "S.U.", you said "The 12.5 mm drives will fit in all unibody MBP's". What is a "unibody" MacBook Pro? The one I have is the aluminum shell, not the older black or white case that appears to be some sort of plastic.

    In another thread, you mentioned that you have 2 drives in your MacBook Pro. Is there really room for more than a single drive inside, or did you have to remove the optical drive and put the second drive in its place?


    "eww", you mentioned "And it doesn't affect the computer's warranty". When I talked with Apple support about replacing the drive, they said that there are no user-serviceable parts in a MacBook Pro, and it might void my warranty to replace the hard drive. I pointed out that they have several documents at the "Manuals" section of their website, explaining the exact steps to replace the hard drive (as well as memory and battery too), with no mention of voiding the warranty.

    Is Apple support always so out of touch with their own web site and their own equipment/policies, or are they usually quite knowledgeable and helpful? I'd like to think that I can count on them when I have questions harder than "where's the ON button". But to their credit, they did mention that I visit these forums to see if anyone here could help.


    "OrangeMarlin", you mentioned cloning the old drive first, and I plan to do that. The MacBook Pro is brand new, and has not been used yet, so there is no user data to be lost yet, but it would still be easier to clone the drive than try to install from scratch and hope that everything gets installed the same way as the factory drive came packed with.

    While on the topic of cloning the drive and backups, I have plenty of external drives to do backups onto, but how do I go about doing backups/cloning? I've heard of "time machine", but it looks like I need a whole dedicated hardware system of some sort in order to use it? Or can I use it with any external hard drives? Or is there a better/preferable backup tool to use, and does it come with the mac, or must I get it separately?
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Dan.

    Apple personnel are nearly always more knowledgeable about their stuff and their policies than the one(s) who told you you'd jeopardize your warranty by changing your hard drive yourself. That was an aberration, probably born of the fact that before the unibody MBPs were introduced in October 2008, the MBP hard drive was not considered by Apple to be a user-replaceable part.

    Unibody MBPs have cases machined from solid slabs of aluminum, as opposed to the earlier models, whose cases were assembled of aluminum sheet metal and castings with some plastic edges and trim. In all unibody MBPs, the drive is very easily user-replaceable. Unibody MBPs all have black keycaps; non-unibody MBPs have silver keycaps.

    Apple's current and recent black and white plastic-shelled notebooks are plain MacBooks, not MacBook Pros. There was an aluminum unibody MacBook introduced in October 2008, but it was somewhat cynically rebranded a Pro in June 2009, and given a FireWire port in a lame attempt to justify the change of name.
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    And concerning cloning: Time Machine can back your hard drive up to any external drive, but it can't make a bootable clone, which is the handiest thing to have when you're switching internal drives. I use SuperDuper for cloning and, in fact, for all my backups. I don't feel a need for all the successive backup iterations that Time Machine provides, and I don't keep an external drive connected to my MBP enough of the time for Time Machine to do its work as intended.
  • DanBroadhead Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    OK - then a third-party backup, like SuperDuper will give me a bootable clone. Looks like there is a free version of SuperDuper that can be used till you decide if the advanced features in the pay version are needed.

    I'll first make a close to the new drive temporarily mounted in an external enclosure, then boot from it to make sure it works, then put in inside, and I'm done.

    Looks like I'm all set - now off to NewEgg to find me a 1 TB drive, and an external enclosure for the old 250 GB.

    Thanks everyone.

    More stupid questions to follow as I stumble my way into my MacBook Pro...
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Here's a couple of links that are useful for finding out about Macs:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/by_capability/mac-specs-by-machine-model-machine -id.html

    http://www.mactracker.ca/

    As eww pointed out, the original MBP's have silver keys and the Unibody MBP's have black keys.

    Don't know which thread you had in mind, but I just have a hard drive and an optical drive in my MBP--you do have to remove the optical drive to install a second hard drive.

    Regarding backup, I have an external portable FW drive that contains two bootable clone of my internal drive as well as a separate partition containing a Time Machine backup. Since I travel a lot, I also have another external hard drive with a bootable clone on it which I update and leave locked up in a fireproof safe at home when I am away.

    I think Time machine was designed more as an automatic backup for desktop machines to make backing up more painless for the user. It doesn't work as well for portables, but I use it anyway because it has one useful feature. It will remind me if I haven't backed up in 10 days. Otherwise, I think my Super Duper backups are a lot more useful.

    Happy computing, and thanks for the star!