Apple MacBook Laptop SSD Drive Take-Apart Installation TipsOlder MacBook's with 2.5" drive bays are excellent candidates for affordable DIY SATA SSD swaps. Sadly, Apple's newer MacBook Pro and Air models are now using CUSTOM SSD MODULES with unusual pin connectors that make such easy upgrades a far greater challenge.
OWC Technologies and Transcend International are the primary 3rd-party providers of Apple compatible MacBook SSD modules. Apple used non-standard pinouts which limit choices. Some are custom SATA modules, more recent MacBooks switched to custom PCIe modules. You need to know the exact year and model number of your MacBook Air or Pro to get the right SSD upgrade.
Both vendors offer complete upgrade kits with a larger and faster replacement SSD blade and an aluminum USB 3.0 enclosure to faciliate data transfer and repourpose your old module. The proper torx or pentalobe screwdrivers for opening your particular laptop may be included as well.
"Classic" White Intel MacBook SSD UpgradeA reasonably easy SSD drive swap: The Classic white and black early Intel MacBook models have three screws in the battery compartment to access the "L" shaped metal bracket that covers the memory slot. Remove it and you'll see a thin plastic tab that allows you to pull out the 2.5" SATA I speed hard drive. 4 Torx screws on the drive mount holes remove the thin metal 'tray' that holds the drive. Put that tray onto your new SATA SSD and slide it back in. Replace the "L"-shaped memory cover, then the battery. It's that easy.
Early Aluminum MacBook Pro SSD Replacement InsightsDozens and dozens of micro screws, the need for specialized tools, fragile plastic latches hidden along the edge of these earlier MacBook Pro's case... Are things that you need to know about in advance. It makes a SATA SSD drive replacement a painstaking upgrade attempt that only skilled bench technicians with Apple laptop experience should attempt. It's just too risky: One slip of the screwdriver or spudger could be fatal, broken latches and clips, stripped out MacBook micro screws are all to common. If you're not a bench tech PAY SOMEONE QUALIFIED TO INSTALL THE SSD. Otherwise its an excellent way for the average person to wreck their $2000+ computer and relearn "You can always take something APART, but you can't always put it BACK TOGETHER..."
UniBody MacBoook Pro SSD Drive Upgrade InsightsApple finally got design decisions right to finally make Unibody MacBook and MacBook PRO SATA II speed hard drives easily replaceable. They're right under the battery cover - and along with Mac Pro towers - the easiest solid-state Mac upgrade to perform yet. You'll want a TORX T-6 and small Philips screwdriver. In a nutshell: turn off the notebook, disconnect cables, flip it over and push down the latch to release the access door, discharge static electricity, unscrew the drive retention bracket, disconnect the SATA connector, remove the 4 T-6 screws and install them on the new drive, and reassemble the computer. It's really that easy!
Mid-2009 Apple MacBook Pros now have an internal (alledgedly) "non-user replaceable" Li-On battery. On these models, the entire bottom cover needs to be removed. Acess to the drive remains the same as previous generation models.
MacBook Air SSD InsightsIt's important to know Apple changed the TYPE of SSD in the MacBook Air : When first introduced, the Rev. A Air used a PATA - Parallel ATA 40-Pin ZIF interface 1.8" 5mm thick SSD made by Samsung. See this article about the MTron Mobi PATA SSD at notebookreview.com which can be used to upgrade/replace an SSD in the Rev A MacBooks. Note: Later Rev B and beyond models of the MacBook Air switched to an unusual, somewhat nonstandard LIF SATA Interface somwhat unique to Samsung and custom spec'd for Apple. In more recent Air's Apple has moved towards a custom, non-standard interface similar to - but NOT THE SAME as the M-SATA standard the PC world is often using in UltraBook and NetBook laptops.
Learn more about OS X compatible flash drive options for Macintosh: Visit the Home Page of SSD Mac for New Solid-State Disk Product Announcements and Technology Advances, Best Performing SSD Prices, Cheap SSD options, and Upgrade Tips.