Hosting and bandwidth provided by MacAce.net.
If you find this page useful, please
Bookmark & Share
How do you upgrade the hard drive in the 15-Inch "Late 2008/Unibody" MacBook Pro?
Upgrading the hard drive in the "Unibody" 15-Inch MacBook Pro models is incredibly easy, perhaps even easier than upgrading the RAM.
If you're not sure whether or not you have a 15-Inch "Late 2008" MacBook Pro or another model, these models -- and for the purpose of a hard drive upgrade, the almost identical "Early 2009" models -- can be most readily identified externally via EMC number 2255 on the bottom of the computer. In software, they can be spotted by the MacBookPro5,1 model identifier.
These models also can be identified by the last three characters of the eleven character serial number using EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature (if it has a twelve character serial number, it's a different model).
Official Hard Drive Upgrade Instructions
Apple covers how to replace the stock hard drive with a larger one (or an SSD) on pages 38-41 of the "Unibody" 15-Inch MacBook Pro User Guide (PDF).
The User Guides start by noting that:
You can upgrade the hard disk drive in your MacBook Pro. The hard disk drive is located to the left of the battery when you open the back of your MacBook Pro. The replacement drive must be a 2.5-inch drive with a Serial ATA (SATA) connector.
It continues with detailed instructions, complete with drawings, which absolutely should be read in their entirety before one replaces the hard drive.
However, the basic procedure is to turn off the notebook, disconnect cables, and let it cool; flip it over and push down the latch to release the access door, discharge static electricity, unscrew the drive bracket, disconnect the SATA connector, install the new drive, and reassemble the computer.
It's really that easy!
Hard Drive Upgrade Video Instructions
The Apple-provided drawings are helpful, but perhaps even better, site sponsor Other World Computing provides a convenient step-by-step video of the process: