Radu Cotescu's professional blog

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Tools Required for Opening a MacBook Pro

Last week my final MacBook Pro arrived. Since at Adobe we are forced to encrypt our hard-drives in order to protect our work (in case our machines get stolen) the IT team decided to provide us with SSD drives for our portable computers. The advantages are numerous:

  • improved IO performance (encryption comes with a cost - I really wouldn’t like to use it on a mechanical drive)

  • reduced power consumption

  • reduced operation noise (only the fans and the optical unit contain moving parts)

  • less dissipated heat

Because I was in hurry to get the new machine set-up I decided to install the new SSD by myself. After all, it wasn’t the first time I tore a computer apart. Big mistake…

Apparently Apple uses the tiniest screws available. Most of the guides and forum posts on the subject mention that the only tools you need to access the user-replaceable components (the hard-drive and the RAM DIMMs) are a PH#00 and a T6 screwdriver. For n00bs, that’s a Phillips 00 screwdriver (+ shaped) and a Torx 0.6 (* shaped). Wrong!

It seems that the recommended PH#00 screwdriver is too big to safely remove the screws that keep the back lid attached to the body. Using a bigger screwdriver might end up in deforming the screws’ heads. However the Phillips PH#000 is a perfect match. If you’re looking to buy these two screwdrivers - the PH#000 and the T6 - I suggest you visit your local DIY store and look for precision screwdrivers. Try to buy a set that’s made from high carbon steel if you want to use them for a longer time.

A very good guide for changing your Mac’s hard-drive can be found here. Keep in mind, though, that you need a PH#000 screwdriver.

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