MacBook Pro Retina HDD Replacement

My main computer is a mid 2012 MacBook Pro Retina, making it the first of Apple’s retina laptops. When I bought this laptop, the storage options were limited to the 256GB SSD. This worked well for the first few years, but started to become too small when I started using virtual machines for school work. After working all year with less than 10GB of free space on the hard drive, I finally decided to upgrade it to a larger one.

The hard drive in the MacBook Pro retina is not a standard size, and was designed by Apple especially for the MacBook Pro. Since Apple do not allow you to buy new hard drives from them, I had to look elsewhere. After some looking I found that an American company Other World Computing were selling replacement drives for the MacBook Pro.

After reading several positive reviews and watching the detailed video on how to install the hard drive, I concluded that the OWC Aura 1TB hard drive would work well for my needs. As a bonus the hard drive also came with all the necessary tools to install it in the MacBook Pro and a USB enclosure, so that the old hard drive could be used as an external drive.

Installing the drive was relatively straight forward. The procedure went as follows:

  • Make a backup of all files and settings onto an external drive
  • Remove all of the screws from the bottom cover
    • Many of the screws are different sizes, so it is important to keep track of which hole each screw came out of.
  • Disconnect the battery
  • Remove the screw holding the SSD in
  • Slide the existing SSD out of the socket
  • Slide in the new SSD and replace the screw
  • Put the cover back on the laptop
  • Format the HDD and install the operating system
  • Restore files and settings from the backup

The OWC website has a detailed video of the installation process, which can be found here

After everything was completed, the computer worked just as it had before, only now it had 1TB of storage to play with.

The 1TB drive installed Note: I have partitioned the drive to run a boot camp partition on the mac
The 1TB drive installed
Note: I have partitioned the drive to run a boot camp partition on the Mac


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