MacBook Air Models A1237 and A1304 Hard Drive Replacement
By Walter Galan • Difficulty: Moderate

Replacing your hard drive is easy! Also, you can upgrade to a higher capacity drive for more storage space.

Step 1
  • Unplug your MacBook Air and power it off before you proceed.
  • Remove ten Phillips screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Air:
  • Six 2.8 mm screws
  • Two 3.8 mm screws
  • Two 5.4 mm screws
Step 2
  • Slightly lift the lower case near the vents and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.
Step 3
  • Disconnect the battery connector by pulling it straight out of its socket.
Step 4
  • Remove the following nine screws securing the battery to the Air:
  • Four 2.9 mm Phillips.
  • Four 3.8 mm Phillips.
  • One 7.2 mm Phillips.
Step 5
  • Lift the battery out of the Air.
Step 6
  • Disconnect the port hatch ribbon cable from the logic board by pulling it straight up by its black pull tab.
  • Pull the audio out ribbon cable off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.
  • Use a spudger to pry the audio out ribbon cable connector board off the hard drive bracket.
Step 7
  • Disconnect the audio out cable from its socket on the port hatch ribbon cable.
Step 8
  • Use a spudger to pry the hard drive cable connector up off the logic board.
Step 9
  • Use the sharp end of a spudger to de-route the microphone cable from the hard drive bracket.
  • Remove the cosmetic screw cover from the adhesive securing it to the hard drive bracket.
Step 10
  • Remove the four Phillips screws securing the hard drive assembly to the upper case:
  • Two 4.7 mm screws.
  • Two 3.9 mm screws.
Step 11
  • Lift the hard drive assembly out of the upper case.
Step 12
  • Use your thumbs to push the hard drive away from its bracket.
Step 13
  • Peel the rubber shock isolator off the perimeter of the hard drive.
Step 14
  • If present, remove the small piece of black tape covering the ribbon cable connector.
Step 15
  • The two different versions of MacBook Air have different hard drive connectors. Failure to perform the action appropriate to your machine will damage your hard drive! Be very careful when disconnecting the hard drive cable. The ZIF connectors are fragile.
  • If you have the original MacBook Air (A1237), use a spudger or your thumbs to flip up the ribbon cable retaining flap TOWARD the cable (seen in picture 1).
  • If you have the A1304 version of MacBook Air, use a spudger or your thumbs to flip up the ribbon cable retaining flap AWAY from the cable (seen in picture 2).
  • Pull the hard drive cable straight away from its socket.
Step 16
  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.
  • If you need to, transfer the foam from your current hard drive to the new one. The foam does come off by using a spudger and some patience.
  • The two primary options for reading CDs and DVDs on a MacBook Air are to either purchase an external SuperDrive or to use an Apple feature called Remote Disc. Remote Disc allows the optical drive of a nearby Mac to be borrowed for use in mounting discs on the MacBook Air.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.