My MacBook Pro late-2011 model was recently stolen when someone broke into our car. Luckily there weren't too many other items in the car and my computer was fully backed-up.

I am looking for a new MBP and have found several 2013 models. I am looking at a September 2013 model that shows it only comes with 256GB of flash storage. There is no way I can possibly fit even 1/4 of my documents on 256GB. I would like to reserve the flash store for OS X and other applications while having the rest of the data on another larger drive.

I am trying to find out if this model (Sept 2013) can take an extra standard hard drive in the chassis. I had two drives in the model that was stolen.

Follow-up: What is the newest MacBook Pro model that has a Serial ATA Hard drive connection? Also, how do Mac users with only flash based memory store large files? Do they use external storage for everything? For example, I have a large music collection and use my MacBook for video editing for websites. I wouldn't be able to do that on a 265gb PCIe flash based hard drive.

5 Answers 5


No, it cannot. Actually, there is no there is no drive-bay at all (standard or optical). The traditional, 2.5'' 9.5mm internal notebook drives (whether SSD or HDD) that you're thinking of are not compatible (internally) with this model.

This is what the solid state "drive" looks like inside late 2013 models:


As you can see from the iFixit photo above, the SSD is really just a stick of flash memory, connected via the PCIe bus. It's made up of 8 identical NAND flash modules (in densities of either 32, 64, or 128 GB). The 256 GB drive is pictured here. There are 8 32GB chips in total, 4 on each side. The chip density corresponds to the listed drive capacity, so 8x64GB Modules = 512 GB, etc.

Though it is possible to replace the SSD with a larger capacity one, there's currently no aftermarket upgrade available yet:

Unfortunately, the proprietary PCIe 2.0-based SSD in the "Late 2013" models is limited to a smaller "blade" option, but upgrade options no doubt are forthcoming, nevertheless.

Soon forthcoming, indeed.

Consider purchasing an external storage device, or exploring 'cloud' based storage options.


Unfortunately any MacBook Pro Apple sells right now without an optical drive will not let you install another hard drive inside the case. Your only two options right now are:

1) Upgrade to an aftermarket hard drive that has more space.

2) Install a large SD Card that sits flush inside your SD Card slot like this Transcend Jetdrive Lite


The current range of MacBook Pros do not have an optical drive (which traditionally you would have taken out and replaced with a caddy to hold a second drive - SSD or Hard Disk), and even the main SSD supplied with them has a smaller footprint than a mass-market SATA SSD or HDD. This means that your options are:

  1. Upgrade to a (much) larger third-party after-market SSD - this is not cheap, and may affect the computer's warranty.
  2. Use an SD card or USB thumbdrive - these tend to hold less data than a 'proper' SSD.
  3. Store your data on a networked fileserver or an external Thunderbolt/USB HDD or SSD.
  4. Buy a MacBook Pro with the storage you require - they go up to 1TB, which sounds like about the amount of space you would need.
  • 2
    -1 "Use an SD card or USB thumbdrive" they are not designed to be used as a permenent hard disk!
    – o0'.
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 8:15
  • But a larger one could be used as backing store, for storage of documents and the like. The same could be said for SD cards, no? Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 8:17
  • 2
    Backing up on an SD card? O_o no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
    – o0'.
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 10:23

If it's an early-2013 model, Other World Computing offers an aftermarket upgrade. Otherwise an Apple Repair Center can order any part (and therefor also a bigger SSD for any MacBook). However the so-called "stock" price which applies for things like these is rather high.


Mid-2012 MacBook Pro has 2.5" drive bay (SATA 6 Gbps), USB 3. I have one, in the 1680 x 1050 'hi-res' screen. Great unit.

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