Macbook Pro Retina 13 (late 2012) SSD replacement, putting in a SATA 2.5' drive?

Before you jump in and say no it can't be done please read the below information to see it can be done.

The late 2012 Retina is a mixed breed laptop, the old generation used SATA drives and you could upgrade yours to a SATA SDD, while the new generation macbook use a "stick like ssd" that connects directly to PCI-Express.

Now, the late 2012 Retina is a hybrid between those, it still uses SATA but the connector looks like mini-SATA and similar to PCI-Express but the pinouts are mixed around.

If one could find an adaptor from the main board connector to SATA and get the pinouts connected right it would be possible to connect a SATA SSD, there is even enough room under the trackpad.

Photos of the SSD tray: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Late+2012+SSD+Tray+Replacement/12822

I'll post pictures of the pinouts later.

Has anyone found an adapter like this?

4 Answers 4


Just managed to upgrade my Late 2012 Retina Macbook Pro using a Samsung mSATA 512GB SSD and an 7+17 pin adapter like this one:



PS. Use "sudo trimforce enable" in the Terminal, to get trim and full speed.

PS1. Newer Retina Macbook Pros use the 18+8 pin adapter like this one (don't know if they fit, late-2012 Retinas have a lot of room unlike the newer models): http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Lightweight-mSATA-to-18-Plus-8-Pin-SSD-Adapter-for-MacBook-Pro-Retina-F-OS/32420956007.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.2.hligL2&ws_ab_test=201556_2,201527_1_71_72_73_74_75,201409_2

  • 1
    I just managed to upgrade my Macbook pro late 2012 too! Thanks! I used Samsung 850 EVO 500GB and successfully restored from Time Machine backup. According to discussions.apple.com/thread/7434291?start=0&tstart=0 it's a good idea to enable trim and it should be easy in El Capitan. Overall cost of the new hardware is much less then original Apple SSD or OWC.
    – Micer
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 12:09

I have a MacBook Pro A1425 and have scoured the internet looking for answers. To date I have not found such an adapter (AAARRRRrrrrrrggggg!!!). However Transcend makes a 64 and 128 GB expansion card that goes in the SDXC card slot for additional storage instead of replacing your current hard drive for $37 and $75 on Amazon

Transcend JetDrive Lite 330 64 GB Storage Expansion Card 13-Inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (TS64GJDL330)

Transcend JetDrive Lite 330 128 GB Expansion Card for 13-Inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (TS128GJDL330)

Alternatively you can get internal flash drives from OWC (Other World Computing) called the AURA and AURA Pro. The 240 GB size starts at $159 and goes all the way up to 1TB for $600. http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Air-Retina/Apple-MacBook-Pro-Retina-2012-Drive-Internal-Flash

Good luck with your search. Give us an update if you find something!

Kevin Twin Cities Minnesota

  • I will. Using the Nifty Mini Drive for now, because I want to reuse the microSDs when I buy bigger ones. Recently picked up a 64GB Hama 45mb/s for 25$ so prices are going way down. Also this goodram.com/product/accessories/goodram-card-reader very small USB microSD card reader is very useful.
    – unom
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 23:09
  • Just found an adapter. It works... the my answer below.
    – unom
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 13:55

Hello I have Mac BookPro A1425 (Late 2012) with SSD128GB with Transcend JetDrive Lite 330 64GB Storage Expansion Card (for 13-Inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (TS64GJDL330)). Jetdrive works well, but too slow compared to internal SSD, especially with big files. Then, I replaced with Samsung EVO 850 500GB and "mSATA to 17 Plus 7 Pin" SSD Adapter for A1425. TRIM enabled with Terminal command. MacBook Pro A1425 works fine and faster with EVO 850 500GB SSD.

  • Nice! Glad to hear it works
    – unom
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 15:05

Although this has already been answered, I decided to write my own answer with all of the relevant instructions for anyone trying this themselves.

  1. You need an mSATA drive, like the popular Samsung SSD 860 EVO drive.
  2. You need an adapter, like the SHINESTAR mSATA to A1398 A1425 (2012 & Early 2013) Adapter which allows you to insert the mSATA drive into your late 2012 or early 2013 MacBook.
  3. Now you can follow this iFixit guide to replace the SSD.

Compared to buying an SSD from OWC, this method is both cheaper and more compatible (if you ever need to remove the mSATA SSD and use it elsewhere).

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