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I'm proud to say that I'm the happy owner of an almost antique 2009 MacBook Pro. I've had this 15-inch MacBook Pro for quite a while now and I'm not planning on changing it (have you seen the price of MacBooks these days?). As it is quite old now, it is not really working as well as before and my optical drive doesn't work anymore. It does not recognise any CD and keeps burping them out. It doesn't really matter as I've gotten used to it and don't use the optical drive now.

So here is my question:

Can I safely take the optical drive out and not replace it with another one?

I know it is possible to take it out and put an SSD in instead but what about just taking in out? And leave and empty space? What about the cables? Can they just hang in there and not be attached to anything?

I'm just thinking it could lighten up my already quite heavy laptop.

  • It can be done, but do not know if you can :) the procedure is somewhat complicated and sometimes not worth the weight (100 grams). macworld.com/article/2082572/… – Ruskes Nov 28 '14 at 20:50
  • Thanks for the quick answer, I'll try and let you know how it went! – Julien Nov 28 '14 at 21:00
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Yes, it is possible to remove the optical drive. However, it isn't that easy. You will need several specialized screwdrivers, a tool to remove the cables, and some manual dexterity. If you have experience disassembling laptops it will not be a problem.

Go to ifixit.com and find the instructions for your model.

Side note #1: this would be a good time to change the spinning drive for an SSD.

Side note #2: I don't find the price of MacBooks these days to be excessive. Have you seen the junk you get for $500?

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I can confirm that removing the optical drive in a MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 2.4GHz 7,1 with 10.10 installed by following MacBook pro 2010 13" ifixit instructions and leaving it empty works and causes no immediate problems.

Instructions for your 2009 15" MacBook Pro are available on ifixit.

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Simple answer, yes.

If it's not there it will be ignored as though it doesn't exist… which it won't.

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iFixit has a guide here. They also sell an adapter that you can use to replace it with a hard drive or solid-state drive, although just taking out the drive should not cause problems other than voiding your warranty.

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