Accessing the Unibody MacBook Pro - removing the bottom plate, plus necessary tools for any MacBook Pro upgrade

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As we said earlier, the first step to any Unibody MacBook Pro repair or upgrade project is to remove the bottom plate. With the Unibody MBP's, the machine can be completely disassembled and reassembled. You can remove or repair or replace any part. All that's needed is the bravery to take a screwdriver in hand, and remove the screws.

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On the bottom of the Unibody MacBook Pro are 10 screws that are all which stand between you and the ability to upgrade or repair your machine. There are four screws along the top and bottom of the long edges, and one screw on each side edge. The screws are very small and a bit tricky to remove, all that's necessary is the right sort of screwdriver.

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These are the tools I use - most of which came for free bundled with MacBook Pro upgrade kits. The box at the right contains a wide selection of high quality magnetized screwdriver bits - including TORX screw bits.

The grey-handled one next from the right is a special-purpose three bladed (Tri-Wing) screwdriver whose primary purpose is the screws for the MacBook Pro battery pack.

Next to that is a green plastic thingy that is useful for prying things out. It's designed to have leverage, and is safer than using a screwdriver.

The green screwdriver at the far left came free with an upgrade kit. It is the perfect size for the small screwdrivers on the bottom of the Unibody MacBook Pro.

iFixit has an excellent selection of tools and tool collections. The grey handled tri-wing screwdriver shown here came from them.

Amazon has several promising-looking toolkits: Vastar 58 in 1 with 54 Bit Magnetic Driver Kit, Kingsdun Set Premium 19pcs Best Mini Precision pentalobe Screwdrivers, and 16-piece Precision Screwdriver Set Repair Tool Kit for iPad, iPhone, & Other Devices

Once you've selected some tools all you need is a "Phillips #00" screwdriver. That's it - just use it to remove the bottom screws, and then gently lift the bottom plate off.

It's best if the screwdriver is magnetized because the screws are tiny and easily lost. Also - develop some good habits for managing the screws, so that you don't lose them, and so you remember which screw goes where. You might think a small cup is a good idea, but that means the screws get jumbled together. For the MacBook Pro, Apple (in its infinite wisdom) use many different types of screws, with different lengths and requiring different screw tips. Jumbling the screws together into one pile makes it harder to remember which was what and what goes where.

This is what you see with the bottom cover removed.

The Unibody MacBook Pro innards in all its glory.