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Battery, RAM, and HD access on new 17-inch Macbook Pro

Apple's new unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro began shipping earlier this week and a new tear-down of the high-end notebook reveals the steps needed to access the system's internal memory, hard drive, and battery components.

Unlike its smaller cousins in the 13-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro, the new 17-inch model lacks a user-replaceable battery and pop-up compartment that provides access to the hard drive. Therefore, users wishing to perform their own upgrades on the system will need a series of screwdrivers to access the various components.

iFixIt has posted a disassembly guide, which notes that there are ten Phillips screws of varying length that sit around the perimeter of the MacBook Pro's lower case and must first be removed to access the internals. Once the bottom case is rotated off, another three tri-wing screws hold the thin but long battery to the notebooks chassis.

The tri-wing screws can apparently be removed with a small flathead screw driver, even though Apple has placed a warning on the battery advising users against its removal. The Mac maker plans to offer $179 battery replacements through its retail stores and repair depots, though iFixIt claims it will soon be amongst a list of solutions providers who will sell their own do-it-yourself replacement kits.

The battery, which is similar to the MacBook Air's, is Apple model #A1309, 7.3V 95Wh (12000 mAh) and weighs 20.1 ounces, or 20% of the notebook's entire weight.

To the right of the battery is the MacBook Pro's hard disk drive, which can be removed by unscrewing two small Phillips screws holding its black plastic bracket to the chassis and then carefully disconnecting the Serial ATA cable.

Meanwhile, the memory slots sit centered above the battery and are generally easy to access once the bottom case of the MacBook Pro is unscrewed. Each of the two slots comes pre-loaded with a 2 GB DDR3 1067 MHz RAM chip.

MacBook Pro

It's also noted that Apple is now using wide, thin black rubber bumpers on its unibody notebooks, marking a departure from the small stubby bumpers on the Aluminum revisions. The Bluetooth board has also been relocated away from the display assembly.

iFixIt tells AppleInsider that its disassembly is ongoing and promises additional updates in the near future. Readers with questions may want to post them in our forums.