Introduction: SD Card Hack for Macbook Pro Retina 13 Inch

Picture of SD Card Hack for Macbook Pro Retina 13 Inch

If you are a proud purchaser of latest Macbook pro 13 inch with retina display, you might have already started to wonder or might already be wondering about the extending storage options for this beauty.

The challenge is the storage upgrade cost. The 128 GB SSD model is the cheapest one and 256 GB comes at a reasonable upgrade cost while the 512 GB SSD model seems too expensive.

The upgrade options are very limited with custom designed flash cards, adapters for micro SD cards and what not.

Another options can be an external hard drive but you might not want to lug around the external HDD for the extra music that you like or may be some episodes of your favourite TV series.

What I have found out is that 64 GB is a sweet spot when it comes to price to value proposition as the cost of 128 GB SD cards is more than double, in fact 3 times the cost of 64 GB SD card cost.

In this Instructable we would see how we can use an off the shelf SD card to over come the storage limitation of our Macbook Pro 13 inch retina model.

*Note* This method may not work with all SD cards. But will work with most, specially the recent high capacity ones.

Step 1: What We Need?

Picture of What We Need?

What we need

1. A full size SD card, preferably 64 GB one. The one I used for this experiment was Strontium Nitro class 10 due to its price / value proposition. These are very easily available in India.

2. A paper cutter with sharp edges.

3. A pencil to mark the card for cutting.

4. A pair of tweezers to pull out the card while testing. (Optional but comes in real handy)

5. A ruler or a straight surface.

6. Of course a Macbook Pro 13 with retina display. This might also work for other Macbook models with slight difference in step 2.

Step 2: Marking Our SD Card

Picture of Marking Our SD Card

The reason I went for this approach is because, the micro SD cards have become smaller and I saw in some videos on youtube that most of the plastic in full size SD cards was to maintain the form factor for cameras etc. I tore open some micro SD cards adapters as well to see the insides.

Also it doesn't make sense for manufacturers to have different die sizes to make internals of the SD cards as it all plastic that is needed to maintain the form factor.

First thing we need to do is insert the SD card in the SD card slot on the right side edge of our Macbook pro or any other macbook.

Take the pencil and mark the sides so that we have a clear line to mark our cutting line on the plastic.

This mark will be at different distance for each Macbook model, if we mark the line right it should be good enough.

Step 3:

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Now keep the card on a hard surface, place a ruler or another straight object on the line.

Hold it tight, and start making cuts along the line that we made, we would need to make multiple cuts as we would not want to break the circuits inside (just in case we are unlucky and or card the electronics all the way till the end.

One easier way to check that would be to use the knife point to pry open the card from the bottom edge to do that, or if the card is not black you can use a really powerful light source to look at the insides to detect the circuit boundary.

Once we have made multiple cut marks we start by prying open the plastic case from the bottom and try and break along the lines by folding it slowly and steadily increasing the folding pressure.

Once the top part breaks we can do the same thing with the remaining half.

I guess my cuts were not that deep so the edge slightly chipped of.

Check the card by plugging in. It works. Now the tweezers come in handy to pull out the card, if u don't have long nails.

We may file the cut egde a little to remove sharp corners and edges as around half a millimetre keep out of the slot.

The card can be made real flush with the surface but in that case the tweezers are a must to pull it out.

Plug in the card and enjoy the free space to store your music, TV series, movies or whatever you want.

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Bio: A solution architecht by profession, engineer by thought!
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