MacBook Pro 15-inch Repair Guide

MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro 15-inch Repair Guide
Get the most out of
your Mac. Visit
Our guide will show
you step by step how
to take apart your
Mac. Each step will
be given in great
detail and aided with
high quality pictures
of each step.
It will also show you
what needs to be done
for each ailment your
Mac may be having. It
will explain why it is
doing it and where to
find the parts to fix
The hardest part about
a repair is
reassembly. With this
guide, it will assist
you in getting those
screws back where they
came from.
Opening up the MacBook
Replacing the Memory
Removing the Top Case
Replacing the Hard Drive
Replacing the Bluetooth
Replacing the Superdrive
Replacing the Airport
Replacing the Keyboard
Removing the Speaker Assembly
Removing the MagSafe Board
Removing the Logic Board
Removing the Display
Opening the Display
Replacing the Inverter Board
Replacing the LCD
Replacing the Display Cables
Replacing the Bottom Pan
Your Mac. Our Patient.
At, we treat each
customer and each Mac like a patient. We
understand the importance of your Mac in
your life, as they are equally important in
our own lives. Whether your Mac is healthy
or sick, we hope you choose us to be your
Mac’s doctor.
Customer Support.
You aren’t a tech. We understand and
we’re here for you.
Live Support ( Online 9AM - 4PM CST)
Phone Support - 1-866-726-3342
Email Support:
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Any portion of this manual may not be
copied, reproduced, or distributed without
the written consent of Violators will be
This manual is presented as a guide in
order to help you repair problems with your
MacBook Pro. Working on a MacBook can
As of the writing of this manual, Apple’s
warranty policy denotes that opening up your
Apple product will void the warranty. If you
are still under coverage by Apple for your
MacBook Pro, we would suggest contacting
them first. offers a repair
service if you do not feel confident on per- take no responsibility
forming the repair yourself after reading this
for any damage or harm done to yourself or
manual. The repair service is a flat labor
your MacBook as a result of reading this
charge plus the cost of the parts needed.
Apple manufactures several revisions in
each line of their products. This guide will try
Phillips #00 Screwdriver
Repair Center
be dangerous if not done properly. We at
You can view our labor fees on our
website by clicking on the repair center link
at the top of the page.
to cover each of these revisions, but you
may find subtle differences between our
manual and what you see in your unit. This
may require small adjustments to the repair
procedure as described in our manual. If you
are confused at what you are seeing in comparison to the manual’s description and pictures, you may contact us by phone or email
TORX (r) T6 Screwdriver
If you see any problems with the manual, tips you would like added, or any suggestions to make the manual better, don’t
hesitate to email us with your ideas to...
and we will try to assist you.
Copyright © 2007
All rights reserved.
Other tools...
There are more tools that
may come in handy during
the repair. Needle-nose
pliers, a slotted screwdriver, and a flat tool
such as a small putty
knife may help in some
areas of the repair. The
guide will go into more
detail when these items
may be used to help ease
the repair process.
"TORX(r) is a registered trademark
of Textron Inc."
General information
about the MacBook
and what you should
be prepared for
when attempting a
Welcome to the
MacBook Repair Guide
provided by
It all starts with the first look. There are several things that can go wrong with your MacBook Pro, and hopefully
this guide will be able to shed some light on issues you may have, are having, and how to alleviate them.
The MacBook Pro is Apple’s first line intro-
You should also be able to notice the IR port
duced in early 2006 utilizing the Intel Core Duo
added to the front of the machine for fun times
processor. The MacBook Pro is the successor
with the Front Row software.
to the Powerbook G4 line of Apple laptops. The
At the time of this manual, there are two
design is fairly similar with some slight changes
different revisions of the MacBook Pro 15-inch.
to the casing but numerous changes under the
The original versions used the Intel Core Duo
hood of the sleek metal exterior.
processor and came in speeds of 1.83 GHz, 2.0
At first glance after opening up the
GHz, and 2.16 GHz. Several months later, the
MacBook Pro, you should see the striking simi-
MacBook Pros were rereleased with the newer
larity of the MacBook Pro to the older Power-
Intel Core 2 Duo processors as well as a Firewire
book G4 series. They have fairly similar de-
800 port and a 2.33 GHz model. There are sev-
signs, and if you have dabbled with repairs on
eral small differences between the Core Duo (CD
one of those older models, you should not have
for short) and the Core 2 Duo (C2D for short)
any problems at all tackling one of these. You
models. When replacing certain parts, be sure
should also see the iSight camera built into the
to take note if the part has multiple options
top of the display. All models include this cam-
depending on which revision you have or you
era. The manual will go in for a closer look later
will run into problems during your repair.
and guide you through replacing it if necessary.
With all this in mind, let us begin.
The top
pad and
to it.
Top Case
case includes the trackthe keyboard is attached
All repairs start here.
Opening up the MacBook Pro...
The first step to opening the MacBook Pro
as with most Apple laptops is flipping it over and
removing the battery. It is always wise to remove the battery during any repair. It is best to
remove any possible electricity that could damage the components inside. If you have an antistatic wristband, that will reduce your chances
of accidentally damaging your MacBook Pro.
To remove the battery, you should notice
two switches near the middle of the bottom
case. You will need to slide both of these
switches towards the back of the machine. You
should notice a red colored bottom underneath
if they are being slid the correct way. Once they
are both pushed back, the battery should pop
out. Just grab the battery and remove it from
the bay. Place it aside and be careful not to
scratch the casing on it.
After removing the battery, you should be
able to see the bottom side of the track-pad as
well as reveal five screws. Three of the screws
marked in the middle in the picture above are for
the memory bay cover. These screws are going
to have large polished heads and be very short.
These are the only three like this you will see on
the MacBook Pro so make sure you keep track
of them and remember where they go. Removing the battery should also reveal two screws on
the inside wall of the battery bay on the same
side as the latch of the unit. These two screws
help hold the top case in place. There are also
the four long polished phillips head screws lining
the back of the bottom case marked above.
Remove all of these.
Once removed, you can proceed to take off
the memory bay cover. It will slide out towards
the front of the machine and then you can lift it
Removing / Replacing Memory...
Underneath the battery cover, you will get
your first look at the main logic board (MLB
for short). There will be two RAM slots.
press down on the module until it pops in place
around the clasps. If this is all that you needed
to replace on your MacBook Pro, you can screw
back in the memory bay cover.
Depending on the configuration you chose
Maximum Memory:
when ordering your MacBook Pro, one or
You can currently install two
both of these slots may have memory modules already installed. To remove the mod-
1GB memory modules in your
ules, you should see metal clasps on each
MacBook Pro giving you a total
side. Gently push those away to the sides
of 2GB in your machine.
and that should unlock that memory module. Usually it will slightly pop up after being
successful. You can then slide out the
RAM. Most RAM will have a sticker denot-
ing how much memory the chip is. You can
have any combination of any two memory
modules as long as they are the compatible
type. The MacBook Pro uses DDR2
PC5300 SODIMM memory modules. The online store currently
sells both 512 MB and 1 GB memory modules for the MacBook Pro 15-inch. To reinstall the memory, just slide it in the appropriate slot horizontally. Usually it works best
if you are installing it in a 15-20 degree angle. Once the memory module is making
good contact within the slot, you can gently
Removing the Top Case...
There are several more screws that hold
on the top case including the two you have already removed from the battery bay. The left
and right side have four screws each, and the
rear has two screws. (You can see these in the
images to the left.) All of these screws have the
polished heads which denote being external
screws. It is best to group these in a separate
pile in order to insure you do not confuse them
with any of the internal screws. Some of these
screws may work inside somewhere, but when
you get near the end of the repair and only have
the ugly screws remaining you will want to go
back in.
Quick Fact...
RAM stands for Random
Access Memory.
Top Case Screws
All of the top case screws
are Phillips head screws
with polished heads. There
will be four on each side,
two in the battery bay, and
two on the back. The nine
screws on the bottom will
also need to be removed.
TORX (r) T6
You now have all of the screws needed to remove the top case out
but with some MacBook Pros, it can get stuck a little on the front side.
and organized to the side. You are now ready to pull off the top case. Be
There are some clasps holding it in. Usually it will lift out fine, but if you
cautious when pulling off the top case as there is a cable connected from
are having trouble, you may need to resort to using a flat tool such as a
the top case to the main logic board. It is best to start at the top two
flathead screwdriver or a spudger and help release the clasps in the prob-
corners above the speakers and gently lift up. Just place each
lem areas. Be very careful if you must use a flat tool. This metal
hand at the appropriate corner, place your fingers in the
Start at
the top and
work your way
groove between the trim of the top case and the bottom
case and lift straight up. In some cases it may require a
little force, but it shouldn’t take much. Once you have it
started, you can make your way down the sides of the case
towards the front of the machine. It should be fairly simple,
Keeping track of all
your screws
is extremely easy to scratch and bend. The best and safest
way to get to the clasps is to come in from the partially lifted
sides and apply pressure at the front. Once the top case is
separated around all of the sides, you can slowly flip it back
and you should be able to see the cable attached to the
main logic board. It may have a piece of tape holding it in.
Organize them by the type of
machine back together and realize you
screw it is, what size it is, and any other
used one of the polished screws inside
characteristics such as a polished head
somewhere and be stuck with going back
There are several ways to organize your
or color.
in or living with your mistake.
screws during a repair. If you have a
container such as an empty jewelry box or
order of removal from the machine so
purchased from our company, but they are
a small tackle box that has several small
you will be able to follow your way back.
not cheap, so it would be best just to heed
sections, that would make it much easier to
This will help get your machine back the
this advice and keep track of all your
keep track of your screws.
way it was with the appropriate screws.
It is also good to organize them in
You do not want to end up getting your
These external screws can be
front left corner of the main body of the
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
Removing the Top Case
Removing the Hard Drive...
below with the Toshiba sticker on it. (Your hard
drive might not be a Toshiba) The main interface
connection is going to be at the top.
As seen in the top picture to the left, the
first step is to disconnect the hard drive cable
The first step in replacing and upgrading
that connects to the main logic board. It is the
your hard drive is to make sure you purchase
L-shaped orange cable. To disconnect it from
the correct replacement. MacBooks use Serial-
the main logic board just grab hold of both sides
ATA (SATA) drives instead of its predecessor the
of the cable and pull up. Try not to disconnect it
IDE drives that were used in the older Power-
from one side as you may damage the socket or
book and iBook lines from Apple. The SATA
the cable.
drives are much faster by a minimum of 50%.
There will be two screws on the right side
You will also need to choose what size hard
of the hard drive holding in the mounting
drive you want to replace it with. Make sure
bracket. One of the screws may be hidden by a
when shopping for a new drive that you get a
few wires so just gently move them aside so you
compatible one, and if you are worried about
can get to the screw. Once both screws are
getting the correct one, you can purchase your
removed, you should be able to pul out the Blu-
hard drive from our store if you haven’t already.
etooth module (Small board wrapped in clear
They are guaranteed compatible with Apple
plastic). Once that is taken off, you can prepare
MacBook and MacBook Pros.
to remove the bracket. The orange cables pic-
Once the top case is disconnected from
MacBook Pro. It can be seen in the pictures
tured below are just stuck onto the top of the
the logic board, you can put it off to the side.
hard drive with adhesive so it should separate
You should now be getting your first good look
easily. There is no need to disconnect the two
at the logic board and all of the internal com-
white cable connectors at this point.
ponents. The hard drive is going to be at the
Removing the Hard Drive
The first thing to do is
disconnect the ribbon
cable from the main logic
board as pictured above at
the top. The bracket
pictured above in the
middle is held in by two
phillips head screws
marked in the image to the
right. The bluetooth
board can be removed by
gently lifting it up.
There are two
screws to
You can lift out the hard drive by prying up
drive and the main logic board. If it is, click on
from the top left corner of the hard drive as
it, and make sure it is reporting the correct size.
shown in the first image over to the right.. Once
You will then need to go to the “Erase” tab in
it is safely out, you can disconnect the main
interface cable shown in the second image on
the right. The SATA interface cable is much
easier to disconnect than the older EIDE hard
With hard drive sizes, manufacturers
drives seen in previous Apple laptops. You no
cheat the system on how they advertise
longer have to worry about bending pens. Just
hard drive capacity. Manufacturers refer
pull it straight out and the hard drive should be
to 1 Gigabyte as 1000 Megabytes in-
free. The hard drive has two screws on each
stead of the proper 1024 Megabytes.
side that will need to be transferred over to the
This will result in an inflated Gigabyte
new drive. These along with the bracket keep
capacity but most operating systems will
the hard drive in place inside your MacBook
report a much smaller hard drive size.
Disk Utility. Here you will be able to partition
and format the hard drive. In the format, it
should already be set to the correct value of
Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The next blank
is for the name of the volume. You can name
this whatever you like. The standard is “Macintosh HD”, but it is completely up to you.
Almost all hard drives you purchase will not
be formatted yet. You will need to place your
operating system CD in and boot up from it. It
shouldn’t find an operating system on the hard
drive so it should automatically boot from the
install disk. Once you are in the installer, you will
need to format the disk using the Disk Utility
software. This can usually be found in the top
menu in the installer. In the Disk Utility application, make sure the hard drive is detected in the
list to the left. If it is not, you will need to go in
and recheck your connections between the hard
Once the hard drive is formatted, it is
ready to have the OS installed on it. If you are
just upgrading your hard drive, you can actually
all of your files. You will need an external hard
drive enclosure and cloning software (i.e. Carbon Copy Cloner). The hard drive enclosures
are available through our website. Carbon
Copy Cloner is free software available online.
The copy process can take several hours depending on how much data you have on the
hard drive. offers several hard
drive upgrades for your MacBook Pro. We
currently sell Hitachi drives which are known for
their superior Mac compatibility. You can view
clone your old drive onto the new one and save
the available drives by going to our store.
Hard Drive Upgrades
When replacing or
upgrading your MacBook Pro
hard drive, remember that
the new MacBooks use the
SATA interface instead of
the older EIDE interface
used on previous iBook and
Powerbook lines of Apple
products. The SATA
technology is a 50%
increase in speed over the
older drives.
Replacing the Bluetooth Module...
the maximum signal strength possible with the antenna. This antenna
Previous steps required...
cable is much like a coaxial cable for the television. It has one small
straight pin on the cable that needs to go into the hole on the bluetooth
Opening the MacBook Pro
module. It doesn’t screw in, however, and needs to be removed by pull-
Removing the Top Case
ing up as straight as possible. As pictured above, it is best to use some
needle-nose pliers to grab a hold of the end of the antenna cable and pull
straight up away from the board.
If you haven’t found it yet, the Bluetooth Module is nestled on the
right side of the hard drive in the lower left corner. You can gently stick a
spudger into the plastic that surrounds the module and lift up to free it.
pictures above. There is the darker tan colored piece that needs to be
Once freed you should notice two cables attached to it. One cable is
gently slid out in order to unlock the cable so it can be removed. Once
going to be black in color and round. This is the antenna cable. It is attached to the board here and runs off around the case in order to give you
The other cable attached to the Bluetooth board is the data cable. It
is attached by a special locking mechanism. You should see from the
both sides are slid out, just pull the cable to free it. You can now replace
the Bluetooth module and close the machine back up.
Airport Express
Every MacBook Pro comes
with Airport. This allows
wireless networking with
fast speeds.
Bluetooth 2.0
With Bluetooth, you can
wirelessly connect
devices to your MacBook
Apple Remote
With the Apple
remote you can
play with the
Front Row
Removing / Replacing Superdrive
Previous steps required...
corner of the MacBook Pro. The first step in
removing the Superdrive is to unhook the ribbon
cable attached to the main logic board. This
connector is usually covered by tape, so you
Opening the MacBook Pro
may need to pull the tape off. Afterwards you
Removing the Top Case
can remove the three screws holding the drive
in. There is a TORX T6 screw in the back an-
All MacBooks are equipped with a Superdrive. Superdrive is essentially Apple’s nomenclature for a DVD recorder/burner. It can read
and write to both CD and DVD media.
Superdrives can have several problems
that will require replacing the drive. There is a
locking mechanism inside the drive that says
there is a disk inside and to not let it out until
told to. This, however, can break and get stuck
in the locked position and will not allow disks in
or out. This behavior is usually noticeable
when the disk you are trying to insert is pushed
to the left or right side and won’t let you put the
disk in straight even if there is no disk already
present inside. The lasers can also die which
requires replacing the drive. This is usually the
case when the drive spits out any media you
After removing the top case, you should
choring the drive to the logic board and two
Phillips head screws near the front with one on
each side. All three of these are marked in the
picture below.
Once those screws are removed, you can
take out the drive. As seen pictured to the left,
the optical drive cable is simple to remove. Just
pull it out and transfer it to the new drive if it is
being replaced. There are also 3 brackets
around the sides of the Superdrive. These
screws would need to be removed and the
brackets moved over to the new drive.
Once you are ready to put the machine
back together, just replace that cable, the
screws, and don’t forget to re-plug in the cable.
The sticker should be facing up on the Superdrive. You may also want to try inserting a CD
to verify that the drive is sitting correctly and it
will be able to take in and eject disks properly.
see the Superdrive sitting in the bottom right
Superdrive - Tech Specs
6x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R
Maximum write: 6x DVD-R
and DVD+R; 4x DVD+RW
and DVD-RW; 2.4x DVD+R
DL (double layer); 24x
CD-R; 10x CD-RW
Maximum read: 8x DVDROM, DVD-R, DVD+R; 6x
DVD-ROM (double layer
and two Phillips
(double layer); 24x
Airport Extreme
This is Airport’s
successor to the Airport
Express. It uses the new
802.11n protocol and
offers incredible
improvements over the
802.11g protocol. Most
MacBooks are going to
have this disabled. Read
below for more details.
Removing / Replacing the Airport Card
The Airport card is located on the left side of the MacBook just
this off from one side. The card should now be free to pop up. Once it is
above where the hard drive normally sits. There are two antenna cables
popped up as show in the picture above in the bottom right, the card can
attached at the top of the card marked above with circles. These
now be slid towards the rear of the machine to be taken out of the
need to be removed in the same way as the Bluetooth antenna
slot. The Airport card should now be free and ready to replace
cable was. It is best to use needle-nose pliers or a spudger
and pull straight up on the end connector so the pin is not
damaged. It shouldn’t take much force to disconnect them.
You need to be quite gentle with them because if they break,
if need be. These cards are going to be compatible with
802.11n support
they will need to be replaced. As pictured above, there will
802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n* wireless networks. It is not
necessary to use an Apple Airport base station. Any third
party base station should function with the Apple Airport
* Apple released purchasable software to enable this feature.
usually be a piece of tape on the right side of the card. Peel
History of the Apple Airport
The original Apple Airport and Base Station was introduced in July 1999. It used the 802.11b protocol
which offered
transfer speeds of 11Mbps.
(Mbps: Megabits per
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In January of 2003, Apple released the Airport Extreme which used the 802.11g protocol which greatly inAnte auctor exFeugiat at. In
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creased thecepturi
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a much
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In January of 2007, Apple announced the newest
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Replacing / Removing the Keyboard
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
Removing the Top Case
If you accidentally tear the backing, don’t
cable is the backlight cable. It is a very small
on there even if it is a little torn.
orange cable coming out just above and to the
left of the data cable. This is a similar style connector. The bar needs to be flipped up and the
Free the Keyboard
After getting the black backing off, you
should see several screws holding the keyboard
in. There should be 10 in total dispersed around
the back of the keyboard. All of these should be
Remove the Backing
short threaded Philips screws with large unpol-
One of the first things you will notice after
flipping over the top case is the black plastic
backing on the keyboard. This backing is used
to help make the backlighting on the keys a little
brighter. Removing this without tearing is a
tricky task. It is best to start on the edges and
free those first where the black backing overlaps
the sides. Once that is free you can start peel-
able to pull the keyboard cable out. The other
fret. This isn’t a vital piece but it is good to have
ished heads.
cable pulled out.
One more thing needs to be done to free
the keyboard. Along the top of the keyboard
while looking on the back of the top case, you
should see several metal hooks lining the top.
These little hooks need to be twisted counter-
After all of those screws are removed, we
need to disconnect the two cables coming from
the keyboard. The white and gray striped ribbon
cable is the keyboard’s data cable. It informs
the processor what key is being pressed. This
cable connects to the circuit board underneath
the trackpad. This circuitry is usually covered
by a thin rectangular piece of transparent plastic. It is best to just peel it off from the edges
until you can get to the cable connections underneath. The connector type is a common one
clockwise in order to unlock the keyboard.
Once that is complete, you can safely remove
the keyboard.
Replacing the Keyboard
To install the new keyboard, it is best to
slide it into the bottom, and then slightly bend
the sides in in order to fit the tabs on the sides
ing the backing from one of the corners. It is
into their appropriate grooves. Make sure you
best to take it slow unless your new keyboard
including a new backing. Just continue to
slowly peel it towards the center. It is made up
of two separate pieces. If your new keyboard
doesn’t contain a new package, place these two
old pieces to the side with sticky side up. Take
note of which side of the backing goes where,
but it will later be explained how to match up the
correct sides just in case you mixed them up.
feed the backlight cable and data cable through
their slots so we can connect them after the
keyboard is in. Once it is in well, you can screw
found in Apple products. The cable is locked in
the keyboard back in with the ten screws, twist
place by a small bar that needs to be flipped
the hooks to lock the top into position, and con-
upright into the unlocked position. Be very gen-
nect the data cable and backlight cable.
tle as breaking this could require a new top
case. Once the bar is flipped up, you should be
The best way to line up the backing is to
line up the two large screw holes with the holes
in the backing.
Keycap vs. Keyboard Issues
The keyboard on a laptop gets a lot of punishment over the years. With the use, exposure, and convenience for accidents, the keyboard can get
a lot of damage. If a key stops working, don’t jump to the conclusion that you just ruined your keyboard. You may just need a new key which we sell
at our online store.
If the character on your key has worn off, or your key has popped off and you can’t get it back on, most likely you just need to replace the keycap
and scissor mechanism. This will save you a lot of money over having to buy a full keyboard. The procedure for replacing the key is fairly simple, and
we offer a small manual on how to replace keys on our website.
Usually with spills, the keyboard is going to be affected as a whole. If several keys in a certain region stop working, or there is no response at all,
most likely the entire keyboard will need to be replaced.
Removing the Speaker Assembly
Previous steps required...
The left speaker assembly is a little trickier.
It is held on by several screws. One screw is
pointed out in the first picture to the right. It is
located in a slight hole in the assembly. A sec-
Opening the MacBook Pro
ond screw actually fastens the assembly to the
Removing the Top Case
left fan. This will need to be removed as well.
Removing the Airport Card
Also pictured to the right is the sound cable.
This needs to be disconnected. The easiest
way to disconnect it is to pop up the locking
The speaker assembly sits on a lot of key
clip vertically. Once the clip is popped up, the
components and removing it is necessary to get
cable can easily be pulled out of the connector.
to these components. There are two connected
Once all of those screws are removed and the
parts of the assembly... the left and right
cable disconnected, the speaker assembly can
be extracted. Both speakers are connected so
You can start with the right speaker. There
is one Torx T6 screw holding it and the ambient
be careful not to pull the wires when removing
light sensor in place. Once removed, you can
lift the plastic cover off the sensor and put it to
the side. There is a piece of orange foil stuck t
the board here. You can safely pull that off. The
right speaker is locked in place. To unlock it,
rotate it clockwise until it frees itself. Once unlocked, you should be able to pull it straight up
out of its crevice. After the speaker itself is out,
you can route the speaker cable back that goes
over the logic board.
Torx T6 Screw
There are three main parts
to the MacBook Pro speaker
assembly... the left and
right speaker and the subwoofer which provides the
bass. If you are only
getting sound from one
side, none at all, or no
bass, you probably will
need your speaker assembly
Removing the MagSafe Board
bles that are routed around the left fan. There is
one more screw that needs to be removed in
order to free the MagSafe board. It is a hex cap
Previous steps required...
screw along the left side of the board. It looks
silver and has a hole in it. The easiest way to
Opening the MacBook Pro
remove it is to stick a Torx T6 screwdriver in the
Removing the Top Case
hole and turn it.
Removing the Airport Card
Removing the Speaker Assembly
Once all the screws are removed you can
begin taking out the board. There are several
cables that need to be disconnected. The ExpressCard cable is connected to the logic board
The MagSafe is the new power system
and can be pulled up. There is also a cable on
used by Apple to help an old problem that has
the bottom right corner of the MagSafe board.
plagued Powerbooks and iBooks in the past.
It is best to use a spudger or flat tool and gently
The MagSafe power adapter connects via
lift up on the end of the cable. Pulling it out with
magnets instead of a normal plug. This makes
your fingers can potentially result in pulling out
it impossible to break the power plug inside the
wires from the connector. The last cable is for
machine after a fall or tripping on the cord. The
power to the main board. It can be difficult
MagSafe will just pop off if too much pressure
getting to this cable, so it is easier to go ahead
is applied. The board also serves as the sound
and begin lifting the board out and disconnect-
board, I/O board, and the ExpressCard slot.
ing this last cable at that time. The best way to
There are four Philips black screws that
pull the board out is to tilt it up from the right
need to be removed. One is located at the top
side, slide it to the left and then out towards
left corner of the board near the MagSafe con-
nector. There are two along the bottom and
Once the board is removed, the card slot
one near the middle. This middle screw is usu-
needs to be taken off as replacement boards
ally hiding underneath the colored power ca-
may not come with this.
Removing the Logic Board
around the board holding it in place. There are
also two long T6 screws holding the right fan to
the logic board. There is one Philips black
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
screw near the battery bay and one black T6
screw near the left fan.
After those screws are removed you should
Removing the Top Case
be able to remove the board. It is best to tilt
Removing the Superdrive
back both fans and pull the board slightly left
Removing the Speaker Assembly
and then out. Remember to disconnect that last
temperature sensor underneath the top right
The logic board includes many components. It includes the processor, the memory
When putting the logic board back in, be
slots, the video chipset, and temperature sen-
sure not to forget to reconnect all of these tem-
perature sensors or you can get system crashes
There are several connections that need to
with overheating errors or possibly even dam-
be disconnected. As pictured in the top picture
aged components due to fans not working
to the right, you need to disconnect the iSight
cable, inverter cable, left fan, sound cable,
ExpressCard ribbon cable, battery cable, right
fan cable, display cable, PRAM battery, and the
two visible temperature sensors locating in the
top middle and one in the bottom right of the
board. There is one more temperature sensor
on the bottom right corner. You may need to
wait until the board is partially removed to
corner if you did not do it earlier.
reach this cable.
There are ten small T6 screws scattered
Logic Board Issues
The logic board is the
brain of your MacBook Pro.
There are several symptoms
of a bad logic board ranging from overheating, display, and power issues.
Liquid spills tend to kill
logic boards fairly
end. This cable con-
Removing the Display
trols the picture on the
screen. It can just be
pulled out of the con-
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
Removing the Top Case
Unscrewing the
Once all of the
Disconnecting the Cables
cable are disconnected we can proceed
with removing the display. The display is held on by 4 screws that are
screwed into the hinges. There are two types of screws but both use a
Torx T6 screwdriver. The front screws are going to only be partially
and inverter cable.
threaded while the back ones should be fully threaded. Make sure you
don’t mix these up as switching them can cause problems with the
hinges. Once the four screws have been removed, you can gently lift the
There are five primary cables that go up into the display. They, therefore, need to be disconnected in order to separate the display from the
main body of the MacBook Pro. These are the display cable, the inverter
cable, the two wireless antenna cables (Airport and Bluetooth), and the
iSight cable. The iSight and inverter cable are the top two cables on the
left side of the main logic board. The iSight is the topmost cable. Both
cables just slide out. Just be sure to get a good hold and to not pull from
the wires if possible. These cables are pictured above. The Airport and
display out of the main body of the MacBook Pro. Be sure none of the
Bluetooth cables are con-
cables are getting snagged and slowly pull the display straight up and
nected to the Airport
then away. Lay the display flat on its back so the screen does not get
card. These should
accidentally scratched.
be removed by using
a spudger or needlenose pliers and lifting
(some pictures may
as straight up as pos-
show certain compo-
sible. (A picture of
nents have already been
these can be found in
removed, but that re-
the Removing the
Airport Card section)
moval is not necessarily
required to remove the
The display cable is
located on the other side
of the board. It is the large orange cable with the metal connector on the
Normal vs. Glossy
Apple has two types of
LCDs for the MacBook.
There are the older normal style and the new
glossy style. It is completely personal preference, but the glossy
seems to work better in
low-level lighted areas
and the normal otherwise.
Previous Steps Required: Opening the MacBook Pro, Removing the Top Case
Screen size
is determined
The display has two screws in the two bottom corners on the front bezel. There are both Philips head screws with polished heads. Once those
screws are removed, you can begin to take off the back display casing. It is usually best to start in one of the bottom corners. You can sometimes get
it to start popping open just by pulling it apart with your fingers, but you may need a flat tool to help. Be careful, however, as it is can be easy to
scratch the case when using a tool. Once started, you can work your way around. However, be mindful of cutting or pulling wires.
The inverter board controls the backlight on the LCD. If you are only able to make out faint images on the screen
like the brightness is turned all the way down, then most likely you need a new inverter board.
on the opposite side. They are very susceptible to any water damage that
trickles into the LCD, so be extra careful when cleaning your display.
To remove the inverter board, you simply just have to pull up on the
side connected to the LCD. Disconnect that cable, then pull the inverter
board out and disconnect the inverter cable. Once the board is out, you
can simple reconnect the two cables and reseat the inverter board safely
into its crevice. Be sure that the wires are routed well and not susceptible
to be cut or pinched once we snap the back display cover back on.
A typical symptom of a bad inverter board is when the backlight
never comes on at all or it briefly blinks only when powering up.
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
Removing the Top Case
Removing the Display
Opening the Display
As pictured above, the inverter board sits at the bottom of the LCD
panel. The inverter board controls the backlight on the LCD. There are
two cables that connect to the inverter board. The cable from the backlight of the LCD connects to one side, while the inverter cable that is
routed through the hinge and connects to the main logic board connects
Removing / Replacing the LCD
image to the right. There may be some tape
covering the connection that needs to be
peeled off. If not, you can just pull the cable
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
Removing the Top Case
Removing the Display
Opening the Display
out of the connector.
As pictured in the second image, the
iSight sits at the top of the LCD and has a small
ribbon cable attached to the small circuit board
for the iSight. The connection is similar to other
ones we have already seen in this manual. The
locking mechanism must be flipped up to the
One of the most common repairs to a
MacBook Pro will be replacing the LCD after an
unlucky fall that cracks the display. This is fairly
easy to diagnose. The display will have cracks
on it and what looks like black ink seeping
through. This is actually the liquid crystal that is
now pressing up against the outside pane of
glass. There is no fix once it is broken. You will
have to replace the LCD and they are usually
quite expensive.
Once you have the back display casing off,
you should have a good view at the back of the
LCD. Be aware that the LCD does not include
the cables or the casing. It is a separate part.
The first thing you will notice on the back of the
LCD is the display cable as pictured on the first
vertical position so the cable can be removed.
The cable itself is held on by a light adhesive.
There are eight small black screws lining
the LCD. All of these need to be removed in
order to free the LCD from the front bezel. One
side of these screws can be seen in the last
image to the right. Once all of the screws are
remove you can start to extract the LCD. There
is a slight adhesive at the top of the LCD but
quite a strong adhesive sticking the LCD to the
bottom. If the LCD is already being replaced,
you don’t have to worry about being too gentle
as it is already damaged. It is best to rock it
back and forth to loosen the adhesive and get a
flat tool to help detach it from the bezel. Once
removed, you can stick in the new LCD and
work your way back.
The LCD only
includes the screen
and the backlight
Removing the Display
The display cable, iSight
cable, the LCD inverter
cable, and the side screws
will need to be removed
before the LCD can be extracted.
Replacing Display Cables
metal piece that goes over the hinges and covers all the cables going up into the display.
There are several Torx T6 screws holding
Previous steps required...
Opening the MacBook Pro
Removing the Top Case
Removing the Display
Opening the Display
the clutch cover to the front bezel. Depending
on what cables you are needing to replace, it is
not necessary to completely remove the clutch
cover. You can just remove enough of the
screws to loosen it enough to extract the old
cable and route the new one. Take close note of
how each cable is routed before removing them
There are several cables that go up into the
display. The data cable, inverter cable, and
wireless antenna all go up into the display. All
of these cable must go up through the hinges
and with this tight space, there is a high possi-
rectly without risking damaging the cable prematurely.
Replacing the Hinges
As pictured below, you can see one of the
bility for these cables to get damaged after a
hinges. These rarely will go out unless the
lot of use due to the general wearing down of
MacBook is dropped . The clutch cover will
the cables from opening and closing the dis-
need to be fully removed to access the four T6
play. They can also get damaged fairly easily if
screws on the hinge. Once it is removed, you
the MacBook Pro is dropped. The hinges
can replace it with the new hinge, reroute the
could pinch or cut the cables. If this happens,
cables and reconnect the clutch cover.
the machine will need to be opened up and
these cables replaced.
The main part that needs to be removed in
so you know how to route the new cable cor-
order to replace these cables is the clutch
cover. As seen in the first two images, it is the
Clutch Cover
The clutch cover pictured
above is in charge of
properly routing all of
the cables and hiding them
so they are less likely to
get damaged.
Close Up:
The Hinge Assembly
Replacing the Bottom Pan
replaced. It requires almost a complete disassembly to get to bottom
pan so make sure you are up for it as it is a daunting repair.
There are still a couple of steps required in order to get your old
bottom pan out of the way. The heat-sink and fan assembly will need
Previous steps required...
to be removed. As long as you removed all of the screws pointed out
Opening the MacBook Pro
earlier, this should just lift out. The new bottom pan will not come with
Removing the Top Case
the PRAM battery so you need to make sure that is removed and trans-
Removing the Hard Drive
ferred over to the new bottom. The PRAM is located towards the front
Removing the Superdrive
right of the unit around where the superdrive was located. It is usually
Removing the Airport Card
going to be a round blue object with a cable coming out of it. It is held
Removing the Speaker Assembly
on by a slight adhesive. The remnants of the right speaker assembly
Removing the Display
will also need to be removed. There is one small black screw holding it
Removing the MagSafe Board
in place. Once removed, the piece can be taken off. This as well is
Removing the Logic Board
held on by a slight adhesive. The infrared sensor is the last thing that
needs to be transferred over if you haven’t already removed it. There is
one T6 screw holding it in near the front of the MacBook Pro around the
latch button. Remove the screw and the sensor should lift out along
Once all of the main components have been removed you are left
mainly with the bottom pan.
with a small retainer clip.
The bottom pan is usually what is going
With those last items removed, your bottom pan should be well
to get the brunt of any physical mishaps. The bottom will get dented
cleaned our and you can start putting everything back into your new
and scratched more than any other part and you may need to get it
bottom pan.