MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Upper Case Replacement

Replace the upper case in your Mid 2009 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody.

Replacing the upper case requires the removal of nearly every component in your MacBook Pro. You will also need to transfer your old trackpad over to your new upper case.

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge. This step is optional and is not required.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the fan connector out of its seat, and straight up off the logic board.

  • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

  • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

    • One 6.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 5.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

  • Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case:

    • One 7 mm Phillips.

    • One 5 mm Phillips.

  • Lift the display data cable bracket out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer and right speaker connector up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • In this step you will disconnect the camera cable. Most machines will have a small self adhesive plastic retainer stuck to the logic board to keep the connector in place. Before disconnecting the cable, be sure this retainer is moved out of the way.

  • Pull the camera cable connector toward the optical drive to disconnect it from the logic board.

  • This socket is metal and easily bent. Be sure to align the connector with its socket on the logic board before mating the two pieces.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive, hard drive, and trackpad cable connectors up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use your fingernail or the tip of a spudger to flip up the cable retaining flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

  • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Peel the small strip of black tape off the keyboard backlight ribbon cable socket.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the cable retaining flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard backlight ribbon cable.

  • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the battery indicator cable connector up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the microphone off the adhesive attaching it to the upper case.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws:

    • Five 3.1 mm Phillips.

    • Two 3.9 mm Phillips.

    • Two 7 mm Phillips from the DC-in board.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the following tri-wing screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • One 5.5 mm tri-wing screw.

    • One 13.5 mm tri-wing screw.

  • Lift the battery out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Lift the logic board from its left edge and raise it until the ports clear the side of the upper case.

  • Pull the logic board away from the side of the upper case and remove it, minding the DC-in board that may get caught.

  • Be careful not to rip out the fragile connector plug of the microphone assembly.

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Edit Step 20 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • The screws remain captive to the bracket.

  • Lift the the retaining bracket out from the upper case.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive from its free edge and pull it out of the chassis, minding the cable attaching it to the computer.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive by pulling the hard drive cable connector away from the drive.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the hard drive and IR sensor cable to the upper case:

    • Two 1.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 4 mm Phillips screws.

  • Slide the hard drive and IR sensor bracket away from the edge of the upper case.

  • Carefully peel the hard drive and IR sensor cable from the upper case.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the subwoofer to the upper case.

  • The longer ( 8.2 mm ) of the two screws is on the right. The shorter ( 5 mm ) of the two screws is on the left.

  • The subwoofer is still connected to the right speaker, so don't completely remove it just yet.

  • Lift the subwoofer off the optical drive, and set it above the computer.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 9.2 mm Phillips screws securing the camera cable bracket to the upper case.

  • The innermost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

  • If you have the Mid 2010 version, your camera cable bracket may look slightly different, but the procedure is the same.

  • Lift the camera cable bracket out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

  • Lift the optical drive from its right edge and pull it out of the computer.

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Peel back the small piece of black tape covering the right speaker cable.

  • Be careful, as the power button ribbon cable is directly under this piece of tape.

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the right speaker up off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Lift the subwoofer and right speaker assembly out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Remove the two outer 6 mm Torx screws securing each side of the display bracket to the upper case (4 screws total).

  • When re-assembling, back out the inner 6 mm Torx screws about a quarter turn and gently align the display and upper case before inserting the outer 6 mm Torx screws. After the display and case are aligned, tighten the inner 6 mm Torx screens, then insert and tighten the outer 6 mm Torx screws.

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Open your MacBook so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

  • Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the 6 mm Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

  • Remove the last remaining 6 mm Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

  • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

  • Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

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Edit Step 34 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 1.2 mm Phillips screws highlighted in red.

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Carefully dislodge the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by pushing it away from the brackets attached to the upper case.

  • De-route the trackpad cable through its slot cut into the upper case.

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Edit Step 36  ¶ 

  • Pull the trackpad away from the outer edge of the upper case.

  • Remove the trackpad and set it aside.

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Edit Step 37  ¶ 

  • In the following steps, you will be working on your new upper case.

  • Use a T6 Torx screwdriver to loosely install the 1.1 mm set screw included with your new upper case into its tapped hole near the middle of the trackpad opening on your new upper case.

  • Only tighten it about one turn for now.

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Edit Step 38  ¶ 

  • Carefully insert the cable from your old trackpad through its slot cut into your new upper case.

  • Use one hand to hold the trackpad cable in place as you insert the two retaining tabs on the outer edge of the trackpad under the lip on the upper case.

  • Pull the trackpad cable as you seat the trackpad into its void in your new upper case.

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Edit Step 39  ¶ 

  • Insert a 1.2 mm Phillips screw into each of the outer holes drilled into the trackpad (two screws total).

  • You'll install the rest in a bit.

  • Tighten the screws, then back them out about a quarter turn to aid in aligning your trackpad during the next few steps.

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Edit Step 40  ¶ 

  • While continually trying to click your trackpad, gently tighten the T6 Torx set screw until the clicks return to their factory "feel."

  • You can tell when the screw is tightened just right by the noise it makes when the trackpad clicks. If the set screw is too loose, the trackpad will have excessive play before it clicks. If it is too tight, the trackpad will click too easily and won't make the characteristic loud mouse clicking noise.

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Edit Step 41  ¶ 

  • Next, flip your upper case over so the keyboard side is facing up.

  • Align the trackpad so it is centered in its hole cut into the upper case.

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Edit Step 42  ¶ 

  • Tighten the outer two screws along the inner edge of the trackpad and check the alignment of it on the outer side of the upper case.

  • If its alignment looks good, install the rest of the Phillips screws along the inner edge of the trackpad.

  • Before reassembling your machine, verify that the set screw is still installed in a position so the mouse will click correctly.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 30 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 42 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

It looks like you need a Phillips #000 screwdriver for the 10 bottom screws. I tried the #00 and it's too big. Good thing I bought a 23 piece precision screwdriver set or else I would have been screwed.

scott523, · Reply

The 10 screws that hold tha bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesnt fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough. The only thing that I needed a #000 driver for was the keyboard screws. They're so small they look like specks of dirt or sand. I stripped out 4 of them & now will need to grind the heads off with a Dremel/rotary tool. The other thing that sucks is iFixit doesn't have a tutorial for keyboard replacement!

iphonetechtips,

Perfect man!Many thanks!:)

wertaerte, · Reply

Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

twisk, · Reply

thanks twisk, I wish i would have read your tip before I finished putting the bottom of my laptop back together. I managed to get all screws in somehow, but one was in fact too-tight.

BTW, big big thanks to the Author: Andrew Bookholt. Just used this guide and my trackpad now works again.

xitxit2,

i too need a #000 for the bottom of the case -- i got the recommended screwdriver (#00) and unfortunately it's too big

plins718, · Reply

Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

mastover, · Reply

I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

adlerpe,

The colours you used for these circles are indistinguishable for colour-blind people. Please consider using something like the palette suggested by visibone: http://www.visibone.com/colorblind/

Eric Sorenson, · Reply

I'd use a Phillips #000 screwdriver also. The #00 can work, but if the screws are in really tight, it doesn't get far enough down into the screws to get purchase, so it will start to strip (and I agree that the screws are pretty soft). On mine, the screws for the fan were really tight, started to strip with #00, needed a #000 and quite a bit of pressure to get them to move.

jonathanmorgan, · Reply

why is step 3 necessary?

gansodesoya, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Just to disconnect any power source to avoid damages by short-circuits.

MrKane, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Removes the possibility of any current flow. This is especially important if you are trying to mitigate the damage to the circuitry due to a spill on a keyboard.

amiller770, · Reply

I'm thinking of ordering the spudger. I was thinking of order the heavy duty spudger... or should I just order the normal. Will either of the spudgers work for this DIY?

shockaaa, · Reply

Once you have a set of spudgers, you will wonder how you ever went without them. :-)

Brian,

$@$@. Don't use an non-isolated screwdriver for this. I just shorted-out my battery :(

Lukas Besch, · Reply

You are absolutely right, never use a screwdriver on the logic board or any connector! Delicate use of fingernails or a credit card will get you through most situations if you lack a spudger.

Logan Bean,

How do you get that battery connector back on? Do you just press it in back in place after you're done?

Horace Chung, · Reply

yes. I usually plug it in before I screw it down so I can lift the battery a bit and have enough slack to be able to go straight down on the connector, otherwise it comes in on a bit of an angle, which can't be good (though not necessarily bad).

maccentric,

The fan plug snapped off right away without applying much pressure so the best angle of attack isn't exactly where the diagram shows. Anyone know how to reattach this piece?

Also worth noting I have the right screwdrivers and the screws inside this thing are really soft.

Rpo, · Reply

I broke the socket too.. Any one know how to fix this??

laika117,

Mine broke off too :(

john, · Reply

I found it mostly unnecessary to remove the fan and therefore all of the fan screws in this step. Only the two on the left hand side of the fan actually need to be removed. I also found it extremely helpful, after pulling logic boards several times, to remove the speaker screws at this time. The heat sink and the speaker interfere with each other when you are later trying to remove and then install the logic board. The longer screw goes on end of the speaker assembly that is closest to the fan, and the shorter one goes on the end closest to the dvd slot.

stevesontheroad, · Reply

If you are removing the logic board for any other reason than replacing it, or if your replacement logic board came with a fan installed, DO NOT REMOVE THE FAN. It is not necessary for the removal of the logic board. For removal with the fan attached, only remove the two screws on the left hand side of the fan, and leave the cable attached. I see here that too many people have broken the fan cable, and it is too easy to do.

stevesontheroad, · Reply

I pulled out the cable and it kind of broke off, now the screen is black when i turn it on but it still makes the chime. How do i fix this?

robertjriordan1, · Reply

Mine are Torx and got an extra clamp for the cable, just above the left screw

Martin, · Reply

Ouch - broke off the connectors by pulling upwards. As it looks, i should have pulled to the optical drive instead :(

Thorsten Iversen, · Reply

There is a small piece just below this connector which is just an adhesive block to keep the connector from coming out. It is easiest to peel it up first with a fingernail or spudger then remove the cable. Likewise reinsert the cable before reapplying the adhesive safety stop.

Justin Jett, · Reply

I couldn't reconnect this cable correctly, so my camera is not working anymore.

It doesn't matter to me, I didn't used the camera that often...

But the Ambient Light Sensor uses the camera to control keyboard lighting, so I wasn't able to see my keyboard in the dark anymore... :(

If you have the same problem, after a couple of google hits I've found this app: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/22151/...

Problem solved! YAY!

PS: be careful because WIFI passes through this cable as well!!!!

simbass, · Reply

Flat cable ZIF socket manufacturers do not recommend using any tools to open or close the retaining flap due to its fragile nature. They recommend using only you fingers! It's in most socket datasheet instructions section.

Leo Bodnar, · Reply

When reinserting the keyboard ribbon cable, make sure you push it in all the way (two plastic tools are helpful - one to push it down flat, the other to coax it all the way in). For 3 days after replacing a top case, my MacBook Pro 13" wouldn't start up. I thought the main logic board was fried too. However, reinserting the keyboard ribbon cable again, this time perhaps 1mm farther in, and it started up again! I did the same for the "keyboard backlight ribbon cable" (i.e. reinserted it just to make sure). Really not sure which completed the circuit so is would start, but I suspect the keyboard ribbon cable.

amiller770, · Reply

Quote from amiller770:

When reinserting the keyboard ribbon cable, make sure you push it in all the way (two plastic tools are helpful - one to push it down flat, the other to coax it all the way in).

I usually use a piece of sticky transparent office tape and stick it over the flat cable a bit further away from the mating part then pull on it. There is no better way to force the flat cable into a stiff connector without damaging the fragile cable.

Leo Bodnar, · Reply

My MBP was dead after replacing DC board too. I reseated the keyboard ribbon several times and it's finally working!!!!

John Weeks, · Reply

As others have stated, if the keyboard ribbon cable isn't fully inserted the MBP will not power on. Leo Bodnar's recommendation to use a piece of transparent office tape did the trick for me. Many thanks Leo!

Matthew Rankin, · Reply

1. You have to unscrew one metal detail to get hold of microphone. That is missing.

2. This step coulf also be extended with larger image where it's clear how to grab microphone.

denyspopov, · Reply

When putting the logic board back in place, it's easier to angle the mic down in it's place as you are placing the board in, rather than after the board is seated.

amiller770, · Reply

Please use the right and of good quality screwdrivers everyone!

I officially messed up all the screws and now I can't get further!

WARNING WARNING

Lusfn shsogh, · Reply

maybe i missed it, but between step 19 and 20 should be heat sink removal. Just remove the four spring-loaded phillips head screws and remove the heatsink.

hdh607, · Reply

Quote from Lusfn shsogh:

Please use the right and of good quality screwdrivers everyone!

I officially messed up all the screws and now I can't get further!

WARNING WARNING

I had a tough time getting one of the battery screws out - the tri-slotted ones (who ever heard of tri-slotted screws?!?) and stripped one of them. I covered the rest of the logic board carefully and cut a new slot in the screw head with a dremel - VERY carefully. worked like a charm.

hdh607, · Reply

When re-assembling everything, you'll need to back out the inner screws a bit and align the upper case and display. After aligning them, tighten the inner screws again, then insert and tighten the outer screws.

bradeyh, · Reply

You can actually replace the keyboard alone fairly easily! I don't know why everyone says you have to replace the whole top case, because if you've got the guts to go this far, you might as well just peel back the illuminator cover and get to work pulling all those tiny screws in the keyboard... Just be careful when peeling up the black adhesive keyboard cover, because you will need to replace it. I used the edge of the ifixit Sesame tool (very thin flat metal opening tool) to carefully slip under any bits of adhesive, and had the keyboard exposed in no time. Also be careful because the clear plastic sheet is actually the keyboard illuminator. Once under all that, it's a mere 50 or so tiny screws, 2 screws in the power button backing, and you've got the keyboard out. Use a magnetized #000 phillips, it will make life much easier than anything else.

Logan Bean, · Reply

Absolutely right. I just replaced a keyboard the same way without much problem but i just want to add that those tiny screws need extra care as the heads can get damaged very easily. If damaged, they become very difficult to remove.

Masood,

I did just that on my mid-2010 MacBook Pro about a month ago and sadly will have to do it to my wife's Early-2011 one next week. I was cleaning all the crap off her keyboard and apparently nuked the K and 0 keys on her keyboard. Probably my ply challenge was aligning the keyboard illuminator. It's still not aligned properly on mine so some keys are better lit than others, but otherwise it was a relatively easy fix and far cheaper than replacing the entire upper case.

John Adam Wickliffe,

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