MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Model A1211 Logic Board Replacement

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This motherboard includes all ports on the right side.

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to push both battery release tabs away from the battery, and lift the battery out of the computer.

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Edit Step 2 RAM Shield  ¶ 

  • Remove the three identical Phillips screws from the memory door.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Lift the memory door up enough to get a grip on it, and slide it toward you, pulling it away from the casing.

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Edit Step 4 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 2.8 mm Phillips screws in the battery compartment near the latch.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 6 screws:

    • Two 10 mm T6 Torx screws on either side of the RAM slot.

    • Four 14.5 mm Phillips screws along the hinge.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 3.2 mm Phillips screws on the port side of the computer.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees and remove the two 3.2 mm Phillips screws from the rear of the computer.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees again and remove the four 3.2 mm Phillips screws from the side of the computer.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Do not yank the upper case off quickly. The case is attached to the logic board via a ribbon cable.

  • Lift up at the rear of the case and work your fingers along the sides, freeing the case as you go. Once you have freed the sides, you may need to rock the case up and down to free the front of the upper case (there are some hidden plastic clips that need to be clicked off).

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cable from the logic board, removing tape as necessary.

  • Remove the upper case.

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Edit Step 11 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the orange SuperDrive ribbon cable from the logic board, removing tape as necessary.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 4 screws:

    • Two 3.3 mm silver Phillips screws on either side of the SuperDrive.

    • One 4.7 mm silver T6 Torx screw from the top left corner of the drive

    • One 6.2 mm black Phillips screw at the top right corner of the drive.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive up and out of the computer.

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Edit Step 14 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive and ExpressCard connectors from the left side of the logic board.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the iSight and display data cables from the logic board by sliding the cables out of their connectors, removing tape as necessary.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the eight indicated connectors by placing a spudger beneath each cable and lifting up.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the silver T6 Torx screw securing the ground loop in the display data cable to the casing.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the single T6 Torx screw securing the clear plastic shield over the right ambient light sensor.

  • Lift the clear plastic shield off the right ambient light sensor.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Peel up the orange Kapton tape securing the right thermal sensor cable to the logic board.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 15 screws:

    • One 4.4 mm black Phillips screw to the right of the ram slot.

    • Eight 4.7 mm silver T6 Torx screws securing the logic board to the lower case.

    • One 6.2 mm black T6 Torx screw on the right side of the left fan.

    • Five 9.4 mm silver T6 Torx screws securing the left and right fans.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Hold the logic board down with one hand and use your other hand to lift the left fan up from its housing. There is a piece of black tape securing the fan to the heat sink. Carefully peel this tape up from the heat sink as you lift the fan up.

  • Place the fan above the Airport card. It is not necessary to remove the fan from the computer entirely.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Lift the right fan up and carefully peel up the tape securing the fan to the heat sink as you go.

  • Remove the right fan from the computer.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Lift up the left side of the logic board and disconnect the gray and black power cable from the bottom of the board.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Grasp the logic board at the left side and at the thin section, and rotate the logic board out of the lower case.

  • To properly reassemble your MacBook Pro, you'll have to clean off and replace the old thermal compound. Use our Applying Thermal Paste Guide to prepare the processor and heat sink surfaces.

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Edit Step 25 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Release the tabs on each side of the RAM chip at the same time. These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up.

  • Pull the chip directly out from its connector.

  • If there are two RAM chips installed, repeat the above procedure for the second chip.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Model A1211 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

When putting the card back in place, take care that the thermal sensor cables coming from the lower case be over the card, and that the black spacers near the screen be in place.

Claude Papoin, · Reply

As well as the battery cable !

Claude Papoin, · Reply

I went to Lowe's and got a can of dusting air and cleaned the whole bottom case before putting it back together, it was full of dust. It cleaned it up pretty good.

Matt, · Reply

Tip for new players - print this guide, then use Sello tape to tape the screws from each step on the picture. Keeps them all organised and easy to know which screws belong to which step when putting it all back together

MPB Monkey, · Reply

Quote from MPB Monkey:

"...Tip for new players - print this guide, then use Sello tape..."

It's one word: Sellotape, the biggest brand in Europe. :-)

matthk, · Reply

In regard to the incredible amount of TINY screws, get an Ice Cube Tray or something with AT LEAST 8 compartments, then, when taking out the screws, mark EACH compartment with the step # and how many screws that were taken out, and used for THAT STEP (such as Step # 3 = 4 of 4 screws. Label EACH compartment, and keep them in line of each step. When it comes time to put everything back together, just reverse your Ice Cube Tray, and follow the Steps in Reverse!

As far as marking each compartment, try these POST IT PENS!!!

http://www.staples.com/Post-it-Flag-Ball...

GOOD LUCK! Take your time, it's not as difficult as it seems!

JerseyJeepGurl

JerseyJeepGurl, · Reply

This guide helped me to remove the keyboard on my MBP, but it doesn't take you further to take the keyboard apart. If you REALLY want to look inside the keyboard, you'll need to remove additional phillips screws (10), and carefully remove the inner plastic/clear layers inside the keyboard.

I did this to look for physical damage inside the keyboard and noticed that the black plastic? sheet was torn on my letter 'v', which was one of the keys not working. I did not see any physical sign anywhere else on the keyboard, though.

So, after pulling the defective keyboard away and installing the new one purchased from iFixit, putting everything back together is not too difficult, just reverse.

One thing, though: Check and double-check before you tighten the case screws to make sure your keyboard backlight is working. I noticed I had forgotten to plug it in, luckily for me before I put all the screws on the case.

To avoid losing any screws, print this guide and use clear tape to tape the screws next to the step. Use double-tape to avoid tearing or one of the tiny screws from falling out.

Good luck!

Thanks iFixit for helping me replace my MBP's keyboard!

juanortuno, · Reply

Thank you for some excellent advice form JerseyJeep Gurl

Quote from SubodhJ:

SubodhJ, · Reply

Worked perfect on my 4,1 mbp. Took ~15 min.

I don't see a boost in speed... or is just me?

I used 500 GB 7200 RPM Seagate SATA Hard Drive model ST9500420AS.

(if has a G letter at the end (ASG) is the one with built in shock protection who conflict sometimes with the mac own G protection).

kriss13, · Reply

This guide was awesome. I used JerseyJeepGurl's suggestion and used an egg carton, numbering each cavity as a step in the guide. So for a step that had me remove 3 different kinds of screws, I had a cavity for each, numbered: 1a, 1b, 1c and wrote a,b,c on the guide itself next to each bullet point in the step. It was awesome.

I guess that before starting I overlooked what a T6 torx actually was. I started this process at 8pm and realized right away that I did not have a set that small and of course all stores were closing. Lowes actually had an awesome fine torx driver set for only 7 bucks!

So that you fixit.

tech4eleven, · Reply

Quote from tech4eleven:

This guide was awesome. I used JerseyJeepGurl's suggestion and used an egg carton, numbering each cavity as a step in the guide. So for a step that had me remove 3 different kinds of screws, I had a cavity for each, numbered: 1a, 1b, 1c and wrote a,b,c on the guide itself next to each bullet point in the step. It was awesome.

I guess that before starting I overlooked what a T6 torx actually was. I started this process at 8pm and realized right away that I did not have a set that small and of course all stores were closing. Lowes actually had an awesome fine torx driver set for only 7 bucks!

So that you fixit.

Thank you everybody for "thanking me" on the compartment advice! Also, just about ANY Auto parts store will have a set of Torx Screw drivers, in a handy little set, that is all together. Good luck everybody,,remember,TAKE YOUR TIME, BREATH, AND DON'T GET FRUSTRATED!!! (STEALING ADVICE FROM PEARL JAM,,BREATH,JUST BREATH),,,,AND YOU'LL BE ABLE TO DO IT YOURSELF!

JJG

JerseyJeepGurl, · Reply

Quote from JerseyJeepGurl:

In regard to the incredible amount of TINY screws, get an Ice Cube Tray or something with AT LEAST 8 compartments, then, when taking out the screws, mark EACH compartment with the step # and how many screws that were taken out, and used for THAT STEP (such as Step # 3 = 4 of 4 screws. Label EACH compartment, and keep them in line of each step. When it comes time to put everything back together, just reverse your Ice Cube Tray, and follow the Steps in Reverse!

As far as marking each compartment, try these POST IT PENS!!!

http://www.staples.com/Post-it-Flag-Ball...

GOOD LUCK! Take your time, it's not as difficult as it seems!

JerseyJeepGurl

Michael Fredrickson, · Reply

Quote from Michael Fredrickson:

I get a piece of "corrugated" cardboard and draw an outline of the laptop and all the "compartments" that are accessed. When you take a screw out simply punch it threw top layer of the cardboard exactly where it goes. Multiple compartments - just draw another diagram on the cardboard. Voila!

Michael Fredrickson, · Reply

I just finished replacing my hard drive following these instructions and they were perfect. The only minor complication involved the ribbon cable connecting to the sleep light and IR sensor connectors. The entire cable was tightly glued to the hard drive. But I got it loose with 10 minutes of gentle prying with a spudger.

To keep track of the screws I just sketched an outline of the bottom panel, taped the screws in the right places and numbered them with the step numbers.

Tom McAuliffe, · Reply

I just used that Glad Press' N Seal. I just cut a 4 in piece, cut slits in it to about half way, Put the screws on there, and fold the pieces over the screws. You can number them, i just kept track of them. Also, you might not need that much, i just cut that much just to be safe.

benchallinor27, · Reply

I use magnet

I use the magnet that close the refigerator door.

The screws are put on the magnet, so it didnot fall from the table.

i am french so sorry for my english

Madoc,

Just another idea for a container for all the little screws: pillbox. I got one for about $1.00 at the store with 14 compartments.

Brian Littmann, · Reply

"port side of the computer" should read "starboard side". It's on the right-hand side when the computer is positioned normally in front of you.

joeycoole, · Reply

Port side as in I/O port side, as in the side that has the FireWire and ethernet ports. This is a MacBook, not a sailboat ;)

Andrew Bookholt,

Maybe I'm too used to running flight simulators on my Macs. But to us sailors or pilots, it would perhaps be clearer if the instructions mentioned "I/O port side" as Andrew did above.

Honestly, it never crossed my mind that 'port' refered to in/out…

joeycoole,

In my machine the screw closest to the power connector had a slightly thicker head, and would not sit flush, upon reassembly, unless it was returned to the same hole.

Martin Kenny, · Reply

Be super careful not to bend the metal tabs that hook the upper case into the lower case. If bent these make it challenging to close and reattach the upper case.

lama, · Reply

Kudos for this fantastic walk-through of replacing the hard drive. I just swapped in a new SSD and it was a piece of cake!

On Step 10, I tried just propping up the keyboard and leaving it connected to the logic board. It worked for a while but eventually the ribbon popped off. Luckily it wasn't damaged and it's super easy to replace.

DJR, · Reply

Regarding the following instruction: -

Two 3.3 mm silver Phillips screws on either side of the SuperDrive.

Be aware there are two of these on the bottom (if the slot is facing you) screws close to each other, one is for the actual drive assembly itself and the other is attaching the drive to the Mac. Beware you choose the correct one.

Lucifer, · Reply

Be careful when putting the logic board back into place, you can easily overlook the small cable that fits at the top, otherwise you have the frustrating experience of having to remove all the screws again!

sfuseau, · Reply

On putting this back together, I'm finding the small upper cable that presumably is battery monitoring (lower left hand corning of the picture) is not staying in place (I'm using the one that shipped with the lower tray, not the original). I'm thinking either some of the anti-static tape, or a rebending of the wires to help apply continuous pressure. I had to take the top off one already as a consequence of this, as it wouldn't power-up on battery alone, and the next day, the problem appears to have returned.

schurger, · Reply

In the diagram, the yellow circle and the orange next to it should be swapped. The black screw won't even grasp the threads in the indicated hole.

Monica Anderson, · Reply

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