MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 Heat Sink Replacement
- Author: iRobot
- Difficulty: Difficult
The heat sink helps keep the processor cool and happy.
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- Battery 1 step
- RAM Shield 2 steps
- Upper Case 7 steps
- Optical Drive 3 steps
- Logic Board 8 steps
- Heat Sink 11 steps
Do not yank the upper case off quickly. The case is attached to the logic board via a ribbon cable.
Lift up the back 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.
If the right speaker assembly remains attached to the logic board, hold the logic board with one hand and slide the speaker up slightly to free it from the logic board.
To properly reassemble your MacBook Pro, you'll have to clean off and replace the thermal compound from the three chips on the underside of the logic board. Use our Applying Thermal Paste Guide to prepare the processor and heat sink surfaces.
Disconnect the two antenna cables attached to the AirPort Extreme card.
The cable with the gray shielding attaches to the left side connector, while the cable with the white shielding attaches to the right side.
If you have a MacBook Pro 17" Model A1229, there are three antenna cables attached to the AirPort Extreme card instead of two.
If you have a MacBook Pro 17” Model A1261 the cable with the black shielding attaches to the left side of the connector, while the cable with blue shielding attaches to the right side. The gray cable isunattached and the end covered.
Lift the heat sink and attached fans out of the computer.
If you are replacing the heat sink, be sure to transfer the attached thermal sensor to your new heat sink.
If you need to mount the heat sink back into the laptop, we have a thermal paste guide that makes replacing the thermal compound easy.
Now is a good time to lean the fans back and clean out any dust bunnies from the grill. Also clean any dried thermal paste from the heat sink contact pads.