MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 Left Fan Replacement

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Replacing a defective fan is pretty easy and will keep your laptop running cool.

Image #1

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.

Image #1

Edit Step 2 RAM Shield  ¶ 

  • Remove the four identical Phillips 3mm screws from the memory door.

Image #1

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.

Image #1

Edit Step 4 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the three Phillips screws in the battery compartment near the latch. Apple was nice enough to tilt these screws at a slight angle to make them easier to remove.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following six screws:

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

    • Four Phillips screws along the hinge.

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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

Image #1

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 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.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cable from the logic board.

  • Remove the upper case.

Image #1

Edit Step 11 AirPort Extreme  ¶ 

  • 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 or A1212, 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.

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the single black T6 Torx screw from the top right corner of the AirPort Extreme card.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the AirPort Extreme card up and slide it out of its connector.

  • Note the position of the grounding clip attached to the left side of the card. On some models, the clip is mounted on the upper surface of the airport Extreme card to make contact with the upper case. On other models, the clip is mounted on the underside and makes contact with the headphone connector body.

Image #1

Edit Step 14 Left Fan  ¶ 

  • Remove the two silver T6 Torx screws from the top left and bottom right corners of the left speaker assembly.

  • The magnet in the MagSafe connector may pull the upper screw towards it after the screw has been freed.

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Lift up the left speaker assembly with one hand and deroute the inverter cable from the top right corner of the speaker assembly.

  • On model A1261 the speaker can be carefully pivoted by derouting the inverter cable.

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the pink and black left speaker assembly cable from the left I/O board. Be sure to pull only on the white connector and not on the speaker wires.

  • Disconnect the microphone cable connector from the left I/O board.

  • Remove the left speaker/microphone assembly from the lower case.

Image #1

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the iSight, inverter, and left fan cables from the left side of the logic board.

  • Take care not to dislodge the EMI gasket on the silver iSight connector.

  • If you have a MacBook Pro 17" Model A1229, the iSight, inverter, and left fan cables have different composures and locations.

  • For model A1261, the fan cable is located in the same location as the model A1229, 5 o'clock to the fan. The iSight and inverter can remain connected. Lift the tape from the top of the fan and make sure to check the connections afterward.

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Peel up the iSight and inverter cables which are attached with a mild adhesive above the left fan.

  • The iSight and inverter cable can optionally remain connected.

Image #1

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Remove the two silver T6 Torx screws securing the left fan to the lower case.

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Lift the left fan and its metal bracket out of the computer.

  • The tape that covers the top of the fan can be reused if the fan is removed carefully. Pivot the fan towards the screen and very slowly pull bottom of the fan away from the tape from left to right. It should peel off without stretching if done slowly. Then slide the new fan under the tape and press the tape back on the top of the fan.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 device page.

Required Tools


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 32 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

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 · 45 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

incredibly difficult. easy times unscrewing things but no guide as to "disconnecting.. cables..". used a jewelers loop & a flash light to see "push" on the connector, but that's it. Push down to connect? ..or up to disconnect.. slide it out- squeeze the something. nothing. I ended up breaking it off the logic board accidentally, rendering my computer irreparable, unless i could solder the wires to the board. yeah right. My advise do do it.

digruntalTech, · Reply

Sorry to hear that, I made almost the same experience as you. I was lucky to find out by my own, how to disconnect the cables on my A1212 and added a comment to step 17.


Instead of replacing the fans completly, you may be able to repair them.

Once you removed the fan, there is a screw that you not yet have to touch. Unscrew it and carefuly open the housing. After that, you can pull the fan wheel with the shaft out. Clean everything (avoid water), including the hole that holds the shaft. Put a drop of oil (10W-40 syntetic motoroil works pretty well) on a piece of tissue and oil the shaft. Reasseble the whole thing and check that it moves.

This may not work if the mechanical damage is too extensive or when the electronic is broken. If it works, you spared 50 bucks, otherwise the nice folks at ifix can help you out ... I did this to both of the fans after they got rather noisy, and they worked another two years since.

Andreas Hofmeister, · Reply

Easy job, super guide, vacuum the the cooling grill when fan is out, changed both fans, because one fan got very loud, it's a 2007 Mac book Pro, so no reason not to change both, went from 6000 rpm to 3000 rpm, nice, big thanx to ifixit…

jjhomann, · Reply

Before upgrading to a larger HD, you'll want to "clone" your original HD using the donation-ware program "Carbon Copy Cloner" ( Put the new HD in an external case; clone the original; test the clone (by starting up with it), then take apart the MacBook to put the new HD in the MacBook, and the original in the external case for use as a backup, etc. (You can't just drag the contents of the original HD to the new HD, and expect it to work; not since the days of OS 9 and before.)

amiller770, · Reply

Can I put more than two gigabytes of RAM in?

Noah Nsangou, · Reply

I made the mistake of wanting to do a clean install of OS and start fresh after installing a SSD. Now I can't install most browsers on OSX Leopard. Does anyone know what is the most current version of OS I can put on this system? (disk or download) Can I get to Snow or Lion?

2006 17" MackBook Pro Model#A1151

2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo

Memory: Two 1GB 667 MHz

Hard Drive: Corsair Force GS: SSD 128GB

scannon, · Reply

Note for re-assembly: For the hinge use the longest four Phillips screws.

R L, · Reply

The Philips screws in Step 5 are longer than the other Philips screws. Would be better if the instructions differentiated them. Otherwise it is possible to use the wrong screws in Step 7 when reassembling.

Alex, · Reply

When reassembling, please be careful not to screw into the wrong spot. I accidentally screwed into the DVI port and it was hard to remove the screw after that. I had to disassemble the whole thing again, only to find that I couldn't remove the screw from within as it was encased. After much scraping and prodding with a sewing needle, I was able to get that screw out. Phew!

isotope434, · Reply

Screw on the right is shorter

mikefal, · Reply

The screws on mine were exactly the same size.

Quote from mikefal:

Screw on the right is shorter

giby, · Reply

What are these two screws called?

ian, · Reply

WOW this step is very hard!!! its a serious suction cup..

nya, · Reply

Once the upper case is free...Carefully tilt the upper case from the front towards the screen as their is a ribbon cable directly beneath the keyboard and trackpad that will need to be removed in the next step.

Troy, · Reply

Be very careful not to bend the screw tabs on the top case the perimeter screws attach to. Bending them causes them to quickly fatigue and potentially break off. When reassembling the top case, be sure the tabs are all *inside* the case before reseating it. If you get resistance, pull the case back up, check the tabs and reseat the top case again.

Sheldon Carpenter, · Reply

Disconnecting this cable is optional, if instead you tip up the top case ~75 degrees, propping it up with something non-metalic (wedged in or by the battery compartment). Unplugging a connector from the main circuit board always carries slight additional risk.

amiller770, · Reply

It's not really necessary to disconnect the trackboard/keyboard ribbon cable. You can simply lean the upper case against the LCD.

Russ Greene, · Reply

how reconnect this cable?

anatole, · Reply

Be warned the 17"MacBook Pro bought in the UK which I was dis-assembling had an additional T6 Torx screw to remove at the upper left side. viz. total of 3 silver T6 screws to remove at this stage.

Conrad, · Reply

The speaker assembly is held down by two #6 Torx screws. One on the top left corner and one that goes through the fan

sgianetti, · Reply

sgianetti is right! As I was surprised that the speaker is held down by two screws.

So, the manual should be updated I have according pictures if anyone needs them. Also, I didn't follow steps after 11 as I just pulled a bit the speaker and removed #6 Torx screw under it. Afterward I removed last two #6 Torx screws that held the fan and replaced it with new one!

Thanks for the manual! I was not able to make it without iFixIt.

kxalex, · Reply

Still unsure what is meant here by derouting the inverter cable. This was not something that I needed to do on the 17"MacBook Pro bought in the UK that I was dis-assembling.

Conrad, · Reply

On Macbook 17' model A1261, the invert cable does not need to be derouted and the speaker can be carefully pivoted to expose the fan torx screw without removing it.

hawc2k, · Reply

I didn't completely remove the entire speaker assembly or unplug any of the connections. Just unscrewing the torx screws allowed me to lift the speaker out of the way to access the screw to remove the fan.

Sheldon Carpenter, · Reply

ATTENTION for MacBook Pro 17" Model A1212:

If the 2 connectors shown in step 17 are black instead of white: They have to be disconnected by lifting them up, not by sliding them to the left side, as it looks like they would plug off! I used a spudger to go under the 4 cables close to the connector and lifted the cables with the connector gently up. No force needed.

MBPTom, · Reply

Be extremely careful with the step 17 disconnecting the cable if the connecto is at 5 from the fun and black. Very weak and easy to break. Tell me about it... Now, I have no idea of how to fix this connector...

juanmanuelolmossuarez, · Reply

The adhesive on a couple of MacBook Pros I've worked on were far from mild. Perhaps age makes the adhesive more aggressive, but be careful pulling it up. I worked mine from both ends.

Sheldon Carpenter, · Reply

If this is your first time changing your fan, be prepared to clean the fan grille. It is probably choked with dust lint from years of use. The computer will now run a lot cooler

sgianetti, · Reply

At this stage it is possible to dis-assemble the fan into 3 pieces and clean and lube it thus removing the need of having to buy a new one! I recommend the following site for advice -

Conrad, · Reply

There is black tape holding the fan to the exhaust fins. Use a razor knife to cut this tape at the seam between the exhaust and the fins.

When replacing the new fan use 1.5cm Kapton tape to seal the fan to the housing. DO NOT USE ELECTRICAL TAPE. Electrical tape's adhesive composition is not suitable for the high-temp environment of the inside of a MacBook.

Alternatively the tape can be carefully peeled back from the fan and reused, but it gets a bit stretched out.

Sheldon Carpenter, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 12

This Week: 26

This Month: 175

All Time: 34,597