MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Heat Sink Replacement

The heat sink helps keep the processor cool and happy.

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the eight 4 mm Phillips screws securing the lower case to the MacBook.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The lower case is constructed of rubber-coated aluminum. Do not excessively bend the aluminum during removal, as any permanent deformation will cause tolerance issues after reassembly.

  • Slightly lift the lower case near the vent opening.

  • Continue running your fingers between the lower and upper cases until the upper case pops off its retaining clips.

  • The location of these three clips is shown in the third picture.

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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.

  • It may be easier to use your fingernails to lift up on both sides of the connector.

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Edit Step 4 Rear Vent  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws from the optical drive side of the rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws from the port side of rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the rear vent out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the fan connector straight up and out of its socket on 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 9  ¶ 

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

    • One 7.1 mm Phillips screw.

    • Two 5 mm Phillips screws.

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Carefully pry the delicate rear speaker connector up off the logic board. These small L/R speaker connectors are quite easily broken.

  • Use extreme caution; this connector is easily destroyed.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the right speaker connector and sleep LED connector up off the logic board.

  • These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use your fingernail to flip up the locking flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

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

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the left speaker connector and microphone connector up off the logic board.

  • These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Gently pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the socket parallel to the face of the logic board.

  • The display data cable socket is made of very thin metal and is easily bent. Be sure to pull the connector straight away from its socket.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Remove the six 4.1 to 4.4 mm T6 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

  • Remove the two 4.1 to 4.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the MagSafe board to the upper case.

  • On some models, these screws may be T7. Be careful not to strip away the head with a smaller bit.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Lift the side of the logic board opposite the ports out of the upper case.

  • Rotate the logic board away from the upper case until the ports clear the lip molded in the upper case.

  • Pull the logic board and MagSafe board away from the edge of the upper case as one piece.

  • The MagSafe board may get accidentally disconnected during this process. As a precaution, be sure the MagSafe board connector is securely seated in its socket before lowering the logic board back into the upper case.

  • Before lowering the logic board back into the upper case, be sure the left speaker and microphone cables are seated in their channels cut into the upper case (as seen in the third picture).

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Edit Step 21 Heat Sink  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 8.3 mm shouldered Phillips screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.

  • Keep track of the springs under each of the screws.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Lift the heat sink off the logic board.

  • 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.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Unibody Model A1342 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 29 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

According to this page, the 8 screws are not identical.

Can anybody tell me where each kind of screw is supposed to go?

Gregoire, · Reply

you do not need to remove the battery when replacing the hard drive or ram

brilldoctor, · Reply

beware not to lift the connector to close of the angle, as the picture suggest it. It might broke the angle. Attack by the middle.

naamol, · Reply

Not necessary?

hikkymemo, · Reply

Be careful of the corner of the battery cable connector when trying to pry it off with the spudge. I knocked the corner of mine. No operational impact but was not very pleasing!

jljordanweb, · Reply

you can actually stop disassembling now and try to replace it now. after removing two t6 screws it came off pretty easily

grze, · Reply

Good tip, thanks! I skipped ahead to step 17 and had no problem getting the magsafe board out from under the logic board and the new one installed. Saves a lot of work disconnecting connectors indicated as Fragile!


Since this kind of connector and very fragile and easy to damage even with a spudger I use a needle that I insert in the front side of the connector, between the connector and the socket and only apply a little pressure while lifting up the needle. The connector will then pop up from one side. Repeat the procedure for the other side. With this method it's impossible to damage the connector. I adopted this method after ruining two or three connectors using the spudger.

lemerise, · Reply

HELP! Both the connector AND socket detached from the logic board! Is it possible (barring micro-surgery) to reattach the socket to the logic board?

John Watson, · Reply

While these connectors are very delicate, a new upper body case will have new connectors already installed. I slightly broke two connectors while removing them.

Also, the connectors have a notch underneath (on the logic board) for the corner of the spudger to fit into. The hard part is that you cannot see the notches until the connectors are removed.

Nations81, · Reply

I used pointed tip of one side of the tweezers from the ifixit Home Tech Toolkit. I found this thinner pointed tip better than a spudger for hitting that notch in the socket underneath the connectors. Since this is a metal tool, I pried very gently and I was working on a MacBook with the battery taken out entirely (early on as suggested in the video) and was also using an Anti-Static wrist strap. I found the spudger broke one of the connectors because it's relatively thick plastic, and put too much pressure under the cables before the tip could reach the plastic block of the connector. The pressure under the cable popped the wire contact right through the top of the plastic block connector. (it was OK this connector broke since I didn't need to reuse it--my replacement keyboard/upper case came with its own cables.)

Because the tips of the tweezers are angled, I felt I had better control of the torque I was applying than if I used a jeweler's flathead screwdriver.

kenhtanaka, · Reply

I broke a speaker connector on this step. I found it easier to use a tiny flathead screwdriver to gently pry these connectors up.

brad, · Reply

I had to remove the battery again to insert the keyboard ribbon cable. I just couldn't get the right angle and force otherwise.

asciimo, · Reply

When reassembling make sure this cable is really deep in it's socket. (Use some force with the spudger wedging it in between the cable and battery). If you don't, you won't be able to power up the board. I had 2 logicboards that I thought were dead, but it turned out the cable was not inserted enough. Jump starting them with the jump pads did nothing (with or without cable connected), but connecting the cable properly made the board come alive. Really check this!!

Peterdk, · Reply

You sir, just saved my day! Switching boards between two mac and I thought I broke the two at once... This should be documented on the manual!!


Thanks for your help!!! I thought I did the replacement wrong. Greetings from Peru.

Lalo Gonzalez,

Note: the 2009 and 2010 model differ here. On one the 3 point connector is left and 2 point is right, on the other one the 3 point connector is right and 2 point is left.

I found this while installing several logicboards for A1342.

Peterdk, · Reply

Just lift the tab up slightly to release the clip that secures the data display cable. Then the cable will slide out easily.

matt15, · Reply

(When re-installing) Before screwing down the logic board, go around the edge and make sure no cables are caught underneath, remember there are 11 of them, 12 if the battery is present at this point.

kenhtanaka, · Reply

I reassembled the macbook A1342 using this guide and everything is perfect, except that if I shut down the computer and power it up after 1hour or so, I have to press the power button a few times before it starts. What could I have gone wrong? I checked the magsafe connector and it seems to be firmly seated. :(

Alok, · Reply

Looks like a terrible job of applying thermal compound. Its not china's fault though. Just how Apple tells foxconn to apply it. At least its better than the old worse issue in 2006. Apple's QC is declining.

Nicholas Ouimet, · Reply

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