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MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2010) Upper Case


Product code: IF161-051-1
Apple Part #: 661-5481

Product Overview

Includes backlit keyboard, trackpad assembly, and battery level indicator assembly.


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  • All Mid 2010 15" Unibody MacBook Pros

Product Details






6 month warranty

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MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010
2.4 GHz (Mid 2010)
2.53 GHz (Mid 2010)
2.66 GHz (Mid 2010)
2.8 GHz (Mid 2010)


My Problem

I knocked my morning coffee into my Macbook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2010) while reading the NY Times online and reaching to pet the cat that was sitting just to the right of the computer. This was the same cat that killed a previous MacBook two years ago. This time it was my fault - but I think she was happy about it.

I turned the computer upside down immediately after the spill and then turned it off. However, I didn't have the tools to dismantle it immediately and take out the battery. The guys at work lent me an ifixit pro tool kit but I didn't get home until 8 hours after the spill.

I used the ifixit guides and toolkit to dismantle and reassemble it for testing. I cleaned the parts with denatured alcohol and let it dry for three days. There wasn't much liquid in the case and the motherboard looked fine. After reassembly, I found the keyboard stuck in all caps, although the track pad was working. I used a cheap USB keyboard to get around the problem and everything else tested fine. After reading customer's suggestions, I decided to buy a replacement top case and do it myself, rather than hand it over to a computer repair person who would charge me massive money. Besides, I wanted to get another geek stripe to go along with the ones I have for web design and development.

My Fix

The part came two days after I ordered it and it was beautifully packed and protected. Dismantling the Mac was easy, if a bit terrifying when disconnecting tiny contacts. Its amazing how easy the process can be if one has the right tools. I put the screws for each component in its own shot glass. The glass was placed next to the component out of the way of my spuggering cat. The whole process took about three hours. It started up from the battery and everything seems to work fine. Amazing!

My Advice

Do the work when you are most awake and do it with steady hands. Work on a light colored surface. Use the shot glass for its intended purpose only after the task is complete. I recommend Bourbon.

My Problem

I spill a little bit of coffee over the keyboard of my MacBook Pro and some keys stop responding. So since It was my fault I decided to do the repair by my self. So I visited the ifixit website, did a little research, order the lower case and follow the guide.

My Fix

It took me like 1 hour to complete the task but using the ifixit guide made it very simple. I really want to thank you ifixit for developing a guide that was very straight forward, with excellent pictures, great notes and important warnings. The way the guide was design it really shows that you took the time and effort to made it as simple as possible.

My Advice

Get a bunch of plastics cups. For each step that requires removing screws or any other small piece, I wrote the step number on the plastic cup and put the pieces inside, that way you won't miss any screw and it will be easier to follow the guide backwards to reinstall all the components.

aggie4life's Story Photo #169568

My Problem

I chose to replace to Upper Case on my MacBook Pro "15 after a drink splashed across the keyboard, ultimately causing keys not to register. Sometimes I had to press the same key upwards of 4-5 times for the computer to recognize it. But since the repair cost over $350, I tried to get by with an external keyboard; however that didn't solve the prolbem. Occasionally a random key would be "pressed" or get "stuck" and keep repeating. (I did notice, however, that if I ran my hand across all the keys at once the problem with a "phantom" key press went away for a day or so, therefore I knew the built-in keyboard would have to be replaced.) And so finally I got fed up with the erratic behavior and ordered a new Upper Case. Not being under warrenty I decided to fix it myself as in the past it took (what I consider) far too long for AppleCare to fix another unrelated problem and I didn't want to be without a computer for that length of time.

My Fix

Replaced the Upper case. All in all I would consider it to be a fairly painless process as it only took maybe 2.5 hours to tear down and rebuild the entire system. I was able to carry out every step published in the guide to replacing the Upper case on a "15 MacBook Pro (mid-2010).

My Advice

Assuming your follow the guide on to a tee... while undoing each set of screws at any particular point, label them with the step number you're currently on by taping them to a post-it note with that number written down (the step number displayed in the guide). (A little photo is attached if what I'm writing doesn't make any sense). The extra time spent labeling each set of screws was well worth it when it came time to put them back in. (I can actually say I didn't have a single extra or missing screw.)

Also, don't trash your old Upper Case right after you finish disassembling the thing. There was at least one piece I needed that didn't come with the new case, found at step 35. In the guide it's called the "optical drive bracket" and required to put the 4.5 mm Phillips screw circled "red" back in place.

One other piece of advise is to make sure you get ALL the connectors hidden around where the logic board goes, pulled out and into the open before reattaching it (the logic board). I had to unscrew the board 2-3 times as various connectors were discovered "missing" later on.

One final piece of advice is to make sure the Upper case and screen match up when closed. The very first step in reassembly is to attach the screen to the Upper case with six screws. Don't tighten them fully until you've opened and closed the lid and made sure the case and screen line up. (Mine is off by about a millimeter when closed.) And since this is the very first step in reassembly you can't go back to fix any alignment issues unless you're willing to take the entire thing apart again.

All in all it's very doable if you don't mind spending a little time working with small parts. (I've take a few iBooks, an an iMac apart so I kind of had an idea of what I was getting into before hand.)

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: LABEL EVERYTHING, its worth it in the end.

My Problem

Some liquid was spilled on my Macbook Pro, needless to say the keyboard and trackpad were ruined.

My Fix

Using the guide found here on iFixit, the repair went smoothly. All in all took about two hours for the teardown, replacement, and rebuild of the upper case.

My Advice

Be sure to keep all the screws organized so you know which goes where when you are rebuilding. Take your time.

My Problem

Full mug of milk coffee upended over macbook pro at breakfast.

Result, dead Mac.

My Fix

Really smoothly, the fixit guides helped me avoid new disasters and the re assembly went far better than I had any reason to expect. Parts arrived in Australia in 5 days, which is better than some internal mail for parcels, fantastic.

Tear down took over three hours, the reverse just shy of two. More to the point it worked straight away.

Thanks for the website, made a world of difference.

My Advice

Get the right tools, the kit sold by mac fixit fits the bill, I had to cobble together bits bought and borrowed to get through. My life could have been easier.

My Problem

A wine spill on the keyboard of course! I love to cook, so often have my MacBook on the kitchen counter. This, of course, doesn't mix well with a glass of wine that is always nice to drink while making dinner!

The computer worked just fine.....except for 1/2 of the keyboard. The Geniuses at the Apple store wanted $1200 for the repair! NO WAY!

Of course, I am geek in disguise. 46 year old mom of two daughters - not your typical computer repair person. I also like wiring/rewiring my home theater system, driving my boyfriend's tractor, and using the 1974 snowblower my dad bequeathed to me. But I look like a girly-girl.

My Fix

Perfect! Lovely! More fun than doing Lego with my daughters! What a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon! What a great sense of accomplishment. The ifixit instructions were flawless. The only issue I encountered was one little screw that just wouldn't budge. I ended up taking the half disassembled computer to a jeweler/watch maker to remove the stuck screw. He did it easily, and he was impressed with my work!

The job took about 4 hours, not including the one hour trip to the jeweler. Perhaps that was slow, but when I finished, pushed the "on" button, and it started up perfectly, THE FIRST TIME, I swear I heard angels singing, and saw unicorns prancing.

I could not be any happier.

My Advice

Go slow. Be patient. Buy the recommended tools. Put the little screws into cups as you remove them, and label each cup by its ifixit step number. Befriend a jeweler/watch repair person if you really can't remove a screw. Lay out the parts neatly as you remove them. Be diligent. Stay focused. Be gentle. Be kind. Cross your fingers. Put the cat into another room so it can't jump on the table. Buy a keyboard cover.

My Problem

Keyboard did not enjoy the glass of wine as much as I thought it would. Needed replacing.

My Fix

Ifixit was great! They quickly sent a great product. Mint condition - quick delivery.

Tool recommendation was perfect. Purchased those and they did the trick.

The guide was extremely useful. However there was one step missing. Forgot to take a photo. But there is a piece that needs to be removed from the existing body in order to do a full replacement with the new body. Will put details in next block...

My Advice

In the guide to installing the macbook pro upper case mid 2010 15"

( )

There is one additional piece to remove as it does not come with the new upper body piece. On step 36, and 41, 42, 43 you can see a little plastic bridge piece that crosses the back of the keyboard. The optical drive and hard drive back on to this when they are in place. It has two screws holding it in. It needs to be removed and placed onto the new unit.

That's it!

Thanks ifixit folks - great service!


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