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2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Need to replace keyboard..

The keyboard doesn't work, Does anyone know how to replace the keyboard or know where I can find a guild. All I see on here is a total tear down. Please help...

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The keyboard replacement for the macbook 13 white unibody is a tricky one. the keyboard is burried underneath a framed rectangular plate, which seems glued to the plastic bottom surface. once your remove the logic board, the hard drive, the screen from the bottom assembly, you are left with a black frame that runs edge to edge, which covers 1/2 of the total space infront of the battery compartment. This plate, it appears, is glued to the plastic body underneath along the edges at scattered points. i tried to pry it. but it is tough. One way to remove it , and I am very apprehensive about this method, might be to apply a gentle heat gun at the glued points to loosen the grip of the glue. but one must be most careful because one can end up warping the plastic body and do more harm than good.


i finally removed the framed rectangular black plate and the keyboard. As I suspected, the black plate was glued along the perimeter all the way. So, the gluing was thorough and not along certain points as I suspected. But it did come off. And it is made of plastic, not metal. And the keyboard is held to the upper case by plastic mouldings and not screws like Apple used to do it in the older non-unibody Macbook 13 whites.

Before you attempt removing the black plate, remove the touchpad. it is easy. there are 7 screws you have to remove, and the touchpad will drop off underneath.


Start on the RHS, where the USB and ethernet ports are located. . Then carefully pry the black plate along the edges. You can sneak your flathead screw driver through the open ports to pry a small section then leave it there anchored. Use a second flat screw drivers to pry more. i also used a heat gun gently in areas where there are no wires, or clectronic parts. make do not apply heat gun for more than 10 seconds on one part. simply test the heated are with your hand. it should be warm and not hot. then pry in that are. Eventually, it gets easier and easier. It is better to start on So, once you remove the black plate, you are left with a keyboard.

Now, the keyboard is also glued with tiny white plastic glue to posts. there are about 105 of these posts. The white glue mouldings look like caps covering the top of the posts and are about 3 mm in diameter. Start at the edge and simply use a sharp tiny flathead screwdriver, or an exacto knife to scratch the moulding. Be gentle and do not scratch off the posts because you will need to reeuse them. Pry the keyboard gently out. Then do the same to the next moulding and pry the keyboard. Eventually, you will have enough finger grip on the keyboard, which will allow you to simply pull it. You will hear popping sound. When you are finished, they board will come out. dont lose the the Power Button Cover because you will need to use it again. When the keyboard is completely out, clean up the posts of glued mouldings. Mount your new keyboard. Mke sure all the 105 posts go through the holes of the keyboard frame.

Now that is how far I have come. I will have to buy liquid plastic to use them as mouldings to hold the keyboard firm in the top frame. Otherwise it will be uneven and may cause me problem. But I am confident i will finish the job.


OK, I finally replaced the keyboard. here are some new observations.

The black plate is a platform where most of the laptop's parts are mounted, including other mouting brackets. furthermore, the bottom laptop cover is screwed to it. you do not blue it properly, you will have problems galore wiith fittings and the bottom cover may become lose.

1. I used contact cement to attach the replacement keyboard at 105 points to the top part of the case.

2. You can use contact cement to attach the black plate to the top case. Make sure you clean up the residue glue by scrapping. Then right before you are ready to mount the plate, apply a fresh strand of contact cement along the same track left from the old glue on both the plate and the top case. Put just enough contact cement. Let it dry slightly.

3. Repeat above step on the power switch. no clamp needed Make sure the power button is inserted properly then put the power swtich on top and press it to ensure proper and tight fitting.

4. Gently put the back plate in put the screws back. make sure the you dont burry any of the cables underneath the plate.

5. Clamp the black plate to the case at different points to ensure tight fitting and good contact between the contact cement layers. 30 minutes to 1 hour will do.

The resst is easy. You have to mount the speaker, attach three antenna cables, mount logic board, screen mout brackets, super drive, cpu fan, the battery, etc.

Good luck and sorry for the lengthy instructions.

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Thanks Andrew for your kind sentiments. i am glad it worked out for you. I was unable to write instructions that were coherent, clear because it takes so much time do do so. So, I had to write whatever I observed and did quickly. Now that I read my instructions again, I notice much faults in it. To understand the instructions well, you have to open up the top part firs and have a good at the assembly first. Then the instructions can be easily comprehensible. Boy I now have a lot appreciation for instruction manual writers. it is a tedious and time-consumming task.

Nonetheless, the love is in the labor and doing something that if successful gladdens your heart and boosts your confidence, not mention saves you money.

Cheers to Andrew and all posters in this thread.



I am impressed that you were able to pull this off, but I would hesitate to give average users the impression that this is the way to go -- it's a very difficult repair, way beyond what is reasonable for most, and the vast majority of people are going to be better off buying a new topcase/keyboard assembly on eBay for $50.


Glad I came across this as I am playing with a dead keyboard now.

On removing the backing plate I was able to do so without using heat.

As for the white glue on the posts instead of scraping them off I used a soldering iron with a medium tip. They quickly melted and the keyboard lifted right out of place with minimum effort leaving the entire post behind.

I'm going to try a plastic glue I use at work to reattach the backing plate to the top case but first I will make a template keyboard spacer so that I can apply even pressure instead of spot clamping.

I'm wondering if a hot melt plastic (same process as hot melt glue just with plastic resin) would work for attaching the new keyboard instead of contact cement?

Of course I had to take the keyboard apart and found that the liquid spill had worked its way in between the two layers of the printed circuit. A good cleaning and reattaching would make it work again but that is beyond my desire.

Thank you for the info. It is making this a much easier project!


Thank-you Jamal! This is an excellent response and helped me to fix my own A1342 MacBook keyboard. I ordered the keyboard only via and saved substantially over buying a complete upper case replacement.




may I ask you how much did you pay for your keyboard replacement? If you had the link where to buy it, it would be awesome....



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Unfortunately you have to replace the upper case. Here's how to do it:

MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Upper Case Replacement

Here's the part:

MacBook Unibody (A1342) Upper Case

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Jamal, I would like to thank you for this great write-up! My wife's keyboard got drenched in hot chocolate to the effect that even after cleaning, the macbook didn't switch on anymore and the left shift key was constantly triggered. Turned out that some hot chocolate had seeped between the two plastic layers and shortened out some connections. Got a new keyboard for £28 and fitted it in a couple of hours. All working again now.

The one thing that nearly got me was the connector for the keyboard cable. I managed to pull it off the circuit board, but succeded in soldering it back on with a tiny 12V soldering iron. Turns out you have to lift the plastic tab opposite the cable till it stands up at right angles to the board. Then the cable slides out easily.

Thanks again, Andreas

PS: After three days of tinkering, I am now able to completely dismantle and re-assemble a unibody macbook in under half an hour.

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I attempted this one myself with one of my co workers (I work in a repair shop) and we found that at around 650º-700º Fahrenheit with a heat gun is when the circular glue holds in the black plastic shielding give out. So, use a normal desktop sized P2 flat blade and wedge it in the side of where a circular glue hold has popped and it should be able to walk down the side of the shielding with the aid of a secondary screw driver, which will cut the glue as you go if you're applying heat. Then when you get down to the keyboard, just use a dremel tool to grind the posts down, because f**k scraping each individual one; you'd be there for half an hour.

Hope my research helps.


The Mac Whisperer

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Mac Whisperer, are you saying you heated the top case to 650º-700º Fahrenheit and only the glue melted, not the plastic?


Pretty much. you have to be careful and back off the heat gun every once and awhile, otherwise you risk melting plastic yes.


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Joe will be eternally grateful.
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