Apple's line of MacBook Pro laptops was intended for the professional and power users. The MacBook Pro line includes the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody, MacBook Pro 15", MacBook Pro 15" Unibody, MacBook Pro 17", and the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.

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How can I get into component-level repair?

Hi all,

I've been fixing MacBook Pros off and on as a kind of side hobby for about 2 years now, and I've pretty much ran the gamut as far as replacing things goes. I've taught myself pretty much everything along the way. My question now is, how can I take it further? I want to be able to do component-level repair to logic boards, from diagnosing issues to replacing SMDs. I'm a senior electrical engineering student, and I have a decent understanding of basic circuitry at least. I've been soldering for a pretty long time, and I just bought myself a really nice hot air rework station.

This might seem far-fetched, but bear with me--would it be possible to put a damaged MacBook side by side with a working one, and start measuring voltages across components in specific problem areas to try and determine bad components? Compare voltages between the good and bad boards?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

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1 Answer

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Evan, sure you could. That would be one way of doing it. For as long as your know what SMD component you are measuring. I recommend a pair of smart tweezers since they will also tell you what component you are measuring. The other thing that you will most likely need is a good schematic. I am sure that you learned all about those in your studies. Without a good board layout diagram, even a schematic will be a royal PITA. So you will need to acquire those (beg, borrow, scrounge) . Once you have the schematics, you will find that most of Apples have a legend about the test points. This might/should help to diagnose potential problems. So as you can see, it takes more than good tools and good skills to work on those. I definitely think you are on the right road to getting it accomplished. Hope this helps, good luck.

short example of legend of A1237 test points.

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Thank you oldturkey03! I must say, you've been an invaluable help for all my questions here on iFixit, and that seems to go for all other users seeking help on here as well. I can't thank you enough! The schematics can be difficult to find indeed. I will also see about getting a pair of smart tweezers. Thanks again. ~

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Evan will be eternally grateful.
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