MacBook Air 13" Late 2010

1.86GHz or 2.13GHz Processor, 128GB or 256GB Flash Storage

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How to remove a stripped pentalobe screw

Hi.

When doing the bottom case assembly (with the pentalobe screwdriver from ifixit), one of the pentalobe screws got stuck and a few attempts to turn it made the head stripped. I have a replacement screw, but I'm unable to take this one out.

I've seen numerous posts around here regarding this matter, but none of them were concerning the pentalobe screws.

Any suggestions on removing the screw?

Thank you.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Sorry for not mentioning that the laptop is on warranty until November 2011, so I wouldn't like to mess it up by Drilling or dremeling. Using a bigger torx screwdriver didn't help, unfortunately.

by sergesavranchuk

Don't go bigger...;-) use lemerise idea of modifying a flat tip screwdriver.

by oldturkey03

the screw cap is so "screwed" that the screwdriver goes round and can't "catch" the screw to make it turn. I tried to stick the screwdriver to the screw using super instant glue - didn't work. My next step will be finding a flat screwdriver this small to fit into the screw cap. If I turn to using a dremel the rotating blade should really be miniature..

by sergesavranchuk

use your Dremel to modify your screwdriver. The jewelers screwdrivers a re great for that start with a flat tip a little bigger than what you have left from the screw head and modify it accordingly. If you do not have a Dremel any kind of small grinder will work

by oldturkey03

thaks for the advice, oldturkey03, but can you please show a couple of images of the tools you are speaking about the Dremel and the grinder? that'd be really helpful.

by sergesavranchuk

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5 Answers

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Drill it out (very carefully). Once the head is removed you can easily turn the remains of the screw with needle nosed pliers. Take care to clean up any chips from the drilling, use compressed air and/or a magnet.

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Thanks, but is drilling really the only way?

by sergesavranchuk

Of course not - see lemerises answer.

by remacberlin

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When I have this problem with a torx screw I use a small flat screwdriver that can enter between two notches and apply a little force to unscrew the $%#@$%? screw. Maybe you can try this trick. If your MBA is no more covered by the Apple warranty you can also use a Dremel with a small rotating blade to make a notch and then use a flat screwdriver to take off the screw.

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/Pages/...

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+ love the Dremel ;-)

by oldturkey03

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Lowe's has removal tools, basically it's a coarse, reverse threaded carbon steel bit that is designed so that as you twist the bit counterclockwise (out) it digs into the head of the screw. If you can find one online that's small enough it could do the trick. http://www.amazon.com/Made-USA-53700-Spi....

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We have just recently added these screw extractors to our store. They would fit that screw size for the MBA and might be able to take out the screw. Screw extractors, in general, don't always work depending on how stripped the head is, but it's an alternative to trying to drill it out.

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I had this problem with a Torx 5 screw inside a MacBook Air, tried every trick in the book to get the !@#$ thing out, to no avail. Here's what ended up working for me:

I very carefully sanded the surface of the stripped screw with 320 grit sandpaper, making extra sure I wasn't contacting any surrounding components. Then I cleaned the screw head off and applied some petroleum based soldering flux onto the sanded screw head. I then got my soldering iron up to temperature and melted some solder onto the head of the screw. I added solder until it filled the stripped out torx hole and formed a small dome on top of the screw. While the solder was still melted, I pressed a flathead screwdriver into the solder and kept it still until the solder cooled. When I removed the screwdriver tip, there was a perfect flathead impression in the solder. Then I just used the flathead screwdriver to remove the screw normally...it came right out! I suggest anyone who has the parts/supplies to do this, definitely give it a try.

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sergesavranchuk will be eternally grateful.

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