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2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Can I rinse my MacBook A1342 keyboard (uppercase) under some water?

I recently bought a MacBook A1342 on eBay for £50. The owner said that it boots but that he couldn’t access the files due to it needing a new motherboard. My thought process behind it was that it just needed a new HDD (SSD)!

I bought it, replaced the HDD with an SSD and it works! My only issue is that, even though he didn’t say it in the ad, the keyboard is faulty and some keys are pressing other keys when typing. I’ve completely torn it down to its bare shell to see if I can get the keyboard out to clean the inside of it but it seems to be part of the uppercase and I can’t for the life of me get it out. I don’t want to put it back together without at least trying something.

My question is, can I run the uppercase under some water (and then maybe a light bath in 100% isopropyl alcohol?) and let it dry out for a couple of days? It won’t damage anything will it because there’s no current running through it, right?

See pictures for it’s current state.

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Many thanks!

Ollie

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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@nick & @aactech - I rinsed it under the cold tap for around 5 or so minutes, making sure the water got in everywhere. I pat dried the outside and made a shallow bath of isopropyl alcohol and put the uppercase in there. Gave it a good swish around and let it soak for a couple of minutes, took it out, pat dried it, let it sit for 5 minutes and then made a second bath of alochol for it to go in, to displace any remaining water.

It’s currently drying out so I think on Tuesday or maybe Wednesday night, I’ll put it back together and let you know if it worked!

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We wait with bated breath! Good luck!

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Most Helpful Answer

Here’s how to replace just the keyboard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAAd1kw0...

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I watched that video and he must have super strength or a mind that can disolve glue because it isn't as easy as he makes it look. Mine is glued down solid.

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I watched the video as well. Like replacing mobile phone screens!

Why not give it a try? Looks like it is all leveraging it apart. But hey if the cleaning works...

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I'm surprised it can be done. It always looked impossible from how it's assembled.

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Well, there's little glue spots on mine that I can't seem to get out without destroying it! I can't get my tools under the black bit like he's done there.

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@daviesollie I've done a few of those myself too, unfortunately never thought of making a photo guide. It is slightly destructive to remove the keyboard housing but with a chisel and some patience it can be done. Where you have screws on the Pros, in between the rows, I've used a good quality thin biadhesive. The small plastic seals that are left after removing the old keyboard have to be removed too. Then you need a slowly setting glue/sealant to rebuild and firm in place the housing again and you're done. The end result may not be perfect, but if the job is done carefully, more than acceptable.

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You need a topcase for this machine unless you know how to plastic weld the new board in place. You can’t replace it like you can in the Pro version of this machine. The guide you need can be found here.

The part can be found here as well. Depending on what the machine is worth and how much you paid, this may total out the system. Since you’re likely to total it out over this part, try to clean the keys and hope for the best. Take off the keycaps so you can get proper exposure and keep them in a safe place as well.

Your best bet for a new one is a good condition parts system with serious damage that totals it out, like the motherboard. The topcase is expensive on it’s own just about anywhere.

MacBook Unibody (A1342) Upper Case Image

Product

MacBook Unibody (A1342) Upper Case

$179.99

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Exactly my point, I can't plastic weld it back down if I take it apart completely and I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on parts that cost more than the whole computer. My guessing is that the previous owner had spilt something on it because some of the keys were sticky and pressing other keys so i was going to take it all apart and give the keyboard a rinse with some water and alcohol (I watched a video of something similar and it worked for him). Because I can't gain access to the keyboard, I was wondering if it was ok to rinse and alcohol bath the whole unit. I just wanted to double check I could actually do that.

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It may damage it if you don't flush it properly or use too much water or alcohol, but it's already dead. Use more alcohol than water to reduce the risk. Alcohol displaces water.

The plastic machines are easily totaled out, sadly - they're abundant because of the public school system. The parts are somehow more expensive than the machine when you'd think both are cheap. The old Pros (2008-10) are easy as well, but they've aged quite a bit before they got there. The newer 2011-12's are harder, but still easy if something major has failed that costs about as much as a good looking unit that's similar.

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I presume you followed Andrew Bookholt’s teardown?

MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Upper Case Replacement

Why not just replace the keyboard for US$24.99 ?

MacBook Unibody (Model A1342) Keyboard

MacBook Unibody (Model A1342) Keyboard Image

Product

MacBook Unibody (Model A1342) Keyboard

$24.99

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I did. The problem with it is that I can't access the keyboard. It's glued and plastic welded to the uppercase. My guessing is that the previous owner had spilt something on it because some of the keys were sticky and pressing other keys so i was going to take it all apart and give the keyboard a rinse with some water and alcohol (I watched a video of something similar and it worked for him). Because I can't gain access to the keyboard, I was wondering if it was ok to rinse and alcohol bath the whole unit. I just wanted to double check I could actually do that.

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O.K model variations, again! I've done this keyboard cleaning with external keyboards. Just disconnect all you can with all power discharged and you should be O.K. Patience is the key here and some compressed or "canned" air.

Nick's suggestion of removing the keys is a goos idea.

Good luck. Let us know if it works, in about 3 days, right?

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They look similar to the Pro, but they're heavily cost reduced with methods like this @aactech. Why do you think I chose a 2011 13" Pro when it came time to make the call with my 2006 MB with multiple possible causes and a potential repair that would total it out anyway? You can get one from a public school who is selling them for much less than parts on this model if you want to roll the dice, or pay slightly more online from someone selling a tested one (even sold as-is).

It's more expensive, but it's harder to total out unless something major fails.

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Thanks guys! Will get some 100% alcohol tomorrow and try it out. Will keep you updated with my progress through the week :)

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@nick & @aactech - I put it back together and, although the water rinse and alcohol bath didn’t damage the keyboard, it’s still not fixed the original issue. The keyboard is still pressing other keys when typing. It must be another issue so I think a new uppercase/keyboard unit is needed!

Thanks both of your help. Although the keyboard still isn’t working, my original question was answered.

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Ollie Davies will be eternally grateful.
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