Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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Are 2010/11 LCDs and Top Cases Suitable for 2012 Replacement?

I have had the misfortune of dropping a 2lb. external hard drive onto my 1-week old MacBook Pro 15" Unibody with Hi-Res anti-glare display. It caused a 1cm wide dent in the top keyboard case to the left of the trackpad and a piece from the external hard drive enclosure broke off and ricocheted onto the LCD, causing a 4-5mm scratch in the LCD screen. Please note: this is not a Glossy display, there is no glass!

Obviously it's too early for any 2012 replacement parts to be available without buying directly from Apple (which I already found out would be about a $1200 fix for parts and labor). This machine's model number is A1286, the same as the 2010 and 2011 models.

I'm wondering if any of these parts be a suitable replacement from either 2010 or 2011 versions:

LCD Screen (only, no display assembly)

Complete display assembly

Top Case/Keyboard

I've heard that due to differences in the logic board layouts from year to year, the required length for the video cable can vary, which would be a non-starter. I'm hoping someone here at iFixit who has done the 2012 tear down might know!

Many thanks!

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They changed some of the chips and moved some ICs around, but all of the ports and connectors are in the same spot. You should be good to go.

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Same issue here - needing to replace 2012 display. Did you successfully make the repair with 2010/11 parts? In looking at the tear down guides it appears that there's 4 antennae cables in the 2012 and only 3 in the 2010. Want to make sure this won't be an issue before I make the swap.

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First and foremost: Critical Advice I wish I'd heard:

You will occasionally encounter screws inside the machine that are screwed in VERY tightly and can be stripped/destroyed VERY EASILY making them virtually impossible to remove and continue to use, thereby botching your entire attempt to repair your machine. Make absolutely sure you are using the correct size screwdriver and remove screws with extreme care!

Despite some minor differences in a few details, the 2011 top case is essentially the same, can't speak to the 2010 version. It was a while ago, so I'm afraid I don't remember the exact details, but nothing was a showstopper. It worked, and if memory serves, any differences are subtle enough to work around in the process of the repair, just make sure you carefully examine every part and and take some time to compare the two empty cases once you've disassembled the 2012 MBP before starting replacing the case.

Replacing the LCD, on the other hand, was less successful. It was very challenging to get the bevel back to the original thickness, the repaired version was a little bloated in a few spots around the frame. Also, the OED LCD I used had several stuck pixels, so I had to do it all over again, which pretty much sucked -- the secret was to just get over it and get it done. 2nd time around, still the same results. Granted, the nasty dent in the case and chip in the LCD are gone, and the very minor cosmetic imperfections from the repair are much easier to ignore ;).

Plus I learned enough about Mac repair to do just about anything -- the top case and LCD replacement are the two most difficult repair jobs you can attempt. Patience is key!

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Wally Scharold will be eternally grateful.
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