Introduction

Use this guide to replace the bare logic board on your MacBook Air. Before reinstalling the heat sink, be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste.

  • Before proceeding, close your computer and lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

  • The special screwdriver needed to remove the eight 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

I recommend that one of the tools you obtain is a jeweler's loupe that mounts on your glasses. It makes things easier.

blairweaver - Reply

This is not correct. You need the pentalobe tool at this point.

Duane Hellums - Reply

Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.
  • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

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In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.
  • In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally contact its socket.

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Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.

What happens if the 2.9mm t5 screw got stripped?

Charles - Reply

So when i change my ssd in mac do i have to reinstall Mac OS

sai prahalad Alluri - Reply

Correct, the SSD does not come with OS preinstalled. To install the OS you can completely clone your existing hard drive or you will need to create a bootable flash drive and format your SSD and create a partition in order to be able to install the OS.

Ethan Lockwood -

use super duper

jimmyli564656 -

So my wife spilled a Martini on her MacAir and it no longer works and is not repairable, all her music and pictures are stored on the drive, I would like to transfer these files to another drive. What is needed to read the drive once removed?

prastonis - Reply

Use a spudger to help lift the free end of the SSD just enough to grab it with your other hand. Do not lift the end of the SSD excessively.
  • Use a spudger to help lift the free end of the SSD just enough to grab it with your other hand.

  • Do not lift the end of the SSD excessively.

  • Pull the drive straight out of its socket and remove it from the logic board.

  • When reinstalling the SSD, be sure it is properly seated before reinstalling its retaining screw.

I performed all the steps above and fitted a Transcend JetDrive 500 which was very easy however when I re-assembled and turned on all I get is a question mark in the middle of the screen, can you explain if I did anything wrong?

Ian Ashton - Reply

Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the I/O board cable connector upward out of its socket on the I/O board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the I/O board cable connector upward out of its socket on the I/O board.

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The following connector has an especially deep socket. Use care when disconnecting it.
  • The following connector has an especially deep socket. Use care when disconnecting it.

  • While gently pulling the I/O board cable upward near its connection to the logic board, use the tip of a spudger to pry upward on alternating sides of the connector to help "walk" it out of its socket.

  • Remove the I/O board cable.

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Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the fan cable ZIF socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the fan cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

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Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:
  • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

    • Two 5.2 mm T5 Torx screws

    • One 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Lift the fan out of the upper case and carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove it from the Air.
  • Lift the fan out of the upper case and carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove it from the Air.

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Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:
  • Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • Two 5.2 mm T5 Torx screws

    • One 6 mm T5 Torx screw

    • Two 2.6 mm T5 Torx screws

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Do not touch or squeeze the six lithium polymer cells when handling the battery.
  • Do not touch or squeeze the six lithium polymer cells when handling the battery.

  • Lift the battery from its edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the upper case.

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Disconnect the I/O board by pulling the power cable away from its socket on the logic board.
  • Disconnect the I/O board by pulling the power cable away from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board toward the front edge of the Air.

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Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad ribbon cable ZIF socket. Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.
  • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the trackpad ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the front edge of the Air.

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Use the tip of a spudger to de-route the right speaker cable from the slot cut into the logic board.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to de-route the right speaker cable from the slot cut into the logic board.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the right speaker cable connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the right speaker cable connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Pry up from beneath the cables.

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Gently push the tip of a spudger under the black plastic flap stuck to the display data cable lock to make the lock pop upward and away from the socket. While holding the lock away from the socket, use the tip of a spudger and your fingers to gently remove the display data cable from its socket. Do not pull upward on the display data cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board.
  • Gently push the tip of a spudger under the black plastic flap stuck to the display data cable lock to make the lock pop upward and away from the socket.

  • While holding the lock away from the socket, use the tip of a spudger and your fingers to gently remove the display data cable from its socket.

  • Do not pull upward on the display data cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board.

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Remove the small rubber gasket from the corner of the upper case near the display data cable.
  • Remove the small rubber gasket from the corner of the upper case near the display data cable.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna cable connectors up and off their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna cable connectors up and off their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna cable connectors up and off their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

Heads up when replacing a late 2010 display with a 2011 or later... On later model Airs the wifi card orientation changed, which causes two issues: 1) the antenna cables are longer on the newer displays, so you have excess wire to deal with, 2) On 2010 displays the longer wire goes on the antenna port closer to the battery, on 2011 and later displays the longer cable goes on the port further from the battery (flip-flopped). If you switch them up, your wifi reception will be terrible

John - Reply

Gently de-route the antenna cables from the slot cut into the logic board.
  • Gently de-route the antenna cables from the slot cut into the logic board.

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Remove the three 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.
  • Remove the three 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

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Gently lift the logic board assembly out of the upper case, minding the fragile heat sink and any cables that may get caught.
  • Gently lift the logic board assembly out of the upper case, minding the fragile heat sink and any cables that may get caught.

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Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the AirPort/Bluetooth card to the logic board.
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the AirPort/Bluetooth card to the logic board.

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Slightly lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth board and pull it out of its socket on the logic board.
  • Slightly lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth board and pull it out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board from the logic board.

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Remove the eight 2.5 mm T5 Torx screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.
  • Remove the eight 2.5 mm T5 Torx screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.

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  • If the heat sink seems to be stuck to the logic board after removing all eight screws, use a spudger to carefully separate the heat sink from the faces of the CPU and GPU.

  • Remove the heat sink from the logic board.

  • Logic board remains.

  • When reinstalling the heat sink, be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste. If you have never applied thermal paste before, we have a guide that makes it easy.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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6 Comments

Another Great Guide by you guys! Thanks

ubenice - Reply

This Logic board is compatible with a macbook air 11inch 2011 model?

Aprimus - Reply

Just so you guys know I could successfully reaplace the A1370 Core2Duo Late 2010 board for a A1370 i7 Mid 2011 board. you are going to need the heatsink and battery from the newer model as well. the problem I am facing right now is the wifi/bluetooth antenna been too short for the new position of the airport card. as soon as I get a chance I'll try to re route the cables and try to fix it.

igorfeghali - Reply

Igorfeghali, another question: why do you need the battery too?

kautame -

Igorfeghali. was everything fine with your MacBook after you installed the Mid 2011 board? I'm interested in doing something like that. Did you use something like this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181804089959

to extend your antenna cable?

kautame - Reply

Word of caution: there are two variations of this logic board, one with two heat sinks as shown here and one with a single heat sink. The layout and position are slightly different as well, so me careful when ordering replacement boards to order the proper match.

Jay Williams - Reply

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