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Introduction

Changing the top case will also give you a new trackpad and keyboard.

Note: the ribbon cable is fragile but replaceable, it is connected with a ZIF socket under the touchpad.

  1. Use a coin or spudger to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.
    • Use a coin or spudger to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

  2. Lift the battery out of the computer.
    • Lift the battery out of the computer.

  3. Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.
    • Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.

    • The screws are captive to the metal memory cover so you cannot lose them.

  4. Rotate the L-shaped memory cover so it clears the battery compartment opening and lift it up and out of the computer.
    • Rotate the L-shaped memory cover so it clears the battery compartment opening and lift it up and out of the computer.

  5. Remove the following 3 screws:
    • Remove the following 3 screws:

    • One 11 mm Phillips#00 in the middle of the case. (Head: 5mm dia. x .75mm thick)

    • Two 14.5 mm Phillips #00 (Head: 5mm dia. x .75mm thick)

    • If the screws stick in the case, you can use a magnetized screwdriver to draw them out.

    • The shorter of the three screws goes in the middle.

  6. Take extra caution with these screws as they can strip easily!
    • Take extra caution with these screws as they can strip easily!

    • Remove the following 3 screws from the rear wall of the battery compartment:

    • One 3 mm Phillips #0. (Head: 2.75 mm. dia.)

    • Two 4 mm Phillips #0 on the either side. (Head: 2.75mm dia.)

  7. Remove the two Phillips screws from either side of the right wall of the battery compartment (not the ones closest to the battery connector).
    • Remove the two Phillips screws from either side of the right wall of the battery compartment (not the ones closest to the battery connector).

    • Two 6.25 mm Phillips #000. (Head: 4 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

  8. Remove the four indicated Phillips screws from the front wall of the battery compartment. When working from the left, remove the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th screw.
    • Remove the four indicated Phillips screws from the front wall of the battery compartment. When working from the left, remove the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th screw.

    • Four 3.25 mm Phillips #000. (Head: 4 mm. dia. x 4mm thick)

  9. Remove the following 4 screws from the back of the computer:
    • Remove the following 4 screws from the back of the computer:

    • The longer screws go on the inside, shorter screws on the outside.

    • Two 11 mm Phillips #00, with Shank (2.2mm dia. x 2 mm len.) (Head: 3.2 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

    • Two 7.25 mm Phillips #00, with Shank (2mm dia. x 3.75 mm len.) (Head: 3.2 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

  10. Remove the two Phillips screws from the optical drive side of the computer.
    • Remove the two Phillips screws from the optical drive side of the computer.

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips #00, with Shank (2.3mm dia. x 3.5 mm len.) (Head: 3.2 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

    • It is not necessary to remove the similar screws on the other side of the computer.

  11. There's a trackpad and keyboard ribbon connecting the upper case to the logic board, so don't pull the upper case off entirely just yet.
    • There's a trackpad and keyboard ribbon connecting the upper case to the logic board, so don't pull the upper case off entirely just yet.

    • Starting near the display and working around to the front of the computer, pry up on the upper case. A plastic opening tool or a medium hard guitar pick may help you to do this.

    • The upper case is likely to stick at the connection above the optical drive. If this is the case, first free all other sides, then proceed to pull upward on the upper case from either side of the optical drive opening.

    • If you stand the base on end to get a better look you may displace the total of 4 grey plastic clips that hold the keyboard in place. Don't panic. They slide into slots at the top right-most edge near the CD drive.

  12. While holding up the upper case, pull up the black tab of the silver cable away from its connector. If there is no black tab, you can also use a spudger to gently pry the connector from its housing.  This connector is tall, so be sure to pry straight up. If you happen to break your upper case cable when removing the upper case, we stock the cable individually and we have a guide that makes replacing it easy.
    • While holding up the upper case, pull up the black tab of the silver cable away from its connector.

    • If there is no black tab, you can also use a spudger to gently pry the connector from its housing. This connector is tall, so be sure to pry straight up.

    • If you happen to break your upper case cable when removing the upper case, we stock the cable individually and we have a guide that makes replacing it easy.

    • While you have the upper case removed, you may want to take the opportunity to remove dust, hair, etc. It's best to use a can of compressed air, though if you use a brush, make sure that its bristles are made of a material (usually animal hair) that doesn't generate static electricity, which can destroy electronics.

    • Upon reassembly, there are 4 grey plastic clips on the optical drive side of the keyboard (refer to second picture). They must be installed in their slots for the keyboard to snap in properly.

    • To make the reassamble process easier, it's better to pull out the clips first by pulling it straight up gently. Be careful not to put too much strength because it will break.

Conclusion

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

394 other people completed this guide.

iRobot

Member since: 09/24/2009

1 Reputation

624 Guides authored

11 Comments

Note that the actual keyboard is sandwiched between the top case and an aluminum backing panel that is plastic welded together. Because of this, the keyboard can not be replaced without modification to these plastic weld points.

I actually purchased a replacement keyboard only to find out that I should have purchased the whole top case unit.

Keil Miller - Reply

Many thanks for this guide. I was able to replace my old fried keyboard with no problem!

LividFiction - Reply

Wow. I have used this guide religiously 3 times now and I can not thank enough for it to the provider. You won't find anything more informative, explicit, graphic, descriptive but simple and basic oriented out there, and without leaving key details out. I think you did a FANTASTIC job with this guide, and thank you again. I'm very happy I found this link.

By the way, much better and appropiate than those dozens of youtube videos.

David - Reply

On step 10 the last screw, the one farthest away from the optical drive, would not come out. My screw driver is fine and the screw look ok but it will not come out. I'v been trying for 30 minutes now.

Aidan Morey - Reply

hello staff ifixit

I have a question happens when I change the upper case of this team and still does not work bring it to a central apple and tell me I have to change the logic board is this true and if so how is that is damaged

David chunga - Reply

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