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MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement

What you need

  1. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement, Battery: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Use a coin or spudger to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

  2. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the battery out of the computer.

  3. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement, Memory Cover: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.

    • The screws are captive to the metal memory cover.

    • When replacing the battery casing, use a spudger to re-insert the foam cushioning behind the rear wall for propper battery spacing.

  4. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Lift up on L-shaped memory cover, slide it to the right, and lift it out of the computer.

  5. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement, Upper Case: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following 3 screws:

    • One 11 mm Phillips #00 in the middle of the case.

    • Two 14.5 mm Phillips #00.

    • 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. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following 3 screws from the rear wall of the battery compartment:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips #00. (A1181 has three 3 mm screws and one 4 mm.)

    • One 4 mm Phillips #00 on the right side.

    • When reinstalling these screws, press gently on the lower case to line up the screw holes.

    • These screws easily strip, so be careful while taking these particular screws out.

  7. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 6 mm Phillips #00 screws from either side of the right wall of the battery compartment (not the ones closest to the battery connector).

  8. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the four 3 mm indicated Phillips #00 screws from the front wall of the battery compartment. When working from the left, remove the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th screw.

  9. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following 4 screws from the back of the computer:

    • Two 7 mm shouldered Phillips on the far sides.

    • Two 10.5 mm Phillips toward the center.

    • Do not over-tighten these; you can cause the case to distort.

  10. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 5.2 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws from the optical side of the computer.

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

  11. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Starting near the display and working around to the front of the computer, pry up on the upper case. It is held with clips on the right above the optical drive. These will release with some firm lifting pressure.

    • Be careful when prying up the upper case. It's very easy to slice open a fingertip and thus provide the blood sacrifice the Mac gods sometimes require of those who insist on doing their own repairs.

    • 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.

    • If you have trouble getting the clips to release, be careful that you are not prying the plastic top of the upper case away from its metal frame.

  12. MacBook Core Duo Upper Case Replacement: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • While holding up the upper case (from the bottom or the top), use a spudger to pry up the orange trackpad and keyboard cable from its connector.

    • Take care to pry between the black socket and the white connector. You might have to pry on both sides for it to release properly.

    • Do not pry from the bottom or the top, but from the sides.

    • 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.


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

175 other people completed this guide.


Member since: 09/24/09

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636 Guides authored


I'm working on 3 different Macbooks, and having Keyboard/Trackpad probs with a 2.0 Mid-2007, a 2.16 Mid-2007, and a 2.1 Early 2008.

The Black 2.16 Black seemed to have a faulty logic board and wouldn't start up. I swapped the logic board from the 2.0 White into the Black and it fired up right away. Good news. I then put the Black 2.16 logic board into the White "just for fun". And it started up just fine too! Weird, but good news.

But the new Black KB/TP (from eBay) has just stopped working after 2 weeks. The power button works to start up, but that's it. No KB or TP activity at all. I've tried it on both Macbooks.

And now the White KB/TP, installed on the Black, stopped working. Starts up, but no KB/TP. Causes? Any compatibility problems? IIRC the cables are all silver.

And the 2.1 2008: it starts and works fine, but NOT the KB/TP: either its own, or from a 2.0 C2D. And its KB/TP works on OTHER Macbooks. Any ideas?

P.S. know of any guides on replacing upper case Flex Cables (2007-08)?

Matt - Reply

Well I did the keyboard replacement with ease. I was fooling around back and forth with other things but my best guess is that it took less than one hour total. Yes I did make a one drop blood sacrifice. Be careful when reaching under that keyboard as there are some sharp metal edges. One thing I did do was write the step numbers in scraps of paper and placed the screws on those. In reality it is probably not needed.

These instructions are some of the clearest, easy to follow guides I have ever run across. Thanks Ifixit!

The only thing that spooked me was that I removed a battery that was near fully charged. When I put all back together it showed a 0% battery and the mac would shut down immediately after unhooking the charger. Now about a couple hours later it is showing over 75%. I am guessing maybe the removal of the battery resets things inside the mac and it thinks the battery is dead? No idea why but it seems to be charging up. Just a mystery that bugs me.

glennhanson - Reply

Followed the Guide to replace hard drive (blank, recently formatted) and dvd drive. When I turned on the Macbook Pro, the screen was dark but the push button latch LED was lit, but the power button wasn't lighting up. Anyone run across this problem?

DarkWingDuck - Reply

Did you recheck all of the cables? If those things were working properly before, then replacement of just the hard drive and/or dvd player, would not cause it to start happening. Make sure you didn't disturb any of the other cables while you were in there. Sometimes it just takes a nudge. I've been inside laptops that had never been opened before, and found cables that had loosened just over time and the movement of the laptop.

Also, did you "zap" the PRAM when you first started the MacBook up? The laptop might not be recognizing the new drive and software on it. Hold down this key combination (in the order presented) after pressing the power button, "apple control" + "option" + "p" + "r". It is usually recommended to hold them all down until the computer restarts itself two or three times - then release the keys and let the computer start again on it's own. I often hold them down for five or six restarts though, especially if the computer has already exhibited errors. See if that helps.

karbon bee -

Check also that the RAM has been reseated properly and that no dust or fine hairs, or even fingerprints on the gold pins of the pieces, between the pieces and where they make contact with the ram holder contacts.

karbon bee -

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