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Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken front display glass panel. Removal of the front display glass is required to access the LCD.

  1. Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:
    • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

  2. Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.
    • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

  3. For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge.
    • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

  4. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer/right speaker cable connector up off its socket on the logic board. Be very careful to pry under the connector as shown, and not under the socket itself. Otherwise you may accidentally separate the socket from the logic board. Be very careful to pry under the connector as shown, and not under the socket itself. Otherwise you may accidentally separate the socket from the logic board.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer/right speaker cable connector up off its socket on the logic board.

    • Be very careful to pry under the connector as shown, and not under the socket itself. Otherwise you may accidentally separate the socket from the logic board.

  5. Disconnect the camera cable by sliding it horizontally out of its socket. Pull the cable parallel to the surface of the logic board, in the direction of the optical drive. Do not pull straight up, or you will destroy the connector.
    • Disconnect the camera cable by sliding it horizontally out of its socket.

    • Pull the cable parallel to the surface of the logic board, in the direction of the optical drive. Do not pull straight up, or you will destroy the connector.

    • If you see a small plastic retainer stuck to the logic board that prevents the camera cable from sliding out, peel it up carefully from the logic board. Apply a little heat from a hair dryer or heat gun if necessary to help soften the adhesive holding it in place. Do not attempt to forcibly disconnect the cable with the retainer in place.

    • If you still have trouble, use the point of a spudger to push at each side of the connector and "walk" it slowly from its socket.

  6. De-route the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.
    • De-route the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.

  7. Remove the following screws securing the camera data cable and right speaker to the upper case: Two 8 mm Phillips screws.
    • Remove the following screws securing the camera data cable and right speaker to the upper case:

    • Two 8 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 4mm Phillips screw.

    • One of the 8 mm Phillips screws will likely remain captive in the camera cable ground loop.

    • Slide the camera cable bracket out from under the subwoofer and remove it from the computer.

  8. Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer. Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket. Make sure to pull the connector straight away and not straight up from its socket.
    • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

    • Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket.

    • Make sure to pull the connector straight away and not straight up from its socket.

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  10. Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case: One 7 mm Phillips screw.
    • Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case:

    • One 7 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw.

    • Lift the display data cable bracket out of the upper case.

  11. Use your Torx driver to remove the two outer 6.5 mm screws securing each of the two display brackets to the upper case (4 screws total). Mid 2009 models require a T6 Torx driver, while Mid 2010 models require a T8.
    • Use your Torx driver to remove the two outer 6.5 mm screws securing each of the two display brackets to the upper case (4 screws total).

    • Mid 2009 models require a T6 Torx driver, while Mid 2010 models require a T8.

  12. Open your MacBook so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.
    • Open your MacBook so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

    • Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.

    • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, use your Torx driver to remove the remaining 6.5 mm screw from the lower display bracket.

  13. Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.
    • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

    • Remove the last remaining 6 mm Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

  14. Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case. Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.
    • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

    • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

  15. Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.
    • Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

  16. In the following steps, you will use a heat gun to soften the adhesive securing the outer black border around the underside of the front glass panel to the display. The area the adhesive is applied  to is shown in red in the second picture. With the heat gun set to low, start by heating the outer black border near the upper right corner of the glass panel.
    • In the following steps, you will use a heat gun to soften the adhesive securing the outer black border around the underside of the front glass panel to the display. The area the adhesive is applied to is shown in red in the second picture.

    • With the heat gun set to low, start by heating the outer black border near the upper right corner of the glass panel.

    • Always aim the heat gun away from the soft rubber strip around the display glass. Heating the rubber will cause it to melt slightly, turning its finish from matte to glossy. Touching overheated rubber can cause it to permanently deform.

    • Due to the heat applied, it is normal for a layer of condensation to develop on the inside of the glass panel and/or the outside of the LCD. It can be removed with glass cleaner once the glass is separated from the display.

    • With the panel sufficiently heated, fasten a heavy-duty suction cup near the upper right corner of the display glass.

    • Don't fasten the suction cup on top of the rubber strip around the edge of the display glass.

    • To attach the suction cups we sell, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel. While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle.

    • Slowly and gently pull the corner of the display glass up off the display assembly.

    • If only the top edge of the glass lifts up (as seen in the third picture), repeat steps one and two until you can lift up the corner of the panel.

  17. Gently lift the corner of the display glass enough to insert a spudger between it and the display assembly. Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry up the adhesive securing the front glass to the display. Pry up the glass panel a few inches away from the upper right corner along the top and right edges of the display.
    • Gently lift the corner of the display glass enough to insert a spudger between it and the display assembly.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry up the adhesive securing the front glass to the display.

    • Pry up the glass panel a few inches away from the upper right corner along the top and right edges of the display.

  18. Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the right side of the front glass panel. Attach a suction cup along the right side of the front glass panel.
    • Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the right side of the front glass panel.

    • Attach a suction cup along the right side of the front glass panel.

    • Pull up on the glass panel while you use the flat end of a spudger to separate it from the rest of the display assembly.

    • Continue working along the right edge of the front display glass until it is separated from the display.

    • It may be helpful to use a guitar pick or another thin plastic object to keep the upper right corner of the front glass panel from sticking back down to the display assembly.

  19. Use your heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the top edge of the glass display panel. Attach a suction cup near the top edge of the glass display panel and use it to pull the glass panel up off the display.
    • Use your heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the top edge of the glass display panel.

    • Attach a suction cup near the top edge of the glass display panel and use it to pull the glass panel up off the display.

    • Work along the top edge of the glass panel, carefully using the flat end of a spudger to separate the adhesive if necessary.

  20. Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip near the upper left corner of the glass display panel. Attach a suction cup near the upper left corner of the glass display panel.
    • Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip near the upper left corner of the glass display panel.

    • Attach a suction cup near the upper left corner of the glass display panel.

    • Pull up on the suction cup and use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the glass display panel out of the display assembly.

    • Once the upper left corner has been separated from the display, it may be helpful to use a guitar pick or another thin plastic object to keep the glass from sticking back down to the display assembly.

  21. Use a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the left side of the front glass panel. Attach a suction cup along the left side of the front glass panel.
    • Use a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the left side of the front glass panel.

    • Attach a suction cup along the left side of the front glass panel.

    • Pull up on the glass panel while you use the flat end of a spudger to separate it from the rest of the display assembly.

    • Continue working along the left edge of the front display glass until it is separated from the display.

  22. Now that the top, left, and right edges of the glass are free from the display, slowly lift the top edge of the glass panel and gently rotate it out of the display. If necessary, use the flat end of a spudger to free the bottom edge of the glass display panel from the display assembly.
    • Now that the top, left, and right edges of the glass are free from the display, slowly lift the top edge of the glass panel and gently rotate it out of the display.

    • If necessary, use the flat end of a spudger to free the bottom edge of the glass display panel from the display assembly.

    • Before reassembling, be sure to clean both the inside of the glass display panel and the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is on.

  23. Skip this step if you're reusing the original glass. Insert the edge of a plastic opening tool between the display glass and the camera bracket, and run it around the camera bracket to separate it from the display glass.
    • Skip this step if you're reusing the original glass.

    • Insert the edge of a plastic opening tool between the display glass and the camera bracket, and run it around the camera bracket to separate it from the display glass.

    • Do not forget to stick the camera bracket down to the new front display glass before reassembly.

  24. During the glass removal process, the camera cable may stick to the adhesive on the glass panel, disconnecting it from the camera board as the panel is lifted. If your camera cable is still connected to the camera board, skip this step. To reconnect the cable, first use the tip of a spudger to remove the piece of foam tape over the camera cable ZIF socket. Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the ZIF cable retainer on the camera cable socket.
    • During the glass removal process, the camera cable may stick to the adhesive on the glass panel, disconnecting it from the camera board as the panel is lifted. If your camera cable is still connected to the camera board, skip this step.

    • To reconnect the cable, first use the tip of a spudger to remove the piece of foam tape over the camera cable ZIF socket.

    • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the ZIF cable retainer on the camera cable socket.

    • Insert the camera cable into its socket on the camera board and use the tip of a spudger to snap down the ZIF cable retainer, locking the cable in place.

    • Reapply the piece of tape covering the camera cable socket.

Conclusion

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

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One Comment

This guide needs to be replicated / linked on to all the other A1286 13-inch Unibody models as it was done with the 2010 model. The screens are the same for each year of the A1286 generation from 2009, 2010, early 2011, late 2011, and 2012.

Ideally, it could be really helpful if the staff team can improve the article; improve on the steps outlined; using the feedback received in the comments - e,g, safer ways to handle broken glass, use of solvents like alcohol or acetone to dissolve / neutralise the adhesive seal, and ways to preserve the rubber lining, the LCD panel itself, and the additional circuitry & cabling underneath.

Jon T. - Reply

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