MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Logic Board Replacement

Use this guide to completely replace your logic board.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge. This step is optional and is not required.

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

Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the fan connector out of its seat, and straight up off the logic board.

  • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

  • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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

    • One 6.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 5.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case:

    • One 7 mm Phillips.

    • One 5 mm Phillips.

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

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer and right speaker connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • In this step you will disconnect the camera cable. Most machines will have a small self adhesive plastic retainer stuck to the logic board to keep the connector in place. Before disconnecting the cable, be sure this retainer is moved out of the way.

  • Pull the camera cable connector toward the optical drive to disconnect it from the logic board.

  • This socket is metal and easily bent. Be sure to align the connector with its socket on the logic board before mating the two pieces.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive, hard drive, and trackpad cable connectors up off the logic board.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use your fingernail or the tip of a spudger to flip up the cable retaining flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

  • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Peel the small strip of black tape off the keyboard backlight ribbon cable socket.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the cable retaining flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard backlight ribbon cable.

  • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the battery indicator cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the microphone off the adhesive attaching it to the upper case.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws:

    • Five 3.1 mm Phillips.

    • Two 3.9 mm Phillips.

    • Two 7 mm Phillips from the DC-in board.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the following tri-wing screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • One 5.5 mm tri-wing screw.

    • One 13.5 mm tri-wing screw.

  • Lift the battery out of the upper case.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Lift the logic board from its left edge and raise it until the ports clear the side of the upper case.

  • Pull the logic board away from the side of the upper case and remove it, minding the DC-in board that may get caught.

  • Be careful not to rip out the fragile connector plug of the microphone assembly.

Edit Step 20 Heat Sink  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20 Heat Sink  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 8.5 mm Phillips screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.

  • A spring is held under each of these screws.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Gently lift the heat sink off the logic board.

  • When you mount the heat sink back onto the logic board, be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste. We have a guide that makes replacing the thermal paste easy.

Edit Step 22 Logic Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Peel off the tape covering the microphone cable connector and left speaker cable connector.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left speaker connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the microphone cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the left speaker/microphone assembly off the adhesive securing it to the logic board.

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the DC-In board by pulling its connector away from the socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Release the tabs on each side of the chip by simultaneously pushing each tab away from the RAM.

  • These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up.

  • After the RAM chip has popped up, pull it straight out of its socket.

  • Repeat this process if a second RAM chip is installed.

  • Logic board remains.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Arctic Silver ArctiClean

$7.95 · 50+ In stock

Arctic Silver Thermal Paste

$8.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Y1 Tri-wing Screwdriver

$7.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

$59.95 · 50+ In stock

Anti-Static Project Tray

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

It looks like you need a Phillips #000 screwdriver for the 10 bottom screws. I tried the #00 and it's too big. Good thing I bought a 23 piece precision screwdriver set or else I would have been screwed.

scott523, · Reply

The 10 screws that hold tha bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesnt fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough. The only thing that I needed a #000 driver for was the keyboard screws. They're so small they look like specks of dirt or sand. I stripped out 4 of them & now will need to grind the heads off with a Dremel/rotary tool. The other thing that sucks is iFixit doesn't have a tutorial for keyboard replacement!

iphonetechtips,

Perfect man!Many thanks!:)

wertaerte, · Reply

Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

twisk, · Reply

thanks twisk, I wish i would have read your tip before I finished putting the bottom of my laptop back together. I managed to get all screws in somehow, but one was in fact too-tight.

BTW, big big thanks to the Author: Andrew Bookholt. Just used this guide and my trackpad now works again.

xitxit2,

i too need a #000 for the bottom of the case -- i got the recommended screwdriver (#00) and unfortunately it's too big

plins718, · Reply

Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

mastover, · Reply

I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

adlerpe,

The colours you used for these circles are indistinguishable for colour-blind people. Please consider using something like the palette suggested by visibone: http://www.visibone.com/colorblind/

Eric Sorenson, · Reply

Squares, Circles, Triangles (you get the idea) would work as well to distinguish the different screws.

danzeitlin,

I'd use a Phillips #000 screwdriver also. The #00 can work, but if the screws are in really tight, it doesn't get far enough down into the screws to get purchase, so it will start to strip (and I agree that the screws are pretty soft). On mine, the screws for the fan were really tight, started to strip with #00, needed a #000 and quite a bit of pressure to get them to move.

jonathanmorgan, · Reply

I thought it took a 000 as well. However, I tried both and realized the 00 works best.

john, · Reply

Hi i was wondering if you can add 16gb to this model? or is 8 the maximum?

Igor, · Reply

why is step 3 necessary?

gansodesoya, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Just to disconnect any power source to avoid damages by short-circuits.

MrKane, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Removes the possibility of any current flow. This is especially important if you are trying to mitigate the damage to the circuitry due to a spill on a keyboard.

amiller770, · Reply

I'm thinking of ordering the spudger. I was thinking of order the heavy duty spudger... or should I just order the normal. Will either of the spudgers work for this DIY?

shockaaa, · Reply

Once you have a set of spudgers, you will wonder how you ever went without them. :-)

Brian,

$@$@. Don't use an non-isolated screwdriver for this. I just shorted-out my battery :(

Lukas Besch, · Reply

You are absolutely right, never use a screwdriver on the logic board or any connector! Delicate use of fingernails or a credit card will get you through most situations if you lack a spudger.

Logan Bean,

How do you get that battery connector back on? Do you just press it in back in place after you're done?

Horace Chung, · Reply

yes. I usually plug it in before I screw it down so I can lift the battery a bit and have enough slack to be able to go straight down on the connector, otherwise it comes in on a bit of an angle, which can't be good (though not necessarily bad).

maccentric,

Would it not be advisable to drain the battery completely before attempting to repair, if you want to be sure you don't get a spark when removing the battery connector?

Berlugana

bduault, · Reply

Disconnecting the battery connector is not that different from simply unplugging a battery from an older model MacBook with a removable battery. You're not trying to protect yourself from a "spark", but the internal circuitry when taking the MacBook apart.

amiller770,

I neglected step 3 and now my computer won't turn on. Could I have shorted out my logic board?

Plamen, · Reply

The fan plug snapped off right away without applying much pressure so the best angle of attack isn't exactly where the diagram shows. Anyone know how to reattach this piece?

Also worth noting I have the right screwdrivers and the screws inside this thing are really soft.

Rpo, · Reply

I broke the socket too.. Any one know how to fix this??

laika117,

Mine broke off too :(

john, · Reply

I broke mine off too. No one knows if it can be reattached? Glue? Tape? Anything?

philip shiang ho, · Reply

Mine broke, too. None of the repair shops in my area do soldering, so I may be SOL. I spilled water on my laptop and a bunch of keys shorted out. I read online from numerous sources that replacing the keyboard yourself isn't hard, so I figured i'd try it. I am majorly disappointed. Suggestion for iFixit: upload a video of someone disconnecting the fan cable connector. Clearly Apple didn't design it to be easy to remove, and your description is inadequate, given how many people have broken theirs.

emmaxfeldman, · Reply

I just soldered it back on. . . I tried to clean the pads with braid first, but it didn't do much so I don't think that's necessary. I first supper-glued it in place with the pins on the pads and then I put a tiny dab of solder on each pin/pad. Plugged in the fan and i works!

Ron Hudson, · Reply

I found it mostly unnecessary to remove the fan and therefore all of the fan screws in this step. Only the two on the left hand side of the fan actually need to be removed. I also found it extremely helpful, after pulling logic boards several times, to remove the speaker screws at this time. The heat sink and the speaker interfere with each other when you are later trying to remove and then install the logic board. The longer screw goes on end of the speaker assembly that is closest to the fan, and the shorter one goes on the end closest to the dvd slot.

stevesontheroad, · Reply

This article is about replacing the fan. Therefore you have to unplug and remove the old one.

John Morley,

If you are removing the logic board for any other reason than replacing it, or if your replacement logic board came with a fan installed, DO NOT REMOVE THE FAN. It is not necessary for the removal of the logic board. For removal with the fan attached, only remove the two screws on the left hand side of the fan, and leave the cable attached. I see here that too many people have broken the fan cable, and it is too easy to do.

stevesontheroad, · Reply

I pulled out the cable and it kind of broke off, now the screen is black when i turn it on but it still makes the chime. How do i fix this?

robertjriordan1, · Reply

Mine are Torx and got an extra clamp for the cable, just above the left screw

Martin, · Reply

For some reason I stripped BOTH these screws! All the other screws came out without a problem!

Johnson Sathaseevan, · Reply

If you only want to replace the DC-in board, stop here and GOTO 17 (and DO NOT 4 and 6).

When the Logic board is loose, lift it up on the Harddrive end and shift slightly towards the HD, so that the USB connectors at the outside come free from under the case rim and the board can be lifted up a bit. Then there´s enough room to move the DC in board, pull the cable out with a pair of tweezers, wriggle it out from under the microphone cable and wriggle the new connector in. It can be pushed into the socket with tweezers or a small screwdriver. This worked perfect for me.

Be careful not to bend the logic board, but otherwise I think there´s much less risk of messing anything up with all the connectors and bits and pieces that need to be loosened and fastened.

Mike, · Reply

Ouch - broke off the connectors by pulling upwards. As it looks, i should have pulled to the optical drive instead :(

Thorsten Iversen, · Reply

I accidentally dislodged the right speaker / subwoofer cable connector as well as the fan cable connector. I know for the fan cable connector there is a warning about how easy it is to dislodge, but there should be more pictures to describe exactly how to avoid doing so. I can live without the right speaker / subwoofer, but my logic board cannot survive long without a fan. I'm trying to see if I can find someone who will try to solder the cable connector back on, but no one in my area will, so I may need to send it out (a local repair shop owner recommended a guy he's used to fix iPad backlights.) I am probably SOL, though. A new logic board is quite pricey... Had I known that it was so difficult to replace the keyboard on your own, I would have paid the $200 for a local repair shop to fix it. I found iFixit helpful but ultimately misleading. I may end up having to get a new laptop altogether. How upsetting.

emmaxfeldman, · Reply

There is a small piece just below this connector which is just an adhesive block to keep the connector from coming out. It is easiest to peel it up first with a fingernail or spudger then remove the cable. Likewise reinsert the cable before reapplying the adhesive safety stop.

Justin Jett, · Reply

I couldn't reconnect this cable correctly, so my camera is not working anymore.

It doesn't matter to me, I didn't used the camera that often...

But the Ambient Light Sensor uses the camera to control keyboard lighting, so I wasn't able to see my keyboard in the dark anymore... :(

If you have the same problem, after a couple of google hits I've found this app: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/22151/...

Problem solved! YAY!

PS: be careful because WIFI passes through this cable as well!!!!

simbass, · Reply

i bought an used macbook and the connector in step 10 is missing. Where can i buy that connector? Someone can give me the link for an replacement part?

alexanderfroch, · Reply

The connector in Step #10 is the microphone. iFixIt sells this part here: https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/MacBook...

Is that the part you're looking for?

(FYI You asked the question in the comments section for Step #4. That made it extra hard for me to find your post from the email I received because I follow this page.)

jonathan12, · Reply

Flat cable ZIF socket manufacturers do not recommend using any tools to open or close the retaining flap due to its fragile nature. They recommend using only you fingers! It's in most socket datasheet instructions section.

Leo Bodnar, · Reply

When reinserting the keyboard ribbon cable, make sure you push it in all the way (two plastic tools are helpful - one to push it down flat, the other to coax it all the way in). For 3 days after replacing a top case, my MacBook Pro 13" wouldn't start up. I thought the main logic board was fried too. However, reinserting the keyboard ribbon cable again, this time perhaps 1mm farther in, and it started up again! I did the same for the "keyboard backlight ribbon cable" (i.e. reinserted it just to make sure). Really not sure which completed the circuit so is would start, but I suspect the keyboard ribbon cable.

amiller770, · Reply

Quote from amiller770:

When reinserting the keyboard ribbon cable, make sure you push it in all the way (two plastic tools are helpful - one to push it down flat, the other to coax it all the way in).

I usually use a piece of sticky transparent office tape and stick it over the flat cable a bit further away from the mating part then pull on it. There is no better way to force the flat cable into a stiff connector without damaging the fragile cable.

Leo Bodnar, · Reply

My MBP was dead after replacing DC board too. I reseated the keyboard ribbon several times and it's finally working!!!!

John Weeks, · Reply

As others have stated, if the keyboard ribbon cable isn't fully inserted the MBP will not power on. Leo Bodnar's recommendation to use a piece of transparent office tape did the trick for me. Many thanks Leo!

Matthew Rankin, · Reply

1. You have to unscrew one metal detail to get hold of microphone. That is missing.

2. This step coulf also be extended with larger image where it's clear how to grab microphone.

denyspopov, · Reply

I managed to get the logicboard free without removing the battery. Carefully lift the left side of the board and wriggle it away from the ports. Only try this when you have no tri-slotted screwdriver like myself.

Kater, · Reply

When putting the logic board back in place, it's easier to angle the mic down in it's place as you are placing the board in, rather than after the board is seated.

amiller770, · Reply

Please use the right and of good quality screwdrivers everyone!

I officially messed up all the screws and now I can't get further!

WARNING WARNING

Lusfn shsogh, · Reply

maybe i missed it, but between step 19 and 20 should be heat sink removal. Just remove the four spring-loaded phillips head screws and remove the heatsink.

hdh607, · Reply

Quote from Lusfn shsogh:

Please use the right and of good quality screwdrivers everyone!

I officially messed up all the screws and now I can't get further!

WARNING WARNING

I had a tough time getting one of the battery screws out - the tri-slotted ones (who ever heard of tri-slotted screws?!?) and stripped one of them. I covered the rest of the logic board carefully and cut a new slot in the screw head with a dremel - VERY carefully. worked like a charm.

hdh607, · Reply

What it's the order of the three cables on the microphone connector, thick black-grey-thin black???? Step 25

Miguel Acosta, · Reply

Thanks for this great guide.

My MBP 13" (mid 2010) wouldn't turn on. I tried the basic help guides, and eventually opened it and removed the battery, let it sit, and put the battery back in. Still wouldn't turn on. Took it to the Apple store, they said I need a new logic board, which would cost a few weeks and ~$300. This is an expensive repair for an expensive computer which is expected to last for more than a few years before going to !@#$. However, even as expensive as the repair is, isn't it more expensive than the fix-it-yourself guide? Where does one buy a new logic board, and how much does it cost? Looks like the logic boards above cost $600?? How is this do-it-yourself method worth it anymore?

Please advise.

Thanks

Mark R, · Reply

It's worth it if you don't buy your parts from iFixIt who charges an arm and a leg for the parts.

akrutzler, · Reply

Do I need to remove the Arctic Silver and replace it?

rob, · Reply

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