MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Display Assembly Replacement

Use this guide to replace a broken display on your MacBook Pro Unibody.

Use this guide to replace a broken display on your MacBook Pro Unibody.

Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

  • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

  • Grab the translucent plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

  • If the latch is depressed it will lock the battery in place.

Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 5.4 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 14 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

Edit Step 6 Display Assembly  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6 Display Assembly  ¶ 

  • If necessary, peel the EMI gasket off the camera cable connector.

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket toward the optical drive opening.

  • Do not try to lift this connector straight up off the board. Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board.

  • Deroute the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the camera cable bracket to the upper case.

  • The leftmost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

  • Seperate the camera cable bracket from the camera cable and remove it from the computer.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the LVDS cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

  • Pull the LVDS connector straight away from its socket.

  • When disconnecting the LVDS cable, do not pull on the black tab secured to the LVDS cable lock. We recommend wiggling the cable while applying tension to slowly "walk" the connector out of its socket.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the 7 mm Phillips screw from the LVDS cable bracket.

  • This screw may remain captive in the LVDS cable.

  • Lift the LVDS cable bracket out of the upper case.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the two outer 6 mm Torx screws securing each side of the display to the upper case (four screws total).

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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

  • Place your opened MacBook Pro on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your other hand, remove the 6 mm Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your other 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.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • 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.

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

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 18 In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Just repaired my Macbook Pro using this guide! Kudos for writing such easy to follow guides complete with pictures!

Great website.. Keep up the great work!

krkarl, · Reply

I used this guide to replace my hinges, but I noticed that the real problem was that the display was separating from the case. I Googled it and found a few reports like (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/371...) indicating that Apple has a replacement program in place addressing this as a latent defect.

I took my machine to the local Apple store, and even though I bought it at the end of 2008, they replaced the display for free.

If you're having a display separation issue it's worth seeing what Apple says before digging into it.

Marty Picco, · Reply

This is a great guide. I also read the guide pertaining to the 2.53 GHz Mid-2009 MacBook Pro Display Assembly.

I wanted to report that I successfully removed the display assembly from a Mid-2009 MacBook Pro (2.53 GHz - no discrete graphics) and installed it on the Late-2008 MacBook Pro (2.53 GHz with dual graphics).

Everything appears to be identical, except (strangely) the screws, that are generally captive in the camera cable and the LVDS cable, need to stay with their original MacBook Pro. Meaning, keep all the screws with the same MacBook Pro. The other screws did appear to be identical though.

Bottom line, keep the screws to the same MacBook. That's easy enough, just remove the captive screws from the cables to keep them with the same MacBook Pro they were from.

(Also, the camera cable where it attaches the logic board was slightly closer to the optical drive and seemed to overlap it slightly when transferring the Mid-2009 display to the Late-2008 MacBook Pro. This didn't seem to pose a problem.)

gatortpk, · Reply

I have to add to my previous comment about switching a mid-2009 15 inch MacBook Pro display to a late 2008 MacBook Pro. The reed switch that causes the computer to sleep when closing the display is on the other side. I tested this by holding a broken display (which has lots of magnets across the top) near the right side and this 2.53 GHz late-2008 Unibody MacBook Pro went to sleep. The magnet for the reed switch on the mid-2009 display is about halfway up the left side of the display. So I didn't notice this until I tried to close the MacBook and the backlight stayed on.

So while the display works perfectly and the hinges, camera cable, and LVDS cable match, the reed switch magnet is on the left side now (that meets the ExpressCard/34 slot, instead of the SD Card slot) instead of on the right (near the security slot) where the actual reed switch is for the late-2008 MacBook Pros.

I can just choose sleep from the Apple Menu every time, or put a tiny "refrigerator" magnet on the right side of the display.

gatortpk,

So I managed to do all this perfect except now my wifi card isn't recognised. I did miss out step three, which may well be my fatal error. I've ordered a new wifi card and I hope swapping this out will fix it. Anyone come across this?

Michael Taylor, · Reply

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

aguib, · Reply

Quote from aguib:

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

I assume you have the newer model, with the built-in battery. It's still removable with tools, but these are the wrong instructions for that model.

lgc90, · Reply

when will there be a guide for the other unibody macbook pro. that does not have an access door?

irishking, · Reply

Is there a manual to show, how disasembly the display, i mean, after step 5, to check the display between lcd and aluminiun back case?

Max

Max, · Reply

On other guides you state the height of the HD that can be supported, e.g. http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Insta... , I have read ( but have not confirmed ) that the uni-body MacBook Pro can be fitted with the 750GB and 1TB 12mm drive from Western Digital.

Can you confirm this?

Many thanks in advance.

ahothabeth, · Reply

Quote from SHerwood Ball:

My display and aluminum casing has separated.

I don't know if it just snaps back together or does it need to be glued.

I dropped mine on the carpeted stairs and the display still works.

I'm hoping I can just snap it back together and that no plastic pieces or teeth of the snapping

portion have been broken........

SHerwood Ball, · Reply

When you say "left fan" is this "left when looking at the logic board after turning the computer over and looking it up opening it up" or "left when sitting at the computer keyboard and typing on it"?

thvv, · Reply

We always use left and right in reference to the computer when you're using it.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg,

Directions were great and the worn dc in board was replaced. The hardest part of the procedure is disconnecting the data display cable. A better description of step 21 is to slide the connector parallel to the circuit board towards the outside corner. Reconnecting correctly took several tries.

I used the tip of the spudger to nudge the corners a little at a time to seat the connector.

The ribbon connector for the keyboard has to be inserted all the way before seating the retaining cap. It took me three tries . First try power button did not work second try numbers keys did not work.

Thanks for the directions ...could not have done it with out them!!!

landryd, · Reply

Hola. Poseo un MacBook Pro Late 2008 y debo cambiarle las cornetas. Me sirve unas cornetas de un MBP Late 2011?

jegonzalez80, · Reply

Hi, My name is Jess I need help asap I accidentally dropped my macbook Pro and i cant find the silver screw for the top left back side, Does any one know if I can replace it with an eye glass screw?? If you can help at all Please e-mail me at Chambliss_jess@yahoo.com thx please help me my bf is going off... ;(

Jess, · Reply

The fixit PH00 is the wrong screw driver for this entire job. It did not fit in the screws, it was too pointy and caused screws to be rounded off.

mattrittgers, · Reply

About midway along each edge is a snap. To release each snap, gently slide the flat edge of a Spudger under the lower case, then lift the lower case away.

jonathansturges, · Reply

I have an late 08 macbook pro and replaced my cd drive with a hd caddy and hard drive put in it. everything works but my wifi is saying no hardware installed. Bluetooth and camera working just the wifi isn't. Everything was working just find before i did this but now i cant get my wifi back on. I checked the cable looks to be inserted properly any one else had this happen or have any solutions ?

myjellio, · Reply

I have a problem with previous made unprofessional teardown of this mac, and the port that the camera cable is connected to, on the m-board, is cracked, because somebody pulled it straight up .. can someone please, share an idea about the way of fixing it, or maybe a name of the part i need ?

sanchoser, · Reply

Ccouldn't make it past step 10 as the two T6 screws on the right stripped. I was using the correct tool, correctly seated, but the screws were simply unwilling to turn and the screw head gave out before they turned at all. The ones on the left came out alright, but there seems to be some type of thread glue on them. Recommendations on how to break that seal without stripping the screw heads might be a good idea. Otherwise - be forewarned.

Jonathan Field, · Reply

I have the same problem with step 10. Can't remove the screw on the left, it is all damaged.

Benny Chew, · Reply

Unlock without removing them , the two remaining center 6mm Torx screws securing the display to the upper case.

thierry28722, · Reply

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