MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Subwoofer & Right Speaker Replacement

Replace the subwoofer & right speaker on your MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012.

The right speaker and subwoofer are a single unit. Use this guide to replace it if either has stopped working.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm (14.1 mm) Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

  • For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), disconnecting the battery connector is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not disconnect the battery connector, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

  • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

Edit Step 5 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the cable as you disconnect it from the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove following two screws:

    • Take care, as these screws are unusually easy to strip. Apply firm pressure while unscrewing. Read comments on the right before proceeding.

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips screw

    • One 3.9 mm Phillips screw

  • Carefully rotate the AirPort/Bluetooth board housing (with AirPort/Antenna cables still attached) out of the lower case.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

Edit Step 11 Subwoofer & Right Speaker  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11 Subwoofer & Right Speaker  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive/IR sensor cable connector up off the logic board.

  • Peel the hard drive cable up from the channel within the subwoofer and right speaker.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the subwoofer connector straight up off the logic board.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the following six screws securing the subwoofer and right speaker to the upper case:

    • Two 3.2 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 12.3 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 2.5 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 8.3 mm Phillips screw.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to dislodge the right speaker from its recess in the upper case.

  • Lift the subwoofer and right speaker assembly out of the upper case.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 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

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

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Pro 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

Step 1 (technically step 9 - replacing the base plate) Apparently one of my screws was a micron or two smaller than the others. This screw belongs to the hole above the optical drive, which is also apparently a couple of microns smaller than the others. It took seven attempts to figure which screw had originally been in that hole; all the other screws were too large, but fitted perfectly everywhere else.

Bizarre much?

Will, · Reply

It might be a matter of how the screws are driven in, and not that they're slightly different sizes. When I reassembled my MacBook, a couple of the screws, including the one over the optical drive you mention, were hard to drive in and jutted up a little bit instead of sitting entirely flush. Swapping screws didn't help. The solution was to unscrew them and drive them in at a bit of an angle - perpendicular to the slightly curved surface of the back plate where the screw holes were, instead of fully vertical with respect to the ground the Macbook is sitting on. Doing it that way, the screws were easier to drive in and they all ended up flush in their holes. Didn't matter which screws they were. (I swapped a few around just to check after reading this.)

Andrew Janke,

I discovered a great way of organizing the screws. I used an ice cube tray and added the screws in order, keeping the different kinds together. So when it came to reversing the steps, the screw order was an added control step to returning everything in its place.

leonie, · Reply

Great advise! Love it! :)

Ririds,

I used to do that and that worked really great until I bumped it by accident and the entire tray went on the rug! I spent the next day sorting things out.

Now I use these:

http://www.sciplus.com/p/50-114-CLEAR-PL...

The lower ones 50 to a package. I mark them w/ blue tape. Often if it's part like the fans, or the optical drive I'll tape the screws into/near the holes where they belong. I did this a lot especially w/ the bottom screws from MBPs until I'd done so many I knew exactly where the longer ones went.

Richard Sato,

I wrapped the screws in a piece of blue masking tape and wrote the number on the little pouch I made. Then I stuck the blue tape pouches on the underside of the case bottom in order.

Roscoe,

I take double-sided tape, put that on a piece of paper, stick the crews to that, and label them.

jelimoore,

@Will, in my case I had the same result as you did. As a reminder to myself the next time I need to open the computer, I put a dot of white paint on those two screw's head and a very, very thin ring of white on the very edge of each hole, that way I'll know they go into those two holes.

Roger, · Reply

Actually the four screws on the bottom were not threaded all the way up. I didn't check to see if the thread gauge was the same on them, but it wasn't until I had about four screws out (I didn't take them out in the order that the bottom all came out first) that I noticed a difference. I then took out the rest of the bottom ones to see if they matched the two that were already out that weren't threaded to the top. They did. So I went under the assumption that those were all bottom screws and when I put it back together everything went fine with no resistance.

So there are three types of screws: Four for the bottom, three long ones as indicated and three others that might be slightly smaller than the bottom ones.

wresnick, · Reply

Hi,

Although its more than a year since your contribution, I thought you might be amused to know that it is not just that the screws go in more easily when at an angle, Apple actually drilled and tapped the holes at a 15% angle. I too had tried to drive them in straight. An Apple "genius" - I was in for something else - clarified the design for me. It was done so that the screws lay flush on the angled part of the lower case. Nice design, but since Apple encourages DIY memory and drive changes, they could have mentioned this little ... trap.

H Stahl,

MacBookPro8,2

Intel Core i7, 2,2 GHz, RAM 16 GB

Mountain Lion

May someone help me?

I have installed the second drive with ssd 840 evo, but when I try to copy the file from the new drive to the main hd this in not allowed (errore -36)

Piero, · Reply

Hey everyone, here's the very best way to PERFECTLY organize your screws AND keep track of the order of the procedure: Get a piece of plain corrugated cardboard and a pen (I like using a Sharpie). For EACH step of the disassembly, draw a simple diagram of the layout of the computer on the piece of cardboard, with dots or Xs where the screws are located. Right after you remove each screw from the computer, poke a hole in the cardboard in its corresponding diagram position with your screwdriver and place the screw in that hole. If there are other non-screw related parts to be removed, you can add notes below each step diagram to remind you of where they go or how they should be placed. This cardboard method is great not only because your screws will not go flying or get mixed up by accident if bumped, but each screw goes EXACTLY back where it came from and you can keep the cardboard as a template for future use if necessary!

- zerø K

zeroK, · Reply

for all the mac 2011 owner. we should pressure apple to accept their fault. they gave as a piece of junk while they took our $2000. -betrayed apple fanboy

mindful, · Reply

These instructions worked great for me. I ordered a replacement battery from Key Power (on Amazon) for my 15" Macbook Pro (mid-2010). Cost was $74 shipped.

Battery came with 3 different screwdrivers to help with installation. I just needed the one size though, since my 2010 seemed to use all the same size screws.

Thanks!

Marcos, · Reply

During re-assembling (put the screws back in), it is important to note that the 3mm threaded holes are not completely vertical, but bent a little bit such that the hole direction is rectangular to the tapered surface. The force of the screwdriver must point towards the direction of the hole. Otherwise the screw gets jammed

kusi, · Reply

nails work pretty well as well...

Sibe Jan Kramer, · Reply

At first sight I was confused when I read the description at this step, 'cause it seemed that disconnecting the battery connector was optional, in order to eliminate static discharge. While it's a helpful advice in other circumstances (as mentioned as an example changing hard drives), when changing the battery it is not an option - you have to disconnect the battery connector.

It would have been better to mention the optional disconnecting recommendation in a side-note.

Other than that, an excellent guide!

Damienn, · Reply

the fact that this step is optional can not be stressed enough. i tried disconnecting the battery and in the process it short circuited which now leaves me with an even more expensive problem than i had before when i just wanted to change hard drives (at least the new hard drive works fine..)

the hard drive changing worked though.

nina, · Reply

Excellent guide, it was as easy as a breeze to replace my battery. I can't believe I nearly followed Apple in their saying that this part was not user replaceable. Great job for this description, and many thanks. iFixIt is THE reference for Mac owners.

Patrick.

Patrick Demaret, · Reply

So - I have a weird comment about this. I wanted to make sure that I was getting the right model - so I opened up my laptop and then thought "well, why not just remove the battery while i'm in here, it's shot anyway". Though, I forgot about the stupid screws (Apple really did us over on that one!). Though I disconnected the battery connector and didn't bother to re-connect it when I was finished and just put the cover back on.

Here's the weird part - when I went to turn my laptop back on...MY BATTERY WAS RECOGNIZED...AND WORKING! I was under the impression that the connector "connects" the battery's charge to the laptop, but this just doesn't make sense! Plus, now my very dead battery is in "normal" condition according to the system report. I haven't worked for apple, but have about 5 years of IT experience and am baffled by this! I'm starting to think i've experience a miracle! Has this happened to anyone else?

Shelly, · Reply

Possibly disconnecting the battery caused the System Management Controller to reset. That might have been your problem rather than the battery itself. See http://osxdaily.com/2010/03/24/when-and-...

Duke Briscoe,

I'd just like an advise of where to dispose the old battery. Thanks

Jaime Serafim, · Reply

Beware of step 8. Screws strip extremely easily. For some reason, that are extremely tough to get out and the metal is extremely soft so you are likely to screw yourself over real quick even if you use the right screwdriver. Happened to me and now it's impossible for me to take the @$%# thing off so I have to return my HDD bay and deal with having a useless disc drive.

Alex Pascal, · Reply

I got burned here also. Unfortunately iFixit defaults to comments off, so I didn't see this until it was too late.

eawortman,

Yes, and I got stuck on step 8 for this simple task. Is there no way we can get the drive out while leaving the wireless/bluetooth board in place? I prefer to drill a small hole in the plastic of the board to reach the drive's screw underneath and find a way to slide it out towards the hard disk side.

Albert Kok, · Reply

I had the same thing happen with the 3.9 mm screw. To remove the drive afterwards I used a 1/16" drill bit to carefully remove the (stripped) screw head. I left most of the screw threads intact, and the remaining "post" is enough to hold the airport/bluetooth fixture in place with the one remaining screw. These are some seriously soft screws, folks, be careful!

Steve, · Reply

i also screwed the screw, never saw a screw this soft. Still figuring out how to "unlock" it again...

KlawWarYoshi, · Reply

Hmm. well, unfortunately after putting everything back together, my trackpad no longer works, and I can't login to my computer. removing the dual drive caddy and closing it back up returns trackpad functionality, but I really want the extra drive space. Anyone have any suggestions?

Russell Humphress, · Reply

Hey, I got same problem on trackpad

Did you solve the issue? I wanna use trackpad

Help me

earthmakery,

Does anyone know the part number of the 3.9mm screw? It got chewed up the second I tried to loosen it..had to get a 3.5mm drill bit and gently remove the head. I was able to remove the remain piece of the screw, and would of course like to replace this thing..

Ole Andre, · Reply

Well. I too stripped the head on the left side screw. First I used a cheap #000 screwdriver. Stripped the head and the driver. Not realizing just how bad I had stripped the screw I got a #0000 and the right one came out. I made sure to apply firm downward pressure to minimize slip. The left side was to far gone. So...

I broke the housing. Yep. I'm a brute.

Anyway. I rolled it up out of the case as if I had actually removed the screw. Only to realize I don't have a T6. [facepalm]. I've spent way too much time just getting that #0000. I'll order myself a nice kit for future 'repairs'.

Oh and yes, the bluetooth and wifi work just fine. The right screw and the tight fitting of the housing seem to keep it in place ok.

David Couch, · Reply

Also stripped the right screw, taking to to Apple Genius Bar, hopefully they can get it out...

Adrian, · Reply

I also failed here.... How can i unscrew both screws if the star of the head is destroyed??

Alex de Graaff, · Reply

I located the part number for the 2 easily stripped screws in this step. The 3.9mm is Apple part 922-8974 and the 8.6mm is Apple part 922-9107 pbparts.com has them available for $2 each.

Hope this helps, it was not easy to track down.

Roger, · Reply

I too stripped the screw on the right, and while I tried a few basic things to remove the screw, eventually I drilled out the screw head so I could remove the airport/bluetooth housing. Only the head came off, enough to free the housing, but it sits pretty snugly on there with just the one screw and that's enough for me.

talksrealfast, · Reply

The part numbers from Roger on Feb 11 aren't right. They were too large.

dan Lim, · Reply

Hi, Dan. The Apple part numbers supplied were used to order exact replacements now in my MBP 15. I have also checked them against Apples official Screw Chart for the MBP 15. I am very sorry you have been supplied the wrong screws but the part numbers listed are correct.

Roger, · Reply

Alright, Genius bar just made it worse, ended up taking a drill to it hoping to break the head off so I could pull it out bit it just wouldn't come off. In the end I pushed a flat screw driver down as hard as I could and It shifted.

I know many of you wont want to put a drill to your shiny (expensive) mac, but the screw is surrounded and strong so you wont break through or damage anything.

Just have a steady hand ;)

Adrian, · Reply

I stripped both screws before reading these comments- disaster.

The only reason for removing these screws is so you can get access to the Torx screw beneath the Bluetooth/wireless board (ie the top left screw circled red in step 9). I Had the idea of drilling directly into the black wireless/Bluetooth plastic board directly above this top left Torx screw shown in step 9. I could then use a long thin Torx screwdriver to reach through the hole and unscrew it, without having to remove the stripped screws holding the wireless/Bluetooth board in place at all. Be careful drilling into the board(!), but worked perfectly for me. Once the Torx screws are removed, it just takes a bit of jiggling to carefully remove the optical drive out from under the board, and put the hd drive in.

If you're reading this before having stripped the two screws, I'd recommend not even trying to unscrew the Bluetooth board and just drill a hole in it, assuming you have steady hands. I'll try to upload a photo to show what I mean.

Laurence, · Reply

Hello there, I'm looking for some help. I am planning on doing this "procedure". I have the 54 Bit Driver set from iFixIt. If I have to unscrew the 8.6 mm Phillips screw and 3.9 mm Phillips screw. What bits should I use from the 54 Bit Kit? The PH1, PH0, PH00, PH000? I really don't want to strip the screw, which one should I use?

Josh, · Reply

Josh I would use the PH00 bit from the 54 Bit Kit. Apple use a different non standard screw head design to Phillips which does not have the cam-out geometry and uses a pointed tip. The PH0 and PH00 bits are a reasonable approximation. I have to say that even with the best match between the screwdriver and screw they may still strip as the original screws seem to be made of painted cheese. If that happens you could try using a tough steel small flat screwdriver bit to drill/scrape out a round hole in the screw head and then gently force in the next largest slotted bit. This has worked for me twice.

Roger,

As a warning i had to take a near new refurbished mid 2012 MacBook Pro into Apple to have a missing/stripped bottom case screw repaired under warranty and in the process of taking it apart they stripped five more screws and damaged the LCD screen cable, upper case and keyboard, speaker, Bluetooth module and several other assemblies. It was all repaired properly under warranty but it took over 2 weeks and the only original parts I got back were the logic board and baseplate. Some of these MacBook Pro's are a real challenge and come with stuck and sometimes pre stripped screws from the factory. Take your time and remember Apple keep all the screws at genius bars, if you ask nicely and give the the Apple part number they are often happy to fit them for you. Good Luck!

Roger,

I found success using the CR-V 1.5 bit without stripping either screw head.

Firmly plant the tip and maintain pressure throughout unscrewing and re-screwing.

Use a magnet if needed to get the 3.9mm screw out.

chris, · Reply

Hi,

I've mailed with pbparts and got the clarification:

* http://www.pbparts.com/shop.php//9229107... = 8.6mm screw

* http://www.pbparts.com/shop.php//9228974... = 3,9mm screw

PBParts said: Measurements from iFixit are better than the printed length by Apple manuals. I'll give these screws a try.

Robin Kluth, · Reply

All you need to unscrew the short screw (and don't screw up) is a soldering iron. You should apply heat to aluminum column located below the head of the screw. Loctite-like glue in thread loses its grip when heated, so you probably will unscrew that little bastard without any issues. It worked for me, even with semi-stripped head!

Dvadzatdva, · Reply

Just use Philips #000 bit and put pressure.

Filip, · Reply

Siht. I screw up the screw too. And then I realize there are 24 comments in this step. Now I make 25 of it. That little fcuking 3.9mm...

Anyway, so I drilled that striped screw head with 3mm tip, totally striped that screw so seperated rim, removed Airport supports, there still 1mm of screw steam thingy, got rid of that using small nipper, put new screw in.

Use very, I mean very sharp even your finger bleed when touch the edge of small screw driver. Regular #0 or #00 driver will distroy your screw head.

Anonymous, · Reply

I stripped the screw on the right, and finally got it out with one of the screw extractors sold by iFixit: https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Tools/Preci...

anonymous 5548, · Reply

I actually found this section to be the most difficult, the T6 screws are soft as butter, apply plenty of pressure when removing. The one towards the front of the laptop looking from the back is the most problematic.

Richard Howell, · Reply

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