MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 Keyboard Replacement

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This guide shows the hidden screws you must remove when replacing the keyboard.

Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to push both battery release tabs away from the battery and lift the battery out of the computer.

Edit Step 2 RAM Shield  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2 RAM Shield  ¶ 

  • Remove the four identical Phillips 3.4 mm screws from the memory door. These screws have 4 mm diameter heads rather than the 3 mm heads on the body screws.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Lift the memory door up enough to get a grip on it, and slide it toward you, pulling it away from the casing.

Edit Step 4 Upper Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the three Phillips screws in the battery compartment near the latch. Apple was nice enough to tilt these screws at a slight angle to make them easier to remove. On the A1261 these screws have 4 mm diameter heads rather than the 3 mm heads on the body screws.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following six screws:

    • Two 14.5 mm T6 Torx screws on either side of the RAM slot.

    • Four 3.4 mm Phillips screws along the hinge.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 3.4 mm Phillips screws on the port side of the computer.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees and remove the two Phillips screws from the rear of the computer.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees again and remove the four Phillips screws from the side of the computer.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Do not yank the upper case off quickly. The case is attached to the logic board via a ribbon cable.

  • Lift up the back of the case and work your fingers along the sides, freeing the case as you go. Once you have freed the sides, you may need to rock the case up and down to free the front of the upper case.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cable from the logic board.

  • Remove the upper case.

Edit Step 11 Keyboard  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11 Keyboard  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry up the translucent plastic sheath covering the keyboard connector.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the black plastic flaps locking down the keyboard and keyboard backlight ribbon cables.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Slide the orange keyboard backlight ribbon out of its connector.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Peel up the orange tape covering the keyboard backlight connector.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the brown plastic flap locking down the keyboard backlight ribbon cable.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger or your finger to slide the keyboard backlight ribbon out of its connector.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel up the orange ribbon cable which carries the power and sleep signals.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Peel up the two black protective sheaths on the bottom of the keyboard. It is not necessary to fully remove these, but only to peel them back enough to access the screws beneath.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Remove the ten identical Phillips screws attaching the keyboard to the casing.

  • The keyboard on A1261 models is secured with twelve screws. Their locations are shown in the second picture.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • There are four locking tabs along the back edge of the keyboard holding it in place. These tabs must be straightened before you can remove the keyboard.

  • The keyboard on A1261 models has five locking tabs. Their locations are shown in the second picture.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • The first frame shows a tab in the "locked" position and the second frame shows the same tab in the "unlocked" position.

  • Use needlenose pliers or a spudger to bend each of the four tabs so that they are all in the "unlocked" position.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Slide the keyboard ribbon out of its connector.

  • If the keyboard ribbon won't slide out, make sure that the black plastic flap holding the ribbon in place is vertical.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Place the upper casing on its edge and use a spudger to push the keyboard away from the casing, poking the spudger through the central keyboard screw hole. Grasp the keyboard as it separates from the casing.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Maintaining your hold on the keyboard, lay the casing flat and gently bow the keyboard until the two tabs on either side of the keyboard come free.

  • Slide the keyboard away from the trackpad and out of the upper case.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 device page.

Required Tools

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 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

I was able to complete the process but the keyboard backlight does not work. When I press the up/down buttons for the keyboard backlight intensity, the widget for showing the keybaord backlight intensity is displayed on the screen but with a zero with a slash through it and no bars for the intensity. I rechecked the two steps having to do with the backlight cable to ensure it was firmly connected but I still don't get backlight anymore. :(

rgotty, · Reply

Grazie ! Guida Eccezzionale ! Cambiata tastiera senza nessun problema !

Francesco Juan R, · Reply

Before upgrading to a larger HD, you'll want to "clone" your original HD using the donation-ware program "Carbon Copy Cloner" (http://www.bombich.com/). Put the new HD in an external case; clone the original; test the clone (by starting up with it), then take apart the MacBook to put the new HD in the MacBook, and the original in the external case for use as a backup, etc. (You can't just drag the contents of the original HD to the new HD, and expect it to work; not since the days of OS 9 and before.)

amiller770, · Reply

Can I put more than two gigabytes of RAM in?

Noah Nsangou, · Reply

mine has 2g*2=4 gb ram in. you should be fine

on mac forum it suggested to put 4gb and a 2gb in a1261.

david,

I made the mistake of wanting to do a clean install of OS and start fresh after installing a SSD. Now I can't install most browsers on OSX Leopard. Does anyone know what is the most current version of OS I can put on this system? (disk or download) Can I get to Snow or Lion?

2006 17" MackBook Pro Model#A1151

2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo

Memory: Two 1GB 667 MHz

Hard Drive: Corsair Force GS: SSD 128GB

scannon, · Reply

Note for re-assembly: For the hinge use the longest four Phillips screws.

R L, · Reply

The Philips screws in Step 5 are longer than the other Philips screws. Would be better if the instructions differentiated them. Otherwise it is possible to use the wrong screws in Step 7 when reassembling.

Alex, · Reply

When reassembling, please be careful not to screw into the wrong spot. I accidentally screwed into the DVI port and it was hard to remove the screw after that. I had to disassemble the whole thing again, only to find that I couldn't remove the screw from within as it was encased. After much scraping and prodding with a sewing needle, I was able to get that screw out. Phew!

isotope434, · Reply

Screw on the right is shorter

mikefal, · Reply

The screws on mine were exactly the same size.

Quote from mikefal:

Screw on the right is shorter

giby, · Reply

What are these two screws called?

ian, · Reply

WOW this step is very hard!!! its a serious suction cup..

nya, · Reply

Once the upper case is free...Carefully tilt the upper case from the front towards the screen as their is a ribbon cable directly beneath the keyboard and trackpad that will need to be removed in the next step.

Troy, · Reply

Be very careful not to bend the screw tabs on the top case the perimeter screws attach to. Bending them causes them to quickly fatigue and potentially break off. When reassembling the top case, be sure the tabs are all *inside* the case before reseating it. If you get resistance, pull the case back up, check the tabs and reseat the top case again.

Sheldon Carpenter, · Reply

Disconnecting this cable is optional, if instead you tip up the top case ~75 degrees, propping it up with something non-metalic (wedged in or by the battery compartment). Unplugging a connector from the main circuit board always carries slight additional risk.

amiller770, · Reply

It's not really necessary to disconnect the trackboard/keyboard ribbon cable. You can simply lean the upper case against the LCD.

Russ Greene, · Reply

how reconnect this cable?

anatole, · Reply

I did this with and without step 10 (removing the upper case with detached cable). Removing the cable is risk, putting it back on was not so easy. But then, leaning the keyboard part against the LCD while replacing the hard drive is also risky.

tobybaier, · Reply

I found it was not required to unplug the backlight connector. Step 17 is possible while leaving this connected. (of course, it doesn't hurt to disconnect it)

gstein, · Reply

The keyboard on A1229 is also secured with twelve screws (same locations as shown for A1261)

raillard, · Reply

The keyboard on A1229 has six locking tabs. Looking at the second picture (for A1261) the sixth locking tab is on the far right of the keyboard, still under the strip of black plastic.

raillard, · Reply

On my 1261, there are 6 locking tabs -- one is hidden under the remaining black strip -- you can see the bump if you look closely in the picture (at the right). You can tell as when you try to pull out the keyboard, it sticks. Just as well, as the replacement keyboard has 6 tabs.

Lawrence Conroy, · Reply

The keyboard on the A1229 has no side tabs, so there is no need to flex the keyboard to disengage it. Once the six locking tabs are free, and the keyboard is lifted slightly out of its cavity on the upper case, simply slide it away from the trackpad area. There are six flat tabs (on the opposite edge of the keyboard from the six locking tabs) which simply slide out of their slots on the upper case.

raillard, · Reply

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