Introduction

Use this guide to replace your MacBook Pro's upper case. Replacing the upper case requires removal of most components inside your computer, including the display assembly.

Image 1/1: Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.
  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

important to reassemble the "lower case" successfully: the threads of the seven 3mm phillips screws are drilled at an angle :-/

mysterioes - Reply

Same issue with me. After reassembling my 13-inch and my 17-inch, one of the screws are sticking out ever so slightly. Very annoying, especially since I scratch whatever surface I'm on now.

Kyle Spadaro -

Very important note; this guide is NOT correct for the Macbook Pro 17" A1297 late '11.

The A1297 has an assembly adjacent to the optical drive, identifiable by 4 antenna connectors, 1 usb cable (with very small connector) and one PCI-e flat cable running across the optical drive.

I did not take pictures, but found one on the web. I'm very new to iFixit and have no idea yet on how to create a guide, but here's the picture showing the assembly on top (this pic only has 3 antenna wires, the A1297 has 4, but at least you'll know what to look for.

- carefully undo all connections and 2 screws

- remove the assembly and flip it over

- again carefully remove the shielding tape

- undo 3 tiny screws

- gently pry the airport card from the assembly (the flat cable will be a bit of a pain)

- reverse process with replacement card.

image can be found here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2446...

Remon - Reply

It helps if you mark the holes where the long screws go so you can easily find them when the time comes to button things up. Also, a little dish or custard cup to hold those tiny screws is essential.

Human - Reply

3 x 13.5 mm screws are actually TWO different types! Return to EXACT SAME HOLES.

-I discovered this on my mid-2010, but from comments, sounds like it may affect other models as well

2 x 13.5 mm screws are pointed ends

1 x 13.5 mm screw is a FLAT end <- CORNER HOLE

These areTWO slightly different lengths, and must return to correct holes. If you put the flat end screw in the wrong hole, it will stick out slightly. If you put either of the pointed screws in the wrong hole, they will go in all the way, but will not catch threads, and will simply fall out when laptop is flipped back over.

scottbernardis - Reply

I printed out the image above and taped each screw to the photo as I removed each one, just to make sure I put them in the right location.

Grace Morris - Reply

Image 1/2: Remove the lower case. Image 2/2: Remove the lower case.
  • Wedge your fingers between the lower case and the vent, and lift upward to release the clips holding the lower case to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case.

I recommend using anti-static protection, i.e., wearing a ground strap, or at least touch metal chassis inside the computer before unplugging cables. Otherwise, you might create an ESD discharge into your RAM and have to replace it like I did!

d68ef792 - Reply

Image 1/3: If present, grab the plastic tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the device.  For Late-2011 models the battery connector will not have a tab and is simply a plug that inserts straight down into the motherboard--to remove pry the plug straight up. Image 2/3: If the plastic tab is missing, use a spudger to pry the connector up from its socket. Image 3/3: Pull the tab parallel to the face of the logic board.
  • Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits.

  • If present, grab the plastic tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the device. For Late-2011 models the battery connector will not have a tab and is simply a plug that inserts straight down into the motherboard--to remove pry the plug straight up.

  • If the plastic tab is missing, use a spudger to pry the connector up from its socket.

  • Pull the tab parallel to the face of the logic board.

This step is a little difficult in reverse, that is, when re-attaching the battery. It helps to tilt the laptop up so you can see the edge of the board that accepts the plug. It may look like there are two slots for it, it goes in the bigger slot that is further away from the board.

yary hluchan - Reply

Is this step really necessary? It is not part of the instructions how to replace the HDD in Apple's User Manual of the 2011 17" MBP.

Tobias Hahn - Reply

As it says in the step: "Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits." It is not required, but it is simple insurance to avoid a $1000+ repair should you accidentally short components on the board with something metal.

Andrew Bookholt -

There was no tab on my model. Battery is affixed to board and screws must be removed.

bhodges2 - Reply

Mine also, and looks as if removing connector could damage motherboard.

Stephen -

* There is no tab on the A1297 (late 2011) model's battery connector. Be careful with the connector, it chips off the edges easily! Otherwise the same as bhodges2 & Stephen's notes.

** (Pleas also include the exact Model and Part numbers like P/N: MD311D/A; Mod.: A1297 in the comments and notes for your MBP)

Pinguman - Reply

Why are there no guides for the Late 2011 17" MacBook Pro A1297 (2.4GHz i7 quad core, MD311LL/A)??? I just replaced the RAM in mine and discovered that not only is there no tab on the battery connector, but the connector pulls straight up, perpendicular to the logic board, rather than parallel. I almost ripped the wires out of the connector by trying to pull it out parallel to the logic board like this guide instructed! After finally getting it out, my advice to those with the Late 2011 model is to use a spudger to loosen the edges of the connector then lift the connector straight up to get it out safely.

Dave - Reply

I replaced the display on my late 2011 model and noticed that it was quite different than the tutorial given here so I detailed all the differences to help others with late-2011 models on my blog: http://johnfixesstuff.blogspot.com/2014/...

jmueller -

Image 1/3: It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector. Image 2/3: 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. Image 3/3: 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.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the right fan connector out of its socket on 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.

Needs a better photo to show how the plug is able to come off the socket vertically. In particular, the underside of the plug should be shown.

Alexander Atkins - Reply

Image 1/1: In the Late 2011 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody these screws will be T6 Torx.
  • Remove the three 3.1 mm Phillips screws securing the right fan to the logic board.

  • In the Late 2011 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody these screws will be T6 Torx.

The fan fixing screws on my 17-inch, Mid 2010 MacBook Pro were Torx 6, not Philips 00.

Michael - Reply

... And the fan fixing screws on my 2009 MBP were *smaller* that the size implied by the tool requirements for this project. I initially tried a Phillips 00 screwdriver but it nearly stripped the screw head. It was necessary to switch to a Phillips 000 bit to actually get two of the screws to move.

rpwl -

my mid 2010 mbp had Torx 7

nielsdolieslager - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the right fan from the upper case, minding its cable that may get caught.

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Image 1/1: It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the left fan connector out of its socket on the logic board.

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

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Image 1/2: Remove the left fan from the upper case, minding its cable that may get caught. Image 2/2: Remove the left fan from the upper case, minding its cable that may get caught.
  • Remove the three 3.1 mm Phillips screws securing the left fan to the logic board.

  • Remove the left fan from the upper case, minding its cable that may get caught.

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Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard backlight ribbon cable.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Image 1/1: Use the tip of a spudger to push the small plastic cable retainer away from the camera cable socket for enough clearance to remove the camera cable.
  • Before disconnecting the camera cable, a small plastic retainer stuck to the logic board must first be moved out of the way.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to push the small plastic cable retainer away from the camera cable socket for enough clearance to remove the camera cable.

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Image 1/1: The camera cable socket is very fragile. Do not apply any upward force to this socket, as it may break off the logic board. Pull the camera cable parallel to the face of the logic board.
  • Pull the camera cable toward the optical drive opening to disconnect it from the logic board.

  • The camera cable socket is very fragile. Do not apply any upward force to this socket, as it may break off the logic board. Pull the camera cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Image 1/1:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

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Image 1/1: Pry up from beneath the wires.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the subwoofer & right speaker connector out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Pry up from beneath the wires.

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Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: Pull the IR sensor ribbon cable out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the IR sensor ribbon cable socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the IR sensor ribbon cable out of its socket.

The IR sensor cable also connects the Hall Effect switch that detects whether the lid is closed or open (and thus shuts off the display, puts the computer to sleep, wakes it up, etc.) to the logic board.

How do I know? I re-pasted my late 2011 17" MBP and forgot to reconnect it. The machine would not sleep automatically when the lid was closed anymore. Re-connecting the cable fixed it.

Kevin - Reply

thanks for the info !!!! i got the same problem with sleep because the cable was not properly connected

Chin Soon Cheong -

Image 1/3: Two 3.5 mm Phillips screws Image 2/3: Two 1.6 mm Phillips screws Image 3/3: Remove both connector shields from the logic board.
  • Remove the following four screws:

    • Two 3.5 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 1.6 mm Phillips screws

  • Remove both connector shields from the logic board.

On my early 2011 laptop, the screws on the left hand shield were T6 screws. The others were Phillips head.

Mark Morgan - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the trackpad connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

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Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: Pull the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.
  • Use your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

  • For reassembly, it can be helpful to put a small piece of tape on the keyboard ribbon cable (being careful not to stick any to the contacts), to create a small handle. Align the cable with the socket and gently pull with the tape to fully seat it.

Thanks for the great guide!

Tip for re-seating the keyboard cable: put a piece of sticky tape on, fold over at the top end, re-seat the connector (carefully!) with a spudger and (gently!) pull the tape 'over' the connector on the logic board until you feel it nudges in fully. Notice the emphasis on "carefully" and "gently"... :)

LeonSteyns - Reply

Thanks for this manual! I used it to replace the keyboard. I would not recommend it as an easy job and it is not described on Ifixit for unknown reasons. But I did it and everytinhg worked fine. 2 remarks about the conncetion for the keyboard. In my Macbook 17 Pro (mid 2009) there is a litlle lever that clamps the keyboard 'cable'. You can get it out easily (I did that too because I did not see it then), but to reassemble it it is better to uplift the little lever and then move the 'cable' in with sticky tape (thanks for that tip!)

I had to redo it 3 times to get it working. With the lever up and then clamping the 'cable' by pushing it down it worked AND it solved the power button problem. Please be carefull as said in the manual, it is all very delicate!

And for replacing the keyboard; prepare yourself for a lot of tiny screws! (some of them are stuck and had to be removed with force, be warned!)

Another tip

Edlef Heeling - Reply

Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: Pull the express card cage ribbon cable out of its socket.
  • Use your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the express card cage ribbon cable socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the express card cage ribbon cable out of its socket.

It might be easier to remove the ExpressCard ribbon cable in Step 18 by removing the Hard Drive cable first...use your judgment.

David DeAnda - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the hard drive cable connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

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Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: Pull the battery indicator ribbon cable out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the battery indicator cable socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the battery indicator ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Image 1/3: Pull the display data cable out of its socket. Image 2/3: The display data cable socket is very fragile. '''Do not''' lift the connector upward as you disconnect it, as the socket may break off the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board. Image 3/3: The display data cable socket is very fragile. '''Do not''' lift the connector upward as you disconnect it, as the socket may break off the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.
  • Lift the black plastic flap attached to the display data cable retainer and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the MacBook.

  • Pull the display data cable out of its socket.

  • The display data cable socket is very fragile. Do not lift the connector upward as you disconnect it, as the socket may break off the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Image 1/1: Six 3.2 mm Phillips screws
  • Remove the following eight screws securing the logic board and DC-In board to the upper case:

    • Six 3.2 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 7.6 mm Phillips screws

The Six 3.2mm screws can in some cases be torx instead of phillips

Finntastic - Reply

I've got a great idea for keeping the tiny screws safe and also labelled up e.g. these 6+2 screws belong to the logic board - simply use 'Post-It' sticky note upside down on your desk and use the sticky bit to keep the screws from rolling around getting themselves lost :-)

Paul Reddington - Reply

Image 1/2: Lift the logic board assembly from the side nearest the optical drive and lift it away from the upper case. Image 2/2: Note that you'll be removing the logic board and DC-in board together.
  • Handle the logic board assembly by its edges only.

  • Lift the logic board assembly from the side nearest the optical drive and lift it away from the upper case.

    • Note that you'll be removing the logic board and DC-in board together.

  • Carefully pull the ports and DC-In board away from the side of the upper case and remove the logic board assembly, minding any cables that may get caught.

Beware of the CCFL-connector (verify?) that is still in place on the other side of the logic board! You'll notice, though - just be aware of it. If you gently flip over the logic board (as if it where to 'hinge' over the point where it's still connected), you can put it aside upside-down and remove the connector with a spudger (in general I recommend against fingernails as they deprive your view).

LeonSteyns - Reply

Image 1/2: Both screws are captive to the hard drive bracket. Image 2/2: Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.
  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • Both screws are captive to the hard drive bracket.

  • Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.

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Image 1/1:
  • Peel the hard drive and battery indicator cables off the adhesive securing them to the express card cage.

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Image 1/1: Three 2 mm Phillips screws
  • Remove the following five screws securing the express card cage to the upper case:

    • Three 2 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 4 mm Phillips screws

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the express card cage from the upper case.

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Image 1/1: Do not try to completely remove the hard drive just yet! The hard drive cable is still attached to the upper case.
  • Using its attached pull tab, lift the hard drive out of the upper case.

  • Do not try to completely remove the hard drive just yet! The hard drive cable is still attached to the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Remove the hard drive from the upper case and set it aside. Image 2/2: Remove the hard drive from the upper case and set it aside.
  • Pull the hard drive cable connector away from the body of the hard drive.

  • Remove the hard drive from the upper case and set it aside.

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Image 1/2: Remove the hard drive cable from the upper case. Image 2/2: Remove the hard drive cable from the upper case.
  • Remove the two 2.2 mm Phillips screws securing the hard drive cable to the upper case.

  • Remove the hard drive cable from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Remove the front hard drive bracket. Image 2/2: Remove the front hard drive bracket.
  • Remove the two 10 mm Phillips screws securing the front hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • Remove the front hard drive bracket.

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Image 1/2: Peel the sticker off the right speaker/subwoofer enclosure. Image 2/2: It is not necessary to peel the sticker off the battery.
  • Use an iPod opening tool or another soft thin-edged tool to carefully lift up a corner of the "Warning: Do not remove the battery" sticker off the right speaker/subwoofer enclosure.

  • Peel the sticker off the right speaker/subwoofer enclosure.

  • It is not necessary to peel the sticker off the battery.

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Image 1/2: Using its attached pull tab, lift the battery out of the upper case. Image 2/2: Using its attached pull tab, lift the battery out of the upper case.
  • Remove the three 6.5 mm Y1 Tri-wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Using its attached pull tab, lift the battery out of the upper case.

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Image 1/1: Pull the cable parallel to the face of the optical drive toward the port openings.
  • Carefully disconnect the Bluetooth cable from the Bluetooth board.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the optical drive toward the port openings.

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Image 1/1:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to peel the thin plastic cover off the top and sides of the Bluetooth board housing.

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Image 1/1:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the Bluetooth antenna connector up and off its socket on the Bluetooth board.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the small piece of EMI foam attached near the Bluetooth board.

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Image 1/1: To remove the screw closest to the battery, it may be helpful to use a T6 Torx screwdriver to first remove the upper case bracket directly above it.
  • Remove the three 3.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

  • To remove the screw closest to the battery, it may be helpful to use a T6 Torx screwdriver to first remove the upper case bracket directly above it.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the optical drive assembly from the upper case.

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Image 1/1: One 2.6 mm Phillips screw
  • Remove the following three screws securing the subwoofer & right speaker to the upper case:

    • One 2.6 mm Phillips screw

    • Two 12.3 mm Phillips screws

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the subwoofer and right speaker assembly from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Remove the camera cable retainer from the upper case. Image 2/2: Remove the camera cable retainer from the upper case.
  • Remove the two 7.1 mm Phillips screws securing the camera cable retainer to the upper case.

  • Remove the camera cable retainer from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Remove the display data cable retainer. Image 2/2: Remove the display data cable retainer.
  • Remove the two 7.1 mm Phillips screws securing the display data cable retainer to the upper case.

  • Remove the display data cable retainer.

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Image 1/2: We purposely have you leave one screw attaching each display bracket to the upper case to aid in future steps. Image 2/2: We purposely have you leave one screw attaching each display bracket to the upper case to aid in future steps.
  • Remove the two outer 6.8 mm T6 Torx screws from each of the two display brackets (four screws total).

  • We purposely have you leave one screw attaching each display bracket to the upper case to aid in future steps.

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Image 1/1: Place your opened MacBook Pro on a table as pictured.
  • 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 left hand, remove the remaining T6 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

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Image 1/1: Remove the last remaining T6 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.
  • 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 T6 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

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Image 1/3: Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case. Image 2/3: Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught. Image 3/3: Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.
  • 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 up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order. Make sure that any ribbon cables which need to be attached to the logic board are above it and free from getting caught before you screw it into place.

32 other people completed this guide.

3 Comments

Great guide but I would also appreciate a step that shows me how to remove the trackpad safely after everything else, since most of the replacement parts I saw for this don't include trackpads.

Smart PC - Reply

Is it possible to replace the keyboard?

brucemadden71 - Reply

You could add a note that once the battery is removed, if all you're replacing is the Trackpad, that is when it would be done. No need to take everything out of the case. Other than that, it's a GREAT guide.

csiemen - Reply

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