MacBook Unibody Model A1342 Upper Case Replacement

Replacing the upper case requires the removal of nearly every component in your MacBook.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the eight 4 mm Phillips screws securing the lower case to the MacBook.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The lower case is constructed of rubber-coated aluminum. Do not excessively bend the aluminum during removal, as any permanent deformation will cause tolerance issues after reassembly.

  • Slightly lift the lower case near the vent opening.

  • Continue running your fingers between the lower and upper cases until the upper case pops off its retaining clips.

  • The location of these three clips is shown in the third picture.

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.

  • It may be easier to use your fingernails to lift up on both sides of the connector.

Edit Step 4 Rear Vent  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Rear Vent  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws from the optical drive side of the rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws from the port side of rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the rear vent out of the upper case.

Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable up off the logic board.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the fan connector straight up and 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.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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

    • One 7.1 mm Phillips screw.

    • Two 5 mm Phillips screws.

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Carefully pry the delicate rear speaker connector up off the logic board. These small L/R speaker connectors are quite easily broken.

  • Use extreme caution; this connector is easily destroyed.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the right speaker connector and sleep LED connector up off the logic board.

  • These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use your fingernail to flip up the locking flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to slide the keyboard 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 hard drive cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the left speaker connector and microphone connector up off the logic board.

  • These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Gently pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.

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

  • The display data cable socket is made of very thin metal and is easily bent. Be sure to pull the connector straight away from its socket.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Remove the six 4.1 to 4.4 mm T6 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

  • Remove the two 4.1 to 4.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the MagSafe board to the upper case.

  • On some models, these screws may be T7. Be careful not to strip away the head with a smaller bit.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Lift the side of the logic board opposite the ports out of the upper case.

  • Rotate the logic board away from the upper case until the ports clear the lip molded in the upper case.

  • Pull the logic board and MagSafe board away from the edge of the upper case as one piece.

  • The MagSafe board may get accidentally disconnected during this process. As a precaution, be sure the MagSafe board connector is securely seated in its socket before lowering the logic board back into the upper case.

  • Before lowering the logic board back into the upper case, be sure the left speaker and microphone cables are seated in their channels cut into the upper case (as seen in the third picture).

Edit Step 21 Upper Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • These screws are captive in the hard drive bracket.

  • Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Lift the free side of the hard drive and pull it away from the side of the upper case.

  • The hard drive is still attached to the upper case by the hard drive cable.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive by pulling the hard drive cable connector away from its socket on the hard drive.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3.1 mm Phillips screw securing the hard drive cable to the upper case.

  • Lift the hard drive cable out of the upper case.

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Remove two 5 mm Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case near the battery connector.

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully peel back the finger of the warning label to reveal a hidden Tri-Wing screw.

  • Remove the 5 mm Tri-Wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Remove three 3.1 mm Phillips screws securing the battery near the edge of the upper case.

  • When reinstalling the battery, be sure to install these three screws before proceeding to fasten the Tri-Wing screws. Keep an eye on the keyboard ribbon cable, you may need to use the flat of the spudger to hold the ribbon cable out of the path of the battery as it swings down into place.

Edit Step 28  ¶ 

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery near its connector and remove it from the upper case.

  • When replacing the battery, take care that the keyboard ribbon cable is not trapped underneath.

Edit Step 29  ¶ 

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth antenna connectors (three total) up off the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

  • If necessary, de-route the long antenna cable from its slot in the rear speaker housing.

Edit Step 30  ¶ 

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3 mm Phillips screw securing the antenna ground straps to the rear speaker housing.

Edit Step 31  ¶ 

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 2.2 mm Phillips screw inserted horizontally into the side of the optical drive.

Edit Step 32  ¶ 

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 12 mm Phillips screw securing the rear speaker to the upper case.

Edit Step 33  ¶ 

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Remove the rear speaker assembly from your MacBook.

Edit Step 34  ¶ 

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the inner edge of the optical drive to the upper case.

Edit Step 35  ¶ 

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.

Edit Step 36  ¶ 

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Edit Step 36  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 37  ¶ 

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Edit Step 37  ¶ 

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

  • Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T8 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

  • Before retightening the T8 Torx screws, close the display and adjust it so that the back edges of the upper case and display are aligned and the gaps at the ends of the hinge are equal.

Edit Step 38  ¶ 

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Edit Step 38  ¶ 

  • 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 T8 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

Edit Step 39  ¶ 

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Edit Step 39  ¶ 

  • 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.

  • The display data cable may cause the upper display bracket to get caught on the upper case. It may be helpful to slightly rotate the upper case away from the display for more clearance.

  • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

Edit Step 40  ¶ 

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Edit Step 40  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 41  ¶ 

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Edit Step 41  ¶ 

  • There are four orange and black rubber inserts that the hard drive sit into. one side has full circles and the other side has half circles. ( The other side of the half circles are located on the hard drive bracket that was previously removed).

  • The new upper case may not have these inserts. e sure to remove them from the old and insert into the new.

  • The inserts are easily pried out with a spudger or a flat tipped screwdriver. They are not glued in, but instead have notched sides to hold them in place.

Edit Step 42 Upper Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 42 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 1.3 mm Phillips screws securing the upper edge of the trackpad to the upper case.

Edit Step 43  ¶ 

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Edit Step 43  ¶ 

  • Carefully tilt the trackpad away from the keyboard side of the upper case.

  • Pull the trackpad away from its opening in the upper case to clear the two mounting tabs on its lower edge.

Edit Step 44  ¶ 

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Edit Step 44  ¶ 

  • Remove the 1 mm T6 Torx set screw near the front edge of the upper case.

Edit Step 45  ¶ 

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Edit Step 45  ¶ 

  • Use the following steps to install the old trackpad into your new upper case.

  • Reinstall the T6 Torx set screw until it is flush with the aluminum bracket surrounding the trackpad.

  • Place the trackpad back into its void in the upper case, being sure the lower tabs are inserted underneath the keyboard side of the upper case.

  • Be sure the trackpad ribbon cable is not pinched between the trackpad and the upper case.

Edit Step 46  ¶ 

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Edit Step 46  ¶ 

  • Reinstall the four silver Phillips screws securing the trackpad to its steel brackets.

  • Loosen all four silver screws about 1/16th of a turn.

  • Flip the upper case over and adjust the position of the trackpad until the gap between the trackpad and the upper case is evenly spaced around the perimeter of the trackpad.

  • Tighten the four silver screws to hold the trackpad in place.

  • Repeat this process until the trackpad is perfectly positioned in its void on the upper case.

Edit Step 47  ¶ 

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Edit Step 47  ¶ 

  • While repeatedly pressing the trackpad to simulate clicking, tighten the T6 Torx set screw until the trackpad no longer wiggles freely.

  • Do not over-tighten the set screw, as the button will cease to click at a certain point. Adjust the set screw until the movable side of the trackpad has minimal play.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Unibody Model A1342 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

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

NOTE: Ensure you don't pull the entire assembly straight up or the base will come off the logic board. Use an extremely small straight blade screw drive to gently loosen the inside assembly while gently pulling on the wire bundle! Will save buying a new logic board!!!!

janesem, · Reply

Some of the screws are extremely tight, I stripped at least 6 Phillips screws during the upper case replacement.

firstn10, · Reply

I used the iFixit 54 bit kit and found that the Phillips 000 bit fits the screws better than the recommended 00 bit. When loosening or tightening I use plenty of downward pressure to keep the bit from rising out of the screw head and damaging it. The torx screws are so much easier to work with and I wonder why they don't use only those.

Matthew Hester,

Great guide! My only comment would be to remove the battery first. It makes dealing with the keyboard ZIF cable much easier to install/remove.

sales, · Reply

I like that idea. I did feel challenged by the tight space when trying to put it back in it's socket.

Matthew Hester,

I went a little further and, although is not recommended, I unglued the Upper case from the keyboard and replaced it after a coffee accident. Had to reglue the new keyboard back in place and it´s working. The fix is not very good (keys dont go up as when originally assembled) so I´d recomend you to change the whole upper case instead of trying to change the keyboard as you may actually break it.

vendemechiles, · Reply

is there a way i can rip the keyboard of the upper case??? and then later put it back together? look forward to spray painting my laptop.

Akhil John, · Reply

I don't know much about paints but I'm guessing that it would scratch and flake easily unless you use the correct paint, and even then it might deteriorate rapidly leaving a mess and poor appearance.

Matthew Hester,

Is it possible to replace only the keyboard? I do not want to replace the whole upper case. also where can I buy the keyboard only online? Please share a link.

Thank you

Churchill, · Reply

I did it. Got a new keyboard on ebay (only the keyboard) but the process of replacing it breaks tiny holds it has on the cover so when you put thw new one the keys in the middle (hgtyvb) do not stand up as the others. they sink a little bit. I'd suggest to replace the whole part unless you are ok with this aesthetic issue.

Mine have been working pretty well so far.

vendemechiles,

I was trying to do this, and the power came on when I put the battery in. I turned it off from the keyboard, and then it immediately powered on. After I took the battery out and tried reassembling by putting everything but the battery in, and then connecting the battery at the end, I had no power whatsoever, either from the power cable or from the battery. What could have caused this?

Yvonnel, · Reply

I tried this. Got all the components undone, replaced the trackball, and started replacing the components. Midway through, I noticed that the computer had turned on. I turned it off with the power button, and it immediately turned itself back out. I removed the battery, and started putting the components back together, this time putting the battery on last. Now, the computer won't turn on at all. No LED from the power cable, won't turn on from the battery. Does anyone have any ideas?

Yvonnel, · Reply

According to this page http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1651?viewl..., the 8 screws are not identical.

Can anybody tell me where each kind of screw is supposed to go?

Gregoire, · Reply

The screws on the Late 2009 are identical. The blue lock compound might make tightening some require a little more effort.

svenaustx, · Reply

Can I replace it with a SATA 3 cable?

nm, · Reply

you do not need to remove the battery when replacing the hard drive or ram

brilldoctor, · Reply

beware not to lift the connector to close of the angle, as the picture suggest it. It might broke the angle. Attack by the middle.

naamol, · Reply

Not necessary?

hikkymemo, · Reply

Be careful of the corner of the battery cable connector when trying to pry it off with the spudge. I knocked the corner of mine. No operational impact but was not very pleasing!

jljordanweb, · Reply

Not necessary, but a good idea, so as to avoid any spurious charges going through the boards...

svenaustx, · Reply

@Svenaustx - What could happen if not removing this battery? Worst case? Not a geek on this but did change RAM on my Macbook Pro "15. Can't remember disconneting the battery back then. Shouldn't it be sufficient shutting the Mac off and ensure it has been used for an hour or so before replacing RAM?

Allan Clarke,

Hi, i have an issue with the screw in the middle: it is blocked and the top is now damaged... Any suggestion?

Corrado, · Reply

you can actually stop disassembling now and try to replace it now. after removing two t6 screws it came off pretty easily

grze, · Reply

Good tip, thanks! I skipped ahead to step 17 and had no problem getting the magsafe board out from under the logic board and the new one installed. Saves a lot of work disconnecting connectors indicated as Fragile!

matt15,

Thank You! Saved me an hour or so of work and a lot of stress!

15sweyandt,

Since this kind of connector and very fragile and easy to damage even with a spudger I use a needle that I insert in the front side of the connector, between the connector and the socket and only apply a little pressure while lifting up the needle. The connector will then pop up from one side. Repeat the procedure for the other side. With this method it's impossible to damage the connector. I adopted this method after ruining two or three connectors using the spudger.

lemerise, · Reply

HELP! Both the connector AND socket detached from the logic board! Is it possible (barring micro-surgery) to reattach the socket to the logic board?

John Watson, · Reply

same problem here...any ideas? Did you fix it again, John?

Ben Kn,

I disconnected the connector and socket from the logic board because I wasn't being careful and wasn't using a spudger tool as was recommended. Luckily, a friend of mine that's handy with a soldering gun was able to individually solder each wire from the cooling fan's wire assembly back onto the soldering points on the logic board. It's really intricate, tricky, and risky...but at that point, what choice do you have? I verify it's possible to fix and my cooling fan is now running perfectly fine.

Dan Barnhart, · Reply

While these connectors are very delicate, a new upper body case will have new connectors already installed. I slightly broke two connectors while removing them.

Also, the connectors have a notch underneath (on the logic board) for the corner of the spudger to fit into. The hard part is that you cannot see the notches until the connectors are removed.

Nations81, · Reply

Hi. Long time ago, I know but.... How did you fix them?

I snapped mine off, can it be soldered back on?

Sai G,

I used pointed tip of one side of the tweezers from the ifixit Home Tech Toolkit. I found this thinner pointed tip better than a spudger for hitting that notch in the socket underneath the connectors. Since this is a metal tool, I pried very gently and I was working on a MacBook with the battery taken out entirely (early on as suggested in the video) and was also using an Anti-Static wrist strap. I found the spudger broke one of the connectors because it's relatively thick plastic, and put too much pressure under the cables before the tip could reach the plastic block of the connector. The pressure under the cable popped the wire contact right through the top of the plastic block connector. (it was OK this connector broke since I didn't need to reuse it--my replacement keyboard/upper case came with its own cables.)

Because the tips of the tweezers are angled, I felt I had better control of the torque I was applying than if I used a jeweler's flathead screwdriver.

kenhtanaka, · Reply

I broke a speaker connector on this step. I found it easier to use a tiny flathead screwdriver to gently pry these connectors up.

brad, · Reply

Did u manage to fix the broken speaker connexion Brad? Mine snapped off. How can I fix that?

Sai G, · Reply

I had to remove the battery again to insert the keyboard ribbon cable. I just couldn't get the right angle and force otherwise.

asciimo, · Reply

When reassembling make sure this cable is really deep in it's socket. (Use some force with the spudger wedging it in between the cable and battery). If you don't, you won't be able to power up the board. I had 2 logicboards that I thought were dead, but it turned out the cable was not inserted enough. Jump starting them with the jump pads did nothing (with or without cable connected), but connecting the cable properly made the board come alive. Really check this!!

Peterdk, · Reply

You sir, just saved my day! Switching boards between two mac and I thought I broke the two at once... This should be documented on the manual!!

jorgecarleitao,

Thanks for your help!!! I thought I did the replacement wrong. Greetings from Peru.

Lalo Gonzalez,

Note: the 2009 and 2010 model differ here. On one the 3 point connector is left and 2 point is right, on the other one the 3 point connector is right and 2 point is left.

I found this while installing several logicboards for A1342.

Peterdk, · Reply

I can't seem to connect those any suggestions

Ayat, · Reply

how do you reconnect these?

yourstruly69101, · Reply

Just lift the tab up slightly to release the clip that secures the data display cable. Then the cable will slide out easily.

matt15, · Reply

If the video data cable has been disconnected before, the adhesive on the might not hold. Be extra cautious in disconnecting this. An illuminated magnifier would be a good help on this step as it is very delicate. This was where I feared I would fail. Was very relieved in getting through this step...

svenaustx, · Reply

(When re-installing) Before screwing down the logic board, go around the edge and make sure no cables are caught underneath, remember there are 11 of them, 12 if the battery is present at this point.

kenhtanaka, · Reply

I reassembled the macbook A1342 using this guide and everything is perfect, except that if I shut down the computer and power it up after 1hour or so, I have to press the power button a few times before it starts. What could I have gone wrong? I checked the magsafe connector and it seems to be firmly seated. :(

Alok, · Reply

When reinstalling, I leave this step till last. It'll help you get that frackin keyboard ribbon inserted.

maccentric, · Reply

To save some time and frustration, leave the antennae connected, just take off the 3 screws holding the speaker down and lift it out of the way. You will remove everything with the screen.

maccentric, · Reply

this is saying the THREADED END of the screw should be flush with the aluminum bracket into which it is threaded.

tom, · Reply

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