PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5-1.67 GHz Keyboard Replacement

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Difficult

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

Sections
Files
Tools

Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use a coin to turn the battery locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

  • Lift the battery out of the computer.

Edit Step 2 Upper Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the four Phillips screws from the memory door.

  • Slide the memory door away from the memory compartment.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 8 screws:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips in the battery compartment, on either side of the battery contacts.

    • Two 12 mm Phillips on either side of the memory compartment.

    • Four 16 mm Phillips along the hinge.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees clockwise, so that the power receptacle faces you.

  • Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws.

  • When replacing these screws, you must place each screw in the correct order. Begin by installing the screw closest to the display hinge, and go out from there.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Turn the computer 90 degrees clockwise so that the hinge faces you.

  • Remove the bottom 5 mm Phillips screw on either side of the hinge (two total).

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees clockwise, so that the ports face you.

  • Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws.

  • When replacing these screws, you must place each screw in the correct order. Begin by installing the screw closest to the display hinge, and go out from there.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Turn the computer over and open the display.

  • Remove the two 1.5 mm hex screws in either corner, next to the display (a T6 Torx driver will work, but repeated use will strip the screws).

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Grasp the back corners of the upper case and pull up. Do not pull the upper case off yet; you still need to disconnect the keyboard and trackpad cable.

  • Lift the back of the case up 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 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Rotate the upper case up and toward the screen, so that the upper case rests against it.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the orange tape securing the trackpad ribbon to the logic board.

  • Disconnect the trackpad ribbon from the logic board.

  • Remove the upper case from the computer.

Edit Step 11 Keyboard  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11 Keyboard  ¶ 

  • On the following step, be careful with the tape on the side of the keyboard with the green power button, as the tape may stick and tear.

  • Peel back the black plastic shielding on either side of the keyboard (there are two pieces).

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use your fingernail to flip up the plastic flaps locking down the keyboard and keyboard backlight ribbon cables (in the picture, both flaps are already up).

  • Slide the cables from their connectors.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the 10 identical Phillips screws attaching the keyboard to the casing.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • 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 to bend each of the four tabs so that they are all in the "unlocked" position.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Place the upper casing on 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 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • To replace the keyboard, first slide the bottom tabs in, then bow the keyboard out and slide in first the tabs on the right side of the keyboard and then the tabs on the left side.

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

For more information, check out the PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5-1.67 GHz device page.

Required Tools

Coin

$2.95 · 7 In stock

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

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I recommend that you have several (ie 10-12) little cups nearby with a pen and some small scraps of paper to write on. As you remove screws, step by step, place that step's screws into one cup and label it "Step #X". That way, when you're putting everything back together, you won't have to guess as to which screws were for which step. I did this, on a recommendation of a friend who did this very same repair, and it made the reassembly even easier.

beil, · Reply

Better still is to print out these instructions. Then as you remove screws, scotch tape them to the instruction sheet right on the place where it says to remove them. The tape keeps them from getting lost and the order can't be screwed up.

Lavatop, · Reply

These were such great directions!! It was no harder than baking a cake. I didn't have a spudger, but a thin plastic chopstick worked fine. I took lavatop's tip to print out directions and tape the screws in order. It was great advice. Thanks IFixit!

Karen Ann, · Reply

I found that a plastic ice cube tray works best in these situations.

kostas16673, · Reply

By "bottom", it means the top ones (if the computer were right-side-up), i.e. the ones closer to the lid.

colleenthompson, · Reply

Don't be hasty! I've seen 2 laptops with a forlorn screw trapped in a video port screwhole, from where it's very difficult, if not impracticable, to remove it.

colleenthompson, · Reply

Quote from colleenthompson:

Don't be hasty! I've seen 2 laptops with a forlorn screw trapped in a video port screwhole, from where it's very difficult, if not impracticable, to remove it.

I've done that. Was not fun extracting the screw. I had to use a a large speaker magnet to get it out.

Dan, · Reply

By "rotate" they mean tilt... You tilt the upper case (which contains the keyboard" up so that it rests against the screen. If you happen to have a helper nearby, get them to gently hold the upper case, when it's tilted up, in place so that you can do step 10.

beil, · Reply

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