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MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Upper Case Replacement

Replace the upper case for a new keyboard, power button, trackpad, and battery indicator on your Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody.

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

Step 1 Upper Case  ¶ 

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Step 1 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 7.5 mm ( 7.2 mm )Tri-wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

Step 2  ¶ 

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Step 2  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the battery warning label off the upper case between the battery and the optical drive to reveal an additional Tri-wing screw.

  • Remove the last 7.5 mm ( 7.2 mm ) Tri-wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Do not remove the label from the battery.

Step 3  ¶ 

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Step 3  ¶ 

  • Use the attached plastic pull tab to remove the battery from the upper case.

Step 4  ¶ 

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Step 4  ¶ 

  • 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.

Step 5  ¶ 

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Step 5  ¶ 

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

  • Don't try to completely remove it yet, as it is still connected to the hard drive cable.

Step 6  ¶ 

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive connector out of its socket on the hard drive.

  • Pull on the connector, not the cable itself.

  • Remove the hard drive and set it aside.

Step 7  ¶ 

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the hard drive/IR sensor cable to the upper case:

    • Two 2.5 mm ( 2.9 mm ) Phillips screws

    • Two 10 mm ( 9.6 mm ) Phillips screws

Step 8  ¶ 

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Step 8  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the IR sensor cable off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

  • Pull the hard drive bracket/IR sensor housing away from the side of the upper case.

  • Remove the hard drive/IR sensor cable from the upper case.

Step 9  ¶ 

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the four antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

Step 10  ¶ 

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • De-route all four antenna cables from their channels in the AirPort/Bluetooth housing.

  • De-route the camera cable from its channel in the AirPort/Bluetooth housing.

Step 11  ¶ 

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Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the following two screws:

    • One 8.6 mm ( 8.4 mm ) Phillips screw

    • One 3.9 mm Phillips screw

  • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly from the upper case, minding any cables that may get caught.

Step 12  ¶ 

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Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.5 mm ( 3.3 mm ) T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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

Step 13  ¶ 

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Step 13  ¶ 

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

    • Two 3.2 mm ( 3.0 mm ) Phillips screws.

    • Two 12.3 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 2.5 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 8.3 mm ( 8.1 mm ) Phillips screw.

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

Step 14  ¶ 

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Step 14  ¶ 

  • Remove the 8.6 mm Phillips screw securing the antenna/camera cable retainer to the top left portion of the upper case.

  • Remove the antenna/camera cable retainer from the upper case.

Step 15  ¶ 

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Step 15  ¶ 

  • Remove the 8.6 mm ( 7.0 mm ) Phillips screw securing the display data cable retainer to the top right portion of the upper case.

  • Remove the display data cable retainer from the upper case.

Step 16  ¶ 

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Step 16  ¶ 

  • Remove two of the three 6 mm T6 Torx screws securing the right side of the display to the upper case.

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

Step 17  ¶ 

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove two of the three 6 mm T6 Torx screws securing the left side of the display to the upper case.

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

Step 18  ¶ 

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Step 18  ¶ 

  • 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 upper display bracket.

Step 19  ¶ 

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Step 19  ¶ 

  • 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.

Step 20  ¶ 

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Step 20  ¶ 

  • 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.

Step 21  ¶ 

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Step 21  ¶ 

  • Before proceeding, check if your replacement upper case comes with the battery level indicator installed. If not, you'll need to transfer the battery level indicator to your new upper case.

    • If your replacement includes the battery level indicator, stop here.

  • Remove three 2.0 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the battery level indicator to the upper case.

Step 22  ¶ 

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Step 22  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to gently pry up the edge of the metal shield covering the battery level indicator cable.

  • The metal shield is lightly adhered to the upper case and shouldn't require a lot of force.

  • Be careful not to damage the battery level indicator cable while prying.

Step 23  ¶ 

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Step 23  ¶ 

  • Remove the battery level indicator.

  • The battery level indicator cable is lightly adhered to the upper case—use a combination of the flat end of your spudger and gentle peeling to remove it.

  • Be careful not to snag the battery level indicator cable on the metal shield.

Step 24  ¶ 

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Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the battery level indicator button.

  • Note the orientation for installing in your replacement upper case—the larger, shiny side faces out.

  • Depending on your replacement upper case, you may also need to transfer your trackpad now. Follow this guide to remove and transfer your trackpad.