« Back to All Stories

Two Simultaneous MacBook Pro repairs

by akakin

My Problem

The Left fan had failed and the laptop was running extremely hot.

The keyboard was missing the left shift key and the arrow keys were not working.

My Fix

First, I got the parts (new fan and new keyboard), and both were correct for my model.

Second, I downloaded both installation guides. I noticed that the first seven steps of each were identical. Same pictures and everything. At that point, the instructions got specific to the repair. Since the first seven steps were involved in getting the components completely exposed and accessible, I decided to perform both repairs at once. (ordinarily, I would do one at time to verify correct installation before moving to the next repair, but I didn't see much value in reassembling the entire case again).

Followed the directions (and the pictures were spot on for identifying the right items) and the repair went flawlessly. Took my time and when I got it all back together, the whole thing worked like new. New parts weren't cheap (Mac never is), but it was a LOT less expensive than taking to the Mac store.

My Advice

Print the instructions and keep them handy. Also, in this case, since the pictures had some color coded circles identifying parts, print it color if you can. Assures accuracy.

If you have them, use a magnifying lamp or one of the hands free magnifying glasses. These parts can be very small and unless you are really young (I'm 65) with acute vision, this helps.

The flat cables on the MB are held in place by a clamping connector. the instructions say to pop the connector up. What they don't tell you is they connector bar is hinged. So pry it up gently. Otherwise, you can pop it off completely, and if you break the tiny hinge, you can end up with a much bigger problem.

A really close-up image of those connectors would reveal that. It's also why I would recommend some form of magnifying glass (hands free, either table mounted or worn on the head). You will see how the connector is hinged and that will make releasing and reconnecting the cable more reliable.

The spudger is useful, but for popping up the cable clamp, it seemed too thick to easily get between the MB and the bottom of the clamp. I ended up using a very small knife blade to lift the clamp. Otherwise, I would think sanding down the blade of the spudger a bit would allow it to better fit under the clamp. However, you don't want to sand it too much as it would weaker the tip.

while the case was open, I noticed a lot of dust has accumulated on the inside. I used an air compressor to blow it out. Using a can of compressed air is good, too, and would reduce the risk of running too high a pressure across the small cables and tape in the unit. Either way, since the case is fully open, take a minute to dust off the inside.

When I was done, it worked great. Quiet, cool, and all the keys were functional. Cleaned the case and screen (from three years of my daughter's dorm life), and was like a new machine.

A huge tip of the hat to IFIXIT for a great service and a great experience.