I hope I’m correct in trying to save a lot of money by DIYing this. To replace this keyboard one must go through the back of the laptop and deal with everything in between.


That’s the easy part. Somehow both much more and much less portable.

100+ Very Tiny screws to secure the new keyboard. (Black sesame seed for scale.)

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Continuing laptop repairs 

That was more fraught than I hoped. Went to bed last night with it reassembled, but not working. Hoped elves would fix it overnight but I guess that's only for cobblers.

Realized today that the replacement keyboard had two kinds of blue tape: one covering adhesive that was meant to be removed. Another that was meant to be permanent. 🙄

After reattaching the … 'permanent' tape it all seems to work.

Looking forward to a few more years out of this 7 year-old laptop.

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Laptop repair postmortem 

This was my first Apple laptop repair in maybe a decade. It was a lot of tedious work but honestly not excuciatingly difficult. iFixIt gave it a repairability score of 1/10 and, nope, that's simply wrong.

I've taken apart things, especially laptops that were MUCH more difficult.

You do need the right tools, but if you don't have Torx and pentalobe drivers in your kit by now I'm not sure what to say.

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Laptop repair postmortem 

Yes, the battery is glued in. A small amount of attention from a heat gun to raise the adhesive temperature to 100°F/38°C (Withing operating temperatures) and it wasn't that much trouble.

Other than that, almost everything is T5 screws, and not that many of them. No self-threading screws, all the wiring harnesses are molded and keyed so it nearly impossibly to mess them up. Everything snapped back in place very surely. No guessing if I'd gotten it right.

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Laptop repair postmortem 

No plastic tab locks on anything, which is such a relief. I'll take a glued-in battery over one of those any day. (Why does Apple get 🔥 over battery glue, but no one complains to Amazon about the glued-in batteries in Kindles?)

It helped that it's a popular model and there are quite a few good disassembly guides/videos out there.

Anyway, tedious but not gut wrenching. Not a beginner project, but well worth it. 10/10 would repair again.

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Worth adding that in the last few months I've spent less than $90 to double the life of $2500 worth of electronics.

Learning how to repair what you own is a solid way to save money, keep things out of landfills, and lower your carbon footprint.

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@readsteven Beautiful knolling. I hope you took many pictures on the way into the thing.

@tsturm I thought I did. It was designed orderly enough that I only had to refer to one photo for reassembly to see which cable overlapped another.

However it’s reassembled and the keyboard doesn’t work.🤦‍♂️

@readsteven On the positive side, you didn't break anything else.

Is the replacement faulty on arrival? Those kind of things happen, and there is not really an easy way to test it beforehand...

@tsturm I did test it beforehand. The ribbon cable is easily accessible even if the actual keyboard is not. Going to let it set overnight and see if elves fix it.

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