DIY Repairs


OK thanks. I discovered that Macfixit also has the Newertech batteries. Might be a better option than a refurb. The base cost is more expensive but I think once the exchange is factored in, much of a muchness.


Managed to slip and allowed the LCD panel of my 27-inch Mid 2011 iMac to tilt a little too far forward this morning. Tore the LCD temperature sensor connector from the Logic Board. Left the traces and pads, only the plastic connector itself broke.

Time to invest in that soldering and board rework hot air station after all. Just wish it had been under somewhat better circumstances.


Now see, that’s the type of thing that makes it impossible for me to go beyond simple stuff… When I opened my TAM, I was terrified of all the ribbons and cables etc etc. Even the eMac’s power button cable gave me consternation when I swapped out the DVD. At least by the sounds of it you know what’s needed to fix it up! :slight_smile:


I don’t suppose you know if it’s possible to repair ethernet and USB ports on macbook pros do you? I’m thinking the only way is to replace the logic board. You sound like an expert in this area!


Yesterday at work the battery inside the production manager’s (aka owner’s sister’s) 2009 MacBookPro swelled up and popped the Trackpad off.

I commented that I had the same model at home, and they could take the battery out by removing about 9 screws/etc, but the decision instead was to take it to the Tech Co they use, have the hard drive placed into an external enclosure, and - I presume - dispose of the machine.

I was screaming inside - Just give it to me! But I’d rather walk round all day with a ferret in my pants than to ask the owner for it… (Or indeed, the presumably non functional Mac Minis, and some old iMacs gathering dust in the storeroom…)


Lol I’ll pay to see that…


I believe it would be doable, if someone was able to de-solder the ports with a hot air station and replace them with spare ports from a dead donor board. The key would be finding someone capable of doing the job.

Otherwise yeah, you’d have to replace the Logic Board.


Sometimes I can’t help myself.

The MacBook Pro I repaired above is now my current work machine. I’ve become rather fond of it I must admit. I was looking through some of the spares boxes last week and came across a gem I wasn’t aware I had.

An Apple 820-2249-A Rev.2 Logic Board with nVidia GeForce 8600M GT G84-603-A2 GPU.

Lost? These revised boards were released to correct the 8600M GT issue that caused widespread failures in the MacBook Pro 2007-2008 models. They use a later revision of the G84 graphics processor that supposedly had better solder bumps compared to earlier revisions. These boards aren’t that common, so this was a nice find.

With the machine apart I started looking for other components that could use attention. When I separated the heatsink from the old board I noticed the contact points were pitted and scuffed. So out came the 300, 1000 and 2000 grit to wet sand and lap the heatsink contacts. Once they were mostly reflective, I hit them with an abrasive final polishing compound. Some scratches are visible from the sanding process, but the finish is much smoother and consistent than before. Thermal compound takes care of the rest. I chose Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 for this build as it transfers heat well and holds its stability over time.

Still, I needed more airflow. I disassembled the fans and sanded out some of the casting lines and edges that could act as flow restrictions. Compare the metal texture before and after.

I’ve been working on this machine for three evenings now, but it’s almost done. Thinking about installing OS X Yosemite on there to see how it runs, but I’ll aim for a balance of software support and performance and work from there.


Looks awesome, well done. I wish I was as Mr Tim the Taylor Tool Man as you are.


A little something I’ve been working on this weekend. Bonus points for anyone who can correctly guess what is being repaired on this machine.




Something to do with the power button or speakers?


@Erwin had it in one. An entire cup of coffee through the keyboard. Replacing the keyboard and keyboard backlight assembly. Seriously awful repair, I make a point of doing this as infrequently as possible.

Chances are I’ll sell this one on. I’m almost tempted to keep it for the workshop because it did clean up extremely well, but I already have a machine out there and more than enough around the house as it is.


What model is it and how much do you sell them for? :slight_smile:

Dark Month for Apple Repairs

@Oldmacs - MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2011) and MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011) respectively. I have someone that knows the market better than I do handle the sale, so when it comes to price the answer is realistically whatever I can get for them.

Started venturing into circuit level repairs on Mac logic boards. Successfully replaced the V-sync connector on a 27-inch iMac Backlight Board, and the HDD SATA connector on a MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2010) Logic Board. Tonight I went somewhat deeper, troubleshooting a MacBook Pro (17-inch Mid 2009) board that wouldn’t start. Only 0.3v on the PM_SLP_S4_L line. Replaced the poly-tant capacitor at position C7771 with a poly-film capacitor scavenged from another board. Now reading 1.12v and the machine powers on.

However it doesn’t complete POST, so it appears this logic board has another issue. Could be something simple but the machine will ultimately need to come apart again for further assessment. A little crushed, would have been nice to round out the weekend with a successful repair.

Component Level Mac Repair

Now that’s the kind of repairs I expect from a computer repair shop…

Of course, it’s not something that anyone much seems to do any more… It’s all just closed systems and disposal of everything…


In my line of work we always replace components, never repair, and it does feel like something is lost there. It does make machine repair easier, and when performing repairs in volume I would always prefer to exchange components and call it done, but there’s still some fun and a sense of achievement to be had in replacing a 60c component and returning a $800+ board to service, often even better than before.

I decided to learn board soldering earlier this year because some of my own machines started to fail, and the cost of even one Logic Board replacement at Apple was over a thousand dollars. I knew from experience that a 60c component would return these boards to service, and so it made more sense to spend a couple of hundred on some decent soldering tools and some scrap boards to strip components from. So far I’ve repaired three machines - two Logic Boards and a Backlight Board - and all it set me back is $200-ish and some Saturday nights. Now I have another four or five machines queued up for repairs, some my own, some from friends, and those soldering tools have more than paid for themselves.

Anyway, some excellent news. The MacBook Pro 17" board repair was a success after all. All it needed was some additional time for the cleaning solvents to evaporate off. She survived the surgery.

Been running stable for the last five hours now. Some initial quirks with battery charging and system parameters like screen brightness being out of whack, but a couple of restarts later and they seem to have come good.

Already decided that this machine won’t be sold - this one’s mine! :smile:


Is this what causes the display to black out intermittently? I’ve got one one my shelf that does that… would you be interested in being paid to repair? :slight_smile:


Yes, I presume (?!) that when Apple receive the faulty components back, some poor sod is sitting there repairing them for re-use?!


Interesting :slight_smile:

@iMic Do you do repairs on the side? If so, how much would you charge to repair a 2008 Macbook Aluminium? The screen’s backlight was intermittent, then I snapped a connector for the screen to the logic board when trying to troubleshoot :open_mouth: