DIY Repairs


DC-In board arrived yesterday. Gonna check my toolkit before I start… Think I need some proper spudgers…


Replacing a MagSafe board only typically requires Philips 0 and Torx T6 screwdrivers, and a nylon probe (spudger) is also useful in some cases. Hardest part is disconnecting everything and extracting the board to get to the MagSafe board connector on the other side, but even that isn’t too difficult.

Had to do some repairs to my MacBook Air yesterday. This machine was my first brand new Mac purchase, but it has been dreadful since new and the support from Apple was almost non existent. I ended up repairing a lot of its issues myself as a result. Since it was purchased as a CTO in 2012 (8GB Memory and 512GB SSD optioned on at purchase), it’s needed the following repairs within the warranty period:

  • Logic Board, for intermittent video lockups and kernel panics.
  • Battery, failed within the Apple Limited Warranty with 11 months and 300 cycles
  • Key Cap, came off while typing
  • MagSafe Adapter, frayed the length of the cable
  • Trackpad, stopped responding to clicks

And outside of the warranty period:

  • Another MagSafe Adapter, second one started to deteriorate near the MagSafe head
  • Another Battery, once again it failed prematurely about 12 months after the first one

And now it needs another Logic Board because the onboard Thunderbolt controller has failed, so I can’t use any Thunderbolt devices or the external Mini DisplayPort.

Had to replace the Battery again yesterday. Now I’m looking to palm the machine off relatively cheaply and be done with it.

Still haven’t decided what computer to replace it with though. I have managed to source a 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 13" (with Force Touch) that took an entire cup of coffee through the keyboard. The Logic Board is salvageable and works fine, but the Top Case assembly would need replacement.

It’s difficult to justify spending a few hundred on a machine that sustained such extensive damage, but if the board is workable and reliable, then I suppose a couple of hundred for a 2015 model machine doesn’t sound that bad.


Working on resurrecting a wine infused MacBook Air 11" for use as a basic work and messing around machine. Not looking at spending anything on this one, so I’m experimenting with a lesser known technique for repairing damaged keyboards.


I heard you could put them through the dishwasher too… top rack only of course.


Performed the same keyboard submersion cleaning process on a 13" MacBook Air (Mid 2014) the other week to remove some coffee ingress. 1.4GHz Core i5, 4GB Memory and 256GB SSD. When I found this computer the screen, board and battery were missing, removed for use in another machine, so all that remained was the enclosure and keyboard!

The cleaning was a success however and I was able to reunite the enclosure with a suitable screen, battery and board. Speakers are a little crackly but since I haven’t adhered them down yet, that’s to be expected.

I recently gave the 2014 Pro Retina I repaired earlier in this thread to my brother for his studies, so this machine has become what I call The Daily Driver.

Second machine, or The Weekend Cruiser. Simple objective for this one - make something stupidly fast. MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012), 2.7GHz Quad i7 with 8MB Cache, 16GB DDR3-1600 Memory, 500GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1GB. At least it will be. The memory and SSD are coming.

This machine was a rebuild with components graciously supplied by Apple under warranty. A new Logic Board, enclosure, trackpad and keyboard went in two weeks ago. A new battery went in soon after.

Rounding out this week, I completed the iPhone 5C I started working on over a year ago. A suitable donor with a damaged screen and board became available and since I’d already purchased a new screen and had a suitable board, we had a match.

Next, I need to investigate sourcing a Logic Board for another MacBook Pro Retina (2014) with a dead CPU and start looking into an extremely risky repair - extracting the Lithium-Ion battery cells from a Retina MacBook Pro so I can perform a keyboard cleaning. The board needs some small capacitors in the battery charging circuit replaced as well but I’ll attend to those later.


Completely out of the league above… but - 4 months ago I picked up my brother’s old BluRay player that “wasn’t working”. He has Down Syndrome, and eats through VCRs/DVD Players etc because he uses the disks as coasters/back scratchers etc. (Mum hadn’t even realised it was a BluRay when she purchased it - she picked up 2 of the Panasonic BD83’s cheap at Harvey’s a while ago.) So, finally yesterday I sat down and opened it up, hoping I would just have to clean the lens. Found that the lens was basically hidden by the drive’s enclosure… spent ages trying to extract it from the chassis without success… but eventually found I could slide the lens mechanism to the edge, where I immediately found - a huge dust bunny…! :slight_smile: Bit of compressed air, Isopropyl alcohol… and viola - I’ve got myself a working BluRay Smart Player. Thinking it will replace my MacMini 1.83C2D… (except that the BluRay only connects to USB drives - not network drives… meaning it will be a pain to add new content… :frowning: )

Side note - Purchased first ever BluRay - Rogue One! :slight_smile:

For my next fete, I hooked up my brother’s (formerly mine) AppleTV Gen1 that wont play any movies… only to find that I left the remotes at his (my parents) house in Horsham… $29 to get a new one… or $4.50 for a Chinese plastic knock-off… Grab every remote in the house and press every button in the blind hope that I’ll find something that works… but no… (Learn that I can use ANY remote to “learn” the right signals - but need to first have a working remote!) So, I then learn I can use Rowmote App on my iPhone to control an AppleTV - just needed to download a file, access via SSH, use some terminal strings… Viola! AppleTV connected, and awaiting further attention… Yay.

All that, and took my son to see Lego Batman in 1 day. A movie full of lego Daleks! :slight_smile: Err, sorry - those British metal things your nerd friends know all about.


Any chance you’re looking at selling the 5C? :slight_smile: