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  1. #1
    Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?

    Member Since
    Jun 09, 2013
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    Virginia, USA
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    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 17"
    Unhappy Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?
    My poor old Macbook Pro got dumped on it's bottom left corner today, and that nice lightweight aluminum casing bent in like a soda can. It's just cosmetic damage, the computer works just fine, but the top part of the bottom casing is lifting up some and I can see a little bit of the innards. I know I could go get it repaired, but I'm sure it would cost me hundreds of dollars and I'm just not capable of doing that. I'm not really concerned about the cosmetics (though it makes me a little grumpy). What I'm worried about is something getting in there and hurting the guy.

    If it comes down to it, I'll just tape over the corner. But if there's a better looking alternative I'm up to it. I feel like I should be able to at least tap the corner back out, but I'm leery about opening it up and maybe not being able to put it back together again. I've never messed with laptop guts before (though I'm familiar enough with fixing desktops).

    Here's a picture of the damage, so you can work up a good bit of sympathy.
    http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/...ps0618e792.jpg

    If I can fix it so one can fit, I might look into getting a hard case after this, if anyone can suggest where since my computer is old enough it's hard to find accessories for it.

  2. #2
    Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    45,231
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    That's a pretty bad dent. You might wish to check on eBay to see if you can get the replacement parts you need at a decent price. You may be able to buy a 17" MBP just like yours that's not working and swap the parts yourself if you're able.

  3. #3
    Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?

    Member Since
    Jun 09, 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 17"
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    That's a pretty bad dent. You might wish to check on eBay to see if you can get the replacement parts you need at a decent price. You may be able to buy a 17" MBP just like yours that's not working and swap the parts yourself if you're able.
    That's a thought. I just found one for about $30. Is it a very hard process? Like I said, I've never worked on a laptop like this before. My understanding is that it's pretty difficult. At the least, I'm sure it means I need to remove all the pieces of this one, and I'd be afraid of damaging something in the process.

  4. #4
    Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    31,469
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelliebeen View Post
    Here's a picture of the damage, so you can work up a good bit of sympathy.
    Yikes...that is a pretty nasty dent!

    From what I see in the photo...most of the damage is to the topcase. This is the whole part that contains the keyboard, the trackpad, the speakers, and the power button.

    This whole part is removable with about 8-10 screws and I think just one cable (maybe two).

    The bottom part doesn't look dented quite as badly...and you might even be able to gently repair a good amount of the dents.

    So what I would suggest is this:

    1. Remove the topcase...and maybe try to straighten out the bend in it. And maybe try to gently fix the dents in the bottom part.

    2. Or...you could remove the topcase, try to repair some of the dents in the bottom part...and get a "good" used replacement topcase via e-Bay.

    To see exactly how to remove/install the topcase go to:

    iFixit: The free repair manual

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?

    Member Since
    Jun 09, 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 17"
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Yikes...that is a pretty nasty dent!

    From what I see in the photo...most of the damage is to the topcase. This is the whole part that contains the keyboard, the trackpad, the speakers, and the power button.
    To be honest, I'm not sure the top part is really the problem. I think the image might make it look worse. It feels flat, but it's being pushed upwards because the top and bottom pieces are still stuck together by that screw. So the bottom bit is dented in, and pushing the top bit up. The plastic ridging has taken the most damage from this. I can actually push down on this corner and put the pieces back together except for where the corner is bent.

    Anyway, as far as repairing it (maybe I can take the top bit off and tap the bottom corner out again with some sort of tool? It's only aluminum, after all), I'm game to try, but terrified of breaking my laptop. I can't afford a new one right now. Even so, I'll be totally screwed as well if (God forbid) I get water or something on that particular edge of my computer.

    Anyway, what I'm asking now is, is taking the top off and such safe? Or is it easy to mess up and junk my computer? Like I said, I can deal with a bit of tape, even if it is ugly as sin. I read the fixit article on replacing the topcase, not sure how much I like moving all those ribbons about. Is it just like dealing with cords in a PC tower, only in a more compact area?

  6. #6
    Dented MacBook Pro 17", what can I do?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    31,469
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelliebeen View Post
    Anyway, what I'm asking now is, is taking the top off and such safe? Or is it easy to mess up and junk my computer?

    I read the fixit article on replacing the topcase, not sure how much I like moving all those ribbons about. Is it just like dealing with cords in a PC tower, only in a more compact area?
    Looks like a learning opportunity to me! Every repair person who repairs laptops (amateur or professional) had to start someplace. Here's your opportunity to broaden your horizons!

    Good Luck,

    - Nick

    p.s. I am not a professional laptop repair person...but I have done this sort of thing many times. It's really not that bad as long as you follow the iFixit.com instructions.

    - Have a nice clean/open space to work with
    - Don't rush ahead (follow the instructions)
    - Keep track of your screws.
    - Be careful & patient putting it back together.

    You may surprise yourself (after gently reshaping the bent parts)...how good (relatively speaking) everything looks & fits afterwards! Just don't get too aggressive. If you bend things too much...the screws & screw holes for the topcase won't line up.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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