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  1. #1


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    Odd question re: Macbook Pro A1286 keyboard replacement
    Good morning mac lovers!

    I am urgently in need of your help.

    My business partner decided to give my son his old Macbook Pro A1286.

    The only problem is that the keyboard is not in the standard USA layout (and 2 keys are different sizes.

    It is in Nordic / Norwegian.

    Before I decide to use tools to cut the aluminum frame to make the 2 keys fit (I would need to make space for the larger return key for the usa layout, nordic is a bit different), I am wondering if I install this, will it still even work?

    I could of course just log in to the OS and change the keyboard settings to use USA and tell my son to learn it or no laptop, but we already ordered and received the USA replacement.

    If anyone has ever run into this problem, or if you know that this may still work, please share the info!

    I am definitely not extremely confident cutting a little bar off of a aluminum frame to such a nice laptop, but hey it's Saturday so the mad scientist has time to try.

    Just need to know that if I install it, will it still work?

    Thank you!

    PS. Holy cow I have never seen so many small screws to take out a keyboard in my life!!!

  2. #2


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    pic of current keyboard installed
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3te...5ece24023c.jpg <<< This is what it looks like with the current keyboard.

    this is the usa keyboard >>> http://images.anandtech.com/doci/388...3_keyboard.JPG

    notice how to the right of both boards, the return key is sized differently?

    any one ever have this issue?

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtoapple1 View Post

    Before I decide to use tools to cut the aluminum frame to make the 2 keys fit (I would need to make space for the larger return key for the usa layout, nordic is a bit different), I am wondering if I install this, will it still even work?

    Just need to know that if I install it, will it still work?
    What you need is the proper "topcase". You CANNOT just swap the keyboards...because the keyboard is NOT a separate part...it is integrated into the aluminum that surrounds the keyboard. The keyboard & the aluminum that surrounds it are a single integrated part. If you tried cutting...you would just ruin the topcase.

    You need something like this:

    http://www.powerbookmedic.com/Top-Ca...y-p-17381.html

    This is just an example of what you need. To find the 100% correct part...you would need to provide more model info about the computer.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
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  4. #4

    cwa107's Avatar
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    I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this, Nick. The keyboard is a separate piece - it's not welded or permanently attached - although you are correct that the service part will normally include the palm rest.

    Macbook Pro Unibody Keyboard Replacement - YouTube

    However, what the OP is proposing - modifying the keyboard openings to accommodate a US keyboard - is not a simple endeavor. I think I would be tempted to replace the entire top case, rather than trying to Dremel out the needed openings... that just sounds like a recipe for disaster.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Thank you for the replies.

    The MBP is already apart, and in a million pieces. It is not easy to take the keyboard out, but it is out.

    My problem is that the new USA keyboard going in has 2 different key sizes on the right side.

    Both are near identical, but due to the different sized keys, a piece of aluminum will not let the keyboard snap into place. One would have to cut the aluminum piece off and then it would fit. Would probably need to sand down the edges as well.

    I am just wondering if the MBP will recognize the keyboard...

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    pictures i found on google...

    old keyboard layout i took out: http://img102.shvns.com/RegionWebLin...UK-600x543.jpg

    new keyboard layout i want to put in: http://images.anandtech.com/doci/388...3_keyboard.JPG

    notice the difference in keys on the right?

  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtoapple1 View Post
    I am just wondering if the MBP will recognize the keyboard...
    This is just a guess, but I think it will. Keyboards all work pretty much the same way - by shorting circuits when you press the keys. The interpretation of the shorts is done in software - so it should just be a matter of updating the keyboard layout in the OS.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8


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    Thanks CWA...

    3 hours to take it all apart

    1 hour on research to put it back together and counting! haha

  9. #9

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtoapple1 View Post
    Thanks CWA...

    3 hours to take it all apart

    1 hour on research to put it back together and counting! haha
    Cool - be sure to post pictures when you're done. I think if you carefully cut out the divide and smooth it out with the right tools, you should be able to get by. Good luck!
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  10. #10


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    Will do.

    Hardware store opens shortly. This should be the talk of the store today... "some guy came in looking for sand paper to smooth down the edges of a macbook pro frame"

    hehe

  11. #11

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this, Nick. The keyboard is a separate piece - it's not welded or permanently attached - although you are correct that the service part will normally include the palm rest.
    Well...maybe I'm 50% wrong!...regarding the keyboard itself not being permanently attached/not being a separate piece.

    I don't think that the keyboard itself is meant to be replaced separately (as a unit)...since when I checked Powerbookmedic.com...they don't sell the keyboard separately from the rest of the topcase assembly. All they sell are individual replacement keys (with the "springy" plastic piece..."Scissor mechanism").

    So I guess...if someone did have two intact & complete MacBook Pro Unibody topcases...then the keyboards could be swapped (if they were the same language). But in the OP's case...with differing language keyboards (different key shapes)...I certainly wouldn't recommend any cutting (but I suppose it could be done if someone did a good job of it).

    - 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

  12. #12

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtoapple1 View Post
    Will do.

    Hardware store opens shortly. This should be the talk of the store today... "some guy came in looking for sand paper to smooth down the edges of a macbook pro frame"

    hehe
    Aluminum is pretty soft, so I think you should be able to get by with a Dremel. I would get a cutting wheel and a grinding wheel at a minimum. Practice a little bit on some scrap before you start... and be sure that none of those shavings intermix with the electronics.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  13. #13

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Well...maybe I'm 50% wrong!...regarding the keyboard itself not being permanently attached/not being a separate piece.

    I don't think that the keyboard itself is meant to be replaced separately (as a unit)...since when I checked Powerbookmedic.com...they don't sell the keyboard separately from the rest of the topcase assembly. All they sell are individual replacement keys (with the "springy" plastic piece..."Scissor mechanism").

    So I guess...if someone did have two intact & complete MacBook Pro Unibody topcases...then the keyboards could be swapped (if they were the same language). But in the OP's case...with differing language keyboards (different key shapes)...I certainly wouldn't recommend any cutting (but I suppose it could be done if someone did a good job of it).

    - Nick
    Yeah, I agree that it's not meant to be done. As I said, the keyboard is usually sold as a complete unit with the topcase, which is the official "service part". But being that the keyboard has already been separated and the OP has a reference for the openings (essentially he needs to cut the divide to make room for the enlarged "return" key), it should be doable with some careful cutting.

    And of course, if it goes wrong, all he's out is a topcase, which he would have had to replace anyway
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  14. #14


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    Once you take a MBP apart you truly understand why asian people do this. Not because of the cheap labor, but you need small hands to deal with all the tiny screws

    I can't even begin to tell you how boring it was unscrewing the keyboard!!!

    Thanks to electronic music and latte's, It wasn't as bad as it could have been!

  15. #15

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtoapple1 View Post
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3te...5ece24023c.jpg <<< This is what it looks like with the current keyboard.

    this is the usa keyboard >>> http://images.anandtech.com/doci/388...3_keyboard.JPG

    notice how to the right of both boards, the return key is sized differently?

    any one ever have this issue?
    I was looking more closely at the two keyboard photos...and I'm not really sure cutting the aluminum is a great solution.

    If the Norwegian aluminum topcase is modified to fit the English keyboard...I'm afraid that the openings for the keys in the modified area will be larger than the key/keys themselves...and so some keys will be "floppy"/non-rigid.

    It may work...but it ain't going to be pretty!

    - Nick

    p.s. Hopefully the "screw hold-down patterns" for the different keyboards are the same...otherwise the keyboard swap won't work because the differing keyboard won't be able to be properly mounted to the aluminum topcase.
    - 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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