MacBook Pro acting erratic with screws in back cover installed

May 2, 2013
Reaction score
. I am in Afghanistan deployed and have the most knowledge of computer repair and diagnosis here so I find myself on a daily basis working on scenarios of issues. A person brought me their computer for the CD/DVD rom not reading any disc.

The computer is a MacBook Pro 2010, 4GB memory and 2.4 core 2 dup processor running 10.9.5. Everything original and never taken apart or cleaned internally. Upon removal of the back cover this was evident. The fan slots to the outside where almost all completely clogged and the entire inside had a hefty layer or dust and debris. First off, with the computer turned off obviously, I unplugged the battery and hosed it down with compressed air. After getting it to a decent state I began removing the CD rom. I took it apart and thoroughly cleaned the inside and the eye. Everything was installed in correct sequence and place ( I have done this a time or two). As always before finishing the install of the back cover I ensure everything is working correctly. As expected it all worked fine and the CD rom worked flawlessly. I installed the screws and handed it back to the person.

Shortly after he came back stating it was acting up. The fan is at full speed, mouse erratic and jumpy and almost constant spinning wheel and activity monitor showing in excess of 200% CPU usage. To keep things short I ensured all piece where correct double checking my work. I reset the SMC and PRAM and (with the back cover unscrewed) it worked fine. I turned it off and replaced the screws and shortly after startup it began acting up again. Shut it down and took screws out it runs fine. I narrowed the current situation down to one screw causing issues. It is the long screw in the (looking at the computer from the bottom) upper right hand corner. The screw passes through the bracket holding the display cable and other wires down. It is away from any electronics. With the screw removed it runs perfect but simply sticking the screw in the hole causes the issues. Removing it and few seconds later back to normal. Until I could get a solid fix I left the screw out.

On to the next situation. With the screw removed it worked fine for about 2 days and ever since then a few days goes by and the issues arises. The mouse will again be jittery and unresponsive, fan kicks on full speed and the whole system is lagging but an added symptom has arose. It will state that the wireless hardware is not found. Shutting the computer down and removing the screws and starting up fixes the scenario. After reinstalling the screws again (minus the one that causes instant issues) the computer will act fine for few days. Today I took all screws out and left the cover in place but unattached to see if it remedies the situation.

I have searched high and low and while I have found threads on differing forums of the same situation I have yet to find a solution. Even Apple's own forum has no solutions. I have took the entire insides apart to check for damage or any hint of incorrectness. I have had the back cover off 20+ similar MacBook Pro's with no situation as this. I have the same computer and take my apart for cleaning and upgrading often with no problems.

Can anyone shed some light to the ongoing situation???

Shop Amazon

Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.