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Opening up a Macbook Pro with stripped screws

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I'm having a big problem here opening up the bottom panel of a Macbook Pro. The Macbook is crashing on reboot (long complicated story) so I'm attempting to open up the back and see if disconnecting and reconnecting the RAM, HDD, etc. will help. The problem is the screws are not removable. I've managed to take out at least 3 out of the 10 screws with great difficultly. I've tried almost everything to get the remaining screws out so that I can open up the back. These are the things I've already tried. Please bear in mind before I attempted these I attempted to open it with a larger screwdriver and I believe this is what striped the screws and made it much more difficult to open.

1) I've tried ordering the correct screwdriver for Macbook screws. This is what I managed to get 3 screws out with but the rest are completely stripped and the screwdriver just swivels inside of the screw and there is no grip what so ever and the rest won't turn in the slightest.

2) I've tried the "Rubber Band" method of laying a rubber band over the top of the head of the screw and trying to screw through it for grip (no avail on any of the screws)

3) I've tried the "Super Glue" method of putting super glue on the screw and the driver and allow them to stick before attempting to screw again (no avail on any of the screws)

Any other ideas?
 

chscag

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Welcome to our forums.

Stripped screws are definitely a pain. Been there, done that. :)

What I suggest is to buy a stripped screw extractor tool kit from Home Depot or Lowes. I'm not sure how much they cost but other folks with the same problem have used them with success.

The other method is to drill them out which can lead to more problems if you're not careful. Either way you decide, you're going to need to buy a set of screws to replace all of them. You can find those on eBay. You may also be able to find a screw extractor kit on eBay. Check there first but if you're in a hurry, Home Depot or Lowes will be faster.

(Looks like Nick came up with a better suggestion.)

Good luck and let us know.
 

pigoo3

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What I suggest is to buy a stripped screw extractor tool kit from Home Depot or Lowes. I'm not sure how much they cost but other folks with the same problem have used them with success.
I was thinking the same thing Charlie...but I'm not sure they sell "traditional" screw extractor sets (like we might use on an automobile) small enough to work with those MacBook Pro screws. When I came across that precision screw extractor set on iFixit...I was totally surprised.

If it were me...and I had stripped MacBook Pro screws like this...before buying that iFixit extractor set...I would probably try using an appropriate size flat tip precision screwdriver. I would take the small precision flat tipped screwdriver & a very very small hammer (or heavy object)...place the flat tipped screwdriver in each stripped MacBook Pro screw...and gently tap the top of the precision screwdriver until the flat blade of the precision flat tipped screwdriver started to "bite" into each stripped screw. Then turn...and hopefully each stripped screw would break free.

Of course this will most likely damage the precision flat tipped screw driver. But considering inexpensive precision screwdriver sets can be purchased for $5.99 or less at Flea Markets or Harbor Freight...not a tremendous loss.:)

- Nick

p.s. If this idea fails...then maybe get the $19.99 iFixit precision screw extractor set. Lol
 
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Here's one possibility:

Precision Screw Extractor Set - iFixit

HTH,

- Nick

From reading the user's comments, I would suggest looking further at getting a better set with better steel that might do the work a bit better.

Or better yet, get hold of a Pro that has the tools and the experience to do such a job, it's easy enough to make stripped screw extraction a lot harder if not almost impossible.

It's too bad that good quality, properly sized screwdrivers weren't used in the first place, as it is very seldom that they will strip any screw's slots if and when used properly. And it doesn't help that Apple's case screws are often much softer than usual screws of the same type or size.





- Patrick
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