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Old Jul 27, 2006, 10:50 AM   #1
jfinke
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Powerbook 12" question

So, my 2 year old PB has a hard drive ready to die. So, I purchased a shiny new 80GB 5400 hard drive to make it better than ever.

The problem is, I have all screws removed except for 2. 2 of the 3 in the battery bay. I don't know what idiot put my computer together, but he tightened them entirely too tight. I have been working on it for about a day now and I think I am just stripping them at this point.

Anyone have any ideas how I can remove these two screws??

Thanks!

It is two of the three in the top picture of this link:

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/53.11.5.html
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Old Jul 27, 2006, 10:59 AM   #2
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Don't worry, it's like that on all macs

I can't begin to tell you how many screws I've stripped.

I would just push REALLY hard onto the screw, and then twist really hard, with the correct screwdriver of coarse.
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Old Jul 27, 2006, 11:04 AM   #3
jfinke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dextertangocci
Don't worry, it's like that on all macs

I can't begin to tell you how many screws I've stripped.

I would just push REALLY hard onto the screw, and then twist really hard, with the correct screwdriver of coarse.
Yeah, that is what I have been trying.. lol.. to no avail. I sprayed some electrical cleaner on them (which helped loosen up some other screws), but that has not worked on these two. I was about ready to dremel them out, but I don't have any bits small enough.

I just want to know what an "authorized" repair person was going to do with this had they attempted to do it. They have regular screw drivers like us, correct?

I remember the days when taking macs apart was easy. What happened?!
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 08:56 PM   #4
Makosuke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfinke
I remember the days when taking macs apart was easy. What happened?!
There are exceptions, but getting into the guts of Apple laptops has never been an easy proposition. And frankly, I can sort of see why the screws are so tight--the thing gets a lot of wear and tear by definition, and the last thing Apple wants are a bunch of screws coming loose and people complaining that their computers fell apart. Certainly the number of people who want to loosen the screws (and thereby void their warranty) is a lot lower than the number of people who would come complaining when they fell out were they less tight.

For that matter, ever taken apart a Power Mac 8100? You basically need to strip it down to the frame just to add some RAM.

Regardless, my strategy has always been the same--make sure you have a screwdriver that is a nice, tight fit in the screw, push hard, and twist. Hasn't failed me so far. It's easy to get one that's too pointy (so it won't go all the way into the slots and make good contact), and or too small (and you're guaranteed to strip it).

Once those little buggers are stripped, though, you've probably got to just drill it out. If you can get a tool in there, it's usually possible to cut a slot into the thing and use a slotted screwdriver, but for tiny laptop screws you'd probably need a very thin, very small dremel disc head or somethng like that.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 09:13 PM   #5
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Well, I ended up having to drill the last screw out where the battery is. So, now I have a nice little hole there. Plus, one of the other screws was messed up enough that it was not worth putting back in.


So, I finally got the thing open and then got ready to take the hard drive out. Guess what, one of them stripped out as well. So, I had to drill that one out as well. That one bothered me because of all the exposed electronics.

But, I got it in, initialized the drive and installed OSX. It is running like a champ right now, however, I have certainly lowered the resale value on it. But, it was either that or pay someone $200 to replace a freakin hard drive.

Of course, as I am telling my coworkers that, I get the whole, "if you had bought a dell, it would not have been a problem." Which, I would have to agree with. A hard drive should be a user changable item, just like RAM. It is not that hard to make these machines have accessable areas.

Anyways, thanks for everyone's help. I added 20GB and went from a 4200 to a 5400. Seems to be running great so far. Very quiet and no clicking!
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 09:53 PM   #6
tjwett
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having the same problem with my 12" powerbook, i can't get the RAM door off. i've wasted 2 screwdrivers already. i have a 1GB chip to drop in here but i can't get the screws off so i gave up. pretty annoying.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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thats why I love the thinkpad HD caddy, one screw and it pops right out!

Very handy indeed. Too bad mine had it's m/b fail
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 11:58 PM   #8
jfinke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwett
having the same problem with my 12" powerbook, i can't get the RAM door off. i've wasted 2 screwdrivers already. i have a 1GB chip to drop in here but i can't get the screws off so i gave up. pretty annoying.
Man, that is rough... I don't know what the hell they are doing at the plant, but it is rediculous.
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 12:11 AM   #9
michaelrjohnson
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I've always had challenges with loosening Apple's screws, but I've never attempted what you're just done (But I really want to!)

I'm kind of scared now, because not only do I not have the ability to drill screws out, I dont' think I have the guts!)

PS: not that anyone cares, but this was my 2000th post.
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 01:47 AM   #10
DZ/015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfinke
I remember the days when taking macs apart was easy. What happened?!
Ah yes, the days when a long T15 torx wrench was enough. Or in the case of the Mac II, two clasps on the cover. I miss those days as well!

What happened? Technology has advanced, unfortunately.
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 02:54 AM   #11
telecomm
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Coincidentally, I just replaced the HD in my PB 12 as well, and also had a tough time with the screws in the battery bay (it was by far the most difficult step!). But it's worth it for the 100 GB!

The RAM plate wasn't a problem for me, and I upgraded the RAM about 2 years ago.

Anyway, to get the last (middle) screw out of the battery bay, I had to go to the hardware store and purchase a better screwdriver set. Perhaps surprisingly, this turned out to solve the problem. The screwdriver I was originally using (borrowed, from a Belkin set) had a very narrow, tapered end, and my better quality replacement set had very snub ends and had a narrower shaft, so I could also get a better angle from the new set. This made all the difference, and the troublesome screw came out immediately.

The moral of the story: better tools make a world of difference.
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 03:18 AM   #12
Makosuke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telecomm
The screwdriver I was originally using (borrowed, from a Belkin set) had a very narrow, tapered end, and my better quality replacement set had very snub ends and had a narrower shaft, so I could also get a better angle from the new set. This made all the difference, and the troublesome screw came out immediately.
This is exactly what I was talking about, and in my experience I've never had a significant problem even with really tight PB screws so long as I used the right screwdriver. May not apply to all situations, but it does in some cases at least.

And I do wonder if Apple isn't moving toward more accessable HDs in laptops (espeically now that they're SATA); the MacBook, which is the only complete laptop redesign Apple has done in a long while, has a VERY accessable drive. Considering that it's a consumer laptop, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the eventually redesigned MBPs also have a more accessible drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZ/015
Ah yes, the days when a long T15 torx wrench was enough. Or in the case of the Mac II, two clasps on the cover. I miss those days as well!
Um... if you're going to bring desktops into it, you're not exactly being fair. I DEFY you to show me any computer, including everything Appple has made, that's easier to get to the guts of than the entire PM G4 line--yank one ring, and the entire interior is exposed. You don't even have to tilt it on its side--the motherboard is kindly laid flat for you. And the PM G5s, with the exception of the embedded power supply, aren't exactly much harder--one little clamp on the back and the guts are nicely exposed. In fact, in a way the G5 is even better, because the plastic guide screws on the hard drives can just be finger-tightened--not many computers you can replace the hard drive or add a second one without any tools at all. (And yes, I know there are some PCs that have screwless drive trays, but in my experinece they're not common.)

This doesn't apply to Apple laptops or consumer machines (though MAN were the first-gen G5 iMacs nice to work with), but then maybe we're going in that general direction if the MB is any evidence.

Last edited by Makosuke; Jul 29, 2006 at 03:32 AM.
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 05:16 PM   #13
jfinke
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I just remember when I did support in college, we got some of the first PPC 601s off the line.

Those things were easy to open. Pull two tabs, and bang. In fact, my boss got worried because they were so easy to open. They did not want students coming by and pulling ram.
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 07:24 PM   #14
bwanac
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Grow some muscles? Get better tools for the job?

I just replaced the combo drive and had to take basically every single screw out of the notebook. It took some muscle here and there, but having good pressure and properly fitted screddriver helps too!
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Old Jul 30, 2006, 04:52 AM   #15
CuteGothTech
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I think I have done about 50 12" PBs and I have to say, never had a problem getting the screws out. I guess you guys are using the wrong screwdrivers. Sometimes in iBooks and such I'll come across a tight screw, but with the right screwdriver, it doesn't really take that much pressure.
And we have a word for those tight screws, we call them "apple gorillas". LOL.
We'll say "Oh great, the 'Apple Gorillas' got ahold of this one!"
When you start to strip the screws, run out and get a set of new screw drivers. Take those home, put them to use and apply pressure on the screw until you can safely turn it without stripping it. You aren't me ok? You don't have a pile of notebook screws at your disposal in order to put them back!
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