15" Macbook Pro case screw problem

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by calvy, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. calvy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2007
    I have a brand new 15" i7 Macbook Pro that I bought from the Apple store over 14 days ago. I opened it up to put in an SSD drive and optibay. Now, this was my first time opening up a unibody, but I've opened up many notebook computers and older style Macbook Pros before, so I'm not a newbie.

    However, putting things back together I ran into a problem. One of the screws that secures the metal plate on the bottom of the machine will not catch in it's hole, and therefore does not stay in. I swear I did nothing to strip this screw or the hole it goes into. When I screw the screw into the hole with the case off, it smoothly sets and seems to be fine. However, when the metal plate is put on and the screw is put threw it, it's like the screw is not long enough to reach the threaded part of the hole

    Yes, I'm positive it's the right screw. The hole I'm talking about is along the back side of the computer, towards the hinges, and is the only one of the 4 screws that is the shorter style screw (vs the long ones that occupy the other three holes).

    I'm at a loss for what to do. I'm thinking about putting all the stock stuff in place and taking it into the apple store for help at this point. Does anyone else have any better advice?
  2. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts

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  3. calvy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2007
    100% positive. If I take a long one and put it in that hole, it doesn't go in all the way. When I take things apart like this, I label each screw and tape it to a piece of paper so I don't mix anything up and every screw goes back in the same hole.

    The only thing I'm not 100% sure about is whether I did anything that might have damaged the threads on the piece of the unibody frame in which this screw threads into. But it seems fine. As I said, if I try to take the same screw and thread it into the hole without the aluminum lid in place, it threads fine. It really seems like this screw isn't long enough, but I know it's the right one and the right length.

    I know how many might feel about this...but I'm thinking about putting the old drive in, taking into apple and telling them the screw just fell out. See what they'll do for me.
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    the bottom plate is a tight fit, so undo some of the other screws and start with that one first. Apply some pressure to the bottom plate while at the same time beginning threading the screw.

    One of the problems with the tight fit of the bottom plate is that you should not completely tighten the screw before beginning the next one. You should instead start all the screws, then go around in a zigzag or star pattern and torque the screws tight.

    This allows more even tension distributed across all the screws. And as I said earlier apply a small amount of force to the bottom plate when starting the screws and furthermore once torquing them. This will also help with any wobble when placing the macbook on a flat surface.

    Good Luck, and I would try this before making an appointment with Apple.
  5. calvy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2007
    That's kind of what I was hoping to hear. i really don't think anything is damaged. And truth be told, I opened this thing once already and got it back in, albeit with some difficulty. I did essentially what you said and was able to get the screw to catch. Last night I took it off again because I needed my optical drive for something, and when putting it all back together, I just cannot get that one screw in. I'll probably try again this evening.

    Thanks all.
  6. spencer elliott macrumors member

    spencer elliott

    May 29, 2010
    St. Louis
    this might not be the best solution, but it should work...

    take the screw to a hardware store or a Grainger and replace it with one a 1/16 or 1/8" longer. you should be able to locate the exact same screw in different lengths pretty easily.

    good luck
  7. oplix Suspended


    Jun 29, 2008
    New York, NY
    When I installed my new hard drive, one of the screws did not go all the way in when I reinstalled the back plate. It went almost all the way but it's still sticking out a tiny bit.
  8. calvy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2007
    I have to admit I considered this, but didn't think Home Depot or Lowes would carry a screw this size. There is a grainger near me though, I had never heard of that place before. I may check it out.

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