Can't Get Bottom Screws Out of MBP for RAM Upgrade

Chocolatemilty

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 17, 2009
649
113
Los Angeles, CA
So, when I received my new MBP in the mail, the HD was faulty. The Genius Bar, of course, swapped it out and it's good as new. Over Black Friday, I took advantage of the great deals to upgrade the RAM. Now, I've fallen into a horrible problem - I CAN'T GET THESE DAMN SCREWS OUT OF THE COMPUTER!

I'm thinking the Genius Bar put these screws in there extra tight or something, because they just won't budge with my hand precision screwdrivers. I don't have any power tools to try and get them off, and I'm afraid of stripping the screws.

Would the Genius Bar be able to get these screws out so I can swap out the RAM? What should be my course of action to get these screws out?

Thanks, everyone.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,012
Buy an impact wrench . . .

;)

Try again with a size 0 Phillips screwdriver and use a bit more force, but make sure the screwdriver is perfectly perpendicular to the screw head. If you still can't move them, take it back to Apple - they clearly over-torqued them.
 

SayMilesAway

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2011
206
0
Florida
yeah make sure you are using the correct size phillips. also apply some downward pressure when trying to loosen the screws to prevent stripping them.
 

sevoneone

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2010
496
409
Yes use a #00. You can use a #0, but the screws will strip if you are not careful. Try different screws. The plate on the bottom of the MBPs can shift slightly, putting more pressure on some screws than others. If you can't get the one you're trying out, try another, eventually the tighter ones will loosen.

Also, if you've been using the laptop, make sure you give it time to cool before trying to open it. The metal could expand making it harder to remove the screws.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,682
1,034
I'm thinking the Genius Bar put these screws in there extra tight or something, because they just won't budge with my hand precision screwdrivers. I don't have any power tools to try and get them off, and I'm afraid of stripping the screws.

Would the Genius Bar be able to get these screws out so I can swap out the RAM? What should be my course of action to get these screws out?
I'd try the genius bar first. Apple puts loctite on the screws to hold them in place so the initial force needed to break the loctite is greater than needed to remove the screws.

Using the right size screw driver is important to avoid damaging the head.
 

satchow

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2011
467
186
Buy a Philips #00 screwdriver with a thicker/easier to turn handle. I'm pretty sure it's because the ones you're using are really thin and it's hard to get a good grip/torque on it.
 

HellDiverUK

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2009
460
0
Belfast, UK
Err... no they don't. Or if they do it's at the discretion of whoever does the repair which is unlikely given Apple's tendency to centrally manage everything. I've had multiple repairs done on my Macs and have never had to deal with Genius-applied Loctite.
Oh, so just because you haven't seen it, it doesn't happen? Really? :rolleyes:

I've seen it, so it does happen.

Try not to make sweeping, inaccurate statements, it makes you look silly.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,261
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Oh, so just because you haven't seen it, it doesn't happen? Really? :rolleyes:

I've seen it, so it does happen.

Try not to make sweeping, inaccurate statements, it makes you look silly.
New units do not come with loctite on the bottom case screws. Refurbished units do not come with loctite on the bottom case screws(side question: do you even know what loctite is and what a mess it makes? Didn't think so, which is probably why you mentioned it). Authorized Apple Repair centers do not use loctite on the bottom case screws. There is no reason to use loctite, as the screws generally fit in just fine.

In summary, your statement is inaccurate and makes little sense to begin with.

Edited: "on the bottom case screws"
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
New units do not come with loctite on the bottom case screws. Refurbished units do not come with loctite on the bottom case screws(side question: do you even know what loctite is and what a mess it makes? Didn't think so, which is probably why you mentioned it). Authorized Apple Repair centers do not use loctite on the bottom case screws. There is no reason to use loctite, as the screws generally fit in just fine.

In summary, your statement is inaccurate and makes little sense to begin with.

Edited: "on the bottom case screws"
Agreed, since RAM and Hard Drives are user serviceable, and apple prints the instructions for both of these in the manual they give you, what idiot would believe they put something on the screws making them harder to take out
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,662
33,510
Boston
Oh, so just because you haven't seen it, it doesn't happen? Really? :rolleyes:

I've seen it, so it does happen.

Try not to make sweeping, inaccurate statements, it makes you look silly.
I've yet to see any reports, or first hand evidence of apple using loctite. Given the fragile nature of those screws, I'd say that if they did use it, they themselves could easily strip the screws.

The advise of using the proper sized screwdriver is probably the best.
 

Ultrafied

macrumors newbie
Jun 6, 2010
12
0
Riverside, CA
Oh, so just because you haven't seen it, it doesn't happen? Really? :rolleyes:

I've seen it, so it does happen.

Try not to make sweeping, inaccurate statements, it makes you look silly.
Actually, I believe that jc1978 made the sweeping statement. At least miles0110 had a caveat in his statement. :D

Apple puts loctite on the screws to hold them in place so the initial force needed to break the loctite is greater than needed to remove the screws.

Err... no they don't. Or if they do it's at the discretion of whoever does the repair which is unlikely given Apple's tendency to centrally manage everything. I've had multiple repairs done on my Macs and have never had to deal with Genius-applied Loctite.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
New units do not come with loctite on the bottom case screws. Refurbished units do not come with loctite on the bottom case screws(side question: do you even know what loctite is and what a mess it makes? Didn't think so, which is probably why you mentioned it). Authorized Apple Repair centers do not use loctite on the bottom case screws. There is no reason to use loctite, as the screws generally fit in just fine.

In summary, your statement is inaccurate and makes little sense to begin with.

Edited: "on the bottom case screws"
Actually the first thing I did with my brand new MBP 17" , after I removed the shrink wrap and took it out of the box, was upgrade the RAM. The unit definitely had locktite on the bottom case screws, and making frequent use of locktite myself, I definitely know what it looks like when I see it. The only time locktite makes a mess, is if you don't know how to apply it.
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,662
33,510
Boston
The unit definitely had locktite on the bottom case screws, and making frequent use of locktite myself, I definitely know what it looks like when I see it. The only time locktite makes a mess, is if you don't know how to apply it.
Wow, that's news to me, because up till today I've not seen any discussions about apple using loctite. Live and learn :)
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
Actually there are a few, even on this forum, such as this one, https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/852980/, that discuss Apple using it on the phones. I have seen a few other threads about it on the laptops. I can't recall if it was here or on other forums though.

I use the term "loctite" generically, like Kleenex or Coke, but I think it may actually be the Vibra Tite brand, or something else, from the color.

Edit: There are a lot of different loctite products for different uses, and some even come in a stick form, so very easy to apply with no mess, such as LOC37614.

Edit: Here is a picture, not the best as it is with a P&S, but I really didn't feel like pulling out the DSLR, Macro Lens and Tripod...

 
Last edited:

Queen6

macrumors G3
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

I tend to agree Loctite is the most likely culprit, use a hair dryer to warm up the screws this will help to break the locking compound
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,312
10,050
California
Just to add to the screwdriver discussion, in addition to using the proper size #00 Phillips head, also make sure the screwdriver is a good quality with hardened steel tip. Cheap drivers with softer steel heads will tend to strip the screw head.

Here is an example of a quality driver.
 
Last edited:

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
Just to add to the screwdriver discussion, in addition to using the proper size #00 Phillips head, also make sure the screwdriver is a good quality with hardened shell tip. Cheap drivers with softer steel heads will tend to strip the screw head.

Here is an example of a quality driver.
Thanks.

Many (not all!) people here are happy to pay a lot for Apple products, but then spend a lot of time to find the cheapest RAM, hard drives, SSDs, optibays and other stuff to put into that expensive piece, and of course will use cheap or badly fitting screw drivers for the installation.
I also have this tendency, maybe it's just normal, but it's stupid when you actually think about it :D

Sorry, a bit off topic, and by no means directed to the OP or anyone else in this thread.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,682
1,034
I've yet to see any reports, or first hand evidence of apple using loctite. Given the fragile nature of those screws, I'd say that if they did use it, they themselves could easily strip the screws.

The advise of using the proper sized screwdriver is probably the best.
Ok, since I made the comment I'll explain why:

My MBP (2010) clearly had loctite on the screws when I removed them to upgrade the RAM. It was the blue loctite, which is designed to secure threaded fasteners while along removal with a minimum of extra force; no heat should be needed. Other colors have different gripping capability. Blue loctite should not pose any danger of stripping as it is designed for just such applications; specifically to hold fasteners in place while allowing for removal via normal tools. There is, IMHO, more of a danger of stripping the threads via over tightening; something the use of loctite negates.

When I went to the Genius bar for a repair I asked about it and they indicated they use loctite on screws; YMMV and all may not do that, nor do I know if Apple has an official procedure covering its use.

As for the comment someone made about "the mess loctite" makes - you need to apply it correctly. A very small amount goes a long way, and well not extend beyond the threaded joint while still providing the desired grip.

Are all MBP bottom case screws held in with loctite? I don't know but Apple does use it, at least in my experience, and is a possibility for why screws seem "hard" to remove.

I agree - a proper screwdriver is key - failure to do so could cause problems.

Note - for some reason OSX thinks "loctite" should be spelled "lactate."
 

Pentad

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2003
985
97
Indiana
Oh, so just because you haven't seen it, it doesn't happen? Really? :rolleyes:

I've seen it, so it does happen.

Try not to make sweeping, inaccurate statements, it makes you look silly.
I have to agree with others on this. I have never seen loctite on any of the MPBs or Powerbooks I've worked on. I've upgrade many colleagues, friends, and students computer with memory and/or HDs.

Now - sure - I've not look at every system made by Apple but given the upgradeability of these machines sanctioned by Apple it would seem odd for them to use loctite.

If you have a picture for proof I would be interested in seeing it.

-P
 

Ant.honey

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
190
1
New York City
I have to agree with others on this. I have never seen loctite on any of the MPBs or Powerbooks I've worked on. I've upgrade many colleagues, friends, and students computer with memory and/or HDs.

Now - sure - I've not look at every system made by Apple but given the upgradeability of these machines sanctioned by Apple it would seem odd for them to use loctite.

If you have a picture for proof I would be interested in seeing it.

-P
Every 2011 MBP I've had open had blue locktite on the threads.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.