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Yebubbleman

macrumors 603
Original poster
May 20, 2010
5,865
2,460
Los Angeles, CA
Hello again. It's me with my Late 2012 13" Retina MacBook Pro again. I replaced the thermal paste on said MacBook Pro (and, I'm really glad I did; the paste that had been there looked like it was well past its usefulness). I have one question though, for those familiar with take-apart and repair procedures with this machine. There were four rubber screw covers covering the main four screws to the heatsink. I can't seem to get them to stick back on. Do I really need them? Do they serve a purpose? Or would this have just been something Apple would've used as a tamper-detection element (something that doesn't matter now that the machine is deemed obsolete now anyway)?

I've scoured iFixit and eBay and haven't found anyone selling or even mentioning needing these in the replacement? Can I just not put those back and be just fine? It seems like I can, but I'd rather get verification from someone who has done this more times on more Retina 13" MacBook Pros of the Late 2012/Early 2013 vintage than I have.
 
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MikesMac267

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2020
2
1
Canada
I have this question as well. I'm re-applying the heat paste for the first time ever this weekend. So far I tried re-assembling as a test and noticed that two screws in the case weren't totally flush without those rubber screw caps. My guess is putting them in will fix that, but will confirm. I'm going to try gluing them back on with superglue and hoping for the best.

I called Apple and a lower-level support person gave me a hint-hint-nudge-nudge that they weren't necessary. But the official answer was "they're recommended."


This vid, around the 5 minute mark, said "they're not really necessary"--but doesn't follow up.
 
Last edited:

Yebubbleman

macrumors 603
Original poster
May 20, 2010
5,865
2,460
Los Angeles, CA
I have this question as well. I'm re-applying the heat paste for the first time ever this weekend. So far I tried re-assembling as a test and noticed that two screws in the case weren't totally flush without those rubber screw caps. My guess is putting them in will fix that, but will confirm. I'm going to try gluing them back on with superglue and hoping for the best.

I called Apple and a lower-level support person gave me a hint-hint-nudge-nudge that they weren't necessary. But the official answer was "they're recommended."


This vid, around the 5 minute mark, said "they're not really necessary"--but doesn't follow up.

I ended up opting for a low-tech/budget solution by picking up a glue-stick from my local grocery store, and applying just enough of glue on the rubber things so that they stick back to the screws. In my case, the re-application of thermal paste will last about as long as I expect to continue to be regularly operating this machine, so I doubt I'll need to ever do much there. But I did make sure that, if I turned the machine upside down, they wouldn't fall off and they didn't.

I've since loaned this machine to my stepfather who will be using it until the Apple Silicon versions of either the Mac mini or the 27" iMac come out as an interim replacement to his 2011 Mac mini which is on its last legs. Worst case scenario, he'll be using it until its last supported macOS release, Catalina, stops getting security updates and, no later than then, I will take it back and repurpose it as a machine running the LTSC variant of Windows 10 Enterprise (as that will be supported with security updates for quite a while longer past that point).
 
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