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Abbbby333

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 12, 2020
63
36
I am in the process of removing the hard drive from an old 15" powerbook g4, and sadly one of the screws stripped when I tried to take it out. You can see it in the picture below. The other 2 came out just fine, so I'm not sure what I did wrong.
IMG_8175.JPG


I've attempted a few different methods to get it out (rubber bands, different screwdriver heads, super glue) and so far I've only managed to strip the screw further. I'm really not sure what to do from here. It's so small and in such a weird spot that I can't really get at it with pliers and I don't have a dremel. Any help would be appreciated!
 

z970

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
3,580
4,502
I've had this happen a couple times. What has usually worked for me is to apply a very large amount of force on the screw with as big a bit as will fit inside and just try to very carefully turn it out, because the key there is the force itself sort of making a new indent in the screwhead, which you then leverage while slightly turning it.

If that doesn't work, you could try to just brute force it as a last resort, hopefully somewhere breaking the connection.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,330
4,719
Georgia
I'm not sure if the make them that small. On larger screws. I'd use a screw extractor. The other option is to drill the head off. Then grasp the shaft with pliers. If you can clear everything else out and find vice grip pliers fine enough, even better. Remember to turn counterclockwise.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,885
27,021
One other alternative to try that requires a bit of dexterity and muscle work but has helped me in the past. Needlenose pliers.

What you do is use the pliers to grip the head of the screw, Grip as hard as you can and then 'turn' the pliers in the usual direction you would to unscrew. The dexterity part comes in because you have to maintain the same forceful grip while still turning the pliers.

The longer the pair of needlenose you have the better because you use the tool as a lever. This works best if you have enough area around the screw head. Based on your picture you've got plenty for the pliers to work with. The reason I use needlenose is that normal plier heads get in the way of the turning action.

Don't use a small pair (like a jeweler's pair) as they tend to flex. PS. Sometimes the depth of the hole in the screw is deep enough that you can wedge the plier head in between the hole and the edge of the head. Either way works.

2020-08-21 15.41.08.jpg
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,536
8,870
I'd use a screw extractor.
I second this.

Maybe find a small one, and if you can get help, have someone with you holding a vacuum hose up to it as you use it to prevent metal bits from going every where.

Needlenose pliers.
This too, if you can get a bite and have room to turn. It looks like this screw might not have enough room to rotate.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,885
27,021
This too, if you can get a bite and have room to turn. It looks like this screw might not have enough room to rotate.
If OP can get a thin enough needlenose in there it should work I think. But, yeah, going to be a short turning stroke.
 

1042686

Cancelled
Sep 3, 2016
1,575
2,323
I’d remove the optical drive first. It will open up the space giving you better angles to get at that teeny screw & protect the drive from damage when you Start torquing around trying to get it out.

Last time I had this happen I superglued a spare screw bit into it allowing it to dry over night creating a tight seal. This gave me a lot More to grab onto when I went at it with an open tip utility screwdriver to back it out.

My method was screwing it back in & then out as far as it would go untiL it passed through whatever locked up initially. With the optical drive out though, you may be able to crank it out with a nice quality pair of pliers.

Ive never seen a screw extractor that small before. Do They exist?

Good luck.
 
Last edited:

netsrot39

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2018
357
487
Austria
I've had this happened twice to me. I pretty much always ended up cutting this hard drive holder, i.e. destroying it. You'll lose the bracket but it won't do any damage do the other parts (hard drive, optical drive, case). Since I've put an mSATA-SSD in there, I simply secured it and the optical drive with double adhesive tape. I rarely stripped screws before, but the ones from the HD/OD bracket of the 15" PowerBooks seem particulary prone to strip.
 

Abbbby333

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 12, 2020
63
36
I finally have a resolution on this! It turns out my dad had a dremmel and we were able to get cutting wheels that were 1mm thick. This did the trick nicely and the screw is now removed! I am so relieved that I can now finish up with this computer!
 

rampancy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
684
917
Yes! I actually had the same issue with a screw in one of my A1181s that the previous owner had stripped - some careful time with the Dremel, plus a hastily-made shield to protect the surroundings from errant metal filings was just what I needed.
 

NathanJHill

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2014
125
91
I invested in a set of VamPLIERS or their equivalent, since my other small pliers weren't able to deal with stripped screws. They are amazing. Magical. They are able to grip a screw pretty well and then you can turn it to loosen it up. I recommend. They are around $25 or so on Amazon.
 

dukebound85

macrumors Core
Jul 17, 2005
19,135
4,111
5045 feet above sea level
I am in the process of removing the hard drive from an old 15" powerbook g4, and sadly one of the screws stripped when I tried to take it out. You can see it in the picture below. The other 2 came out just fine, so I'm not sure what I did wrong. View attachment 946454

I've attempted a few different methods to get it out (rubber bands, different screwdriver heads, super glue) and so far I've only managed to strip the screw further. I'm really not sure what to do from here. It's so small and in such a weird spot that I can't really get at it with pliers and I don't have a dremel. Any help would be appreciated!
it looks like the top is above the bracket. Get some needle nose pliers and use them
 
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