Help me, I'm an idiot (Stripped threads on RAM compartment)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by choco6, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. choco6 macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    I recently bought an upgrade of RAM for my four year old Powerbook, which has slowed down considerably since I upgraded to Tiger. Anyways, I checked one of those "How to install RAM in your Mac" sites, and it said I would be needing a size #0 Phillips head screwdriver to remove the compartment. Well, I went out and bought that size screwdriver and it ended up stripping the threads on some of the screws.

    I know this was almost entirely my fault. Even if that site gave me the wrong information, I should have stopped after one screw. But I kept going, thinking it would work for at least one of them.

    Focus: How can I salvage this situation? Has anyone else dealt with this? I know there are some other posts on this topic, but I couldn't find any answers to my question.

    Like I said, I know what I did wrong, so it's not necessary to reply with things like, "You need to be more careful in the future." Or even worse, "Well, that size screwdriver worked for me." I don't need to hear that, I just want to find a solution. Any help is appreciated. Thanks guys.
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Drill out the screws. If they're really so stripped that all hope is lost for using the screwdriver. You were turning the correct way right? (Lefty Loosy/Righty Tighty)? Put a lot of weight on that screwdriver and slowly turn.

    Some people make upgrading RAM more difficult than it really is.
    Good luck man...
  3. choco6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    Yea, I was turning left. I'll give it another go, I'm just afraid I'll strip them even more than they already are. And I agree, I made this way harder on myself than it should have been. But thanks for your advice.
  4. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Seconded, but MAKE SURE you have the correct sized screwdriver first. Continuing with a too small one is just going to make it worse. Good luck!

    --also, make sure you don't use the same screws when you're done; hit a tech store near you and pick up new screws, they'll be pretty cheap (bring the stripped screws with you to ensure you get the right size/thread).
  5. choco6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    Awesome, thanks. I'll definitely keep that in mind.
  6. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I had the same thing happen to me. Apple really should not put those in so damn tight, many people have the problem. Here is what I did...

    Take laptop and place it so the memory door is facing up towards you in your lap. Take your #0 screw driver and press it down as hard as you can into the screw with the palm of your hand. This will hurt, but you gotta be strong. Take a wrench, and with your spare hand place it on the screw driver. While Pressing down as hard as you can, turn the grip the wrench and turn.

    This worked for me, not saying it will for you, but my screws were pretty stripped when I was done, and I managed to get them out.
  7. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    No offence meant, but if you can get in such a mess with a simple screwdriver, think of the damage potential when powertools are involved ;)
  8. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I completely agree, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
  9. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    I have to disagree with that advice. The desperate measure should be to bring it in to some techs and have them fix it. If you know what you are doing a drill will work out alright, but if you don't this will only make a bad thing worse. Part of knowing how to repair things is knowing when you've gone to the point where you will only make things worse without help.
  10. redsquash macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    What was the outcome.
    I will do the same thing next week on a powerbook 17 inch.
    I wonder, even though you bought the correct size screw driver is it of good quality.
    Was the handle big enough to get a good grip and generate alot of torque?

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