Help Opening 2011 MBP Case!

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,572
14,065
Central U.S.
I have a 15" early 2011 BTO 2.2 with SSD.

I'm not a noob when it comes to this stuff, I've built several PC's and upgraded the ram and hdd on my pre-unibody 2008 MBP. But for the life of me I can't get the bottom panel off!

Every video I've watched it just pops right off. I've removed every bottom screw. It's almost like it's stuck in the center underneath. I can get my fingers around every edge, but it still won't go! I mean, I don't want to apply too much force and bend or break something on my new $2000 laptop. I'm trying to upgrade my ram. But it's almost like it's glued down. Does anyone else have experience with this problem and can tell me what to do? It's so weird! It should just pop right off, but it's not at all. Not even close.

Yes, I've triple checked every screw.

Thanks!
 

altecXP

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2009
1,115
1
I'm not a noob when it comes to this stuff, I've built several PC's and upgraded the ram and hdd on my pre-unibody 2008 MBP. But for the life of me I can't get the bottom panel off!

Every video I've watched it just pops right off. I've removed every bottom screw. It's almost like it's stuck in the center underneath. I can get my fingers around every edge, but it still won't go! I mean, I don't want to apply too much force and bend or break something on my new $2000 laptop. I'm trying to upgrade my ram. But it's almost like it's glued down. Does anyone else have experience with this problem and can tell me what to do? It's so weird! It should just pop right off, but it's not at all. Not even close.

Yes, I've triple checked every screw.

Thanks!
I typically have to apply a but of force the first time it comes off when upgrading RAM on new machines at work. I just give the back area by the exhaust vents a quick yank up and it pops off.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,572
14,065
Central U.S.
I started there, and no help. They do say this though:

Easily removable bottom panel and readily accessible battery connector allow for easy repair of most components without touching the battery screws.
Haha, yeah right!

I have the new model. That's how I did it on my old one, though.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,572
14,065
Central U.S.
I typically have to apply a but of force the first time it comes off when upgrading RAM on new machines at work. I just give the back area by the exhaust vents a quick yank up and it pops off.
Does it seem like they are stuck in the very center? I'm afraid to give it a yank up, but if it is tricky the first time.

I was just wondering if something to do with the SSD BTO models had something stuck there.

I'm a student and the idea of breaking this thing makes me want to die. My wife would also kill me!
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,572
14,065
Central U.S.
Well, I took the advice, yanked the hell out of it, and boy did that take some force. Made a loud rattle too that woke up the wife. Everything seems to be ok.

That was not fun at all. My heart is racing,

Well thanks for the replies. I guess I just got a tight model?
 

slumpey326

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2010
479
1
Florida
Well, I took the advice, yanked the hell out of it, and boy did that take some force. Made a loud rattle too that woke up the wife. Everything seems to be ok.

That was not fun at all. My heart is racing,

Well thanks for the replies. I guess I just got a tight model?


which video above does the new 2011 macbook pro bottom look like, there are various videos listed which shows different bottoms. Just trying to find the exact video to follow.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,572
14,065
Central U.S.
which video above does the new 2011 macbook pro bottom look like, there are various videos listed which shows different bottoms. Just trying to find the exact video to follow.
I'm pretty sure that any model newer than late 2009 is the same. They are all unibody with internal battery only.

Well, I'm back responding from my now 8GB system.

What really pisses me off though is that I had kept the screws arranged around the outer edges so I could put them back in the same slot. But then with all the fiddling around and precautions the thing slid back far enough that the magnet on the top of the LCD caught a screw and proceded to grind it into the aluminum while I was working. I mean, it's not a terrible scratch, but there are two light scratches about 1/4" long on the top left edge now.

Dammit. Oh well. I try to take such good care of my stuff.
 

jimmueller

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2002
30
0
NJ
Well, I took the advice, yanked the hell out of it, and boy did that take some force. Made a loud rattle too that woke up the wife. Everything seems to be ok.

That was not fun at all. My heart is racing,

Well thanks for the replies. I guess I just got a tight model?
Had exactly the same problem and fear with our new 2011 ThunderBooks. Once I read your post and steeled myself, I applied some force and the backs popped off. There appear to be two small tabs that pop into clips to hold the flat bottom surface tightly against the spring-loaded metal pins that I suspect are thermal contacts.

Now that Apple actually shows how to upgrade their laptops' hardware, this sort of non-trivial literal sticking point should be in the manual.
But all is well now.
 

Miss Terri

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2010
410
0
US East Coast
I realize you already have it off, but maybe this will help when you go to put it back on. I just removed the back cover of my 2010 13" MBP the other day. While Apple's how-to just said to basically take out the screws and take the back cover off, iFixit's said this for the 13":

Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

This worked, and for re-installation I did the reverse, slide forward... then fit it back down.

I just looked and for the mid-2010 15" MBP they say this:

Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

So not just a plain lift.

Maybe this will help when you go to put it back together (I did not see the instructions for the back cover of the 2011, but it seems like it is likely to be the same.)
 
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