HELP! Stripped a screw on the new iMac

MatrixPrime

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 20, 2007
102
0
So I just got my new iMac last week, its my very first Mac, and I'm loving it. I'm loving it so much that I decided to buy some more RAM for it today....which turned out not to work in the machine for some reason, despite the fact that it was branded as working for the intel Mac (and had the same specs as the factory memory). Anyways, in the process of removing, attaching, removing and attaching the memory door on the bottom of the machine, I've now stripped the head on the screw. It isn't so stripped that I can't remove the door now, but all I can do is just start the screw, and then it just stops dead and the screwdriver just turns inside the screw head. Does anyone know what size/type of screw this is? I want to replace it with a flathead screw, something that is a lot harder to strip.

Thanks.
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,945
180
Canada
So I just got my new iMac last week, its my very first Mac, and I'm loving it. I'm loving it so much that I decided to buy some more RAM for it today....which turned out not to work in the machine for some reason, despite the fact that it was branded as working for the intel Mac (and had the same specs as the factory memory). Anyways, in the process of removing, attaching, removing and attaching the memory door on the bottom of the machine, I've now stripped the head on the screw. It isn't so stripped that I can't remove the door now, but all I can do is just start the screw, and then it just stops dead and the screwdriver just turns inside the screw head. Does anyone know what size/type of screw this is? I want to replace it with a flathead screw, something that is a lot harder to strip.

Thanks.
just bring it (the stripped screw) to your local hardware store and they'll give you the right one. i do this alot for other stuff.
 

nfocus design

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2004
207
0
Texas
I almost stripped mine putting in my RAM. I got it off fine, but then had a hard time putting it back on. The center just wouldn't screw down flush. I kept trying to put it on, then took it off and tried again. I tried to unscrew the little screw by hand while I had the door off, but it didn't seem to be doing anyhting. Now that I finally got it back on, I hope I don't ever need to take it off again.
 

mrmjd

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
121
0
Are you guys using the wrong size screw drivers or crappy bits?


Can someone post an upclose pic of this screw?
I've actually heard of someone else doing this too on these boards, so I think the screws on the new iMacs seem a bit soft.....Just be very, very careful unscrewing and make sure you use the right head for the screwm hopefully this should prevent this issue
 

johnmcboston

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2005
396
5
Boston
Are you guys using the wrong size screw drivers or crappy bits?
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only idiot having this problem. :) I slightly stripped mine as well. I sat there with my collection of micro tools to try and remove this thing without causing damage. I think the screw was installed with pneumatic tools it was so hard to loosen the thing up.

An interesting bit in the 'manual' included hints that the Mac won't run without this access panel installed. I wonder if the screw hits a micro switch in there, of if the manual is bogus and is just trying to be safe...
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
0
Denver, CO
im guessing, from taking apart my PBs numerous times, that there is a blue dot on the threads of the screw (might be a different color) this dot is a small amount of loctite, which prevents the screw from working itself out due to the vibrations of something like the fan. this can make it more difficult to install or remove the screw (but at least your screw wont fall out on its own). removing and reinstalling the screw once or twice is usually no problem, but the excess friction from removing the screw numerous times has a tendency to break down the loctite which will result in the screw being more difficult to install or remove. a solution is to clean off the screw and apply a new drop of loctite (very small drop as the screws are probably very small themselves) the loctite when first applied acts as a bit of a lubricant as you insert the screw, but as the screw remains installed the loctite sets and the screw will not want to move anymore.

as a general comment, I am surprised apple went with the design of having screws. i would have expected some sort of spring-loaded 1/4 twist retention device similar to what is used to hold in the batteries on the portables.
 

johnmcboston

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2005
396
5
Boston
as a general comment, I am surprised apple went with the design of having screws. i would have expected some sort of spring-loaded 1/4 twist retention device similar to what is used to hold in the batteries on the portables.
Profile. This is a very tiny screw, for a very tiny plate. If you've ever seen memory, the slot isn't much bigger. I'm not sure they could make spring-loaded that small. Although interesting, it's easier to strip a phillips head than a slotted head... Were I not in a rush the other day I would have taken some photos...
 

wakerider017

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2006
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US of A
im guessing, from taking apart my PBs numerous times, that there is a blue dot on the threads of the screw (might be a different color) this dot is a small amount of loctite, which prevents the screw from working itself out due to the vibrations of something like the fan. this can make it more difficult to install or remove the screw (but at least your screw wont fall out on its own). removing and reinstalling the screw once or twice is usually no problem, but the excess friction from removing the screw numerous times has a tendency to break down the loctite which will result in the screw being more difficult to install or remove. a solution is to clean off the screw and apply a new drop of loctite (very small drop as the screws are probably very small themselves) the loctite when first applied acts as a bit of a lubricant as you insert the screw, but as the screw remains installed the loctite sets and the screw will not want to move anymore.

as a general comment, I am surprised apple went with the design of having screws. i would have expected some sort of spring-loaded 1/4 twist retention device similar to what is used to hold in the batteries on the portables.

I use loctite all the time (I work on cars a lot)

In no way shape or form is loctite a lubricant... It is a threadlocker. If you put blue strength loctite on that screw I can guarantee you will never be able to get it out.

There may be some type of coating on the screws, but it is not blue strength loctite...
 

craig1410

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2007
1,121
838
Scotland
In no way shape or form is loctite a lubricant... It is a threadlocker. If you put blue strength loctite on that screw I can guarantee you will never be able to get it out.

There may be some type of coating on the screws, but it is not blue strength loctite...
I use loctite too (kit car builder) and I would disagree with your statement about it not being a lubricant. Threadlock dries in the absence of air and this process takes a finite amount if time. Before it dries it does act as a lubricant and helps the fastener to be fastened more smoothly. This is especially important to remember when torqueing up bolts because without some lubricant your torque figures will be inconsistent.

Cheers,
Craig.
 

MatrixPrime

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 20, 2007
102
0
well I took the screw to a local hardware as suggested, and got a new, and MUCH better screw. The head of the screw is actually bigger on the replacement, but you can't see it. Also got the correct screw driver for this screw, which is a #1.

If anyone needs to replace theirs, its a metric 3mm screw.
 

wakerider017

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2006
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US of A
I use loctite too (kit car builder) and I would disagree with your statement about it not being a lubricant. Threadlock dries in the absence of air and this process takes a finite amount if time. Before it dries it does act as a lubricant and helps the fastener to be fastened more smoothly. This is especially important to remember when torqueing up bolts because without some lubricant your torque figures will be inconsistent.

Cheers,
Craig.
You are correct in that tq specs can be inaccurate with out lube, but loctite thread locker is NOT a lube. You can contact loctite and ask them yourself.

I use ARP Moly Assembly Lube when I need to tq bolts with accuracy. (Head bolts would be a prime example)

Additionally what does fastener lube or tq accuracy have to do with the iMac screw?

People are complaining about striping them, so the solution is to put loctite on them so they will strip even more in the future?


P.S. Loctite dries in the PRESENCE of air... Or wouldn't it dry in the tube?
 

wakerider017

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2006
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well I took the screw to a local hardware as suggested, and got a new, and MUCH better screw. The head of the screw is actually bigger on the replacement, but you can't see it. Also got the correct screw driver for this screw, which is a #1.

If anyone needs to replace theirs, its a metric 3mm screw.
Did you get stainless?
 

bembol

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2006
1,023
24
It looks easy but I find it a bitch to Upgrade the RAM!

I thought I almost stripped it too but it was just stuck. I just picked up a Kingston 2GB RAM, running 3GB. I was thinking about picking up two but I think I'm going too far/spending, it's not like I'm running Software that NEEDS it.

BTW, it cost me $160 CAN, taxes-in.
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
0
Denver, CO
In no way shape or form is loctite a lubricant...

I agree, it is NOT a lubricant. and that is why i said
the loctite when first applied acts as a bit of a lubricant as you insert the screw, but as the screw remains installed the loctite sets and the screw will not want to move anymore.
so it acts like a lubricant b/c it makes inserting the screw easier, but it definitely does the job after the screw is inserted and as the loctite sets it will not allow the screw to turn.

I use loctite all the time (I work on cars a lot)

It is a threadlocker. If you put blue strength loctite on that screw I can guarantee you will never be able to get it out.

There may be some type of coating on the screws, but it is not blue strength loctite...
I work on cars too, more specifically jeeps :) I also work on computers and such electronics. There is a HUGE difference b/w the stuff loctite makes for cars as apposed to what they make for electronics. I agree, if you use car strength loctite on your iMac you might not ever get it apart. Go to you local electronics shop (radio shack, frys, wherever) and pick up some loctite there, its a very different grade and will work well with electronics and small screws which would be found in the iMac.
 

MatrixPrime

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 20, 2007
102
0
Type is not the same as the material it is made out of. Does it look like it was there in the first place?
Thats what I meant by type. Yes, it looks identical (aside from the larger sized head) to the factory screw.

As for length, I don't know, I just handed it to a guy at the local hardware and he found me one.
 

wakerider017

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2006
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I work on cars too, more specifically jeeps :) I also work on computers and such electronics. There is a HUGE difference b/w the stuff loctite makes for cars as apposed to what they make for electronics. I agree, if you use car strength loctite on your iMac you might not ever get it apart. Go to you local electronics shop (radio shack, frys, wherever) and pick up some loctite there, its a very different grade and will work well with electronics and small screws which would be found in the iMac.
I was not aware loctite made products for electronics.. Hmm. Good to know.

I just want to make sure know one runs to walmart and picks up some blue loctite and uses it on their computer.. haha. It would then be permanetley sealed.. lol

P.S. My friend is rebuilding a 86' CJ7
 

island

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2007
478
0
CT
Wow, didn't think I would see this topic here. I stripped mine on the first day and I have about 20 different sizes of phillips that I have tried at my PC shop. I called up Apple asking about what the deal was and they told me to bring the entire machine in for replacement instead of allowing me to get a new bottom piece or screw.

Took a week to find one in stock but they replaced the system for me just for that little piece and all I wanted was a chance to replace the screw! At least I know that it's a flaw on there side for putting in a wacky shaped/built screw.
 

stuff99

macrumors 6502
May 11, 2007
390
0
I almost stripped my screw too...the screw is very soft...

I dont know if I can open up the ram slot again if I decide to upgrade my ram again...
 

mrmjd

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
121
0
I agree, it is NOT a lubricant. and that is why i said so it acts like a lubricant b/c it makes inserting the screw easier, but it definitely does the job after the screw is inserted and as the loctite sets it will not allow the screw to turn.



I work on cars too, more specifically jeeps :) I also work on computers and such electronics. There is a HUGE difference b/w the stuff loctite makes for cars as apposed to what they make for electronics. I agree, if you use car strength loctite on your iMac you might not ever get it apart. Go to you local electronics shop (radio shack, frys, wherever) and pick up some loctite there, its a very different grade and will work well with electronics and small screws which would be found in the iMac.
It's crazy we're even having this conversation! I can't believe that we have to go to this trouble in taking a screw out and replacing it! Bad marks for Apple on this one! There should be a better mechanism than this :(