My MacBook Pro Fell... (Not fixable :( )

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by applekid, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I left my MacBook Pro to watch TV using EyeTV Hybrid on my dresser on a Griffin Elevator (the laptop stand). I went to the bathroom, hear a huge thud, and I find my Mac Book Pro on the ground with half the screen all jacked up. I have tons of vertical color lines. Not to mention, the casing at the corner of the hard drive has popped open as well as the left side of the bezel. I have literally half the screen working which I'm using to type from right now.

    What I need help with right now is how do I go about opening up the MacBook Pro and fixing what appears to be a loose video cable and fix this dent on the left corner. The hinge feels a little loose so I have some concerns before closing the laptop and doing a disassembly. Should I just follow the iFixIt guides?
  2. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2008
    Plymouth, MI
    I'd follow the guide(s) at for the screen.

    For the screen, I wouldn't say it's a loose video cable, that's the kind of symptoms that happen when an LCD falls and doesn't crack. I mean check the cable, but I'd be willing to bet it's the actual display that's messed up. I'd just look for one on eBay, should be able to find one at a reasonable price. Or just retire your MBP as a laptop and hook it up to an external monitor permanently.:eek::(

    As for the being popped open at the corner where the hard drive is - I have the exact same issue. Mine fell and was suddenly popped open. To remedy the situation, I have "nicely cut" strips of packing tape holding my MBP closed for now. To fix it, you'll need to replace the whole trackpad/palm rest assembly. There are tabs that come off those, that the side screws screw into, more than likely, as on mine, upon falling, the tabs snapped off. I can weld, and I considered welding the tabs back on, but it's all so small and delicate, I don't think it'd be possible without screwing something up.

    Good luck..
  3. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Brings tears to my eyes :(

    I hope you can fix it. Would it be too expensive to bring it into a shop for repair?
  4. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004

    I know you can get the replacement hinges on there for like 60 bucks. My buddy did it.

    Check the cable, but more likely you'll need an LCD too.
  5. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Well, I almost finished disassembling everything last night, but the top left hinge uses a Torx screw which isn't coming off easily. It would help if I had a T6 Torx screwdriver, of course ;) I got everything else unscrewed including other Torx screws except for that left hinge, so I'm going to have to buy a tool later in the day.

    I think a shop would be expensive or at least not worth the price. I'd rather use a headless MacBook Pro at this point since everything else appears to be working. Maybe the hard drive will need a replace later since it landed on the left side.

    Can't say I'm too optimistic about the LCD myself. I've broken a few LCD's in my life, but this is the first time I didn't manage to actually crack the LCD :) I'm hoping something is wrong with the internal wiring because it's literally just the left half that's busted. I got vertical lines and a some static on the left. Hopefully it's fixable.

    If the LCD is broken, I think I'll just pick up an external display although the prices on eBay sound reasonable ($100-$200). But I'm seeing photos of PowerBook displays, and not MacBooks so I'm just a bit iffy on that. I don't carry my MacBook Pro anywhere besides between school and home, so I think an external LCD might be better. Maybe I'll try to make it into a tablet later in life :)

    One question, when you power on the MacBook Pro while its naked, it is normal for it to shut down, right? It's stuck at the Apple logo screen with the spinning wheel for a while, but then shuts off on its own. I assume it's to prevent overheating, right?

    Thanks for comments, folks. Glad I'm not the only one that has suffered from such a major MacBook Pro drop. :eek:
  6. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I reassembled most of the MBP and took off the back cover of the display to try to fiddle with things. I touched the part where there's a white strip that says "Don't Touch," and I see colors flicker on the half of the screen that's broken. I assume the circuit board broke since that's what the white strip covers, but any hope in me being able to fix it on my own?

    The hinge assembly on the MBP is remarkable. The hinges are held down by two Torx screws on each end and that's it! It feels so sturdy for four screws.
  7. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    you'll most likely need a new LCD panel. the cable running to the panel from the computer is rarely damaged.
  8. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I guess there's not much left for me to do. I'm reassembling everything, packing everything up, and taking the MBP home. I'm going to have to buy an LCD this week (luckily there's lots of $100 LCD's this Black Friday) and use a headless MBP (or try to adapt to living with half the screen space).
  9. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If possible, take your computer to a store and ask to try it with a display before you buy one to "make sure it works with the computer" (you will really be making sure the computer works of course ;)), it's better than not being sure.
  10. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    Its cool how you see peoples forums on here that say how it fell or was dropped, yet there is just a little screen damage. And if you look at pc forums, i see a lot where they just break apart or shatter lol. Mine fell bout 4ft. off a sound booth shelf and there isnt a scratch or problem with it:D. I also here having a hard case like I have works great in a fall, even though the fall was what prompted me to get a case.
  11. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm curious to a picture of the setup you had when it fell. I can't imagine it was too safe.
  12. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I guess not. I had been using this setup just for TV viewing for the last few months, but I'm not sure what went wrong. I usually leave my MBP on my desk otherwise. There was about 6 inches of space between the Elevator and the edge of the dresser. I put my MacBook Pro far back enough on the Elevator to not slip or slide. I know for a fact if you put it on the edge the thing will let the MacBook Pro fall off. Nothing else was on my dresser except for my Brita pitcher but that was off to the side. Dorm life sucks. :p

    I think we are all fortunate that Apple uses an aluminum body for the MacBooks now. I imagine those poor PC laptops that shatter only break because of the cheap plastic casing.

    The displays I saw will be fine. They all use DVI inputs. Not a problem. Just a matter of grabbing one Friday morning.


    I'm either having heat issues or hard drive issues now. The MBP likes to not get past the Apple logo at bootup. I hear the fans power off first then the laptop shuts off. I assumed it was heat issues because they went away when I screwed in the RAM cover while the laptop was still disassembled otherwise. After I reassembled everything, the laptop went back to shutting off in the middle of bootup. Hard drive issues? Booting up just takes a while although booting up from a disc was also lengthy. Looks like I have to open up everything AGAIN...

    Obviously I'm going to go home and backup everything assuming I can get my MBP to boot up. I think the life expectancy on this machine just got shortened, so I figure I'll use the computer labs at school and take the old iBook G3 from when my sister was in college so I can print for free in my dorm. The labs are really nice at least. The latest 20" iMacs with all of the professional software you could imagine. Unfortunately, I only code through the Terminal for my computer science courses, so all of those apps won't be getting much use by me ;) My other option is headless MacBook Pro assuming I can make the laptop usable again and hopefully get one of the cheap LCD displays this Friday. The most expensive option is to buy a new Mac if Apple has a good deal this Friday. A MacBook is just out of my price range unless we see hundreds of dollars in discounts. On the other hand a discounted Mac Mini might be workable. I was thinking about getting a replacement screen, but they don't include the housing and iSight and everything else. It was painful enough to disassemble the MacBook Pro. After seeing the innards of the displays, I'm not sure I want to do further disassembling of that.
  13. dogbait macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Not all plastic is created equally. Thinkpads are made of plastic but feel like mini-paving slabs. Drop a Thinkpad and you'll be worrying about the floor more than the notebook.
  14. bki122689 macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2008

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