Self Mod Disaster - Update

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MisterSensitive, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. MisterSensitive, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    MisterSensitive macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2012
    #1
    Looking for some help and/or to serve as a cautionary tale.

    I already put 16G RAM and an SSD in my 15" MBP (late 2011). I was going to put a second drive in place of the optical using an OWC Data Doubler kit.

    Everything was going fine, but then I stripped a screw head for a screw that holds the optical drive in place (using the screw driver supplied by OWC in the kit). So now, I can't remove the optical drive. The MBP works fine, but I can't get the optical drive out. I could dremel out the screw, but I'm afraid I'll make a mess and I won't be able to keep metal shavings from causing other problems.

    For a tiny screw head such as this one, is there a proper tool for extracting a stripped screw? Happy to sacrifice the screw in the process of course.

    THanks.
     
  2. mexico macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    #2
    I am no stranger to stripped tiny screws in delicate electronics. (It all started with my PSP!) Trust me on this, you need to attempt solutions in degrees Anything involving a metal tool at this point is a higher degree. First try putting some thin piece of rubber or cloth on the screw and then place the screwdriver. This may give it enough traction to break the screw loose. This has only worked for me once, but you could also take some strong glue and using a toothpick *very carefully* apply a dab of glue to only the top of the screw. Then hold the screwdriver to the screw and give it a bit of time to cure. Another thing that worked for me once was to take a plastic screwdriver (I got one in a model kit once, you could also use any thin plastic rod found in a plastic model kit or at a hobby shop.) hold a lighter under it and get it melty and quickly jab it onto the screw to form it.

    If all else fails you could still try the dremel but you will need to isolate the area around it somehow. Good luck and be very very very careful.

    *p.s. don't sue me if you mess it up.*
     
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #3
    To add, if you do end up doing something that creates metal shavings or something, have another person hold a powerful vacuum cleaner next to the screw as you attempt to drill it out. That way, the shavings should be sucked up instantly.
     
  4. MisterSensitive thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2012
    #4
    I tried the intermediary membrane to no avail.

    I like your glue idea and I totally appreciate your incremental approach.

    Thanks so much.
     
  5. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

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    May 1, 2009
    #5
    Instead of a dremel, why not get a very sharp and pointy small knife and just slowly scratch yourself a groove/ridge (yes this will take time) and then try to loosen the screw with a screwdriver?

    If a dremel is what I think it is, I'd try anything before using power tools in there.
     
  6. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #6
    A chainsaw should do the trick. Just don't apply too much pressure!
     
  7. bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Excellent suggestion, I was going to say use a high power magnet but I think a vacuum is a better idea.
     
  8. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #8
    Yeah, you don't want to use a magnet anywhere near a computer, especially with it opened up! :eek:

    Then you have to figure the screwdriver will likely be metal and the magnet would interfere with you trying to use it.
     
  9. Abhorred macrumors member

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    #9
    Just be careful with vacuums around computer magnetic disks - they can potentially create static electricity. Here's a guide to grounding one's vac that was posted on Tom's Hardware forums some time ago: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/290794-10-grounding-vacuum-cleaner
     
  10. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

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    #10
    On the glue idea. Get an Allen key about the circumference of the screw but a little smaller. Place the glue on the flat tip and glue the Allen key to the entire screw head. Then you'll have quite a large surface glued, all things considered, you can then twist the key and just scrape off the screw and glue if successful. Just don't put too much otherwise it'll spread off the top of the screw head creating more problems.
     
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #11
    Is the screw flush with the mount (ie like the case screws) or is the head above (like the hdd mounting screws)? If above, I used pliers once to twist it out
     
  12. Jeff3f macrumors member

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    Nov 12, 2010
    #12
    with bigger screws there are specialty screwdriver bits (Craftsman "screw out" is great)--these dig into the screw head and get traction.

    If it comes to drilling out the screw (and potentially re-tapping), this would be a situation I would break down and request a "professional" repair. I wouldn't hand dremel myself, not unless I really didn't care about the computer.
     
  13. bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Why is that? Unless you're using an old floppy disk it should be no problem.
     
  14. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #14
    Although this person has an SSD, if someone else with a regular [magnetic] HDD read this thread and didn't know better, they could potentially damage the data on their HDD.
     
  15. bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    #15
    It takes a very powerful magnet to do such a thing from the outside of a HDD - considering that the HDD has powerful magnets inside of it already.
     
  16. MisterSensitive thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2012
    #16
    The screw is in a recessed position, actually below the surface, so sadly, those options are not available.

    I like the chainsaw idea. Maybe I'll test it on a Windows machine first. :)

    I also might look into compressed air rather than a vaccum. Yes, directionality is critical, but at least there's no electromagnetic field.

    And DukeBound, looks like you're going to my alma mater. Don't worry, most students aren't nearly as ham-fisted w tiny screwdrivers.

    ----------

    There actually are screw extractors for tiny screws such as these. Based on the preponderance of advice in this thread so far (and thanks so much!), that will be plan "F." I'm going to sleep on it, then look to the glue/allen wrench plan next.
     
  17. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

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    #17
    If you decide to drill it out, do it in a bench mounted drill so you can come straight down on it. With a handheld you will make a hash of it.
     
  18. MisterSensitive thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Good point, and I have a drill press, so that's a possibility. I just need to drink a six pack of beer first, to settle my nerves.:)
     
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #19
    Alcohol + power tools + expensive Mac= a disaster!
     
  20. lindskogaren macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2009
    #20
    I suggest that you use masking tape and paper if you are going to attempt to drill the screw (which is a reasonable idea). Mask as much as you can and then apply some masking tape "sticky side up" around the screw. The metal dust will stick to the tape.
     
  21. Cisco_Kid macrumors 6502

    Cisco_Kid

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    #21
  22. MisterSensitive thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
  23. MisterSensitive thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Good idea, and I've got rolls of that wide blue tape.

    If I go this route, I'll use the tape method.

    Thanks
     
  24. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Don't be silly - it's just about the best combination a man can come up with! :cool:

    Glad you liked the chainsaw idea OP! Perhaps the most useful tool for an electronics device ;) second to that, I've personally had great experience removing tiny screws with a pneumatic hammer drill.

    Could we get a photo of the damage, anyway?
     
  25. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

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    #25
    Don't you run the risk of slipping using either of these methods? I would have thought a small piece of carefully-positioned plastic explosive would be safer.
     

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