Stripped screw in logic board

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ray8979, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. ray8979 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    I was trying to get to the heatsink of my 13" MacBook Pro (mid-2009) so I can change the thermal paste, and the last screw on the motherboard got stripped. It is the 3.9 mm phillips screw in the lower left hand corner, and I was using a #00 phillips screwdriver with it.

    Any ideas for removing it? This is a laptop I use for school so I would like to try to fix this issue with no collateral damage, if possibe. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. AlPlPlLE macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2012
    Go up a few sizes in screwdriver and press down and see if you can get it out like that. It shouldn't be torqued to much. Once you do, obviously replace the screw.
  3. Kaylor macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2011
    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    You could try laying a rubber band onto the screwhead and try turning very slowly with lots of pressure. A lot of the time this is enough friction to get the stripped screw to turn and get it out. Replace it with a new one afterward
  4. exomoons macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2013
    You could try superglue the Phillips head to the screw and unscrew it once the glue is set.
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    If that doesn't work then a drill used VERY lightly on a very slow speed will work :).
  6. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    This does not work as I said in a similar thread about the same issue, the surface area is way to small for Superglue to work.
    Believe me, I worked a lot with that stuff, the bigger the surface the better it works, this is too tiny a surface for superglue to work it's magic.

    The elastic band or drilling is a better option.
  7. Freestar007 macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2007
    This may sound a little out there, but I had excellent result using a Dremel tool and a *thin* grinding disk to cut a flathead channel across the screw head. I did this on a logic board screw for an 4gen iPod, so we are talking tiny screws. I was thrilled with the results as I thought there was no hope with the stripped head (was actually stripped when I opened it up, stripped by the factory I guess). Just hover the disc right over the head and get it lined up perpendicular, then lower the entire tool slowly (don't tilt/angle it). Just get it deep enough that you get good purchase with a driver and don't strip it further.
  8. ray8979 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Just wanted to do an update - I ended up taking the laptop to a local shop, where the guy considered using a dremmel, but then decided the screw cap was too thin, and instead soldered another screw on top of my screw. He ended up removing the stripped screw that way.
  9. -tunes- macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2013
    Thanks for coming back and updating. Now I have a second way to remove screws in the future!

    I was going to suggest what "Freestar007" also suggested. I have removed stripped screws in the past using the metal cutting blade that comes with the Dremel Moto Tool. All you do is slice a cut across the top of the screw and use a flat head screw driver to remove it. That cutting blade is pretty handy for lots of cutting jobs. I buy the large packs because I go through so many of them. They wear down pretty quick.

    In my case I had a screw strip on the AirPort/BlueTooth module riser. The screw was recessed so using the Dremel wasn't an option.

    I was really concerned about trying it but I went ahead and purchased the 12 Piece Screw Remover And Quick Change Bit Set from Harbor Freight. The smallest size screw removing bit seemed much too large for the head of the 3.9mm Phillips screw that was stripped.

    I could have found a smaller bit but it would have meant ordering something online and no local stores had anything. The online suppliers had great kits but they were large sets which were expensive. Not getting the screw out would have meant removing all the items I had just installed and waiting with the hopes that they would work. I didn't want to do that. (Foolishly impatient).

    Oddly enough though it did work and was pretty quick. Got it on the first try.

    Here is the bit set I used:

    Maybe this will help someone else.

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