Stripped Screw

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Xtreambar, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Xtreambar macrumors regular

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    Aug 2, 2006
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    Washington, DC
    #1
    I have a mid-2006 Macbook and have never tried to do any tinkering on the inside except for installing some RAM. Whenever I had any trouble in the past, I took the machine into the Apple Store. Now that my Applecare warranty is up, I figured that I can crack it open to do some repairs regarding my fan without voiding my warranty. Alas, it seems that someone on Apple's end stripped a screw / put it in improperly. Now, I cannot get it out. The screw in question is the center screw in this picture (from iFixit, not my Macbook): [​IMG]

    All other screws in the tear down came out easily except for this one. Dammit. What should I do? It is too late to point fingers at Apple because I have no proof that I wasn't the numbskill who did this. It is just such a small screw... I'd just like to remove it somehow!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    How badly is it stripped? Sometimes you can get a mildly stripped screw out by applying a lot (a LOT) of pressure and turning very slowly.
     
  3. Xtreambar thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I'd have to say, "mostly stripped". I can barely get any leverage when I use my mini-screwdrivers and it just slips and makes the problem worse.
     
  4. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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  5. Xtreambar thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Pull it out with sheers? Wouldn't they just snip off the head?
     
  6. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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    #6
    It doesn't snip off the head. They can't get through the screw, but they can always get in the space between the head and what it is being screwed to.
     
  7. Xtreambar thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    So, I would take the sheers, catch under the screw, and try to turn or pull out straight out?
     
  8. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #8
    Do you mean the head of the screw is worn so your screwdriver slips? The threading on the screw is fine? I would try a small but good needle nose plier and carefully grab the head and screw the thing out that way. Just be very patient and go slow. It will come out if you have the right pliers. Getting the proper screw to go in its place may be the harder thing.
     
  9. Xtreambar thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 2, 2006
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    #9
    Err, I guess stripped may then be the wrong turn of phrase. The screw was inserted improperly and the notches in the top of the screw are worn out from the screwdriver slipping.
     
  10. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #10
    No, stripped is the correct description for that.

    Your best bets are either the tool LA Rossmann listed or getting a sharp, fine file and scoring a deep flat-head groove through the screw to allow a flathead screwdriver to work (which can be risky and split the head of the screw if you go too far).
     
  11. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #11
    Another method I've heard of, but never used myself is putting a tiny drop of crazy glue on the tip of the screwdriver and gluing it to the screw. Once the crazy glue hardens you can then turn it without it slipping. Afterward soak the screw/screwdriver in either acetone or nail polish remover to dissolve the crazy glue.
     
  12. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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    #12
    Yes. It's quick.
     
  13. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #13
    Not all screwdrivers are created equal, if you can try a different Phillips screwdriver of the size required. Some are made from harder types of metal and as such retain their shape better which may be useful in this situation. Also some Phillips screwdrivers are pointier than others, this may also be helpful for getting the troublesome screw out. Lastly, if you can try a tiny standard screwdriver as they can fit into the Phillips opening and may also work for getting the screw out.
     
  14. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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  15. enjoyingmylife macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    #15
    @ l.a.rossmann

    Thanks for your advice, I have the same problem. I have two further questions:

    1) will pulling out the screw with the shearcutters not strip the threading?

    2) which Wiha screwdriver do you recommend?

    Thanks again,
    -J
     
  16. chengek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
    Location:
    san francisco
    #16
    Stripped Screw

    I stripped Phillips00 screw heads (3.5mm wide) while trying to replace the left fan of my 2008 MBPro Unibody late 2008 version. The screws were extremely tight and using the recommended tool from ifixit, the screw heads stripped. Ifixit recommended using a rubber band over the screw head. It worked for 2 of the 3 screws. Superglue, another recommended technique, did not work for the 3rd screw either. I found Micrograbit 1257P from aldn.com, a screw extractor for 3mm bolts. It worked like a charm pleasing a small child. It cost me $9.95. I could have purchased a set of 4 sizes and the individual cost would have been much cheaper, but I needed this done right away. So, if all else fails, give Micrograbit a try. There may be others on the market that work, however, I only tried this brand. The point is: a screw extractor can save you in this situation. Make sure you can clean off the fine shaving that accumulate when drilling. Honestly I think it was less potentially damaging to the motherboard than the other methods, because I didn't have to exert as much downward force putting the motherboard at risk for damage as I used when trying to extract the screws using the other methods.
     

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