One of the things I really enjoy about repairing computers is finding
safe ways to speed up the repair process. While I’ll always follow the
Apple service manuals to a T, the first few times I take apart a new
machine, most experienced technicians would agree that there is usually
extraneous information in the service manuals and that there are always
shortcuts to be found.
A little over a year ago, I heard through the grapevine that some
technicians were replacing LCDs on MacBooks (the polycarbonate kind,
not the new solid aluminum ones) without removing the top case. I had
already gotten to the point where I was replacing them without removing
the entire display assembly, which is how the official take-apart
prescribes it, but not removing the top case sounded pretty cool!
Always up for a challenge, I decided to try it out, and by
collaborating with my team of technicians, we were able to come up with
a solution that knocked what can often be a 45 minute-plus repair down
to 8-10 minutes.
Recently, I was helping out in the South Burlington store and I
overheard the other technicians talking about a rumor that they heard
about this LCD-replacement trick; they were debating whether or not it
was a hoax. When I admitted that I often replace the LCDs without
removing the top case I was asked to show them how, so I made a
recording of how to do it.
This repair does take a decent amount of skill so I want to be sure to
say that I don’t recommend average users try this at home; in fact I
don’t recommend that any non-certified Apple Technicians fiddle with
this unless you’re OK with potentially breaking an inverter board, LCD
or clutch cover. It should also be reiterated that this is not the
Apple-sanctioned way of replacing the LCD, so even certified
technicians should proceed carefully.