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Two Laptops and Three Fans

ohinds8 -

MacBook Unibody Model A1278

MacBook Unibody Model A1278 Fan Replacement

MacBook Unibody Model A1278 Fan Replacement

5 - 10 minuten


Mijn probleem

The fan in my early 2011 MacBook Pro had been making an unusual noise for a while, but, since my temperature and fan monitoring software seemed to be indicating that it was still functioning normally, I hoped that it was just something caught in the fan and carried on as usual. Then, one night last week, the fan's symptoms graduated from "extra noise" to "laptop seems to be in the process of shaking itself to pieces". I saved, quit, shutdown, and opened up the back to see if I could clean the inside (pretty much the extent of my hardware repair experience at the time). I powered the computer back up... and then quickly shut it down again, as the vibration seemed, if anything, worse.

Mijn oplossing

My first thought was to look for an Apple Store. One was found, but the soonest bus to it wouldn't be for hours. As I expected that they'd take time and money I'd rather not spend, I looked for other options. I found a local repair shop that might have been able to do it, but that was a bit of a walk away and might not have been able to do it much sooner or more cheaply than the Apple Store. I [i]did[/i] consider repairing it myself, but, after all, I thought, then I'd probably have to wait even longer for a new fan to arrive; the shops might at least already have one in stock. Then I also remembered that my landlord had an old and nonfunctional MacBook Pro down in the basement workshop. I checked it and found, happily, that it was the same model as mine (though, as I later found out, a late 2012 one). The idea of repairing my own computer now seemed more feasible. I checked with my landlord and found that the computer had failed due to a software problem; sure enough, the fan ought to be fine. The workshop also had, I thought, all the tools I would need, and I already had a screwdriver that could take the back of my computer off. There was only one complication (at this stage): my landlord hoped to get the laptop up and running again at [i]some[/i] point, so just leaving it with a hole where the fan should be wasn't acceptable. That's where the order that lead to this repair came in. That day (after a bit of an adventure, which is something of another story, trying to find a spudger), I opened up both computers, took out both fans, and put the working fan in my laptop (after a few moments of concerned research when it turned out that the fans were from different manufacturers). The backs went back on (along with, on the donor computer, a label warning of the lack of a fan), the moment of truth came... and my laptop powered up beautifully smooth and quietly, with the monitoring software indicating a nice cool idle. My first big repair wen off without a hitch... at least in the actual repair process.

I've not put the new fan in the old laptop yet, but, since I don't expect difficulty with that after my earlier success and, more to the point, being unsure when I'll be able to see if that installation worked (due to the aforementioned software problems), I thought I'd type this story up now.

Mijn advies

Before starting this, I was [i]tremendously[/i] intimidated. Me? Such an amateur, open up my precious laptop and actually fiddle about with the screws and plugs inside? Surely I'd slip at the wrong moment and let out all the magic smoke the computer gnomes use to do their miraculous work! Well, that didn't happen. I followed Ifixit's instructions, and, once I had the proper tools (the workshop has a nice set of Ifixit screwdrivers, among other tools, but the Quest for the Spudger...), the repair went tremendously easily. And this was, as I recall, listed as being of moderate difficulty. While I naturally hope that my electronics don't break, I now feel a lot more confident about my ability to at least not irreparably damage them by looking at the insides the wrong way. And, of course, my laptop was back up and running in less than two days, without ever being let out of my possession and with the monetary cost being only that of the new fan (and the spudger; I know I keep bringing that up, but, for a rod of plastic with a flat bit on the end, it was surprisingly difficult to find). So, the advice, I suppose... don't be afraid to open your technology up just because you're pretty much a total amateur. Do your research, certainly, and be careful, but this sort of thing really can be done without lots of prior experience or the appropriate corporate nametag.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody and MacBook 13" Unibody Fan afbeelding
MacBook Pro 13" Unibody and MacBook 13" Unibody Fan


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