I had the opportunity of disassembling an older Macbook this spring. A friend of mine gave me her old laptop after I helped her set up her new laptop and transfer her files. I have been considering building my own desktop, but I have never messed around inside a computer before. I figured I need some experiencing handling sensitive electronic components without any pressure of breaking things, so getting an old unwanted laptop was perfect!
This model is a White Macbook from Mid-2010, known as model A1342. As help, I had iFixit’s teardown guide to follow.
Here is the laptop initially.
I started with removing the bottom plate, which was held in place by eight screws, Phillips #00 size.
We can see that it is all neatly packaged into the available space. In the upper left corner is the silver DVD drive, with the wi-fi antenna running across just above it. The bottom left black rectangle is the battery. To the right of the battery lies the hard drive, and above that are the RAM and CPU. In the very top middle you can spot the fan. The motherboard sits on the top left, surrounding the fan.
I began by removing the hard drive. You just have to remove the SATA cable that connects it to the motherboard, and a two-screw retaining bracket, and it comes right out.
Then the upper left corner is stripped. First the CD drive comes out, and with it the wi-fi antenna.
I then removed the fan:
Then the RAM cards were removed. They snapped right out of their slots from the motherboard. Knowing how to remove RAM was useful later when I upgraded RAM in my old laptop. Check that post out for more information.
Now only the motherboard and battery remain!
Removing the battery is a bit precarious, because you have to be careful when popping out the plug that connects to the motherboard, as there may be remaining charge in the battery that can shock you. If possible, use a grounding strap when removing the battery.
Finally, we get to the motherboard. I am always fascinated by circuit boards, and the amount of engineering that has gone into creating something so delicate and yet so useful. Removing the motherboard and being able to see what lies underneath was probably my favorite part of the entire process.
Turning over the motherboard we see the a bunch of components, and two green squares. These are the GPU and CPU of the computer. This model’s CPU ran at 2.26 GHz, which is pretty fast. However, clock speed is not a good indicator of the overall “fastness” of a computer. My current laptop is a Macbook Pro Mid 2012 and runs at 2.3 GHz, but runs way faster than those Late 2009 Macbooks. If you want a fast computer, make sure you have enough RAM (8 GB is usually enough) and an SSD drive.
With the screen detached nothing is really left in the main body of the laptop.
Here are all three chassis parts laid out in a row.
With the entire MacBook now dismantled, I tried to organize the pieces in a neat and orderly fashion:
I briefly considered trying to put the computer back together, but I’m pretty sure I accidentally snapped some crucial part early on. Now I know to be more careful next time, when it actually matters!
Hope you enjoyed, and thank you for reading!