Laptop repair – replace keyboard on a 2006 model completely dead Macbook

You can skip this if you just want to read my writings in the holyland and are not a geek or want help fixing a portable computer.   I make these guides based on things I have learned from repair work I have done.  If its useful or you would like to ask me any questions feel free to do so at the bottom:

This was quite fun, first time I fixed an Apple laptop!

One of the worship team at my church had this Apple laptop which had accident involving a liquid spill, not too much, but enough to mean part of the keyboard was paralysed, and then the whole thing would no longer switch on.

Given the high cost of new Apple computers and servicing them requires a Genius bar (a specialist Apple centre with a silly name), so I thought I might be able to help.

Turns out there are quite a few damaged keyboards on ebay for Macbooks similar to this one, this one was made 2006.   Also the power switch is part of the keyboard assembly, so in the event the keyboard circuitry is defective the whole computer will not switch on.

So at the risk it might not completely fix the computer I asked if she wanted me to get a replacement keyboard, the price for the brand new part of US$60 from ebay from a seller in Singapore seemed good, just a 2 1/2 week wait for the parts to arrive.

The keyboard assembly comes as a whole plastic palm rest, keyboard and touch pad, including the power switch.   Strangely there only one cable that connects the whole thing to the Mac’s innards, your average Dell Inspiron has about 4 wires holding the keyboard, touchpad and power lights etc.   Also unusually, the Mac doesn’t have any lights for battery meter, power in, etc.

I took some time to look on Youtube and see how this 2006 Macbook comes apart, its quite different but pretty simple.

I used this 1 Shekel coin as pictured to twist the knob to allow the battery to be free.   Inside the gap where the battery was, is where we need to work next, you have to remove 3 screws holding an L shaped bracket, once this is off there are levers inside to remove the memory, there are more screws to come out, but taking all of them out is not necessary.

As its seems there was no moisture got into the body of the computer, it seemed hopeful, although there were some small broken bits of plastic where someone had been a bit rough with opening the case and broke innard pieces of the old keyboard palm rest whilst installing a bigger hard disk.

Really, by looking at the underside of the new keyboard assembly, there are metal chassis parts with holes in which are actually quite obvious which screws have to removed, including three more underneath and two by the DVD slot, and four on the back (note they are all different sizes) then with a spludger (plastic prising tool) you can lever the bad keyboard out and gently remove the cable.    The new one is just put in place with the keyboard attached, and then refit all the screws and fixings, and put the battery back in!

Pressed the power button and the screen lit up with the familiar ‘glong’ sound, its alive!  I have left the protective film on the palm rest.  The owner seemed pretty pleased to have it back working. 🙂

I would be happy to advise on laptop repair in exchange for tip or donations as I am a volunteer not paid doing IT systems admin and support for a Christian charity in Israel.   Feel to comment or ask if you would like some help. 🙂

2 comments on “Laptop repair – replace keyboard on a 2006 model completely dead Macbook

  1. I’m searching to get a competent author, extended time within this area. Outstanding article! Spooky/

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