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MacBooks and Water don't mix (not well, anyway)

eriklscott -

MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261

MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 Keyboard Replacement

MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 Keyboard Replacement


Mi Problema

MacBook Pro, 17". Tall, cool glass of water. Cats. Bad combination. The keyboard started failing rapidly from right to left as the water spread out more.

Mi Solucion

I tried to repair the keyboard, instead of just replacing it. Immediately hit it with the hair dryer and tried to dry it out. No luck. Disassembly is exactly what the repair guides show - no surprises. I already had a T6 Torx screwdriver from other projects, and a collection of small "jewler's" screwdrivers. I removed the keyboard, ignored warnings that the keyboard itself isn't servicable, and started peeling layers off the back. All but the last layer comes off pretty easily. Naturally, the problem is the disolved gunk between the two inner-most layers. After some messing around with it, I decided there was no way to get that far in there and not just tear the thing up. I happened to have a donated, totally-dead 15" MacBook Pro - why don't I try to use the keyboard off of that? The only difference is the ribbon cable that leads to the built-in USB keyboard controller. That cable is about 2cm too short on a 15" keyboard. Foiled again!

Mi Consejo

Time to engage Plan B - order a replacement keyboard from iFixit like any so-called "reasonable" person would. If my time was worth minimum wage, it would have been cheaper to just order the replacement part right off the bat. On the other hand, I now have intimate knowledge of how the keyboard works in there - and it's actually pretty cool. Anyway, the new keyboard arrived right on time. I opened the MacBook up one last time, replaced the keyboard, buttoned it up, turned it on, and voilla! Success. Seriously, just follow the directions slowly and carefully, have a strong desk lamp handy and maybe some reading glasses, and use an empty egg carton to keep the screws sorted.

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