How to Replace the Macbook Unibody Glass LCD

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Introduction: How to Replace the Macbook Unibody Glass LCD

It used to be that if your screen cracked on your laptop, you'd just replace the LCD and be done with it. That unfortunately is no longer the case. With the introduction of the Unibody Macbook and Macbook pro models, Apple changed the design of the display assembly. Now, there is a glass panel assembly that is placed on top of the LCD panel. The good news is that it is possible to crack just the glass panel and save yourself some money. The bad news is that it is also possible to crack both the glass panel and the LCD.

For more Mac Repair guides as well as replacement parts, visit:
http://www.powerbookmedic.com/mac-repair.php

If you take your Macbook to most repair companies with a cracked display, they'll undoubtedly say you need to replace the entire display assembly and charge you some astronomical figure. It really isn't an extremely difficult procedure to do yourself however, and so we've created the guide below to show you just how to do it.


Step 1:

The Procedure:

To begin, use a heat gun to loosen the double sided adhesive strip that holds the glass in place. Use caution, and heat the glass in short segments as over heating can cause damage to your LCD.With the glass heated, place a strong suction cup on the glass and pull up and away from the glass.

If heated properly, you'll be able to see a small gap between the glass and the and the rest of the display. Insert a thin piece of plastic such as a credit card or movie rental card into the opening. Work the piece of plastic in enough where it can be slid along the seem of the glass. This will break the adhesive strip holding the glass in place.Repeat this procedure along the entire edge of the glass assembly. When you meet resistance, heat the area and repeat.

Once you have used a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the adhesive strip, use a strong suction cup to begin to separate the glass from the display assembly.

Step 2:

Caution: When pulling up on the suction cup, you should have to exert some force. However, do not apply excessive force as this could crack your glass or LCD. When you meet resistance, heat the area and repeat. At a certain point the glass will easily come free from the rest of the display assembly. Set the glass to the side on a clean, dust free, surface.

Step 3:

Next, remove 4 philips head screws ( 2 on either side ) holding the LCD to the display frame. Then remove the 2 philips head screws at the bottom of the display.

Step 4:

Next remove the clutch cover by sliding it to the side and applying a gentle upward pressure.

Step 5:

Flip the display assembly forward, and the LCD will come free from the backing.

Step 6:

Gently work the LVDS cable out of the opening in the bottom of the display frame to remove the LCD from the display assembly.

Step 7:

All of the pieces of the Macbook Unibody Display Assembly

To reassemble, place the LCD back in the frame, and insert the LVDS cable backwards through the opening in the bottom the display frame. Then pull the cable through the opening. You can use a plastic pry tool to assist you in routing the cable. Be very careful with this cable as it can be easily damaged.

Line the bottom of the LCD up with the bottom frame, and slide it into the groove in the bottom frame. Then make sure the 6 screw holes are properly aligned. Replace the 6 philip head screws.

Before putting the glass back on, use a cloth to glean any dust or fingerprints from the LCD and glass panel.

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17 Comments

Curious if this same method can be used to simply replace the LCD? Mine
has developed what appears to be a "tear". The screen itself seems
fine, but the LCD is all screwed up. I *might* be wrong about the
screen though. Although it doesn't appear to be cracked at all, the
local Apple shop "cleaned" the screen with a cloth they sprayed with
something or other, and ever since then, the "tear" in the LCD appears
to have become even worse - like liquid seeped in somehow. I'm not even
done paying this dang thing off yet, but it's out of warranty. So I'd
really like to fix it without spending $800+ if at all possible.

This is the message to replace the LCD.

How much is the part? And where can i get it??

I've done this repair. A few comments:
- The suction cup will not hold on areas where the glass is cracked. Latch on where you can and be patient heating and pulling. The glass is thin and will crack easily if you pull too hard.
- Beware to keep glass shards and glue goo off the LCD.
- The tape on my replacement glass did not hold... I am still trying to get it to stick and imagine I'll need to get more double sided tape or another adhesive.

GladB,, I have had same problem (glue not sticking) did u come up with a solution?

I ended up using super glue. It was not pretty, but it worked. Still holding 3 years on. Good luck.

Thanks GladB, I was able to get a good hold sans "crazy glue" ;-) As I mentioned....I am a professional so looking good is ALWAYS IMPORTANT! My claim to fame is....."if it looks right!!! it is right!!!" I live by this Motto! ;-) Thanks for your response though!

I was able to do replacement successfully. (I am a puter professional ;-)..) But I have had issues with the lens replacement glue sticking well...Has anyone had the same issue and do you have a correct and pro solution? Btw....I cleaned and replaced lens correctly and new lens glue typically does not stick with any "perminance". Please advise?

Thanks for the tutorial! But if it is too difficult, you can always sell your mac for spares to companies like www.macbookcrackedscreen.co.uk and use the money towards the purchase of a brand new Macbook :)

Good ible.

I do this all day long for school districts. An opening tool like a isesame (a small metal strip) works great. As your work around the screen use guitar picks to keep the LCD to readhering (sic) to the tape. If you don't have a plastic tool for the cable, try a small wooden kitchen probe.

Rob