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Sell your MacBook

Replace keyboard on 15" Macbook Pro (Mid 2009)

edited February 2012 in MacBook Pro
Hi, I just watched your video about the MacBook Unibody Keyboard Replacement. Im planning on replacing my keyboard because i spilled soda on it. Luckily everything still works, but the keys are very sticky. I plan on ordering a keyboard from ebay and putting it all together but before i do i want to make sure i know how to do everything. Could you let me know how you put the new keyboard on? Im confused mostly about the two layers above the keys (the backlight and black plastic piece). And once everything is back together is there anything i need to do to calibrate it?

Heres the keyboard i'm going to order...

- Paul


  • edited February 2012
    Hi! There is no formal guide out there that I am aware of, but I'll give you a few pointers that should help.

    First I'd go to and walk through the guides on removing the optical drive, logic board, speaker, DC-in, etc. On some models you need to remove the small metal brackets along the top in the left and right corners, and that are held down by a couple screws each and that hold down various cables. You will need to unscrew and release the power button from its place in the upper-left corner.

    You'll learn most of what you need to know about installing the new keyboard by removing your old keyboard. It's necessary to peel back both layers, remove lots of various tape, and remove all of the 50 or so tiny screws I reference in the video. There's no special method...just go at, and be careful not to tear anything. The replacement keyboard itself drops in, and there's no way you can get all the screws in without it being in the proper place, so that's not much of an issue. As far as all the keyboards out there for sale, I've seen them come in different forms -- all the 3 layers completely separate and requiring alignment, the 2 layers already stuck together and the keyboard separate, and all 3 layers completely stuck together. From the eBay auction you reference, it looks as if yours is coming with the 2 layers stuck together, and then the keyboard separate. This is good, in that you won't have to align the 2 layers over each other, but you will have to align the 2 layers on the keyboard itself, once the keyboard is installed. By the look of it, there is probably some tape that will allow you to peel off and then stick it to the keyboard. From what I remember (it's been a while) there are some visible markers on the outside layer that line up with holes/knobs on the keyboard itself, so you'll have a pretty good sense of where you're aligning the 2 layers, although if it's off by any amount, you run the risk of the backlight being uneven, which is the main problem with doing this procedure, and the main reason I generally recommend buying the entire topcase/keyboard unit intact rather than replacing the keyboard itself. You may have to peel back the outer layer to get a sense of where the inner layer is resting, and if you do, just make sure not to peel it all the way off, because then you'll have the issue of alignment putting it back (whereas if you peel it half off, you can easily let it fall back in place).

    There's nothing special as far as "calibration" -- you just need to try it once it's installed, by putting the board back in. I personally do not completely re-assemble the computer before testing. That way you can type on the board, verify illumination, etc., and then if you have to go back in and re-adjust, you don't have to completely disassemble the computer again. Even still, it's fairly annoying to have to install/reinstall the board a few times to get it right. Hopefully if you're careful you'll get the illumination right the first time.

    Anyway, I hope that helps some, and let me know if you have questions.

  • Awesome! I should be getting the keyboard soon. I'll let you know how I do!

    - Paul
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