I Dropped My Macbook Pro

dropped my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)

I dropped my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) on it’s corner. It didn’t cause any internal damage – the computer worked normally – but the the lid (with the display) became misaligned.

dropped my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)

The misalignment made the lower right corner of the display scrape against the base of the computer whenever the display was opened. I thought if I could loosen the screws that held the display, I could realign the display with the base of the computer.

dropped my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)

I used iFixit’s MacBook Pro 15″ Unibody Mid 2012 Display Replacement (by Andrew Optimus Goldberg (and 5 other contributors) as a guide to remove the lower case and to get to the six 6mm T6 Torx screws holding the display (there are three in each corner).

The repair is fairly straightforward. The only tools that I needed were a Phillips 00 Screwdriver and a T6 Torx Screwdriver.

1. Remove the lower case. (10 Phillips screws)

2. – Note: the links to the following two iFixit links are to illustrate the location of the screws – the screws shouldn’t be removed.

Slightly loosen (do not remove !) all six (three on the left corner and three on the right corner) 6mm T6 Torx screws holding the display to the upper case.

3. Close the lid and move the display so it properly aligned with the computer base (the part that has the keyboard).

4. Tighten the six 6mm T6 Torx screws

5. Reattach the lower case.

Windows Server 2012 on a Macbook

Server Manager, Windows Server 2012After the failure of an old computer running Windows Server 2003, I setup Windows Server 2012 on a Macbook.

Years ago, I set up a Sony Vaio PCG-Z505HS running Windows Server 2003 at home so I could keep up with Macs and Active Directory. When I recently experienced problems with DHCP and DNS, I discovered that the Vaio had died. There was no LED power indication. My troubleshooting consisted of jiggling the power connector and checking the power supply voltage. When I measured voltage from the AC adaptor, I gave up, using the rationale that it had lived its useful life. The Vaio, with a Pentium 3, 500 MHz CPU, was introduced in January 2000.

Coincidentally, I had a hardware failure in my Macbook (late 2006), so I decided to repurpose it as a domain server using an evaluation version of Windows Server 2012.

The Windows Server 2012 installation was simple using the Server with a GUI mode installation. The Server Manager and configuration tools greatly simplify the setup. With Windows Server 2012 on a Macbook running silicon introduced in 2006 – an Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T7200 that has Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x), the next step is to try virtualization. As a Macbook running OS X, I successfully ran VMware Fusion VMs running Ubuntu and Windows 2000, though I forsee the 3 GB of RAM in the current system will be a limiting factor.

The best part about running an Active Directory domain at home is joining computeres to the domain. The welcome message says, “Welcome to the lower_slobbovia domain.

Macbook in a Mini-ITX Case

Macbook (late 2006), disassembled

My Macbook (Late 2006) has gone through many modifications and operating systems. Recently, it decided to stop responding to keyboard or trackpad input. Instead of trying to replace the trackpad/keyboard cable (which I’ve done once already), I decided to put logic board of the Macbook in a Mini-ITX case and try an evaluation version of Windows Server 2012.

ifixit’s MacBook Core 2 Duo Logic Board Replacement guide was helpful with the disassembly. After removing the logic board, I stripped the bottom case of the remaining parts (SSD, hard disk, speakers, display, etc). The MacBook logic board was short enough to fit in the case with the ports and connectors lining up with the opening for the Mini-ITX backplane.

Macbook in a Mini-ITX Case

I thought using the Macbook bottom case would be the best way to mount the system board because the case helps to align the MagSafe connector and the fan/heatsink assembly. I also wouldn’t have to mount other stand-offs in the Mini-ITX case. I used Dremel cut-off wheels to cut down the case bottom. To mount the logic board in the Mini-ITX case, I used double-sided foam tape.

The wiring for the ancillary devices – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and speakers – were routed around the inside of the new case. The Mini-ITX case came with a bracket to mount 3.5″ hard drives internally but with non-standard headers on the logic board, I abandoned that idea. There was also a power supply, which I removed. I wired the power switch on the front of the case to the trackpad/keyboard connector on the logic board.

I had already removed the DVD drive when it stopped working in the summer of 2011 and replaced it with an SSD. I used double-sided tape to mount the SSD and the second hard drive to a bracket mounted above the logic board. Eventually, the short cable for the second hard disk failed and when I replaced it, the connector on the logic board failed from too many insertions.

When I first powered it on, it actually worked. The Mini-ITX case is slightly larger than a Mac mini (200 x 225 x 56mm vs 197 x 197 x 36mm) and slightly less attractive but it works. My only regret was breaking the circuit board for the system LED when I was disassembling the case.