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Part I: Removing the keyboard

The key to access of the interior of the PowerBook is through the removal of the keyboard. Start with removing the battery (which anyway is good practice when disassembling a laptop) and the cover of the memory slot, as shown in Fig. 1.

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Figure 1. Start with removing the battery and cover plate over the memory slot.

Remove the memory module and continue with removing the Phillips screw and the metal spring held by it, as shown in Fig. 2. This screw is going through the interior of the computer, holding the center of the keyboard fixed in place. More about this later on.

fig2

Figure 2. Remove the memory module, the Phillips screw indicated by the red 'A', and the spring fixed by it.

Move over to the battery compartment and remove the three Phillips screws located below the serial number and MAC address, as shown in Fig. 3a. These screws can be quite hard to get out, as they are fixed by some Loctite-like blueish glue, as shown in Fig. 3b. Make sure you have a fresh screwdriver of good quality in this step, as you otherwise will be in real trouble if you happen to damage any of the screws.

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Figure 3a. Remove the three Phillips screws located below the serial number in the battery compartment.

fig3b

Figure 3b. The three screws in the battery compartment are fixed by some Loctite-like bluish glue.

Turn the computer over to the keyboard side. Using a flat screwdriver or a tweezer, remove the function keys F1, F2, F11 and F12 by inserting the tool underneath the bottom-left corner of the respective key and very carefully lifting the corner, as shown in Fig. 4a. The keys are fixed in place with plastic snap-lock mechanisms which easily breaks unless uttermost care is taken. After having removed the function keys, remove the greyish circular adhesive cap to expose the Phillips screws fixating the keyboard, as shown in Fig. 4b. In Fig. 4a and 4b, the removed keys shows the plastic mechanism in a collapsed state. Remove the exposed Phillips screws, so that the keyboard can be removed.

fig4a

Figure 4a. Remove the function keys F1, F2, F11 and F12 by carefully lifting the bottom-left corner of the keys.

fig4b

Figure 4b. Remove the greyish circular adhesive cap to expose the Phillips screws fixating the keyboard.

Now carefully lift the upper edge of the keyboard, as shown in Fig. 5a. In this step, pay particular attention to the bottom edge where there are locking metal tabs locking the keyboard in place, so that you do not bend these. These tabs are shown in the close-up in Fig. 5b. It is not a disaster if these are bent, but as this easily is avoided you can just as well spare yourself the work of correction later on.

fig5a

Figure 5a. Having removed the screws under the removed function keys, carefully lift the upper edge of the keyboard.

fig5b

Figure 5b. Make sure you do not bend the metal tabs at the lower edge of the keyboard while lifting the upper edge of the keyboard.

When lifting the keyboard, you will most probably feel a resistance which is due to that the keyboard in addition is fixed with doubly adhesive tape. This gives the impression of having forgotted to remove a screw somewhere but no worries, just keep a gentle force in the lifting and the keyboard will finally come off the adhesive tape. However, make sure you do not force the keyboard to come off with too much power, as you otherwise easily could damage the flex-foil connection to the keyboard, as shown in Fig. 6. Also in Fig. 6, the red 'A' shows the feedthrough to the same place in the memory slot where you initially removed the first screw.

fig6

Figure 6. The flex-foil connection between the keyboard and its controller on the mother board. Make sure you do not force the keyboard to come off with too much power, as you otherwise easily could damage the flex-foil.

Grab the flex-foil connector by the edges and carefully lift it to disconnect it from the computer. Do not apply any force using the flex-foil for the removal, as it is quite fragile. Remove the keyboard from the computer. The back side of the removed keyboard is shown in Fig. 7. With the keyboard removed we are now in position for the real disassembly of the computer.

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Figure 7. The back side of the removed keyboard.

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Last modified Tuesday 15 Dec 2009