Please help: Stuck Screw in iBook Airport riser!

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I have completely stripped a screw keeping the Airport riser below the keyboard in my iBook. I tried drilling into it using a screw-remover but that is now eating into the metal around it and I'm all out of ideas. It's hard since it's right near and edge, and recessed. Can anyone help me!? My iBook reeeally needs more than 128 of RAM for college! :eek:


  • Reply 1 of 11
    dmgeistdmgeist Posts: 153member
    Yep, those damb screws really suck, small and really tight-No dirty

    thoughts! I had a hard time removing them too. If there completely

    stripped as I almost did, your going to need to get it serviced .

  • Reply 2 of 11
    I once used mega epoxy super glue and a flat head to make a stripped screw turn. Good luck man!
  • Reply 3 of 11
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    And I thought I'd sound stupid admitting I tried superglue!!! I tried doing JUST that. That was my first thought. Just made things worse I think. I'm screwed.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    How would a technician "service" it? They'll replace anything they break right? :eek:
  • Reply 5 of 11
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    well, what you need to do, but what probably won't work now is the following. (Note: these screws might be small enough that this won't work)

    you need a drill bit smaller than the size of the screw threads . (not sure that's even possible) then drill out the middle, and get a reverse threaded thumbscrew that would fit in the hole you drilled. then tighten that up until it starts to loosen the screw.

    in this case though, sounds like that's no longer really an option.

    i would say that your only hope is to get some kind of drill bit that's rough, have it run in reverse, then put that on the screw and run it in reverse, hoping that it will catch the screw and take it out for you.

    you have now reached a key point though.

    you are right on the verge of doing stuff that is completely undoable, and if you make a mistake here, it might be an expensive one. i would seriously consider taking it into a repair center and see what they say. they are professionals for a reason, and if it get screwed up now it's their fault.

    anything you do at this point has a good chance of breaking things.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    spotbugspotbug Posts: 361member
    Please keep us updated on this, too. This is the nightmare that was flashing through my mind as I was trying to get those screws out. The sweat was pouring from my brow during that procedure, I'll tell you. I'd like to know how Apple (or whoever treats you on this). Those screws are entirely to small and, worse yet, much too tight. I'm hoping they'll look at your predicament and say, "Yeah, that's bad engineering. We'll fix you right up."

    For others that might be trying to get those screws out... When I was installing RAM into my iBook, I ended up saying to myself, "You know what? I want this RAM in there right this instant, but none of the tools I have here are up to this task. I'll wait until tomorrow to get exactly what I need." It's hard to wait when everything is right there ready to install, but now, especially after reading this thread, I'm glad I did.

    I ended up getting a #0 Philips driver (as per Apple's online instructions) from an auto parts store. Came home only to discover that that driver was too big (bigger than any of the Philips drivers I already had, in fact). Turns out size #0 isn't the whole story. I found a set of tiny drivers at Radio Shack. In that set are four #0 Philips drivers of different sizes. ??? I used the second-to-smallest #0 in the set. That driver locked right in the head (no matter how hard I torqued on it, it wouldn't slip out of the head). However, I could not turn the driver with enough force to loosen the screw! Unbelievable. I ended up grasping the driver with a pair of pliers and using my other hand to apply downward force while turning. Out they came. Phew!
  • Reply 7 of 11
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Yeesh. Alcimedes, I already tried your technique. It worked on all of the screws on the RF plate on the inside. I was opening up my iBook to overclock it to 100/600, but when i realized how lucky I would need to be, I put it back together. However the reverse drill bill (the screw remover) did not work for the AirPort cover screw. I am drilling into the meta around it (into the lid) :eek: Spotbug you did the right thing!
  • Reply 8 of 11
    spotbugspotbug Posts: 361member
    [quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:

    <strong>Spotbug you did the right thing!</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Yeah, I guess. And I didn't explain what I did to try to "teach you a lesson" or to rub it in, or anything. I was this -&gt;&lt;- close to stripping those screw heads myself. It was in the last instant that I had a small, rare (for me) revelation and decided to wait until the next day to work it out.

    The main point was, in retrospect, those screws were really way, way too small and super-way too tight. Anybody could strip those. Hell, even when I had the exact right driver, it seemed like, with the amount of torque I had to apply, I was still in danger of stripping the heads. Considering that Apple expects us to install our own RAM in there, the design is daft!

    [ 08-24-2002: Message edited by: spotbug ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 11
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    oh yeah, i should mention that i say this after taking my old dual USB iBook apart to put in a new HD.

    it involved taking out over 35 screws that size. i too ran into the problem of screws being very tight, and had to rely on vicegrips and a tiny Phillips screwdriver set.

    i work on computers all the time, so i happened to have small vicegrips and a pile of different Phillips screwdriver sizes.

    working on laptops is a totally differnt ballgame that working on towers. they are small. they are unique, they use f*ed up sizes, and they are unforgiving. to me, i don't think the iBook design is bad at all. you have a problem of a lot of hardware that needs to fit in a very small space. there's not a whole lot you can do about it as an engineer i'm sure. every screw you use that's large is taking away that space from components.

    any screw that's too loose is an accident waiting to happen. something comes loose in there and it's an expensive repair job to get it working again.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    If you do drill into the metal you may be able to get the next larger tap and re-thread for the next larger size screw or a different thread type (less threads per inch) taps ar ony about $3 for small sizes.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Bigc that's a good point. I'm going ahead and trying the drill bit screw remover again. My Airport riser has been in there with only one screw (the stuck one) anyway, for months! Tight! So that might not even matter. It's just I feel so paranoid about breaking something. Someone recommended tapping it with a hammer and I did, cringing the whole way. Still typing this on my iBook. We'll see what happens tonight! alcimedes you and I know Apple engineers are the best. Maybe they'll invent a better screw?
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