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Model A1369, 1.6, 1.7, or 1.8 GHz Processor, 64, 128 or 256GB Flash Storage

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Pro-Tips for Screen Replacement for MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011 (A1369)?

This one got damaged in transit. I have only replaced screens for PCs, where the LCD is completely encased, and I needed only a screwdriver and a pry tool. After casually viewing a few how-to videos, I would like more guidance, especially after seeing double-sided tape, a heat gun, and a spatula-type device purchased at an art store.

I already encountered one caution about the backlight sheeting.

Yes, this would be my first time on a Macbook Air. I plan to replace the LCD screen only - I have yet to find a complete screen assembly within my repair budget.

Any pro-tips would be greatly appreciated!

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I have just replaced LCD on my MacBook Air and found out that most how-to videos on youtube was made BY professionals and FOR professional use. Videos will show you the right way of commercial replacement of LCDs. This is exactly what you shouldn't do. For example, hot air gun or a special heater with fixed temperature - they are designed to speed up the process greatly. Professionals need speed because time is money. You, as an amateur, need just a single replacement - you have a lot of time - you can tolerate additional 1 or 2 hours. So just do not buy hot air gun. I recommend you to use a cheap razor blade from the nearest 7-eleven shop.

To remove the bezel with a razor blade you need to push the blade into the inner edge of the bezel and then slightly sway the blade from up to down. After that - push it again ad sway again. Finally you will reach the rubber frame. Try to not destroy it with your blade. It is time to remove the blade and insert it to the other location very close to the original one.

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There is a camera cable on the left edge. Do not sway too much to not destroy it with the blade. There are foam pads in the middle of the right and the left edge of the aluminium body and you also can see them in other location. Do not insert the blade into these positions. Foam pads are not very important - but they help to attach the bezel correctly.

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A similar method can be used to remove the LCD matrix. But do not insert the blade to the corners. They have a very thin layer of extremely fragile glass. It is very easy to damage it. Clean you blade with acetone that can be easily bought at any beauty shops (ladies use it to clean fingernails), but ensure that there is no acetone on the blade before inserting it.

I recommend you to remove all the backlight sheets immediately after removing the LCD matrix. Professionals do not do this. Because they are experienced in cleaning. But for you a single wrong move can result in unusable dirty backlight sheets. It is almost impossible to remove any dust from them without damaging them completely. So I advise to remove them first. Use latex gloves. Do not touch any surface. Just edges. The first 3 layers are very easy to remove. After that you will see the extremely fragile Layer 2. It is quite easy to damage it. So, there is a special method to remove and insert it. Unlike any other backlight sheets, this one is inserter into a small ditch on the top side. So the right method is to detach the bottom edge and then pull it off the ditch:

The bottommost sheet N1 is a piece of special white paper with adhesive on the bottom edge. It should be detached very slowly because of the adhesive.

After removing 5 backlight sheets from the well entirely, cleaning become a very simple task that everyone can do perfectly. There are simply nothing to be damaged or to be besmirched. So one can use the most aggressive cheap and effective solvent - acetone - to clean the well.

You can also find some other tips here:

Cheapest LCD screen separator/heater

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I gave up trying! While it can be done you need a clean box as any dust or hair will magically find its way in messing your work up ;-{

You will also leave quite a few marks on the gasket and edges which won’t look pretty and as the customer is staring at the screen screams out which your customer might not tolerate. You also risk damaging the display in the process so you could have glass shards popping off as well so watch your fingers for cuts blood is not the color of choice on the sheets.

Then you have the time vs cost and the reliability of the repair. I personally decided it was just a better job replacing the full display assembly.

For reference:

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Work from inside out to remove the aluminium bezel, that’s the correct move, viceversa you’d damage the rubber gasket. Be very careful with heat, backlight sheets are pretty delicate and have a tendency to wrinkle very easily and that would cause nasty shadows when the screen will be in place. Mount and try image and backlight before placing the screen, nasty shadows may show if the backlight doesn’t sit in place perfectly. Avoid windy days at any cost or you’ll fight with dust forever. Don’t forget to have beside some canned Air when placing the screen. Enjoy, wish you an easy and successfull replacement.

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