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Replacement keyboard for A1369

Hi - I need to replace the keyboard on a 2010 macbook air (A1369).

I've seen just the keyboard for $40 which is a lot cheaper than buying the complete top case:

My question is, can it be done - the keyboard is screwed down along the edges but looks like there are rivets? in between the keys. How do I remove these rivets, then replace them ?

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It's cheaper because you can't use it. You're right the keyboard is riveted to the top-case. But if you enjoy masochistic exercises and proceed to replace the keyboard only remember to obtain the proper tools - every job is easier when you use the proper tools.

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Imagem de MacBook Air 13" (Late 2010) Upper Case with Keyboard


MacBook Air 13" (Late 2010) Upper Case with Keyboard


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HI, i have an Macbook Air A1369 model, currently keyboard power button will be working other than buttons not working even though mouse pad also not working. so pls provide the suggestion.


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Well, you can use it... but its a right PITA.

What a ridiculously designed keyboard.. 100+ screws?

I bought a replacement keyboard, and backlight and set of screws to replace the rivets... so I went ahead and did it.

Here's a rough outline of the procedure.

pull apart your crapbook, remove everything so all you have left it the topcover, the touchpad, the keyboard and the backlight that attaches to the keyboard. Take care with the cables.

see guides on the web for dismantling. keep track of screws, again...take care removing cables.

disconnect the old keyboard cable from the pcb circuit board on the touchpad, VERY carefully - otherwise your up for a new touchpad.

Now, there may be better ways of doing this, but this is how I did it.

I tore off the backlight by working my away around the edges of the black plastic backing thats glued around the sides of the kb/backlight, then removed the backlight. (actually, pretty much lost patience and tore it off... if you don't have a back light... take care and you MAY be able to reuse it.

you can now see the keyboard.

remove a shipload of pissy little screws, all the little brown ones around the edges.

NOW, here's the fun part...

The only thing holding the kb in place is the rivets.

I started in one corner, pushing all 4 keys around the particular rivet, until it came out. theoretically you could do this for every rivet... if you didn't mind spending a day at it... I was too impatient.

I grabbed hold of the corner of the keyboard that I had lifted up, lay the top cover on a flat covered bench, and while pressing down on the top cover to stop it from breaking or bending, pulled up on the keyboard, slowly pulling out or tearing of the rivets.

So, now I was down to just the top cover, with the touch pad attached.

However, now I had lots of sheared of rivets sticking up...


I contemplated putting in the new keyboard and then gluing all the rivets with glue - araldyte or similar, but decided to remove the rivets instead.

long nose pliers, etc, failed in removing the rivets, they just mashed the tips.

The easiest way I found was to lay the topcover face down, and then, half holding half leaning on the top cover with the hand/arm i was using to hold the screwdriver, I hit the screwdriver against the side of the rivet, which usually caused it to simply pop out cleanly.

That only took 20 mins or so to remove them all. some of the more stubborn ones I had to tap once or twice from each side before they came out.

in the end I probably had half a dozen rivets that either snapped off flush with the top cover, or I sheared off originally using pliers.

There are so many rivets I don't really think it makes that much difference, you just don't want a large patch missing I guess.

then it was a case of installing the new keyboard (clean the holes in the topcover first if required), install the little brown screws, and checking how it looks from the front occasionally as you go.

Once they're all in, start putting in all the screws to replace the rivets.

do them up so they are flush with the base of the keyboard. if you have trouble with some, remove them and use a new screw... there's usually quite a few spare.

once that's done, peel the edging - blue stuff off the new back light, then the protective cover, line up the three holes, and insert onto the new keyboard. then smooth it out and press down on the edges to allow the glue to stick. be careful of the new back light power cable, its tiny.

From there its a case of, as they say, installation is the reverse of this procedure. and of course, your mileage may vary.

I hope this helps someone who has already purchased the keyboard to fix the issue.

If in doubt, I'd recommend replacing the entire top cover instead, although it would be expensive.

Otherwise, I'd say go and buy a proper laptop. u know, the ones that you usually only need to remove a couple of screws to change a keyboard, and that the screens aren't held together with double sided tape....


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Did this exact procedure - did a $700 Apple repair for the cost of a $29 keyboard and about 4 hours work. Banged out almost all the rivets and sheared off the remaining few flush with the case. Put in keyboard screws (came with the keyboard) everywhere a rivet was removed and they worked perfectly. Thanks for the tips.


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Your mileage may vary, but I was able to remove all of the tiny screws and then slowly pop out the old rivets (by prying up the old keyboard -- which more-or-less destroys it -- but it was broken anyway). I was then able to screw in the new keyboard and firmly press each rivet back in place, one at a time, with the tips of a small pliers. I can't be sure they will hold but they seem to have seated well, and my hope is that the back-light assembly would at least prevent a couple of stray rivets from causing any trouble. Will update if they pop out in the future or I have any issues.

Anyone have any insights on that?

Update 2/14/2013: For what it's worth, the rivets have all held in place just fine for the past 5 months.

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I used the guide from here for top-case replacement, then do these steps I went to local Fry's Electronics and purchased a Pro's Kit part #SD-9326M that had all the necessary bits and tools needed for US$35. No need to spend $250 for a new upper case, I figured: what did I have to loose? I found a brand new keyboard $45.95 (included priority shipping) from Steps: Remove keyboard:: CAREFULLY, remove all #000 Philips head screws around the outside edge of the keyboard on the logic board side of top case. Then, i started at one end, four keys at a time and started rocking around the four corners and pressing firmly in sections (from the side where you usually type on the keys, inward) until the rivets started popping out. MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING THIS IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS CLEAN and SMOOTH SURFACES. They go everywhere! Reassembly:use 3M #77 adhesive spray on the aluminum casing to reattach and make up for lost rivets. Snap in rivets with flat end of T-15 bit and screw-in edge screws.

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Most definitely possible I used this Guide for directions up until I got to that step. a tip i would pass along for removing the rivets, if you dont have the proper tool on hand would be to pry up on each rivet with a flathead with a towel covering the keyboard as you pry up (easiest method of not losing Rivets)

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