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A1261 2008 17" MacBook Pro

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Introduction & Notes[edit | edit source]

This page is for the A1261 pre-unibody 17" MacBook Pro from 2008. Please note - I have seen some confusion about the backlight on the glossy screen model. Both the matte and glossy screen options are CCFL backlit, NOT LED. The keyboard backlight is LED, however. The display backlight will not turn on unless you have all three cables coming from the display assembly plugged in.

Common Problems[edit | edit source]

Problem Solution

Battery Expansion

No Display / Garbled Graphics / Display not turning on, front LED consistantly on

  • Graphics die no longer fully attached to motherboard - a heat gun is really your best option. You will need to reflow the solder under the chip. (PLEASE NOTE - This is not a guaranteed fix, and is likely to break again. Mine didn't, but I was just lucky.)
  • The cable could just need a reseat or a cleaning with some isopropyl alcohol.

SSD / Hard Drive not detected / bluetooth not working

  • The flex cable going from the mid-bottom left area of the logic board to the SATA disk can sometimes come unplugged if your MacBook has had a particularly rough life, especially because the tape used to affix it loses its stick. If it's just unplugged, then plug it back in, and try covering it with an insulating tape.
  • Sometimes, the cable can tear without you noticing. If this does happen, you will need to replace it. I would link an IFixit part, but they currently don't carry the correct cable. (Yes, I do know that there are two for non-unibody 17 inch macbooks, but the A1261 has a different connector for the bluetooth module than the others. IFixit does not carry this version of the cable, as of writing.)
  • If your bluetooth works but your drive is not detected, then you may just have a dead drive. You can replace it with pretty much any SATA drive you want, there isn't a limit on capacity to my knowledge. The combo sata power+data connector is also quite loose and doesn't grab onto the drive well.