img_20190216_150959I managed to pick up an ageing 13 inch Macbook Pro 2011 edition for a steal at 25,000 in my first year in Japan.

The original owner had upgraded and he did not need another unit and so sold it cheap.

I was the lucky one who snagged it.

After using it for a few months, I realised that the Macbook’s speakers were already worn out and had quite a bit of static, the trackpad also had some issues with clicking and the keys sometimes popped out by themselves while typing. Minor annoyances, to be sure, but I lived with it.

Eventually, I started using the Macbook for work and it continued to serve me well, quirks and all. Eventually, i was seduced by the notion that I could repair the unit for very little using parts bought online.

So it came to be, with a helpful colleague helping me procure the spare keyboard unit.

We proceeded to dismantle the laptop zealously. The task proved more laborious than we thought, and it was only after an hour when we reached the keyboard at the bottom of all the other parts.

We swapped out the old one and brought in the new one and set about re-assembling the Macbook. It took another 2 hours before we could piece the thing back together.

To my horror, the new keyboard did not work!

Sheepishly, my helpful colleague offered me condolences for my “bricked” macbook.

I took it in my stride, given that he meant well and he put in so much effort into trying to get it back to work.

Nevertheless, i resolve to try to fix it myself over the weekend.

The weekend arrived and I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

I took apart the Macbook again myself, this time armed with experience (tis a wonderful thing).

I replaced the old keyboard and re-assembled everything feverishly. It was a painstaking process, especially given that the Macbook keyboard has more than 50 screws.

Finally, i assembled the Macbook. The moment of truth had arrived.

I switched the laptop on, and lo and behold, it booted and I could even key in my password!

Elated, I set about testing all the functions. My losses were: lost backlighting for the keyboard, the webcam could not longer be used (bye bye skype) and sometimes the keyboard would be slow to respond.

Nevertheless, I had restored my Macbook to about 80% functionality from 0%, certainly better than having to buy a new unit.

The morale of the story, ladies and gentleman, is twofold:

1 experience really helps, especially with something hands on.

2 never give up, even when all hope seems lost. You may still be able to salvage the situation