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Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Phillips screw inside stripped!

The Phillips screw inside my MacBook pro 15" early 2011 are made of metal with the strength of play-doh. On the first twist they stripped! Now what do I do?!

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Did you pull the head off the screw or just stripped the slot?

You'll need to drill out the rest of the screw if you pulled the head off. Make sure to mask off the area so none of the metal dust gets inside.

If you stripped the slot you may have used the wrong screw driver bit. Now you'll need to get a jewelers drill to grab the outside edge of the head to unscrew it. - Good Luck

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It seemed like the right size screwdriver, the phillips head completely filled the + shape, however the screws are in their tight and the metal it was made of was super soft. So the slots are stripped, the heads are still on. One of the screws is down in a hole of plastic bracket. The plastic bracket has wires connecting to one end, so it may be an antenna or something. I don't know if cutting down the plastic to get to the head of the screw for the jewelers' drill will mess something up.


The jewelers drill chuck will fit over the head and if you tighten it well it will spin off the screw.


There are quite a few different + type of slots. Not all of the so called Philips bits will fit correctly. The Asian Phillips screws (used by Apple) need a broader tip than what you expect and you really need a good quality screwdriver (bit). The Body of the MacBook's are aircraft aluminum which is quite hard. The screws are a plated soft steel.


I was using a Jeweler's hardened and tempered phillips by Olympia that i thought was good quality, but you are right it is tapered. I tried googling asian phillips but everything that came up was tapered like a regular "american" phillips.

About the jeweler's chuck it looks most are 1mm, i found some up to 2mm, but the screw head is 1/8 and inch = 3.175 mm. Unless i am comparing apples to oranges I don't know where bigger ones are sold. Do you think this will work http://www.amainhobbies.com/product_info...

Also i tried some dremel tool chucks that i already had but i couldn't get it to clamp on.

Thanks for all the help, this project has turned into a nightmare.


Here's a link to what I use for screwdriver bits JIS cross bits I have my own handle.

I couldn't find the drill I have online but what you found will also work. The trick is tightening the chuck as hard as you can so it doesn't slip.


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I make my own driver bits many times if ther's a shape I don't have in my collection.I keep old stripped out drivers especially for that purpose.It really isn't too difficult to take a 3.corner file or hack-saw blade,whatever shape cutting tool is needed and just cut a new tool.

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These are small hardened steel bits. If you have soft steel or alter the temper of the steel you tend to end up with a weak bit that won't hold the screw well after a few uses.


The pin vise set did not work :( the screw is small and sits in a little recess and the vise would not get down in their to grip it. I also tried to super glue a screwdriver to the screw which did nothing but dirty up my screwdriver. I then put small drill bits on my dremel 3000, and tried to drill it out. As i had only bits for wood this only mad about .25 milimeters headway in 10 minutes. Next i but the dremel saw on and cut a line accross the screw to make a groove for a flat head screw driver and this worked. I did grind a little off a another bracket as collateral damage but nothing that will effect fuction at all. I used lots of tape and newspaper to catch as much metal shavings as possible.


Sorry pin vise's didn't work. Hopefully it all works out in the long haul.


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