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The title might be a bit misleading, but it's precise: the screws keep screwing out by themselves!

screw them!

It's quite random and I'm not even sure how I've managed to never lose one so far. Most of the times it's the bottom ones who try to run away, some times are the side ones. The top ones, 3 of which are much bigger, never joined the dance and always stayed right where they belong.

What always happens is that I feel them getting out when handling the notebook and then I just screw them back with my nails until I get ahold of a screwdriver. What I wished to happen is they simply stay there, keeping the lid in its place as they were meant to be and quit acting up on me!

Anticipating some comments:

  • The screws look all right and fine to the point that doesn't make me think I'd need replacements. This is a behavior I expect more people have with their MBPs so I'm also looking for shared experiences (the photo shows the same MBP model, by the way) here. And then again, maybe all I need is replacing them. But do I?

  • There are no Genius bars here in Brazil and I'm not willing to go on apple stores searching for something Apple probably doesn't care about <-- I'm looking for practical solutions like the one accepted there. And trying to understand what could be causing this weird issue.

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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The first time you unscrew the screws on your computer, you'll notice there's some blue gunk around the threads. That's Loctite. It's essentially a sort of superglue for screws to help them stay in. The glue adheres the threads to the casing, but isn't strong enough that a decent screwdriver and some wrist action can't break it. I'd probably recommend finding an appropriate bottle of Loctite and then dabbing a bit on the screws and then screwing them back it. That should keep the suckers from comin' back out. :) I'm not sure about prices in Brazil, but in the US a bottle of Loctite (or something similar) should only cost you a few dollars.

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Wow, perfect! I'll look into that. I've noticed the blue gunk, of course, but never even wondered on giving more thought about it! - "Superbonder", now I see is the loctite's final consumer's product, is very well known at least around here. But looks like I should seek the industrial version. I'll bring an update once I get to try it! :) –  Cawas Jul 4 '11 at 6:33
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As a follow up question, would you happen to know exactly why that's needed on those screws? I don't see any glue being used in almost every other screw I''ve tried from many other gadgets and electronics. –  Cawas Jul 4 '11 at 6:38
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@Cawas - It's not needed on screws going into plastic, and often left out on cheap products. Also, there are a number of alternatives to locktite, and it also does not have to have a color, so the screws could have a locktite-like compound on them, and it's just not visible. Alternatively, the locktite could be applied from the inside, if the device assembly order allows it, or there could be a lock-washer or other hardware involved. Also, some screw thread profiles do not require locktite, at the expense of repeated removal and re-insertion damaging the threads. –  Fake Name Jul 4 '11 at 7:38
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Actualy it's a Threadlocker or Thread locking fluid and Loctite is the company which pioneered the product. –  mspasov Jul 4 '11 at 8:02
    
Thanks @Fake. I've also read somewhere that the screws on the mac screw out due to tremor, bouncing or even handling the notebook somehow. In my sick mind I was thinking about magnetism or static electricity, because the later one I do feel on its metallic cover. Anyways, good insight! –  Cawas Jul 4 '11 at 15:54
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