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I have an early 2008 model MacBook Pro (17") that went the way of all the earth a couple of days ago. I haven't diagnosed it fully yet, but it appears that it's the logic board that's gone, and if that truly is the case it's not worth it to spend the money to repair a nearly 3 year old machine (and no, I didn't have AppleCare because, apparently, I'm an idiot).

The question is this: besides the easily-removable RAM chips, what other parts could conceivably be scavenged from it and be realistically useful elsewhere? I haven't disassembled one of these before, I'm wondering how easily the hard drive could be removed and placed in an enclosure, for example (a zapped logic board should, theoretically, leave the HD data intact).

Any other bits you'd keep before sending it to the great recycling depot in the sky?

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3 Answers 3

The memory and the hard drive are probably the easiest to remove and reuse. But there are plenty of parts that could be re-used including the keyboard, the display, optical drive and airport.

The site ifixit has a great guide to disassembling MacBook Pro machines.

If you do not have a need for the parts yourself, you may be able to sell them on eBay or elsewhere. I am not sure what the market is like for individual parts, but another option is to sell the machine as a whole on eBay stating that it is non-functioning and for parts. It would save you the trouble of disassembling it yourself.

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Depending on your level of confidence disassembling machines, you may want to look into buying up a similar model with a cracked screen on eBay or Craigslist. You can often get a 'junk' machine of that sort that works perfectly but has a broken display for 100 bucks or even less. Replace the display with the screen from your MacBook, and you can flip it for 3-8 times that, depending on the specific specs and condition of the machine.

Beyond that, the Hard Drive should be easily removable and reusable in a variety of other environments. Most other parts will not be broadly useful outside of other MBP's.

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+agreed... what a waste it would be to trash a 3 year old macbook or just pull out the ram and HDD. These machines can be fixed quite easily with very little time investment. Make it work, and then sell it or give it to someone who could use it! If you don't want to, send it to me and I'll make it work and donate it :) –  Robert S Ciaccio Sep 2 '10 at 8:30

I wouldn't be so pessimistic if i were you:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/661-4964-MacBook-Pro-17-08-Model-2-6-GHz-Logic-Board-/160562715302?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2562489aa6#ht_1145wt_1047

Just find a qualified technician to do the repair. In any case it might be something more complex than the logic board, and my experience with apple service providers is that they usually shoot for the logic board without doing any real diagnostic. But YMMV

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