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Long story short: a year of computing in the dusty environment of Queensland, Australia has lead to a buildup of a dust "carpet" inside the fan assemblies on my late 2011 MacBook Pro. I ended up successfully removing the right fan assembly and removing the carpet obstructing the airflow. However, the left fan assembly (the exhaust fan) I was unable to remove, due to the screws being stripped. My laptop is running on the hot side, as airflow is not optimal (I can barely feel any air when the fan's RPM is at maximum).

So, I'm looking for options to deal with this problem. I already tried the "rubber band technique" with no success. So my thoughts are to try, in order:

  1. Using a piece of cloth under the screwdriver instead of a rubber band.

  2. The "super glue technique," gluing a screwdriver to the screw and then using acetone to remove the glue.

  3. Looking into screw extractors.

(Alternatives are greatly welcomed.)

However, this is contingent on finding a place to procure new screws. The iFixit guide reads:

Remove the three 3.4 mm (3.1 mm) T6 Torx screws securing the left fan to the logic board.

Is there a place where I can cheaply buy the necessary screws? I haven't had much luck with searching online, with Google favoring results for screw drivers and the few options I've found being expensive 100-count boxes.

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If you end up with option 3. Screw extractors, then your 'cheap choice' to put it back together is just make a saw cut in the top of the screw [remains] & treat it as a standard flat-blade screw-head from then on in.

I presume you have one of those, but didn't procure the necessary Torx before starting out ;-)

Don't try saw-cutting it first... you really don't want metal filings in your puter.
That also precludes trying to drill the screw-head off.

Try 1 & 2 first, you might get lucky.

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  • I had the Torx, but the driver I had at the time was defective and I had to get another. I don't have any screw extractor to speak of at the present. – redwall_hp May 28 '16 at 7:01

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