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Yesterday I opened my mid 2010 15" i7 MBP (model 6,2) in order to replace its HDD. Everything went perfectly fine. Except that I noticed a broken little piece of plastic a little above the battery, which is fixed by two screws, which I have no idea on what purpose it had.

enter image description here

In the end, I just wanted to know what is that piece's purpose, if I should be worried that it is slightly broken, if I can replace it somehow.

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That clip holds the bottom piece snug in the middle. I would remove the broken plastic to avoid bending the metal tab that matches this on the bottom case. Also, you don't want it pushing on the connectors that are delicate and behind the metal cage above it. Lastly, if the piece breaks free it could wedge in the wrong spot (like a blower or worse) and cause more harm than it should.

You can see about a repair part from Apple by contacting AppleCare and this sort of thing is often sold used when a machine is liquid damaged or otherwise scrapped for parts. Many places sell used parts like ebay, amazon and ifixit.

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    Thanks very much for the quick and helpful reply! I will reopen it later so I can remove that clip. Do you think there would be any harm on keeping my mac without it? I live in Brazil and I guess it would be kind of hard to get some specific replacement parts such as this one. I will try, even though, but I am not much confident about managing to have it replaced. – FernandoH Sep 26 '12 at 19:09
  • No harm - the case will creak a little more, be a tiny bit less sturdy and vibrate more when sound plays, but life will go on as if this little piece of plastic never existed. – bmike Sep 26 '12 at 20:43
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    I do feel like a Nasa engineer now: repaired clip – FernandoH Sep 27 '12 at 13:49
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THIS PART IS IMPORTANT!!!

Improper holding of bottom cover can change internal airflow completely (cold air will flow at the bottom not washing motherboard). Especially in my MacBook Pro 17 2010... botom cover is significantly protuberant. So this clip/holder have good sense.

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    Welcome to Ask Different. Please refrain from adding comments in the Answer section, this is for answers to the questions. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation. See How to Ask for more info on how to ask a question. – fsb Apr 30 '17 at 13:32
  • I think this is +1 for adding a solid reason why - to have proper airflow from the blowers. – bmike Apr 30 '17 at 15:39

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