Taking The Macintosh Apart

About that Torx Screwdriver...

The Torx screwdriver is going to be tough to find. Try taking your Mac to an Apple store and asking the Service Department to remove the screws for you. If they have any honor they'll do it for free while you wait.

I'm sorry, but I don't know what size hex wrench works in a T-15 Torx screw. You could also just drill the heads off the screws. They won't be used in the aquarium. I haven't actually tried this but it ought to work...

Pry off the programmers switch with a screwdriver. Not all Macs will be equipped with this switch.

Mac SE's have a different switch that prys up from the bottom side. Mac Classics switch is part of the case and does not come off (yet). Save the programmers switch (if present) - we'll put it back on later.


Remove the battery door and the Torx screw behind the door.

Mac SE's and Classics do not have a battery door or the screw behind the door. Save the battery door - we'll put it back on later.


Remove two Torx screws from the bottom of the case.

Note the "Hyperdrive" sticker on the back of this Mac. This was one of the first internal hard drives for Mac with a cable that clipped directly to the processor. Very cool, very expensive...


Remove two Torx screws located deep in the handle recess.


Remove the back case.

One method that (usually) works is to lay the Mac on its face and "slap" the back loose. To do this, position your hands on opposite corners of the case and slap the case while yanking upwards. If this doesn't work the first time, try again and slap harder.

If the slap doesn't work (it usually won't with the Mac Classic), there is a special tool to crack the case - ask your Apple service provider. You might also try a putty knife. Avoid prying with a screwdriver. It's too narrow and will mar the case.


Remove the plug located at the top of the analog board by pressing the locking tab and pulling outwards.

Note: This plug is sometimes very hard to remove (extreme heat will weld it in place). If this is the case, simply cut the wires. Remember, it's never going to be a computer again.


Remove the plug from the CRT to the analog board.


Remove the grounding screw attaching the analog board to the frame.


Remove the analog cable from the logic board.


Note: This is a potentially dangerous step if your Mac has been turned on within the last few weeks!

To discharge the anode, put one alligator clip on the shaft of the (flat-blade) screwdriver. Clip the other end to the frame of the Macintosh.

Put one hand behind your back! Do not touch the metal part of the screwdriver! With the other hand, slide the screwdriver under the anode cap until it touches the anode wire underneath. If the anode is charged, you'll hear a satisfying 'pop'.

You can now push the screwdriver blade against the anode wire and work it loose from the CRT.