Replacing your laptop battery.

The following post will serve as an instructional DIY for those of you who happen to own a Macbook Pro laptop (mid 2009 version).

For the rest of you it will be an INSPIRATION.  Or a bore. But keep in mind I try to make my most boring posts ALSO the most hilarious. So you might wanna keep reading.

As a blogger who blogs things about bloggy stuff I consider my laptop to be not only a tool, but my lover.  That might be a bit extreme.  And weird. Let me start again.

As a blogger I consider my laptop to be not only a tool, but my ballroom dancing partner.  Named Juan.

As my dancing partner, my laptop and I need to be in sync and be able to rely on each other every single day. My laptop relies on me to keep it clean and wipe its brow. I have to make sure he stays cool, and doesn’t get overstuffed or overheated.  Lately my laptop has been an overstuffed, overheated, dirtbag.  We don’t love each other anymore. Plus he takes a realllyyyy long time to turn on.  Who has that kind of time.

I got this laptop years ago and it’s served me well, but I need a new one.  It runs slowly, the trackpad barely works and the battery doesn’t hold a charge. At all.  So my portable laptop is only as portable as the nearest electrical outlet.  It just can’t keep up with me basically.  Typical of most men.

If you own a laptop you know exactly what I’m talking about. After a few years it is so slow it can barely open up webpages, you can only have one program running at once and even then it only barely works.

So you grit your teeth, silently swear at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and all of their peons and buy a new one.  Don’t get all up in arms about me shaking my fist at the dead Steve Jobs, because I also silently thank him 10 times a day.  I curtsey to my iPhone every  morning. So I’ve been  planning on buying a new laptop for the past 2 years.  Then last year, the year of the great depression, I was really watching my money so I made due.  This year I’d already looked up which laptop I was going to buy. My plan was to buy a refurbished Macbook pro (which comes with the same guarantee as a new laptop) with the most memory and power as I could afford.

Then along came a sewer line that crapped on my computer plans.  $5,000 later I have a beautiful, sleek, new sewer line and a dance partner that can no longer jive.

Enter plan B.

Buy a new battery for my computer and some much needed RAM.

It won’t be a new computer but it should work at a quicker pace than my current partner and I should be able to wander around the house with it again until next year when hopefully nothing in my house carrying raw sewage will explode.

Today I’ll show you how to replace the battery in your laptop.  Next week, I’ll explain what RAM is and how easy it is to add more.

I ordered both my battery and RAM (memory) from Amazon then I started researching how to take apart my laptop without wrecking it.

 

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Behold my circa 2009 laptop.

 

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To replace the battery flip your computer over (make sure it’s turned OFF).

 

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All around the edges there are tiny screws.  If you have a tiny screwdriver kit for fixing eye glasses, one of those screwdrivers should work on the tiny Phillips screws on the back.

Because I wanted to make sure everything went perfectly, I went out and bought a laptop repair screwdriver kit from my local computer store. You can get these on Amazon too.  Each laptop will have a different type of screw holding the battery in so you have to make sure you have the right screwdriver for your specific laptop.

 

 

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The back of my laptop was held on by a bunch of very short screws and 3 long screws.  If you have different types of screws as well, mark down which ones go where.  You think you’ll remember when it’s time to put it back together, but you won’t.  And that might make you cry.

 

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With the screws removed it’s just a matter of lifting the bottom of the case off of your laptop.

 

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Lift from the side of the laptop where the vent is.

 

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You will now be staring into the belly of your dance partner.

 

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Where you are likely to find all kinds of belly button fluff.  Carefully remove it.

 

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The battery in my Macbook Pro (mid 2009) version is held in with a P6 pentalobe screw.  This screwdriver came with my laptop repair kit.  If this is the screwdriver you need make sure you’re getting the right one.  It’s a 5 point star.  NOT a 6 point star, which is what most electronics stores will sell.

 

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There are 3 pentalobe screws holding in your battery. Unscrew them.

 

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The 2 screws are very obvious and in plain sight. The last screw is hidden under a flap of a sticker warning you not to remove the battery.  I do realize the humour in that particular instruction.

 

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If you pull down the upper left corner of the sticker you’ll see the last screw to be removed.

 

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Once your screws are out, grab the plastic thing on the battery and pull it up.  Do this slowly and gently. The battery will still be connected to the computer by a plug.

 

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Lift the battery out just enough to see the plug.

 

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Once you have the battery pulled back enough that you can see the plug, simply ease it out of the socket and pull the whole battery out.

 

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Now just insert your new, full of power, ready to dance, new battery.  Plug it into the socket.

 

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And then replace the screws you removed.

 

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Slip the back of the computer back on.

 

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Replace all of the screws and you’re done.

 

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Now you’re ready to dance.




38 Comments

  1. Becky says:

    YOu make me wonder if I can get a Y shaped screwdriver for my Wii. My daughter thought it was a piggy bank, and stuffed pocket change in the slot.

  2. Nancy says:

    I’m SO excited. I have a late 2009 MacBook that is so tired. Now, I can fix her up without listening to explanations (pontificating) from my IT geekazoid new husband. When the RAM article is published, I’m on this. So much better than folding sheets.

  3. Deb says:

    I worked at the Apple store doing repairs a couple of years ago. If anyone tries this at home, please make sure you are grounded before opening the back. The same static that bites you when you touch a doorknob can burn out a logic board. Just touch something metal that is attached to the ground before touching the computer.

    • Venesa says:

      Thanks so much for the tip! Since I plan on doing this and don’t want to cry b/c I fried the computer!

    • amyfaith says:

      I can verify that this actually happens! Years ago, my electrical engineer husband — who clearly thought so highly of his superior tech skilz that normal human precautions didn’t apply to him — completely fried his mother board when adding more RAM to a nearly new desktop compy. He learned his lesson and is much more careful now 🙂

  4. Fiona Verdouw says:

    Just wondering how the laptop/dance partner is now performing after its new injection of life? Have you got the Rhumba down-pat, or have you just smoothed out the Waltz?

  5. Amber says:

    I was wondering how to ask your advice for online dating, but now everything I can think of to ask will be porn related in some way 🙁

  6. SeaDee says:

    Ditto what Deb said about static electricity.

    If you want to fix things electronic, I suggest checking out http://www.iFixIt.com. There are free tutorials on how to fix laptops and phones and you can buy the tools you need there too! And I am not affiliated in any way.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Karen, I am shocked at the total lack of creativity on that laptop. Get yourself one of these mothers girlfriend.

    http://www.skinit.com/device-skins/laptop-skins/apple/macbook-pro-13-2013-retina-display

    They are a cover for your laptop, made with a fine vinyl, easy to put on and don’t leave any sticky residue if you take it off.

    This is the one I have got and I love it.

    http://www.skinit.com/monet-waterlilies-iphone-4-4s-inkfusion-pro-case

    PS How’s Cuddles (you started it, don’t whinge to me!)

    • amyfaith says:

      I went the cheap route for laptop decor. My husband’s work-issued computer and my laptop are the exact same Macbook Pro model and I was paranoid that, in the morning rush, he might accidently grab mine (and then I’d be faced with a very inconvenient and time consuming delivery schlep into the city), so I dug through my son’s old sticker box and now there’s a somewhat startled looking bunny right in the middle of the backlit apple on top of my computer. The bunny has become a source of endless fascination for the (now) 5 year old little girl in the next apartment; she comments on it every time she sees me!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cynthia. I actually like the classic stainless look! I don’t really want to personalize my laptop. Shh. I know it makes me a weirdo. ~ karen

  8. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this Karen – when the prodigal son moved out a couple of years ago he left his old laptop behind, saying that I was welcome to use it – and use it I have – mostly as a paperweight. Once the RAM info goes up, I’m going to refurbish the beastie and put it to better use. As an elderly gentleman I knew once told me, “there’s many a good tune left in an old fiddle” – I think he was referring to a lady friend he was pursuing romanically, but I think it might apply here too!

  9. Venesa says:

    I’m ready to do this! Just got out my extension cord for my laptop and I’ve been dragging that around, so I think it’s time to tackle the battery change!!

  10. Tigersmom says:

    I don’t think this is something I will undertake as my nickname around our house for a while was “computer killer.” : /

    But good on ya for getting it done yourself and showing others with far fewer dangerous tendencies how they can, too.

  11. Su says:

    Impressed as always 🙂 – thanks for sharing and I’ll file this away for when I need the info

  12. Rondina says:

    And I, who live in the dark age with an HP, want to know the name of the font on the demonstration pictures. : )

  13. Emily Davis says:

    This is great! And if I can ever make a mac last long enough to get to the battery/RAM stage failure stage this will certainly come in handy. Do you have something in the works for those of us who somehow manage to annually douse our laptops in wine? It’s not me, it’s my dancing partner. I swear.

  14. Ella says:

    How’d you put the RAM in?

  15. Sweet! I once tried to fix my old windows laptop and totally destroyed the thing trying to get it apart….It was kinda fun though!

  16. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    If I tried this my son might break off all my short little fingers and serve them to me for lunch..cause he is the one who fixes my computer..which means I am the one who messes up said computer..a lot..But bravo to you..great job Karen!!

  17. Kelli says:

    Wow. I’m fairly tech-savvy, but tech hardware just gives me the willies. I haven’t opened my computer tower in years…I’m sure there’s enough gunk and fur inside it to create another cat (already have one).

  18. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Most impressive!
    I guess no news is good news regarding Cuddles?

  19. Ruth says:

    Where (and how) is Cuddles in the midst of all this ‘revelry’?

  20. Amy in StL says:

    I wanted to replace my metal framed, single pane stained glass windows in my house this year. Instead, I bought a new transmission for my car. It definitely wasn’t the hit of my summer party like I had hoped new windows would be. So awkward asking people to go out to the garage and crawl under the car. So I feel your sensible spending pain.

  21. Linda S. in NE says:

    I have to tell you, Karen, how impressed I am at your photographic skills in this post. I truly feel like I could accomplish this task with your expert guidance. Now, if I only owned a laptop.

  22. Marti says:

    This is a great post! SUCH A GREAT POST! I bought my MacBook Pro in 2009, too! How amazing is that?

    But yeah, I’m going to need you to make some alterations. Please go back and revise the links a touch. On the first mention of buying a new battery and Ram, please link each of those words to the exact item that you bought, enabling me to click the battery and find the exact battery you bought… and then click Ram and buy… the exact item you bought there as well.

    Also, did you link me to that screwdriver? Come on.. you don’t want me to have to work to give you money, do you? I’m still too busy cursing at my beloved Julio who is slowing down because he’s getting older. Just. Like. Juan. (Btw, why are we giving them Latino names when they were clearly made one continent and one ocean to the East?) Seriously, great post!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! They were probably adopted. If you search battery for mid-2009 macbook pro, the right one will come up. Ditto for RAM. If I can find the link, I’ll include it in the RAM post which I’m working on right now for next Tuesday. ~ karen!

  23. Traci says:

    And that is why I’m not too big on mac products-they’re designed to keep you from fixing them up yourself (proprietary screws). Way to hack the Gibson Karen!

    For non mac users: flip laptop over and slide the battery lock tab to unlock. Slide the battery latches and out pops the battery. Slide the new one in and put the switch back to lock.

    For those of you nervous about working on computers, just think of it as legos for grown-ups. It really is that simple. Also, definitely use a grounding strap!

  24. Elaine R says:

    I have a macbook pro I bought in 2008 or 2009. This will be good info incase I need to replace the battery. I love my mac. I feel like it runs the same as the day I bought it.

  25. Barbie says:

    As I have said before…I love you Karen.

    Can I ask how much the battery cost you? I have the same exact era Macbook pro….and it’s not such a great dance partner anymore either…..battery last still but not nearly as long as it used to.

    I am looking forward to more RAM as well and reading that post.

  26. Delta says:

    You forgot one step in your instructions:

    DO…NOT…DROP…SCREWS…ON…THE…CARPET!!!

  27. Barbie says:

    Karen, my laptop battery just went caput! So I remember reading this post a while back so pulled it up again to see how to do it. I thought you made it look so easy. However, I am famous for ordering the “wrong” thing from amazon all the time. Could you tell me which you bought for batteries? There are so many to choose from ….I have a macbook pro exactly like yours mid 2010 with the same RAM you had as well. I was looking online and saw this one….will this one work? What do you think? http://www.amazon.com/T-Quick%C2%AE-Compatible-661-5229-020-6547–B00UJ7NCVI-/dp/B00UJ7NCVI/ref=sr_1_6?srs=9433327011&ie=UTF8&qid=1464040273&sr=8-6&keywords=macbook+pro+battery+13+inch+mid+2010

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbie, it’s hard for me to say. I know it was a real pain figuring out which one was the right one for me. I’d send you the link but it was from Amazon.ca plus it’s “currently unavailable” so you can’t even see it. As long as your laptop is a 13″ the one you’re showing should be fine, but I know my battery cost $70. If you can find a more expensive one, believe it or not I’d buy the better one. Cheap usually = crappy with batteries. If it’s the only one then yes, get it. ~ karen!

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