General Information

EZ Battery Reconditioning Method

How to Repair Batteries

Get Instant Access

General Information Apple


At only three pounds, the MacBook Air is the most mobile Macintosh yet. Its sleek, new, ultra-thin enclosure streamlines it for portability while its features offer a completely wireless experience.

Components in this system are smaller and more integrated than previous Macintosh portables; thus, a watchmaker's finesse is crucial when handling repairs. Likewise, the MacBook Air's new system architecture requires troubleshooting methodology specific to its design.

Because there are fewer parts, repair can seem deceivingly simple. Pay close attention to warnings and cautions throughout the procedures in this manual to avoid repair issues.

Main Service and Feature Differences of This Model

  • Microprocessor: 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; optional 1.8 GHz available configured to order (CTO)
  • On-Chip L2 cache: 4 MB shared by two cores
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR2 soldered on logic board (not upgradable)
  • Hard drive: 80GB PATA, 4200 rpm (1.8 in.); optional CTO 64GB PATA Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel GMA X3100 (GM965 Express chip set), uses 144 MB system memory
  • Display: 13.3-inch glossy 1280 x 800dpi, LED Backlit display
  • Video: Built-in iSight camera; new micro-DVI port supports DVI, VGA, S-video and composite
  • Audio (In): Built-in omnidirectional microphone, no input/audio line in
  • Audio (Out): Built-in mono-speaker; analog audio output /headphone out
  • Wireless: Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (802.11n); built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Keyboard: Built-in full-size backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor
  • Trackpad: Solid-state scrolling trackpad for precise cursor control; supports two-finger scrolling, tap, double-tap, drag, pinch, swipe, and rotate capabilities

Included standard with the MacBook Air:

  • 45W MagSafe Power Adapter — While it has the same MagSafe interface as all Intel-based notebooks, the adapter's DC plug is more streamlined to fit under the curved bottom case.
  • Two Micro-DVI adapters — Micro-DVI to VGA and Micro-DVI to DVI adapters are included. Also, a Micro-DVI to Video (composite and S-video) adapter is available as a standalone kit.

• A cleaning cloth

Standalone accessories

Along with the Micro-DVI to Video adapter, other standalone options for the MacBook Air include:

• MacBook Air SuperDrive - An external USB slot-loading SuperDrive, solely bus-powered, works only with MacBook Air, directly connected to the USB port. It will not function through a hub.

Removing Usb Port Macbook

• USB Ethernet Adapter - Allows connection to an Ethernet network. While compatible only with MacBook Air, the adapter comes in an enclosure similar to the Apple USB modem. You can differentiate between them by inspecting the ports: the USB Ethernet Adapter uses an RJ-45 connector with eight contacts, and the USB Modem uses an RJ-11 connector with two contacts.

Rj11 Connector Usb

• MagSafe Airline Adapter - This product is a revision of today's Airline Adapter, utilizing the MacBook Air MagSafe connector, which works with all other MagSafe notebook computers.

For more product details go to

Following is a quick tour of major features and important repair steps when servicing a MacBook Air. Please see the specific repair sections to obtain full details on servicing that part.

Basic features

Apple Macbook Air Diagram


Disassembled Macbook Air Trackpad

Using the Trackpad and Keyboard

Use the trackpad to move the pointer and to scroll, tap, double-tap, and drag. How far the pointer moves on screen is affected by how quickly you move your finger across the trackpad. To move the pointer a short distance, move your finger slowly across the trackpad; the faster you move your finger, the farther the pointer moves. To fine-tune the tracking speed and set other trackpad options, choose Apple > System Preferences, click Keyboard & Mouse, and then click Trackpad.

Useful trackpad tips and shortcuts

• Forward deleting deletes characters to the right of the insertion point. Pressing the Delete key deletes characters to the left of the insertion point.

To forward delete, hold down the Function (fn) key while you press the Delete key.

• Secondary clicking or "right-clicking" lets you access shortcut menu commands.

To secondary click, place two fingers on the trackpad while clicking the trackpad button. If Tap to Click is enabled, just tap two fingers on the trackpad.

You can also secondary click by holding down the Control key while you click.

• Two-finger scrolling lets you drag to scroll quickly up, down, or sideways in the active window. This option is on by default.

Windows Trackpad Gestures

The following trackpad gestures work in certain applications, such as Preview or iPhoto. For more information, choose Help > Mac Help and search for "trackpad."

Two-finger pinching lets you zoom in or out on PDFs, images, photos, and more.

Keyboard features

Gasket Kit 076 1285

New Parts and Procedures

Accessing the components

Remove the bottom case to access the components.

Apple Part 922 8538

Note: Before resting the unit on the workbench, make sure the work area is clear of all debris and contaminants to avoid damaging the display housing.

Serial number

The system serial number is etched into the bottom case (shown below). It is centered just below the regulatory markings. See the bottom case section for information on serial number transfer.

Macbook Air Serial Number

Bottom case angles and curves

Warning: The bottom case screws are inserted at an angle. When reinstalling these screws make sure you have inserted them at that appropriate angle. Before turning the screw into the boss, make sure the threads are properly aligned. Use the screwdriver to seat the screw at the correct angle, and then turn the screw backward (counterclockwise) until you feel the threads "click" into place. Otherwise, you can damage the screw boss which is part of the top case.

The front edge of the bottom case has five fragile metal clips that fit into five overhanging tabs on the top case. Be sure to remove and reinstall the bottom case at a 30° angle.

Macbook Air Superdrive Case

A map of the major modules in the MacBook Air

Macbook Air Map

Bj Aj

A - Battery C - Combo card E -Hard drive G - MagSafe port I - Logic board

B - Speaker D - Port hatch F - Thermal module H - Flex bracket J - Display (hinge)

The new MacBook Air contains an internal-only battery that is not accessible from the exterior and is serviceable by authorized Apple service providers only.

Warning: Unlike previous systems, when you remove the bottom case, power is still available to the logic board. Before any further work, disconnect the battery from the logic board connector.

WARNING: Because the battery is internal and connected to the logic board via cable, it MUST BE DISCONNECTED before performing service procedures. If you fail to do so, live current from the battery will short circuit the components and render the logic board and/or LVDS cable unusable.

Apple Magsafe Cable Schematic Diagram

Cables and Connectors

Many cables and cable connectors are very delicate and require specific removal procedures. Also, new, environmentally friendly Halogen-free materials tend to be stiffer and less pliable, and thus require careful handling to avoid damage.

Sleep Sensor

The sleep sensor is located to the left of the sleep indicator light. Like the MacBook Pros, the magnet is in the display assembly, but since this system is so thin, it is possible to trigger the sleep sensor with external magnets. For example, when you stack a MacBook Air one on another, the sleep magnet in the bottom system's display assembly will trigger the sleep sensor on top.

Battery Icon

A new battery icon, with a triangle and exclamation point inside it means the battery is not performing to specifications (low capacity). It informs the user to have the battery replaced.

Display Repair

Display replacement is with a whole clamshell service part only.

Module name


Combo AirPort/Bluetooth card

Both functions are on a single card.

Hard drive, 80GB, PATA

This part comes with shock mounts pre-applied, including foam pad and rubber ring (snubber) and flex cable. Do not remove any of these parts.

Hard drive, 64GB, SSD, PATA (SSD = Solid State Drive)

Although a solid state drive, the same shock mounts are applied like the conventional hard drive.

Battery, lithium ion

Not a user-installable part. Handle with care as the enclosure is not designed to withstand being dropped or exposed to air.

Power adapter, 45W

The connector is compatible with other Intel-based MacBook and MacBook Pro units. However, with a 45W rating, it has limited capability to charge or even start up previous MacBook and MacBook pro models.

Logic board

There are two main logic board configurations: 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz. Both have 2 GB of soldered-on RAM and use Intel Graphics X3100. The display LED's DC-to-DC converter is on this board.

Display clamshell

The clamshell contains the display, built-in camera, ambient light sensor and microphone. The LVDS cable carries data signals for the display video, camera, and ambient light sensor.

MacBook Air SuperDrive, external

The external MacBook Air SuperDrive only works with the MacBook Air. Other systems can see the drive itself but cannot load the media.

Top case w/ keyboard

The top case houses the keyboard, backlit panel, LED, and (IPD) Input Devices board. The IPD board provides control logic for the trackpad on the top, which is calibrated to the top case. The values are stored on the IPD board. Thus, the two are a matched set. Do not disconnect any flex cables from the IPD board other than the main IPD cable to the logic board. All other flex cables connect to parts that are not replaceable.

Thermal module

Metal heatsink with attached fan.

Speaker assembly

Speaker assembly contains a mono speaker plus an audio board integrated into a plastic housing.

MagSafe port assembly

This MagSafe connector is compatible with all the other MagSafe adapters. However, the overmolding on those adapters causes the system to sit unevenly, resulting in stress to the DC connector cable.

Port hatch assembly

The port hatch assembly includes the hatch, ports, and flex cable. The flex cable connects to the audio board to provide analog audio out.

Audio board

The board is located in the integrated speaker assembly.

Support Tools

MacBook Air has an optional external USB SuperDrive that can be purchased separately. This option allows you to use the Mac OS X Install Disc 1 tools such as Disk Utility and password reset. You can also reinstall system software.

However, MacBook Air Mac OS X Install Disc 1 also comes with software drivers to share an optical disk drive on another machine. This remote machine can be a Macintosh running Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later, or a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista.

With Remote Disc installed, you can share content of DVDs or CDs, or restore system software and applications over AirPort or through an Ethernet connection (facilitated by a separate USB Ethernet adapter). In both cases, the two computers must be on the same subnet.

Migrate data (Mac only)

via AirPort

Remote Mac OS X software

via USB Ethernet

Remote Mac OS X software

via USB Hard Drive

Time Machine software

Install application software, use disk-based tools (Disk Utility, Reset Password)

via MacBook Air SuperDrive

Use Mac OS X Disc 1 or application Disc

via AirPort through remote Mac/Windows system

Use Mac OS X Disc 1 or application Disc with Mac OS X Remote Disk software

via Ethernet (with USB adapter) through remote Mac/Windows system

Use Mac OS X Disc 1 or application Disc with Mac OS X Remote Disk software

Re-install system software

via MacBook Air SuperDrive

Use Mac OS X Disk 1

via AirPort through remote Mac/Windows system

Use Mac OS X Disc 1 with Mac OS X Remote Install software

via Ethernet (with USB adapter) through remote Mac/Windows system

Use Mac OS X Disc 1 with Mac OS X Remote Install software


Servicing the MacBook Air requires the following tools:

  • Clean, non-marring work surface
  • ESD wrist strap and mat
  • Multi-compartment screw tray (such as a plastic ice cube tray)
  • 000 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
  • 00 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
  • Torx T6 screwdriver (magnetized)
  • Black stick (nylon probe 922-5065) or other non-conductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool
  • Display Repair Fixture (922-8538)
  • Cosmetic cover kit (076-1284)
  • Gasket kit (076-1285)
  • Suction cup (922-8252)
  • Thermal paste (922-7144)
  • Alcohol pads
  • Kapton tape (922-1731)
  • Fine-point felt-tip permanent marker
  • Standard #2 graphite pencil
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Needle-point metal probe
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Apple Pro keyboard and mouse (for troubleshooting)

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

Use a properly grounded ESD wrist strap and mat when working on the inside of the computer.

Service Manual Component Photos

In this manual, graphics or photos are intended to help illustrate procedures or information only. Some photos may show different levels of disassembly, board colors, configurations, or computer configurations than the computer you are working on.

Kapton® Tape Note

New Halogen-free Kapton tape is used to secure cables and connectors where necessary.

During disassembly, note any Kapton tape use and locations—reapply in the same manner. Do not over apply or build up tape on top of old tape; space tolerances are tight and build up or extraneous use of tape may cause pressure on other components.

Cable Routing Note

With the MacBook Air's thin enclosure height, the placement of parts and wiring is more critical than ever before. During disassembly, note the cable routing. Reassemble in the same manner. Verify that cables do not route over components when they should route into lower positions or channels. Verify that the cables are not strained or applying pressure to other components.

Screw Measurement Note

All screw measurements given are the specified full length. Actual measured lengths may vary.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Apple Technologies Explained

Apple Technologies Explained

What is So Great About Apples Design Concepts? There is always a reason why consumers are drawn to a particular brand of product. Apple has the record for drawing people in, and not just Americans, why? Ease of use, thats why.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment