Peaking Inside a MacBook Pro

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Last week a co-worker accidentally dropped her 2010 Macbook Pro 13”. It was in a bag, and only dropped a short distance to the ground, so the case wasn’t damaged. But upon opening it and trying to power it on, it wouldn’t boot. It gave three short beeps, then a pause, then three more beeps, over and over.

Luckily has a support thread explaining that the RAM wasn’t passing an integrity check, probably meaning it had become dislodged or something. I was a bit excited because I’ve never looked inside a Macbook before.[1]

We didn’t have a screwdriver in the office small enough to take out the tiny screws holding together the MacBook case, but I eventually got it open using a paring knife we had in the kitchen.

Under the hood of a 2010 MacBook Pro 13"

Under the hood of a 2010 MacBook Pro 13"

In the photo above the memory is sitting in the center-right – under the white label with a barcode.[2] There are two small levers on either side of the RAM that can be pulled apart to takes out the RAM. It pops out at an angle about 45 degrees vertically from the surface of the motherboard, and goes back in the same way, giving a nice audible click when it’s seated back in place.

I’d never looked inside a Macbook before and was excited to take a look at the esteemed build quality, and I wasn’t let down. That this was a 6 12 year old laptop still chugging along – not to mention being easy to diagnose and repair a hardware issue – is a testament to how well put together these are.


  1. Besides watching Louis Rossmann videos.
  2. It’s hard to tell, but if you look closely you can make out that the RAM is still slightly twisted out of its slot in the photo.