We couldn't be the "repair manual for everything" and then tap out on the difficult projects. We take pride in showing the world that even "unrepairable" devices can be fixed with the right tools and an adventurous spirit. So guess what? We've got a full set of repair guides for the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display for your DIY pleasure. Fair warning: working on the laptop is no easy task, even with a full set of guides. Barely a month ago, we called the MacBook Pro with Retina display "the least repairable laptop we've taken apart." It's clear that Apple did not design this computer for the sake of repair-conscious customers.
That said, a number of components can be removed without much fuss, provided folks use the correct tools. Pentalobe screws hold the lower case in place and Torx screws secure everything else. Spudgers and plastic opening tools are absolutely necessary, since many of the components are designed with such tight tolerances that using fingertips is not an option. But some good news: all the tools necessary to work on the device can be found in our Pro Tech Toolkit.
Although many components can be replaced with screwdrivers and elbow grease, some repairs are simply infeasible. For example, there is almost no way to replace the trackpad without first removing the battery. While it's possible to remove the battery, chances are high that it will be punctured in the process (the score? Batteries: 2, iFixit: 0). Puncturing Lithium-polymer batteries releases noxious fumes and can cause fires. Likewise, removing the LCD glass from the aluminum frame will almost certainly break the glass. So components residing under the LCD — such as the FaceTime camera — will have to be replaced with the entire assembly.
We should also mention that finding replacement parts is currently difficult. Sadly, they don't grow on trees, and they're not sold at your local Fry's. We're working to source the machine's proprietary components, but it may take some time.
Apple's design direction is disturbing. We estimate that third party battery replacements will cost over $500 if technicians follow the safer Apple-suggested procedure and replace the entire upper case assembly along with the battery. Apple isn't making this easy, but we're committed to making repair as straightforward as physically possible.
Ready to fix the unfixable? Go check out the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display repair manual.