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First gen. MacBook - polycarb chipping at edge of palm rests

by delphine2009 / August 20, 2009 7:08 PM PDT

Hi, I have a white 2006 first generation MacBook (model no. , which I would like to sell on Craigslist now that I've purchased a new 13" MacBook Pro. However, no sooner am I ready to part with my trusty companion than its polycarbonate shell starts to chip in several places on the edges of the palm rests. The little chipped edges look unattractive and feel sharp and painful if I rest my wrist or palm heal on the edge of the laptop (as I often do, particularly when using it in non-ergonomic environments, such as wi-fi cafe tables). All of this will be very noticeable for prospective buyers, who may just decide to pass on it and keep looking.

Does anyone know how to replace the plastic palm rest/keyboard enclosure once the warranty has expired? I did not buy Apple Care with the MacBook, and its warranty ran out two years ago. I taped the chipped plastic on one palm rest, but the tape is also uncomfortable to the wrist and just makes it look more noticeable.

If I were willing to give this computer away for little or no money, this mostly cosmetic problem would not be a big deal, but because I am hoping to sell it for $875 (I upgraded the SDRAM from 1 to 2 GB at great expense a couple years ago and recently replaced the battery), I would like the exterior to be in as excellent condition as the interior.

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chipping etc
by cleverrabbit / August 21, 2009 12:13 AM PDT

oddly enough I just had my "uppercase" replaced.. not because of the chipping issue...but water damage to the keyboard (on a cleaning the white keyboard mission) .. the repair tech at the Apple shop told me that chipping and discoloration on the early macbooks was pretty standard.. I too was out of warranty.. but in a more critical state... had to replace the keyboard and top case... the total damage was about $240 ...good luck...but I highly recommend not cleaning it!

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Don't want to burst your bubble here, but
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 1:58 AM PDT

that Macbook is not worth anywhere near that price, even with the 2Gb of RAM.
The price you paid for the RAM is of no consequence.

Depending on the processor speed, HD size and Optical drive, you would be lucky to get $550 for it.
Check out this site, Here for a better picture.

Bear in mind that you can buy this:
Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB DDR2 Memory
160GB hard drive1
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Standard keyboard
White polycarbonate shell

for $999 and it's covered by a warranty.


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I don't think plastic 'Books get free repairs anymore.
by tleMega / August 21, 2009 4:58 AM PDT

I thought I heard at one point that they were replacing casing shells before for free, but maybe that was for in-warranty machines. I saw an old friend's MacBook like this once. He is a heavy Mac user, but it was still surprising to see that the palm rest areas on both sides of the trackpad were completely yellow. And, the plastic around the edge of the laptop was cracking and breaking off. He eventually had it repaired of course. It's kind of repulsive and a little frightening that you can do that to a MacBook just from using it everyday, but hey, some things are not meant for real wear-and-tear.

If it's out of warranty and otherwise works like a normal computer, you will most likely have to pay for any repairs. You could always attempt to buy the parts and do it yourself, but there's always the risk of messing something up. Plus I think that old iBook and MacBook shells aren't too cheap. If possible, sell it with the box and the included accessories. Like Peter said, no one in their right mind is going to purchase a used, cracked MacBook for under $900 when a brand new model with far better specifications is merely a dollar under $1K. I recommend throwing in the added RAM and the extra battery as a bonus and selling it between $500-$600. At least then you'll get something for it. Good luck.


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You should be able to buy a replacement
by d_adams / August 21, 2009 1:08 PM PDT

I think you can buy a replacement top case cover for white MacBooks. I don't know where to look for such a thing, though. I have to agree with "P" above, when he/she says you'll not get $850 for it. You could probably get $500-$650, depending on how good of condition the rest of the parts are, what the specs are, taking into account the new battery, and assuming you fix the chipped plastic problem. Good luck with the fixing and the selling!

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