Just because your MacBook Pro has a broken display or hard disk drive doesn't mean it can never be used again...
Computers Break - FACT!
Anyone using a computer wants to get the most out of the equipment – after all, they’re expensive pieces of equipment, particularly notebooks. For instance, if you have a MacBook Pro, you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on the device so will want to make sure that it does everything that you purchased it for.
However: computers break. While in many cases your warranty will enable you to resolve the problem with the minimum of trouble there are plenty of cases when a device has broken and not been under warranty. In cases such as this you would need to find a new computer – but is there any way in which you can save your bad MacBook Pro? And just how should you dispose it safely?
Broken MacBook? Speak to Apple First
Let’s get this out of the way first of all. If your MacBook is damaged or defective in some way, the first thing you should be doing is speaking to Apple about arranging a repair or a replacement. If you have AppleCare then this shouldn’t be difficult to arrange, although older devices may have an additional fee.
If you have a bad MacBook Pro that is out of warranty, however, then you will in many cases be able to repair the device. For instance a faulty hard disk drive can be replaced and in some cases so can the optical drive. Even if Apple cannot help without charging a hefty bill, you might find help online, at sites such as appletoolbox.com and macusersguide.com.
However if your device has issues that cannot be easily resolved with a straight swap, there are other things you can do with a broken Mac.
Image credit: Apple, http://www.apple.com/uk/macbookpro/
Dodgy Display or Keyboard?
Any MacBook Pro is as good as (if not better than) a comparative desktop computer from the same era, which means while you might lose the flexibility of having a portable computing powerhouse for working in cafes and wine bars, if the device still boots up you will still have a computer you can use.
For instance, if the keyboard is faulty you might use an external keyboard with your MacBook Pro; alternatively if you have dropped the device and damaged the display (perhaps a cover would have helped?) you can hook up an external monitor and still use the computer, albeit tied to your desk.
These are good options for anyone with a bad MacBook Pro, no warranty and no money to buy a new computer.
Stripping Down and Disposing
Of course, you don’t have to make your MacBook into your new main computer if you don’t want to. Assuming that your notebook is still working in some capacity (or in fact even if it isn’t) you can remove components such as the keyboard, hard disk drive, optical drive, memory and even the display and motherboard and sell them on eBay (you might even sell the entire device, marked as faulty).
Given the difficulties of safely disposing of a computer with an LCD display and various other substances that shouldn’t be dropped into a standard landfill, this can prove an excellent and profitable method of recycling.
For instance a hard disk drive might net you over $30, and selling other components (you can even sell faulty ones as long as they are marked as such) could contribute to your finances for buying a new device.
Author's own experience
Apple Toolbox, http://www.appletoolbox.com