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Welcome to the Mac Station page.


  • Gloves are mandatory.
  • If desired, get a dust mask from the Safety shelf.
The safety shelf is located to the left of the door from the warehouse to the mezzanine.
  • Locate a Mac for evalution.

All Pre-G3 Biege are for disassembly. The exceptions listed.

             -Macintosh                Macintosh II
             -128k                        "      IIci 
             -512k                        "      IIfx
             -Mac Plus                    "      IIvi
             -SE                          "      IIsi
             -Classic II
             -Color Classic 
             -Color Classic II

Teaching the Mac Station

Step 1) Who are you teaching?

Do you need to keep certain issues in mind while instructing this person? Ask them what they know and what they most want from volunteering at Free Geek.

Check out the Anti-Oppression section.

Step 2) Safety.

Do they know where the safety equipment at Free Geek is? Do they know what to do if they get injured? Do they have gloves, safety goggles, a dust mask available? Does the task require heavy lifting or long period of standing, is that appropriate for this person?

  • Gloves are mandatory.
Gloves can be bought at reception.
  • We strongly suggest wearing dust masks if you are disassembling computers or vacuuming computers.
  • This station can be modified with a stool for anyone not comfortable standing all day, a stool should be near by
  • When you lift things, don't bend over to pick them up. Bend from the knees and keep your back straight. Don't be shy to ask for help!
  • If your back or ankle or anything else starts hurting while you're volunteering, let us know and we'll have you do a different task.
  • If you are cut at Free Geek and it bleeds, you must let the closest staff member know immediately so that he or she may act and give directions to others accordingly. Ask for staff assistance with the First Aid Kit!
  • If you need any special consideration at all, let a staff member know so that we can work with you and help you get the most from your volunteer term.
  • Be careful, alert a staff member if you see an unsafe situation that needs attention.

    • Warning about Macs

Due to the high possibility of a High-Energy electrical shock from All-In One Mac computers,do not work on them without proper supervision of trained staff. You can be severely burned or even death.
All-in One computers have built in monitors.

Step 3) Show them what they are doing.

Visually show them, tell them, and let them recreate what they just learned.

Initial Evaluation

1) Is it a legacy Mac?

Place in the legacy section.

2) Is it a candidate for disassembly?

Place in the disassembly section.

3) Is it a candidate for the Thrift Store?

Does it boot?.


1) Determine the model.

2) Find the Mac disassembly instructions for that model?

3) Disassemble according to instructions.

Working with tools

Do with, not for.

It's important when helping or training someone on a task that you don't "take over" and do the task for them. Never take a tool out of someone's hand. This can be very disempowering!

Proper tool handling

  • When working with screwdriver's make sure to teach the volunteer how to prevent grinding screws. Instruct them to use the palm of their hand to press firmly and slowly until the screwdriver grips the screw and doesn't just keep turning & turning. Remember Lefty Loosy, Righty Tighty!
  • Show volunteers how to use all tools ergonomically. Positioning yourself awkwardly or against gravity easily leads to frustration and general strain.

Trouble Shooting & Training Tips

When someone has a question about a task, try to practice asking them questions about the task as a response. Aim to have the volunteer uncover the solution for themselves instead of having you hand it to them. This way they learn more about how & why a problem comes to be. Handing a person an answer that may appear to come from no where can make them feel even more insecure about their ability to do a task instead of empowering them to learn.

Helpful Tips

If the power button connector (to the motherboard) is not connected see staff. Also check out the motherboard pin out page for certain models.

Step 4) Why?

Tell them about the role of the task. Let them know why it is important for Free Geek.

This station is important for the reuse and/or recycling of Macintosh computers! Thank you so much! If you like this job talk to the Volunteer Coordinator about working up to build!

Step 5) Their turn

Ask them to instruct you on the task at hand, tell them to teach you as if you didn't know anything. Do they have any questions? Is there more they would like to learn?

Finishing Up

  • All disassembled parts need to be put into the appropriate recycle bins.
  • Hard drives greater than 40 GB need to be taken to the hard drive station for wiping/testing.
  • Take Macs for resale to the Thrift Store.


  • Clean the station!!!!!!