Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sell your MacBook

Happens again.....

edited September 2011 in General
Well I am starting to think Macs just hate me haha....

Well I got another computer on Craigstlist. I replaced the keyboard and guess what.

THE COMPUTER SHORTS AGIAN LIKE THE ONE YESTERDAY. I am extremely frustrated. I am using a completely different keyboard and a completely different computer from yesterday.

I have absolutely no idea what is causing this. I am replacing the keyboard correctly. I am putting everything back in exactly how it was before.

I have tried different power adapters. Everything I can think of. I am about ready to just throw everything away and take a huge loss because at this point I am beginning to thing I am not meant to do this.

I know you have probably not seen problems like this before, but please let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks.


This one is doing it both with the keyboard plugged in and the keyboard unplugged.

The computer will boot up to the apple logo and then short. The computer booted up fine before I replaced the keyboard. I am pretty sure the logic board is seated properly. Could the logic board be touching metal somewhere, or could a screw in a wrong hole be too long and touch metal or something? I am just out of ideas.


Some people are suggesting I could have messed up the logic boards by static. I just don't understand how this could happen two days in a row to two different computers. I was so careful with the logic boards. Barely even touching it. I have replaced a keyboard before these two and that one worked fine, so I don't know what could have happened differently here....


  • edited September 2011
    Don't throw it all away! I'll buy the whole pile for $100! :-) Just kidding.

    In the frustration of these things it's easy to lose track of proper troubleshooting. Troubleshooting is all about identifying what you absolutely know to be true (good parts that you have seen working), and using what you know as weapons to systematically break down what you don't know, until you find a part that is verifiably bad, and you can remove from the mix and replace it. It's a lot like a geometry proof. When you learn something -- any small thing that is a truth about any machine or part -- document it. Because if you don't, then you're never really getting anywhere and it all just explodes in a pile of frustration, and the problem gets bigger and bigger. So, start by documenting what you know about each part, and then try rotating through each part (screen, keyboard, etc.) one at a time, taking note of any differences in performance. Eventually you'll notice that one part with one board acts differently, and hopefully you can put the puzzle pieces together into a working computer.

    But maybe not. Sometimes it happens that way. Just this morning I was trying to put together a G4 for a friend, and the first four I grabbed off the pile all had weird board issues. I thought I was going crazy to get four in a row with odd issues, but there you go. Because I had known-good parts like DC-ins, screens, drives, etc., I was able to confidently determine that yes, all four boards were bad. But if I had say, two DC-ins that I wasn't sure were good, and I assumed they were good, I might have gone through 10 machines thinking they were all bad, and getting nowhere.

    I think you're already doing this, but make sure to have the batteries disconnected. By "short", you mean it suddenly goes off? Yes, it could be a loose screw, metal touching something in the wrong place, or it could be a bad board.

    Also, always disconnect what isn't relevant. At this point you're trying to determine if a board is alive or not, so you don't need the hard drive, or the optical, or sound, or the battery. Only connect the base essentials. It saves you time, and if one of those components happens to be the problem, it allows you to figure that out. And keep the machine open the whole time -- there's no point in closing it up, cuz you'll just be opening it again.

    Sort of off the subject, but make sure you've gone to the Applecare website and checked the serial numbers for these machines. I regularly get machines that are still under warranty, and in the middle of trying to fix them realize that I just need to take them in to the Apple store to get replaced.

    I think static is over-rated. It's a catch-all that gets blamed when people don't have any other answer. Personally, I can only recall one or two instances in which I actually witnessed a piece of hardware being zapped and disabled by static. And even then, the devices started working again when disconnected from power and allowed to sit. I mean, I wouldn't work on computers sitting on a shag carpet, but beyond that I don't really think static is a major issue.

  • edited September 2011
    I just don't know what to test. I mean, everything besides the keyboard was working on these machines. I had them on each for an hour plus before replacing the keyboard.

    I know for a fact every single component such as DC, Hard drive and such is in working order.

    The computers were literally working great (besides keyboards) 30 minutes before I replaced the keyboard.

    From the time of replacing the keyboards and putting the computer back together something happened that is causing the issue.

    I have no idea what it could be. I would think the computer wouldn't even turn on if it was touching metal or shorting. The logic board appears to be seated correctly. (all screws line up)

    I think either the board is touching something it shouldn't (which doesn't make sense if it is seated correctly) or somehow in the 20 minutes it takes me to replace the keyboard the board broke. Again, the boards were in perfect condition before replacement, so I have no idea how they could both break in 20 minutes.

    After removing the hard drive the computer will stay on all day at the blinking folder screen. It seems like when the hard drive starts to boot OS X it makes the computer shut off. I have tried two different hard drives that I know work. I think I am on to something with the HDD. Do you have any idea why it would just die right before booting into OS X?
  • edited September 2011
    Have you tried booting to restore media, with or without the hard drive connected while you do it? If that works, try formatting and reinstalling the OS on the drives. It's a little odd, but I have found cases where a computer just doesn't like the copy of the OS that is on a hard drive, and if the OS is reinstalled from that specific computer, it will work. Also, sometimes Macs are hard-coded to not work with versions of the OS that are previous to what they came with. So if for example one of the drives has Leopard, but the computer came with Snow Leopard, then that could explain why it's freaking out. Hopefully you have a generic Snow Leopard DVD, since it's not good to work with the restore media, as it's all different. You can get Snow Leopard a the Apple Store for $29. It's much better media to work with, because it's generic and you know it's going to work on any machine.

    So anyway that's good -- you found something. But you still don't know whether the hard drives/OS installs are bad, or the boards are bad. Have you tried disconnecting the hard drives from the other boards to see if they react the same? If you can establish that they act the same way, then that's a big step in isolating the hard drives/OS installs as the issue, and proving that the boards are good.
  • Well these hard drives are good. They were working perfectly fine on these computers before keyboard replacement. The computer will not even boot OS X generic dvd. I guess it must be the logic board. I just wish I could find out what I did wrong to break them both without physically touching them for more then a minute or two. Oh well what are you going to do? Hopefully I can make the majority of my money back on eBay and chalk it up as a learning experience. Thanks for your help through all my questions.
  • I would make sure it's at least a Snow Leopard generic DVD. Some of these machines might not be able to take Leopard.

    I wouldn't expect that the hard drives would be bad -- that's easy enough to test -- but that the OS installs on them might not be sitting well with these machines. You might want to reinstall Snow Leopard to one of the hard drives from a working machine, and then try again.
  • I don't think the OS installs would have anything to do with it being how it was running perfectly fine on the OS 30 minutes before I changed the keyboard. I have tried generic 10.6 and 10.7 DVDs. It has to be the logic boards. I just wish I knew what caused it rather it was static or something else. It is just crazy that the same issue would happen to two different computers 2 days in a row. I think it is just a sign saying I shouldn't be messing with them. I guess they are still a little advanced for me. Who knows maybe sometime in the future I will get into them again.

    When I have messed up multiple machines that only needed a single part replaced, I think that is a sign to stop messing with them haha.

    If there is any good news in this whole situation it is that I might get all my money back selling on eBay since I was able to buy them really right off Craigslist.
  • You might want to enjoy the weekend and then revisit it all a few days or a week from now with a clear head. Sometimes a little distance can really help. It would be a shame to give up all the effort you've put in and leave the experience with a negative impression. A breakthrough might be right around the corner. Getting to be good at laptop repair is very difficult, and everyone who tackles it goes through crazy experiences like this in the beginning -- believe me, it's par for the course, not an indication that you "weren't meant for it". The road to learning laptop repair is paved with lots of accidentally-destroyed laptops. :-)
Sign In or Register to comment.