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Dead MacBook Pro 15"

I know I spilled water on it. It was off at the time, and I left it at home when I when on an out of state trip. When I got back and tried it, nothing. The power cord light didn't even light up. The genius bar said for $1400.00 they will repair it. Is there any way I can do this myself? I started building my own desktops back in the 90's, and have had this machine since new. I have lots of technical work experience, but don't want to make things worse. Its too expensive to just leave it dead. What kind of problems am i going to get into taking it apart to clean with a toothbrush, and alcohol? I was told that the I/O board was most likely the first thing to change.
Can you point me in the right direction for video repairs that should be useful, or tell me to scrap it?


  • edited September 2018
    Don't scrap it!

    First off, what laptop do you have? If you know the year that will help, or I can look it up by the serial. You can find the year by Googling "applecare serial number lookup" and plugging the serial into the Apple page.

    Typically I would start by saying that the power button is connected to (or in some cases part of) the keyboard, and so if you fry the keyboard, you sever your means of powering on the computer at all, even though you might have a good board.

    However, you state that you don't get a light on the charger, which typically means there is liquid on the board, because if it was only the keyboard, you would get a light. I would remove or disconnect the battery and see if that makes a difference. I would remove or change the amount of RAM to see if that makes a difference (assuming you don't have a retina or Air). Often you can loosen the two screws holding down the DC-in (the internal connector the charger plugs into), and then connect the charger and wiggle it around, and that will provoke the light to come on.

    If you do see corrosion on the board, you have nothing to lose by cleaning it with a toothbrush and alcohol. Use 90% alcohol (not 70%!), and scrub it from all angles, and let it dry for an hour or so. What most people miss is getting UNDER the chips involved. Obviously, disconnect the battery before you start. Ideally you would use an ultrasonic cleaner to do the job, but I can't expect you would have one of those.

    If this doesn't help, try taking out the board and looking for corrosion on the other side. There are guides for board removal on

    Let me know if this helps! Tell me your progress and we can take next steps. There is only so much you can do, and often a board is just fried. Board repair is possible, but it's a whole different ballgame and mostly not worthwhile unless you have a 2014+ laptop.


  • it says its a 2013 model A1398 SN. C02KN4B9FFT1
    Does that tell you what you needed?
  • Yes! It's a retina Pro, so the RAM is embedded and not changeable. But everything else I stated still applies.
  • OK Thanks Jon. I will be all over it this weekend.
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