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Sell your MacBook

Recently purchased MBP 13in no video!

edited June 2012 in MacBook Pro
Hello!
I purchased a MBP 13 unibody aluminum machine 02/2012. Memorial day weekend, while trying to save my daughter from falling off the bed, I spilled a few drops of Strawberry Crush in the spine of my MBP before it fell off my lap and onto the floor. After a couple days in rice and several tears (their $1200 price tage is unforgiving on a single moms budget), I took it to the apple store only to be told that the logic board needed to be replaced and I lost out on the $249 apple care warranty I had purchased. I took it to a local repair person who did a little scrubbing and got the computer to turn on, but no video. I was told I could hook up a monitor to it and the computer will work fine. He said he was currently attempting to find a "fuse" to fix the screen but if he couldnt locate the schematics and/or the repair didnt work, I was going to need a new logic board. Does this "fuse fix" work? Is there a way I can repair it myself?

Answers

  • Hi! Thanks for the post. I have a question -- when you have no video, do you see a faint image on the screen? Try shining a flashlight through the Apple symbol from the rear, and determine if there is an image, even if there is no light. If you do see a faint image, it's possible that the "fuse fix" might work. There is a small fuse on certain models of unibody laptops that gets blown. If you bridge this, either by soldering on a new fuse (recommended), or just soldering a connection between the posts on either end of the fuse (not recommended), the backlight can sometimes be restored. If you do not see any image at all, it's likely that the problem is not the fuse, and you may truly need a new board. In that case, I would also be curious to see if replacing the entire screen assembly might fix the problem.

    However, I don't have your model of machine available, so I'm not able to determine if your particular machine has the fuse. And even if it does, it's a tricky repair that requires some soldering expertise...a sloppy repair job could easily destroy the board for good. If you type "fuse" in the search box, you'll find a few posts on this site about the issue.

    First, I would take it back to Apple and ask them if the machine is eligible for a "Depot repair". Depot is a company Apple works with that does fairly inexpensive logic board repairs. Often they will swap out a board for around $300. I wouldn't mention the liquid damage (although they'll see it in the notes), or that you had someone work on it...I'd just say the backlight seems to be out, and you've been told you need a new board, and you were wondering if you could buy a Depot repair.

    If that doesn't work, there is a user on this site named AB Cellars who does repair boards, and this might be something he could do for a fee. If you click on your Inbox at the top of the page, then click "Start a New Conversation", and type "ab" in the "Recipients" field, his name will come up, and you can send him an e-mail.

    You can always try repairing it yourself, but again, it's tricky, and unfortunately I don't have the specific details for your machine (although the other posts on this site might give you some relevant clues).

    Good luck!

    John
  • John, thanks for the reply. I am hoping the repair guy is able to fix it. I am on a tight budget and have zero room for this costly repair. Since Apple was nice enough to refund the cost of my Apple Care warranty plan, I was willing to put that towards the repair. My repair guy says he can fix it as long as he can locate the schematics for the logic board in order to repair the fuse issue. I havent tried the flashlight trick as it has been in his possession but hopefully, it will be repaired soon.
  • Honestly it shouldn't be a costly repair...if he knows what he's doing it should represent no more than an hour of work. The fuse itself barely costs a dollar. It shouldn't be too hard to spot, because it's generally about the only fuse of its type on the board. Here's a link to a discussion about a board similar to yours, and within the discussion is a link to a page where you can buy the fuse (the fuse, at least, that is relevant to the board they are talking about):

    https://www.rdklinc.com/answers/discussion/comment/291#Comment_291

    Good luck!

    John
  • edited June 2012
    OK...

    I just got off the phone with the laptop repair guy and he told me that the video part of my board is fried and the whole board needs to be replaced. It seems odd to me because he did offer to give me another laptop for the trade in of my MBP plus an additional $100. The computer he's trying to give me is an acer and frankly, I would miss my MBP too much! I am thinking of taking it somewhere else for a second opinion because he did tell me that I could hook up my laptop to an external monito and it would be fine. Can the video part of a board be fried if everything else can be fixed?
  • Yes, it's possible for the video socket to be fried beyond use. But I would ask him what came of the fuse issue -- did he find it, and did he try to bridge it? There's still also the question of whether or not you can see a faint image on the screen, which makes a difference as far as the diagnosis. Your "broken" MacBook is still worth $500-$600 on eBay, especially if it's an i5 or i7, so he's probably figuring giving you a $200 Acer + $100 is a good deal for him. Not to be cynical, but he may have found the fuse and knows how to fix it, and is hoping he can do the trade so he can easily make the repair and have a $1000 laptop. And if you give him your machine, you will never know what he did, or what was wrong with it, so he's free and clear. It does sound fishy that he would offer you a trade...that's not an especially professional maneuver for a repair tech to make, especially for a PC. Besides, you really don't want a crappy Acer netbook after having had a MacBook Pro unibody! You would be trading a Mercedes for a moped, essentially.

    I would ask him the questions I mentioned in order to get the info and so that he's accountable, then take your computer back, and see if Apple will do a Depot repair like I said, and then possibly contact AB Cellars if Apple can't do anything.
  • Thanks John!
    I thought it was a little odd and having seen an Acer in action, I knew I did not want to sacrifice Apple-lonia (yes, I named my MBP). My MBP is an i5 and I have seen some in worse off condition on ebay sellng for quite a bit. The repair guy did say he found the fuse but said the part "looked fine", thus not the issue. I picked up my baby on Friday and took it to another local shop that offered free diagnostics. They called me the next day and told me that they think replacing the LCD would fix the problem. I am still waiting to hear the verdict because they had to order the part. If that is the issue, its a $300 fix and something my other local guy didnt try. Keeping my fingers crossed!
  • I'll keep my fingers crossed for Applelonia! :-) Hopefully the screen replacement will fix it. If not, I wouldn't rule out the fuse issue yet (assuming there is a faint image on the screen) because it's very difficult to tell if it's blown just by looking at it. Anyway, good luck!
  • Got a call from ubreakifix.com (the new repair people) who were able to get Apple-lonia on and running, her screen is just really dim. Almost etch-a-sketch dim, I was told and that the motherboard isnt sending enough power to the screen. Do you know if this can be repaired?
  • Is there any backlight at all? In other words, when you are in a completely dark room with the computer, can you see the light of the screen glowing? If not, it's a backlight issue, and I still have to wonder if the microfuse issue I mentioned is the problem.

    If you do see somewhat of a light in a completely dark room, then that would be a first for me...usually the backlight is completely off, or 100% working. I'm sure you've tried the brightness settings. Resetting the PRAM might be worthwhile. But if you do have a partial backlight, I'm stumped. I would guess that the logic board is damaged.

    Do you know what they did to the machine, i.e. did they replace the entire screen assembly, do something to the board, etc.?
  • I picked up Apple-lonia today and the screen is very dark. I had to be under direct light and angle the screen just so I could make out what it says. I have no idea what it would be like in a dark room, but i would have to guess I wouldnt be able to see anything except the keyboard. If I hadnt gone under direct sunlight, it would have appeared dark to me. I attempted to change the brightness using the brightness key, but not resetting the PRAM, which is worth a try. I am considering taking it somewhere else to get another opinion.
  • Also wanted to mention that they replaced the LCD screen but I dont think the entire housing. They said the video component has a "mark" on it that theyve never seen and dont know how to address it.
  • It sounds like the backlight is still completely out. If you turn the lights off and see no light emitting from the screen at all, then that is the situation. I would not pay a cent to anyone who gave you back a computer with no backlight...they haven't done their job.

    Unfortunately we still don't have enough technical detail from the repair people to get anywhere as far as a diagnosis. I don't know what "video component" means, or what exactly a "mark" is, so that's hard to decipher.

    It could be the video cable, a bad board, or the microfuse issue I mentioned above. Did you ever get a chance to take it back to Apple and ask if a Depot repair is possible? It would cost around $300, but if they agree to it at least you'd end up with a working machine, instead of having your time wasted by amateur techs.
  • John, after further review, I noticed that really my screen only has a picture in the immediate center of the screen using the light coming from the apple symbol on the computer lid. Otherwise, I cant see anywhere else on the screen. I tried resetting the PRAM and that didnt do anything, but do you think the fuse fix could remedy this?
  • edited July 2012
    What you describe is the lack of a backlight. The fuse can be the cause of this, a bad screen can be the cause of this, bad cabling can cause this, and it can also be due to a bad board. The information on what's been done thus far has been vague, so it's impossible to home in on what is the most likely cause, and I can't really rule anything out due to the lack of concrete info from the techs you've taken it to so far. The machine needs to be looked at by a competent tech. As I mentioned above, it might be worth contacting AB Cellars to see if it's something he'd be comfortable taking on. Did you take it back to the Apple store and ask if they'll do a Depot repair? That's your best option, if they will allow it. But as far as continuing to troubleshoot it, it's critical to pin down specific information relating to exactly what's been done to the machine. Otherwise you'll just keep chasing your tail forever.
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