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Sell your MacBook

Dead Macbook

edited July 2012 in MacBook
I have a late 2009 Macbook that my father in law dropped and ice cube on and did not realize it until the next day. Now the computer will not start-up. My question is, is there a common component on the logic board that shorts when this happens? I see that most all Macbook problems stem from liquid damage and all seem to just replace the whole logic board to fix them which cost a lot of money. It would make more sense to just replace the one or two damaged surface mount parts that probably shorted. I do understand that if the bad part is an intimidated circuit or programmable ROM that it may be best to just replace the whole board. I can't seem to see any visible damage to the board which makes the problem harder to solve, and I don't know how to trouble shoot the board. Thanks for any help. Feel free to tell me to stop being cheap and buy the whole board if you like.


  • Hi Tim! First step is to make sure it's actually the board. The power button connects to the keyboard, and the keyboard connects to the board, which often means that when a keyboard is fried via liquid damage, the connection to the power button is severed, and so the machine will not power on even though the board is good. This is VERY common. Click on the "tutorials" link at the top, and watch my "MacBook Unibody Keyboard Replacement" video. It will show you how to jump the power on the board without using the power button. If that works, you likely just need to replace the topcase. If that doesn't work, it may actually be the board. Also, make sure to disconnect the keyboard ribbon cable before trying to jump it.

    Anyway, hope that helps, and let me know how it goes. If it doesn't help, let me know what symptoms you are seeing, i.e. what color light is on the AC adapter plug, do you get any chime sound or anything on the screen at all, etc.

  • Father in law took it to this place: who said it was the logic board, however they sold him a new macbook pro so who knows how deep they checked. Do you know the jump location on the 2.26 GHZ board? On my board I found two empty pads in that corner of the board which look like they my be for this purpose.
  • This is a white unibody MacBook, correct? Not a 13" unibody MacBook or MacBook Pro? It's the only one I can find with "late 2009" designation.

    I wouldn't trust anyone, honestly. I don't trust any diagnosis that I haven't personally witnessed with my own eyes. There are too many incompetent techs out there, including at Apple stores. They just have no interest in doing repair, and they tend to declare everything a logic board issue, even when the board is good and there's just a sticky power button or fried keyboard.

    Assuming it's the white unibody, the pads should be just above the left corner of the keyboard ribbon cable. Sometimes they are vertical, and sometimes horizontal. You can use tweezers, a screwdriver, etc., but I find if you don't have a tool that is verified to work for this (many won't work), it's best to straighten out a paper clip, and bring the two ends together so they can each touch a pad.

  • OK Found them. Sense I had removed all components for the logic board replacement I had to re-install. I then left the key board ribbon cable unpluged and did the jump start and it booted right up.

    Option 1: Find an "upper case" or "key board" on eBay.
    Option 2: Plug computer into large battery back-up, add usb keyboard and never shut down the laptop just let it sleep when lid is closed.

    This sound right?
  • Awesome, congrats! See -- that "repair" place either had no idea what they were doing, or didn't care! This is a VERY common issue on these machines, and they should have known to try this.

    Anyway, yes, you have outlined the correct possible options. Personally, I would go for #1. :-) You can search eBay for "A1342 topcase", and you'll come up with some options. They are generally in the $60 range, and shipped from China, so they take about 10 business days to arrive. Try to get one with the trackpad installed...otherwise you will have to move your existing trackpad over (which is not a huge deal). Actually, I haven't received it yet, but I just bought one from this auction:

    Once you have it, you can use this iFixit guide to swap it out:

    Looks like iFixit even has a video guide for this one, so that should give you a really good idea of what's involved. It will take some time, but you'll be able to get it done in less than an hour.
  • Also, make sure to buy a NEW topcase, because although you may be able to find an "as-is" topcase for $20, chances are it will have the exact same issue you are trying to resolve.
  • Bidding on one now. Thanks again for all the help. Tell you a funny story: My father in law got the new Mac-book Pro with Lion and he hates it due to the fact it is a new operating system and he uses Appleworks for everything and it is, what I am told, no longer supported. This is the second one he has spilled water into, I was unable to get his last one before he through it in the trash.
  • No problem, glad it worked out!

    Sounds like a trashcan worth keeping an eye on! :-)

    It might be worth investing $10 in a rubber keyboard protector. Personally I hate typing on them, but my girlfriend has one on her MacBook, and it's definitely kept a lot of food, liquid, etc., from getting into the keys.
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