2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2014 7:44 AM by leroydouglas
multiplryan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello,

 

Less than a year after purchasing a brand new, early-2011 Macbook Pro (still covered under Extended Apple Care) and, sadly, only a week or two after finally upgrading to 8GB RAM, I returned to my notebook after taking a shower and watched it suddenly shut itself down. It has not been responsive to the power button since then (although, see below.. I think I can fix it).

 

Genius Bar took one look at the visible moisture sensor you can see underneath where the RAM sits and declared it water-damaged. While I agree that either a short and/or corrosion is causing my MBP to malfunction, I don't believe it should void my warranty because the problem isn't that I spilled something on it.1

 

I hope someone can give me some insight into fixing this myself. Apple says "the Logic Board needs replaced" (a common CS response, I've noticed) the water damage voids my Extended Care + that it'll be at least $1200 and several weeks. Here's the situation:

  • MBP will not turn on just by pressing the power button. However, MBP consistently (every time) powers up when I do an SMC reset.
  • I have it in verbose mode and it begins booting. But, it will invariably turn off without warning anywhere between 30 seconds and 8-10 minutes after powering up.
  • MBP will not turn on just by pressing the power button. However, MBP consistently (every time) powers up when I do an SMC reset.
  • I have it in verbose mode and it begins booting. But, it will invariably turn off without warning anywhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes of powering up.
  • Eighty percent of the time, it turns off during the pre-Xorg boot. However, I have also seen it fully boot, I log in, I'm able to peruse logfiles/etc. Safe Mode (holding shift) crashes early. Single-user mode makes no difference. PRAM/NVRAM/etc makes no difference. I can boot to the Recovery Partition but it turns off just the same (disk utility scan takes too long).
  • I haven't been able to really test the Internet Recovery because the hotel wireless takes too long. I did boot into Hardware Test and it passed the basic and extended tests (although it seemed to just be testing the RAM integrity.
  • I can boot from the optical drive with a FreeBSD 9 livecd and an Ubuntu 11.04 livecd. Of note is that the laptop shuts off consistently when FreeBSD begins the journaling services for the ZFS filesystem (every time).

 

Here is where this leads me to believe I'm at (I am not dogmatic here and would appreciate any corrections or insight):

  • It seems like there may be corrosive damage on the logic board but maybe it's isolated given the various consistencies in what's happening. It seems like whenever SATA is use, I lose power. When SATA isn't really used (the HW Test), the laptop has literally stayed on for days and days.
  • I want to get in there and clean up any corrosion with 91% isopropyl alcohol (9% distilled, non-conductive water).
  • I want to use a bootable OSX livecd with an "emergency console" so I can, basically, use boot options to step throught the boot process and see if I can isolate the problem.

 

Here is what I'm uncertain about and could use guidance:

  • Does any of this sound remotely reasonable to anyone who has been through this or am I delusional?
  • Any tips on identifying and cleaning any corrosion?
  • While I had made a bootable version of Lion via Disk Utility and a rescue disk with some third-party app, they are MIA and I don't have another Mac at the moment. Do I have any other options? Again, an install dvd is not exactly what I want -- more like a rescue dvd. I had read about some Apple Stores giving/copying bootable USB thumb drives like this to customers. But, I noticed that this is now on sale there for $80. I would use this like once and, ideally, could use my MBP to make more. $80 seems a bit much.
  • I should be able to step through the boot process in a way like what's possible with FreeBSD, no?
  • Anyone have any other specific troubleshooting tips?

 

I really, reallly need my MBP back as soon as possible. I'd really appreciate any wisdom and insight! Thank you,

-ryan                             

                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

                                                                                            

  1. To be totally honest, about 3 weeks prior I spilled some milk from cereal on the desk and a little bit got onto the battery. However, the notebook worked fine for the following weeks. I believe that the problems have been caused by ambient humidity ... I've been staying in a hotel that steams up the entire room when I take a shower. The windows are covered in water droplets so why wouldnt the MBP be affected? As noted, these problems began after I lingered in a hot shower.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2), Early 2011