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Won't wake up: logic board repair needed!

(edited - skip to my own answer below)

Do I have a problem with the Main Logic Board? Maybe the SMC? Or is it something else entirely?

Like so many other have reported, my MacBook Air (late 2010, A1369) doesn't wake from sleep. And when it starts from cold, the realtime clock is reset (to 1 Jan 2000).

When it is asleep, attempts to wake it (keyboard, trackpad, open and close clamshell) seem to have no response. After perhaps 20 seconds, the fan starts spinning at full speed (and the CPU gets hot), but there are no other signs of life. It will stay in that state for at least 30 minutes; the only thing that has any effect is a forced shutdown. It doesn't seem to matter if it is running on batteries or power.

After lots of reading, and trying every purported solution I came across, I am suspecting a problem with the SMC, or perhaps some other part of the main logic board. I've run Apple Hardware Test and found nothing. I've done a SMC reset. I've reinstalled OSX (Lion, but I don't think that matters). I've set the startup disk. I've deep-cycled the battery. I've opened the case and blown all the dust away. I've removed the battery and reinstalled it. I've tried various settings for pmset -a hibernatemode. I've deleted sleepimage. And plenty more beside...

I think I've done everything I can reasonably do, and it looks like a hardware fault - probably with the main logic board (MLB) and quite possibly with the SMC. Everything else seems to work fine. (I would be getting errors about the clock being set to before 2008, except it is finding my WiFi network and running nntp fairly early on in the boot process).

Before ordering a replacement main logic board (or sending this one to be fixed), are there are any other tests I can run, or things I should look at?


My own answer:

Yes, the board need repair.

I followed the instructions here on ifixit, and had a close look.

Block Image

Imagine my surprise when there was an actual bug pressed up against the SMC (the orange thing at top left of photo). Even if it was not the actual cause of the SMC failure, it makes a great story.

I packed the board up and sent it to a company in China (trading as macexpert on AliExpress).

Block Image

They repaired the board, for about 200 dollars all up (including postage in both directions). They didn't actually tell me the SMC had been replaced, but it was definitely my board that came back and the SMC was subtly different (although you can't really tell in the second photo).

So... yes: logic board repair needed. And if you're an ifixit sort of person, you don't have to pay the extreme Apple-authorised-repairer prices. Another ifixit success story.

MacBook Air 13" Late 2010 Battery Image


MacBook Air 13" Late 2010 Battery Replacement

Difficulty: Moderate10 - 30 minutes

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Yes - You do have a logic board problem. As you are loosing the date & time the clock capacitor is bad. But, what gets me here is that shouldn't effect the sleep mode so you have a second problem. Have you reset the PRAM as well? The only other thing that could cause such strange issues is corrosion on the logic board. Did you get your system wet with water or something?


PRAM reset was another thing I tried (and it also had no effect).

I have the skills to open it up (and already have done so).

There's no water anywhere on the top of the MLB (and no reason to expect any has got in). I haven't pulled the board out all the way to check the underside yet.


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Sounds like you'll need to open the system do you have the skills? If not it's best to bring this into an Apple store to Apple authorized service center for repair.

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Apple will charge an arm and a leg, and I don't think I need to pay that much. It's out of warranty, of course. My plan is to replace the logic board, or perhaps get this board repaired.

But before committing to that, I'd like to be reasonably confident that will fix the problem.


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I'm in a similar situation with my A1466 13" Air - working fine, wakes up dead 8)

Here in NZ, no apple store, just out of applecare, Bugger.

Quoted NZ$900+GST to replace logic board. Ouch. A new Air is only NZ$1499 - even more ouch!

iFixit is out of stock on A1466 boards, so I've bought one secondhand for US$186 - have to see how that goes.

Plus US$50 for tools from iFixit of course.

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My A1466 13" Just recently began to do the EXACT same thing! I am taking it to the Genius bar next week (its over ~300 miles away). Was working fine, then died from low battery, charged it to full, but still will not wake up :( Took it to a local shop who said it was more than likely the logic board, but they refused to open it for me. Hopefully I will get some answers other than ' you must pay $700-800 to get it fixed?'.


Repair 100% successful. I'm still using this old repaired Air now!!


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Ian will be eternally grateful.
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