MacBook Pro 17" Unibody

Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010 & Late 2011

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Multiple issues after red wine damage partially working but need help.

Hi Guys,

O.k Here goes, my macbook has really been through the wars after getting red wine spilt on it.

I have personally given it an alchohol bath and clean the whole board top to bottom. it's supposedley also had a reflow as I took it to a guy who did them and I also did the 'oven trick' several times.

If I press the power button the two fans spin up for less that a second and nothing happens.

However, If i place my finger on top of 2 resistors (circled in the pic) I am able to get it to start, it will then happily stay on and work as normal, unless it goes into sleep mode, if this happens for more than a minute or so I have to place my finger on the resistor again to make it start.

This is my first issue. The guy that did the reflow mentioned something about it not having a decent 'g3 on' signal? and that it was unstable or something? I am pretty sure that some component has failed here and would really like someone capable of board level repairs to take a look..

The second issue has recently developed. The built in display started to turn itself on and off, while i had a 2nd display plugged in, and the mac would switch desktops between both displays as if I had unplugged the 2nd display, this gradually evolved into the internal display not working at all.

Right now I can only use the external display although at the second of boot time The internal display does flash on for a moment as do the keyboard lights. Now when the machine is running I have NO trackpad, No Internal Keyboard and NO internal display.

Ok, so here'e another strange thing.

I found that if I hold my finger on the power button whilst connecting the internal battery and let go the machine then starts up with fans at full speed and boots up, like this the internal display works just fine no problems although still no keyboard/trackpad.

I realise that this all sounds far fetched, but I don't know exactly what I am doing, I know a fair bit about electronics but I am clearly not a mac expert. pretty happy that I at least got some life out of the thing that was previously thought completley dead. I really cannot afford a logic board right now and I hope that there may be someone out there that could nurse her back to life?

many thanks for any assistance I may receive.

Cheers,

Brad, FL, USA

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I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who can take a repair further than the washing and reflowing etc. pretty sure there are some dead components here.

by Brad Holland

Brad Holland, any chance you could post the last three digits of your serial number, or the number of your logic board on here? that way I could check for a schematic and see if we can find out more about your issues.

by oldturkey03

hey oldturkey! I was hoping you would show up in the thread! :) serial# is C02HD3E4DV11 thanks!

by Brad Holland

2.4 GHz Core i7 (I7-2760QM) Intro Date: October 24, 2011 Disc Date: June 11, 2012 Order No: MD311LL/A Model No: A1297 (EMC 2564*) Subfamily: Late 2011 17" Model ID: MacBookPro8,3 Std RAM: 4 GB Std VRAM: 1 GB* Std Storage: 750 GB (5400 RPM) Std Optical: 8X DL "SuperDrive" I'll check on the schematic. I do not think that the issue with the two components is caused by bridging the contacts, but more of an issue of discharging them. By you touching the contacts you are discharging those to ground.

by oldturkey03

anybody with me still?

by Brad Holland

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Isopropyl alcohol does a good job cutting through the oils & fats but it doesn't do a good job with water soluble stuff like sugars & other solids, or dilute acids or bases.

Using the oven or reflowing the chips doesn't do much here if the issue is trace material altering the electrical properties of the circuit. Unless I saw some degrading of the solder joints some where it shouldn't be needed.

I always wash down my logic boards with distilled water (not tap!) so I can remove the water soluble stuff first and try to remove as much of the acids or bases of what was spilled off. Then I wash the board down with Isopropyl alcohol as it has a second property I like and that of a dryer to help in removing the water I had used or was spilled. Even still I let the board air dry in a sunny location for a day letting the IR of the suns rays warm the board causing any remaining moisture out.

The fact you place your finger on the logic board alters things enough for it to start i think is a clue here were you need to focus. I suspect you over focused on the logic board and didn't get to some of the spillage in other parts of the system.

If your system was running at the time then your keyboard got hit. I would focus on cleaning it. Sorry to say this is a big job as you will need to take just about everything out to get to it.

The first questions I have here is how long ago did this happen and did you take the keyboard apart already?

If you didn't strip it down thats were I would start, if you did then you may have a bad keyboard and/or ribbon assembly which you'll need to swap out.

As to the display issue that also supports more spillage into the lid/LCD area and/or bad LVDS cable.

Bad G3 signal? Sorry that makes no sense here. Your system doesn't have cellar service built-in. Do you think he was talking about your WiFi signal? That might be what he was talking about as the WiFi antennas are located in the lid. As you're having display issues it could be related to the spillage into the lid/LCD.

In any case you'll need to inspect things here to see if they have spillage or damage. This time try cleaning with the distilled water then the Isopropyl alcohol and make sure you let things fully dry before powering up.

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The board is definitely as clean as can be, its been cleaned several times with distilled water very thoroughly and alcohol by myself and also the guy that reflowed it. I didn't strip the keyboard, but once i got the machine running the keyboard was functioning fine, remember also the trackpad has gone out also which was working, is it likely they would both go together? I'm not sure I agree with you on the LVDS connector, as I mentioned, if i get it running in that mode with the fans on full blast the display works just fine. The guy wasn't talking about a 3g signal. he described 'G3ON' as a voltage signal used on the board kinda like a standby signal or something that should be a specific voltage but wasn't high enough or was jumping around all over the place. he thinks that by putting my fingers on that resistor that I am somehow smoothing it out, this could be complete bollocks though, I don't know.

by Brad Holland

You may need to strip the keyboard down and give the key switch contact plate a wash (power on switch) as I suspect there is something on it causing your grief there. I'll need to take a look at the schematic for G3ON and trace it out to offer anything more there. As the the LVDS cable, check the area around the logic board connector.

by Dan

already tried putting the board into a different case with keyb/etc :(

by Brad Holland

mmm.... OK, so that points back to the logic board. I guess you still have some residual wine some where under the components. Lets try a different tack here. Can you get your hands on a chargeable spray can? Basically you can add what you want into the container and then plug in a compressor to charge it with air. You can also use a hand pump version as well here (used in the kitchen to spray oil onto your food). The goal is to forcefully spray under the chips and connectors with 85% or better isopropyl alcohol to push out anything thats still left. The only thing I fear here is the cooking of the board may have burn't what was left making it harder to remove.

by Dan

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What I would like to know is if you are placing your fingers on top without or with (little) pressure on the resistors? What about touching only one of them?

And I agree - I would not focus that much on the logic board, but on cleaning ports and plugs and the keyboard. If I am right, red wine does have a capillary effect, so it may "creep" under the connector of the LVDS cable etc.

Once a while ago I had a "broken" keyboard - some keys did not work, others gave just nonsense characters back (on screen) and so on. I took out the keyboard and saw sand, hair etc. - after using a vacuum cleaner, it worked again as a charme ...

Regards, Stone

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HI Stone, as I said, we've tried it in a good shell with good keyboard with the same problem. However in answer to the resistor problem, I only have to very lightly touch the rightmost resistor. I tried rubbing a pencil across it to put a little graphite on it but that didnt work, so its def something to do with my body... strange but true.

by Brad Holland

Sorry Brad - it was late and I did not read every post carefully enough. You are right: by placing the board into a good housing having a good LCD, trackpad, keyboard etc and no function is recognized than it must be obviously the board itself. At least I like to stick to the connectors. Can you have a close look to them? As I mentioned - but this means you 've drowned the Book into red wine ;-) - wine does have a capillary effect and so the connectors could be still dirty. I am not sure about the cleaning process you did, but I think it was pretty intense, but wine or liquor often behaves like glue. As I am not that familiar with the english terms, does an alcohol bath means the same than "washing petrol" / cellulose thinner? Regards, Stone

by Stone

Stone - No, Isopropyl alcohol is not the same as Ethanol or other petrol products (its not as flammable). And, I agree wire, beer & liquor can be difficult to remove if not caught quickly.

by Dan

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Brad Holland, the two components are capacitors. They carry reference designator C9719 and C9715. Both of these are 2.2UF 100V 10% 1210 package caps. This will explain why it changes when you place your fingers on those, you are actually discharging the caps by doing so. If you can get your hand on a capacitance meter or ESR meter, you could check to see if they are doing their job. In absence of that, see if my wiki write up will help with a "all-or-nothing" test.

" I can only use the external display although at the second of boot time The internal display does flash on for a moment as do the keyboard lights. Now when the machine is running I have NO trackpad, No Internal Keyboard and NO internal display." makes sense since both of those components are part of the LCD Backlight Driver circuit. Hope this helps, good luck

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Great wiki write-up OT ! You have too much time on your hands ;-}

by Dan

Thanks Dan. I only wish I had more time but I seem to be spreading myself rather thin these days. Between family, job and trying to get a business established by late fall, time is a rare commodity :-). Thanks again.

by oldturkey03

Hi Dan If you touch the capacitors and something of the MacBook body at the same time and it is working then, it seems like a grounding issue to me. Of course you can ground the caps by placing your fingers on it and having contact to electrical earth through your feet e.g. but this is not so likely. You can prove if it is a grounding issue by touching the caps with something as an insulator between caps and your fingers. Regards, Stone

by Stone

Stone - I think Brad was who you wanted to tell this to. My comment to OT was just the amount of work he puts into answering peoples questions. To then have the time to do a in depth write up on capacitors on the side blows me away. I've been helping as I can for a year and a half in my spare time, and I don't even come close to answering a quarter of the questions of what he does.

by Dan

I'll try replacing that capacitor and see if it helps. thanks Oldturkey. :) I'll report back soon!

by Brad Holland

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Try using 99.9% isopropyl alcohol then put motherboard in a sealed container full of white rice over night!this has worked well for me in the past.

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Using reagent grade Isopropyl alcohol (98%) which is the strongest you can get drys quite quickly that you don't need the rice trick. But, if you get something wet with straight water then thats a good way to dry a still sealed up iPhone or iPad it out. I wouldn't try that with milk, wine or other kind of drink spillage as the sugars, acids & solids in them need to be dealt with quickly that drying will make them harder to remove. Thats when you really need to disconnect the battery & open things up to get to the spillage as quickly as possible.

by Dan

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Brad Holland will be eternally grateful.

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