13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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Computer slow, fans full speed when internal keyboard removed

I have a MacBook Unibody 2008 2.4GHz that has broken screen hinges. Therefore, I decided to gut it and use it as a micro desktop.

When everything non-essential is detached, the fans go at full speed and the mac is slow as syrup. The time from power_on to white screen is also significantly longer.

As I don't need the internal keyboard I'm quite annoyed to find out that it needs to be connected for the mac to run at full speed.

What I need now is a work-around. Can you guys help?

I short pin 29 and 5 on the power connector to make it boot. Can I short other pins to make it fast again?

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As a workaround leave the keyboard on and use a bluetooth or USB keyboard/mouse. You can still hide the unit and have it working at best speed.

My best guess is that the keyboard is pressing/flexing a sensor cable into making good contact. When the tension is released the cable shorts causing a fault to the EFI which runs the fans at max (default setting to save the CPU).

You can try to figure out with the careful use of a magnifier and mirror (no power) to peek under the keyboard which sensor is the best candidate for the bad connection - or - just leave it as it is (If it ain't broke, don't iFixit).

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Thanks for the reply. That is of course a possibility, but that will defeat the whole purpose of the project; A incredibly small full-fletched PC.

I also figured that it is some sort of safe switch or maybe that caps lock diode that works at some sort of built in diagnostics, but I unfortunately do not have the expertise to find out what is the actual culprit.

Does anyone have first hand experience with this?


I am not aware of any onboard sensor/component in the top case. For diagnostics running the laptop with an alternate keyboard/mouse is a standard practice.


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