Fan spins, all the lights blink, won't power on

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I have a macbook pro 13" unibody late 2011 model.

On my Macbook Pro I had a protective silicone keyboard cover and my friend spilled about an ounce of water onto the cover and we grabbed it right up and removed the cover and that's where most of the water was. We immediately turned the machine off, dabbed up all the water and left it off and unplugged for 36 hours. WE brought it to genius bar and they could not fix it claiming there was water damage all through the logic board. When I opened it later since my warranty is voided I could not find water damage on every component as I was told.

When its plugged in the magsafe power adapter lights up green and then orange. The fan spins, the part where the hardrive is connected blinks. I've even heard the macbook try to "Breathe" And at one point it would charge my devices.

When its charging I can see the green lights and I've gotten 100 per cent charge before.

The magsafe LED does also react to the power button being depressed.

The macbook's screen does not come on and the power button itself won't light up when I touch it.

The screen does not come on at all.

Is this salvageable? I can't seem to remove the battery as the last screw that has to come out has been stripped.

I cannot find a solution. I noticed the hard drive is Toshiba so I can get my files out because it seems to still be in great shape so if I have to remove the harddrive to transfer files with my son in law's black widow I will do that to at least salvage my files.

But if I can get it back to running I'd like to craigslist it for a few hundred dollars and be done with mac altogether. I'd rather not have to scrap it for parts if anyone has any good advice.

ETA: After further inspection it is a bit worse water damaged than I thought. Any help appreciated

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2 Answers

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Firstly stop plugging it in. I see corrosion by TPS51125, displayport circuitry, U7400 for CPU power(which is most likely the cause of it not coming on properly). The more you turn it on in this heavily liquid damaged state the more it will die.

Post pictures of the water affected areas, really good ones and answer these questions/follow these steps for me so I can further help you.

a) Take pictures, good ones, of EVERY CORRODED AREA before you follow step B.

b) Clean that stuff on the top with a toothbrush and alcohol. Eventually the T29 displayport power circuitry will short the main power rail to ground and it will not turn on, so get it while it's there. Buy some 99% alcohol from a pharmacy, buy a cheapo baking tray from a corner store bodega for a dollar, and dump the board in there with the alcohol. Toothbrush away with it fully submerged in the alcohol.

c) After this is done, let it drip, and put it in an oven at 250f for an hour. NO HIGHER than 250f.

d) Does it chime? Make that DAAAAAH noise when it turns on?

e) If you switch around the RAM in the RAM slots, what happens? Try one RAM stick at a time in each slot, only one stick. Try this with both sticks.

I need pictures of the areas, most likely it is a combination of corrosion and burned out 90.9 kohm CPUIMVP_TON resistor to U7400, but need pictures to confirm. How handy are you with a soldering iron?

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You need to use at least 90% alcohol or there will be too much water in it for cleaning. Use caution with the temp on baking… others here have had components fall off when the oven got too hot.


You know what? Haha I am not tech savvy enough. My son in law might but he's not up for the task of pulling it apart. I will remove my files (hoping my hard drive survived) and sell it all as one piece with everything as is with water damage and be done with it. Ah what a disappointment but oh well I'm cutting my losses.

What can/should I ask on ebay for this computer in this condition? I am sure someone has the patience to deal with it and I know I won't recover all I spent on this computer but would like a little cash seeing as someone can probably profit from it if they can spend the time to repair it.


$100 maybe. The drive is almost always fine, just buy a USB to SATA 2.5" enclosure for five to fifteen bucks and plug it into your next computer. Use migration assistant to grab the files off and you will be fine.

I might be interested in taking it since I already know what's wrong with it and how to fix the board but you will definitely get more for it off eBay.


If you find someone local who has a clue what to do with these types of things that does board level rework, tell them to replace R7402 with a new 90.9 kohm & clean the via on the 12.6v side. It'll save them a lot of time and hassle. Just ask upfront if they do board repair so you avoid the expensive places that just ship it out to someone like me to do the work.

If you can get it fixed for under two hundred bucks it's worth it, see what's around where you live. I little toothbrush around U7201 & the displayport circuitry on the edge, and replacing one resistor should have that back in business.

Where do you live? Maybe there's a place I know of I can point you to.


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Try connecting to an external monitor - is that showing anything? External video bypasses the onboard display chain so if the logic board GPU is ok an external monitor would confirm it, and you might be able to use the machine that way.

The power button circuitry runs through the keyboard so water damage there often affects "power on". A short in that circuit may be what is turing the machine on when power is applied. You might be able to Jumpstart MacBook Pro 2011? (disconnect the keyboard ribbon cable before attempting).

Often these LED models suffer liquid damage to a fuse/controller that blanks the backlight. Have you tried shining a strong flashlight through the back (Apple window).

There are many suggestions for dealing with What are your tips/tricks for removing or extracting stripped screws?.

In most cases a liquid spill on the top case calls for a top case replacement.

If you're selling it on Craigslist or E-bay you should disclose it's liquid damage history.

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it accepted.

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