Late 2011 model, A1278 / 2.4 GHz i5 or 2.8 GHz i7 processor.

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Possible water damage; works fine, but reboots sporatically...

I came in one night to find my Macbook Pro 13" closed, when I had left it open ajar (about 2-3" gap). Upon opening it, I found smears on the screen, the keyboard protector missing, and water droplets on the keyboard. There was no life. The 60w PSU was plugged in, but no green light at all. I figured sabotage. A cat couldn't have done this, could they? No water was anywhere near the laptop. The keyboard protector was on the ground and damaged. THIS, I knew, the cat had done!

After lots of effort to "dry it out" (hair dryer), I opened up the back and not a single speck of water or moisture was visible anywhere. The PSU (power supply) indicator would glow very dim green and then flicker. The system was not coming to life.

I did notice a bit of dusty gunk in one area towards the back of the logic board. I got some 91% rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush and gave it a bit of cleaning. I then proceeded to do the same all over the logic board and then dried it thoroughly with the hair dryer. Plugged it in and the PSU indicator came to life! Bright green! Fan came on, etc. Then it shut down (lid was closed, so it went back to sleep).

I also removed both RAM SODIMM modules to check/clean them and then reinstalled them. Plugged back in and...

3 beeps, repeating over and over. Hmm.

I unplugged, pulled the RAM, swapped them (bottom module now in top slot), and plugged back in. No more beeping. Put the bottom case back on and all seemed well and good again! Yay!

But now it does something very odd and annoying. It will spontaneously reboot at least twice! Usually shortly (within 30 minutes or so) after I push the power button to wake it up out of hibernation (I configured that mode, so I can shut it down, but not have to set up all my browser tabs again when I wake it up). Then it will usually do it once more (tonight it was maybe another 45-60 minutes later). Even idle (I'm not even at the computer). The only things open are Firefox, Safari, and TextEdit. No more than about 5 or 6 tabs open in either browser.

Some keys also repeat sporadically, but that could be the damaged keyboard protector "sticking". Not 100% certain. Have the protector off right now and I think it may still be doing it.

It hasn't rebooted since (tonight). Not sure if it will. Hope it won't. :-D

NOTE: I'm running MacOS X 10.7 (Lion). Why? I absolutely HATE the flat, boring UI of the latest versions. What's the latest version that DOESN'T have that?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Were any of the LSI (LIQUID SUBMERSION INDICATORS) activated? Did they turn red? If not, I may have a great solution for you. Was it doing any of this before the cat?


I love a good question sorry I cant give a good answer but we so rarely get such detailed questions it only right to comment when I see one


@mayer - I know nothing of such LSI's (I'm not as Mac-literate as I was back in the PowerPC days, my extreme loyalty was lost, when they switched to Intel). I sense sarcasm (I hope I'm wrong)... no, it was not behaving at all like that before the incident (cat or not; I do not know, nor do I care).


@Jimfixer - I believe in giving a thorough, detailed explanation, so there is no question as to how things unfolded and what the problem is. Thankfully, it was JUST a memory issue, solvable by a thorough cleaning (which I had not done earlier). Meesa sooooooo happy now! <--- Jar-Jar Binks speak. :-D


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I removed the bottom cover and did a little more 91% Rubbing Alcohol treatment on the logic board (with hair dryer after), then removed the RAM modules and dipped the gold leads in the alcohol and then inserted/removed them a few times into each slot, then dried both the modules and the slots with the hair dryer. Reinserted the modules, plugged in power to make sure everything initialized right, then put the bottom cover back on and... voila! I am typing this reply, HOURS after doing that and it has not spontaneously rebooted even ONCE! Hallelujah! Praise Almighty God, in the Highest! Amen!

Um, do I sound happy enough? :-D

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