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

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Why won't it boot?

Hi there,

I'll try to keep this brief, but it's a rather long winded story, and unfortunately I believe all the chapters are of relevance.

So let's get started. It all began when I poured s glass of wine onto the keyboard, which was replaced by a pro. Worked for about 6 months, then it would start to boot, then cut out. Before it died all together, it would take anywhere upwards of 20 presses in the power button to get it to boot completely. Took it to another pro, had a chip replaced on the motherboard.

About a month later, it started showing the same symptoms as before. Now what is weird is that the first press would get so far in the boot process. But the second would cut our straight away. 3rd would get a little further, 4th would die straight away, 6th a little further than the 4th, etc, etc, I'm sure you get the idea. I really got the impression that the computer needed to warm up, as this only seemed to happen when the computer was off overnight or for a long period. It would restart without a hitch if it had been on for a while. Towards the end, it would turn off unexpectantly during use, but this was very rare.

Now I was able to try the battery, hard drive and RAM in another (working) MacBook Pro, and they all tested fine. I tried the motherboard in the working Mac, but not surprisingly, that didn't work. I took it into Apple just before it stopped booting all together, and they said there were no detected hardware errors.

The DVDs drive wouldn't read DVDs or CDs anymore, but would burn ok if I forced it onto it's lowest speed (I don't believe this to be related). Also, the Status Indicator Light cable wasn't working (again, I don't believe this to be related).

I appreciate any light you can shed!



Update (02/18/2016)

Here's some noticeable damage on the motherboard

Block Image

Update (02/18/2016)

Here's another one, although maybe it's just from fixing the chip to the motherboard??

Block Image

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@inajiffy - Luke I fixed your posts. Only questions and answers support images.


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1 Answer

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Sounds like the pro was not such a good pro ;-{

Clearly there is still traces of wine in the system which over time has damaged things. At this time you'll need to tear down the system completely and carefully clean up the corrosion and any remaining wine as the acids and sugars within it will slowly eat away your system.

OK, here is what I do which takes a lot of time to do right. Using distilled water and cotton swabs (Q-Tips) and a soft toothbrush clean the areas that I find that need cleaning. In some cases I use a hand pump spray can loaded with distilled water to wash the whole board. Once I got all of the water soluble stuff off I would use a high grade isopropyl alcohol (85% or better) to again wash down the same areas so any oils are removed and the alcohol will act as a dryer removing the water that has seeped in. Once I have clean things I would let them dry out on a warm window sill (sun lit) for a good day.

If I saw anything that needed replacing this is the time I would do that. In most cases I just replace the keyboard unit as its just easier that trying to clean.

Update (02/21/2016)

Compare your logic board with the IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Logic Board Replacement.

If you look at this one: Main Logic board - CPU chip side. Note the corner block has melted on the chip from your second pic.

Sadly, this points to an overheated chip which has likely failed. The heat sink or the fan may have been the cause.

Sorry guy its time for a logic board.

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Thanks so much for your help Dan. I'm going to buy the supplies you suggested and give it a try, so in a day or two, I should be able to tell you how it went. Any ideas on what damage would cause the computer to have so much trouble starting up?


Take some pics and post them in your question on what you see


I'm so happy, I could kiss you Dan (don't worry, I won't!). I did as you said, cleaned everything, put it all carefully back together, and low and behold, the %#*@ thing fired up, and has been working great since. So apparently it isn't time for a new logic board, which is a relief. Thank you so much for your great advice, it really saved the day, I just wish I'd done it myself when the liquid damage happened, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and lost hours!! I owe you one ;).

All the very best,

A very indebted iFixed-it-er!


Happy to hear its working! Had another thought here is it possible the so called Pro baked your logic board thinking that would fix things? That could explain why the chip corner blocks are melted!


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Luc REVEL will be eternally grateful.
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