Won't start up on battery power or on adapter

My MacBook Pro won't turn on with battery or adapter. I've tried the method of holding the power button with no power to it for Ten seconds and then plugging everything back in. That worked a few times and it was fine as long as it was on and had power. If the battery power got too low or if I shut if off its tough to get it started now. I suspect that one of the boards inside is going or is now gone, seeing as how it won't start up at all now. I have the correct power cord for the laptop. It doesn't turn on at all when I push the power button. No fan noises, no lights on the front. Mag shows green and the battery shows as fully charged.

I noticed the last few times the battery died without me turning it completely off it was tough to turn back on and we went away for the weekend, so thinking it was cause of that I turned it completely off and now it looks like it's completely dead. It's really cold so I tried having it on my lap for a little while but that's not working either. I had a windows computer that would quit installing windows when the laptop got too hot, which it always did when it was installing. Had to have it downstairs in the cold basement for it to completely install and thought that might be a similar issue.

I did spill a beer on it about a year ago. I immediately turned it over and angled it so what made it in ran to the side without the hard drive. After letting it dry for a couple days I turned it on and it ran fine with the exception of the keyboard being dead. I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for it and that worked out great. I was going to replace the keyboard at some point, which will be now if I have to replace a board as well.

I saw on here that others had similar problems, so I'm pretty sure it's not the beer(unless they spilled some on theirs also) and I'm pretty sure it's not software issue from new OS, update, etc. Just looking for some advice on which board it could be and a possible cost estimate for a DIY job.

Thanks all.

Edit: If I replace the logic board will it just start up or will I need to reinstall everything on the hard drive?

Second Edit: Finally got it to boot up. Left it to warm up on my lap for like an hour and took all power off of it, held the power button for 8 seconds, put the battery back in, and hit the power button 3 times and it booted back up. I'm backing up everything when I get home (phew). Had TimeMachine going before, but it was taking a while to backup since the last OS update and haven't had it done for a few months.

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You got a pickle of a mess here ;-{

First your spilled beer still could be causing you problems!

If you don't take the system apart and clean out the wet (or dried) beer overtime it will allow fungus and other stuff to grow which creates acids that will eat into your logic board and other parts.

As to your issue you have now: The keyboard circuitry is likely messed up. The power switch is part of it, so you'll need to pop the bottom cover and see if the power pads allow the system to turn on, if not then you have a logic board issue. If you can get the system to start up via the power pads then the keyboard needs replacing.

Update (09/26/2016)

You'll need to follow this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Logic Board Replacement.

For the keyboard you'll need to take the display off first. Follow this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Display Assembly Replacement. Then to get to the keyboard its self, you'll need to look at the teardown here: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Teardown Jump down to Step28 to pick up on how to disassemble the upper case so you can replace the keyboard unit. You'll need to look online for a replacement.

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Image


MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Teardown


Very easy

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Logic Board Image


MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Logic Board Replacement



2 hours

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Display Assembly Image


MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Display Assembly Replacement



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I was hoping to not have to take it apart, hence the bluetooth keyboard instead of buying a new one, but it looks like I should still take it apart to clean it/change the keyboard. It'll be an interesting night project. It only recently just started happening and it responds like normal as long as it's on and doesn't get shut off.

I have DI water at work, I assume that would be good to clean up residue off the board if there is any.

Also guess I have to shut it off again to see if the power pads start it up. I think I read about that one...you take off the cover and use a small screwdriver to connect the two pads right?

Thanks again!


You'll need both distilled water (not tap!) and isopropyl alcohol (85% or better).

The water to deal with the water soluble parts of the beer. The isopropyl alcohol to help dry out the water. You'll also need a soft toothbrush, cotton swabs (Q-Tips) and some can'ed air. You'll likely need to remove the heat sink. If you do, you'll need the special cleaner to clean off the old thermal paste and you'll need new paste as well (two tubes will be needed here). Follow this IFIXIT technique guide: How to Apply Thermal Paste

I would recommend you get a plastic tub that the logic board can fit into so you can soak it (if you think it needs it). You'll need to remove the heat sink if you do. Don't soak it too long an hour at most should do it.


Thank you very much. I was hoping that since I flipped it over fairly quickly that the keyboard was the only thing that got beer in it, but I guess I'll know when I get it apart. This thing has performed remarkably ever since I got it with all it's been through.


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