The larger of Apple's MacBook Air laptops featuring dual microphones and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Mid-2013 MBA wouldn't boot or SMC reset; new logic board --> erratic

  • Mid-2013 MBA suddenly froze up in the middle of use. Closed it up, refused to boot afterwards.
  • Took to Genius Bar. All attempts at SMC reset, PRAM reset, etc. failed. Charge light does not react to SMC reset.
  • They suggested logic board failure. I ordered new logic board on eBay and installed myself.
  • Here's where it gets weird. Nothing happened at first. I fiddled around with unplugging battery and plugging back in, etc., and lo and behold it did start up eventually! But with telltale symptoms of an SMC issue: fans running hot, slow performance, etc. But this is a new logic board!
  • Now sometimes it starts up, sometimes it doesn't. Last night it started up a half-dozen times out of maybe 200 tries. This morning, won't start up at all.
  • Any suggestions? I'm stumped. Thought replacing the logic board would do it :-/. Thanks for your help in response.
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What is the MagSafe LED status Green or orange and is it blinking?

Also, is the cord in good shape no kinks, bumps or cuts?

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Green, solid. I was able to run down the battery slightly with it on last night and then it went to orange, solid, until charged then green. Quite normal. Cord is in good shape; I own an MBP too and tried that cord as well. Both work on the MBP.

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I had one in like this. Drove me up the wall. Once it started all would work well. But if I shut it done it would not start unless I disconnected the battery and the mag-safe then plugged them back in. I ended up replacing the keyboard and it was the power on button. It works just fine now. No water damage and all the other keys worked just fine.

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@mayer - this is exactly how mine is behaving! I was about to throw in the towel but makes me think maybe it's worth one more disassembly and just replace the keyboard. You literally replaced only the keyboard?

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Yes, just the keyboard. All the keys functioned except the power on button.

See if this is the right one and get the screws too. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-US-Keyboard-...

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Check the pins on both ends of the trackpad cable, the trackpad board, keyboard cable, charger board, and pins on the I/O cable (runs across the fan) for liquid damage or burnt pins. The I/O cable & charger board can cause a dim green light, and the I/O cable & trackpad or trackpad cable can cause high fan spin, if the new logic board is definitely working. Check these out, I can guarantee this a few of these will be the issue. Most likely will be a bad I/O cable.

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All look normal. This is our computer and has no history of liquid damage.

Would any of these issues prevent boot? The IO cable actually was replaced by Apple about a year ago.

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Yes, these parts can prevent it from booting. I have had a few with liquid damage on the keyboard (minor) which can cause high fan spin as well. Try booting it with the keyboard disconnected (it will boot when you put the charger in). Double check the I/O cable pins to make sure none are black. ave you also checked the underside of the board for liquid damage?

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I actually got it to boot back up! Runs really slow and fan running all the time. I haven't been able to check the I/O cable pins you mentioned, etc. This is all quite mysterious to me. I may just sell for parts, have sunk so much time into it already :-(. Thank you for your help!

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I would never buy logic boards from eBay. Their sold there for a reason. Only ones with problems would be sold there. Otherwise they would be used already to sell MacBooks as working.

It's probably liquid damage on the board with shorted or burnt out components.

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If it is now booting up, but the fans are spinning all the time, this will be either the trackpad, trackpad cable or IO cable. You are nearly there, so I would recommend checking the cables for burnt pins, or things that look wrong. There is a chance it could be something on the board (there are a few resistors which act as sensors) but wouldn't know without looking at it.

Regarding eBay logic boards, they are all usually refurbished boards, but if bought with a warranty will work fine. I think in your case, it is a combination of another part (causing the fan spin) and possibly liquid damage on the board, if it was not properly cleaned. If you have a warranty on the board, I would contact the seller.

The reason the boards are sold alone instead of as a whole unit is if the other parts in the Macbook are not working (not worth replacing the parts then selling on) or if the parts are salvaged, since you will make more money selling the parts separately/using for repairs than selling the whole unit.

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