Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Not switching on, and charger light is dim and flickering?


I'm in desperate need of help.

So my MacBook has died for no reason. I put it into sleep mode and closed it and when I went to work on it the next day it wouldn't switch on.

I figured the battery was dead so plugged it in, but the charger light was extremely dim and showed a flickering green/orange light. I tried my father's charger thinking that perhaps it was the chargers fault, but same result. I decided to google and do a SMC reset, but also nothing. The Mac is as dead as a doornail.

I opened up the back and disconnected the battery from the logic board. I left it disconnected for 2 minutes and while it was disconnected I plugged it into the charger. The chargers light was still dim and flickering. I unplugged the charger left the battery disconnected for an additional 2 minutes and then reconnected it. Still a dim flickering charging light.

I have noticed that there is a clicking noise coming from the charger is connected to the Mac, it seems to click with the flickering.

The battery indicator is unresponsive througout the entire process.

What can I do? Is there anything else I can do? What do you think is wrong?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Any updates on this one?

Having the same issue.


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2 Answers

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You isolated the issue: since even with battery unplugged the light remains dim, and the laptop would not start, it means your charging circuit is damaged.

It could be the charging chip, a component around it, or the SMC itself. Or all of them.

It would be a shame to discard the board and buy a new one because it can be fixed by a board level repair technician as this is usually a pretty straightforward repair. We do them constantly at around half the cost of a refurbished board from Apple and twice their warranty period (Apple sells you refurbished boards starting at $450+ and 90-day warranty, depending of course on the market). And we've never yet had any returns when it came to charging circuit repair.

So I would recommend finding a board level repair shop near you (walk-in or mail-in should still be cheaper than replacement from Apple or AASP) provided they offer a no-fix-no-fee solution to avoid paying diagnostic or handling fees if they can't or don't know how to actually repair it.

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Thanks Rany! I've contacted some people, so hopefully they can do exactly what you said. I'll let you guys know how it goes! Thank you so much for all your help!


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Lets make sure your MagSafe charger and connections are in good working order. Review this Apple T/N: Apple Portables: Troubleshooting MagSafe adapters

Sadly, it does sound like you have a logic board problem here within the charging logic. As your battery is fully discharged at this point it will be hard to check things.

I think its worth going to an Apple Store or Apple authorized service center for an estimate (free).

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Thanks Dan... still no luck with the MagSafe charger check either. So I'm going to send her in.

South African iStores refuse to even open models from 2013 and older and deem them "vintage". I'll try a Apple authorised service.

Adding in that my Mac battery has had a warning for the last 3 months that it needs to be serviced- but the lack of Apple support/resources made me ride it out. Could this have contributed?

Thanks again for the assistance, Dan!


mmm... 2012 systems here in the states are still worked on, alas this is the last year for them ;-{

A dead or bad battery doesn't explain the logic board issue. Consider the costs of the repair if you need to replace the battery as well.


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Danielle will be eternally grateful.
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