Early 2011 model, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor.

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MBP 13 Early 2011 Not charging - Green light comes and goes

I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro i5 13-inch. It has had charging issues for a good six 8-9 months, but is now in a completely unusable state.

The issues started with the MagSafe not immediately charging the laptop and needing to be fiddled with and plugged out and back in a few times for it to be recognised. After a while this got pretty severe and then it just stopped charging altogether. But my charger was a 3rd party one and also in a very bad state with a frayed cable, so I put the laptop away for a couple months. I then bought a new charger (also 3rd party) and it started working again. Occasionally needed to be fiddled with to be recognised like before, but it mostly worked for a good month or so.

Now though, no amount on unplugging and replugging helps. The green light usually comes on for a second or two and goes away. Sometimes it stays longer - 30 seconds to a minute, and the laptop even begins to boot up, but eventually it stops charging and the machine dies.

I bought a replacement DC-In Board and tried to get a 3rd party repair store to fix it. They said the issue was recurring even with the new part and returned the laptop to me with the old part, without charging me. They suggested that the issue was probably with the logic board but they couldn't tell without a diagnostic which is a bit expensive.

Are there any other simple, cheap fixes that I could try? How can I make sure it is a logic board issue? The laptop has served me well for 7 years and still runs like a champ (when it runs) thanks to some upgrades I did on it (SSD + RAM). So I would very much like to save it. But if it is a logic board issue, I don't think it makes sense to invest the money (roughly the equivalent of a Chromebook) on a laptop this old already and likely to develop more issues soon.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks much!

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Sorry to say many 3rd party chargers are not that good and in some, they can hurt you and your computer!

I would start off getting a real Apple MagSafe charger if you really want to salvage your system. Review this Apple T/N on what unit you'll need: Find the right power adapter and cable for your Mac notebook. You really need to make sure the power source is reliable.

Next you'll need to do a bit more diagnostics using this free app: CoconutBattery You'll need to run it twice once with the power adapter plugged in and a second after you've disconnected it. Take a screen snapshot of the main window and paste them both here for us to see Adding images to an existing question

As to the investment of fixing Vs getting a Chromebook. I would make the investment! The MacBook Pro Unibody system which is what you have are the most durable laptop out there even today! It's also quite repairable! Given what you've already invested in the upgrades and the fact it's not a slouch of a system still able to run the current MacOS and apps.

FYI: I'm using a 2011 system which I upgraded to a 2012 logic board right now.

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I get your point about 3rd party chargers. Looks like I saved a few bucks on them only to potentially spend a whole lot more on a new laptop.

Unfortunately, I cannot do the diagnostic you suggested since I can't get the laptop to charge enough to come on. Even with an Apple charger, which I've borrowed off a friend, the same problem persists.

Oh another interesting symptom that I forgot to mention last time is that the fan comes on (and stays on) when plugged in even if the laptop is still off. So clearly some power is being delivered.

Anything else I can do?


I wouldn't be so quick the throw the baby out with the water ;-} This is still a very good system!

Yes, you have a power issue on the logic board which will need someone with micro soldering skills to fix.

Where are you located on this big blue marble?


I live in Mumbai, India.

I've taken it to a few third-party repair stores, but none of them inspired any confidence. They couldn't tell me what was wrong in any specific terms, just wanted to replace the whole board straightaway.

From prior experience, I am guessing Apple's official support guys will also recommend the same (or more likely, that I throw it away and buy a new Mac from them.) They're usually useless unless you have the latest and greatest model and it's in warranty.


Have you looked in China? You may need to ship it to someone there. The other option is just give it a go on your own! India taxes everything so heavily thats imported so a $300-450 logic board will cost you still more but a new system likewise won't be cheap either.

If you travel maybe taking it with you and getting the logic board shipped to where you are planing on going might be a way to get your system fixed that way.


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