Why is the battery not recognised by the computer?

Macbook Pro 15 A1286 Model 5.3 2.8ghz

I bought this computer off a friend for £100. He had spilled a bottle of Orange drink in his laptop bag and thought the computer was toast. I opened it up and let it dry for 6 months and recently fired it up. This is what I get:

Connect powerlead - bright green light.

press power button immediately chimes and starts up and runs great.

sound,airport (internet), camera, backlit screen, all buttons, usb ports (all ports) work fine.

BUT - it doesn't recognise the battery at all, and if I accidentally pull out the power lead while the computer is on and try to put it back in it will show a dim green light and will not start. I then have to leave it for a few hours and it will run fine again. ( I can however force it to start by holding the cmd key and the power button, but this makes the fan run really fast and the backlit keyboard is off)

Also, the optical drive doesn't work - I think most of the liquid was down at that end of the computer.

So, my question: (I'm typing on the computer now) - if I changed the battery would this (maybe) solve the problem? is the logic board damaged and causing the charging / battery problem?

This is a top end machine and had hardly ever been used so it would be great to get it fully repaired.

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A1286 is the model number and this is a mid 2009 unibody as described. The number is on the back of the machine and I checked it again with mactracker. if it helps the serial number is W89401DC64C - if you need any other information to help with a diagnosis let me know. was

I did shut the machine off this afternoon having been on it all day. This evening it would not start even though the charge light was bright green. I pulled the power lead out and reconnected it still no joy. I disconnected the power supply from the mains and then tried again, this time the light went to dim green - at this point I forced it to start. Its now running but the fan is on all of the time and the keyboard back light is not working. If I leave it all disconnected it will be fine tomorrow - strange!

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Apple MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15" (SD) Specs

Identifiers: Mid-2009 15" - MB986LL/A - MacBookPro5,3 - A1286 - 2325*

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Did you ever resolve it?

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To find out the condition of the battery, download and run Coconut battery: http://www.coconut-flavour.com/ Please post your results. This will let us know if it needs to be replaced and/or if the battery connector is involved. Did you attempt any clean up or just let it dry?

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I didn't clean it up but when I took the back off there was very little evidence of any liquid

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So it's running now. Is it fully booted up? Why are you asking about the battery? Did you run Coconut battery? Is the question about the battery a red herring and this is all just a late Aprils Fool joke? Do you have access to another Mac and a firewire cable?

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Hi Mayer, No not an April Fools joke I'm afraid. I ran Coconut Battery but as I said in another comment it didn't see the battery at all its as though it isn't there. I took the back off this morning and had a really good root around - took the optical drive out and split it to see if any evidence of liquid - nothing there so I suspect any damage may be confined to battery or charging circuit? It's possible that someone else cleaned the worst of the liquid damage away before I got the computer which may explain the lack of any visible residue. I suppose the next thing is to strip the whole thing down and take a look at the back of the logic board? Unless anyone else has any bright ideas?

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Hi Old Turkey, I think that this may have to be next step. Trouble is that this 'flood' was some time ago - a month after the computer was purchased I think so any damage is well and truly established - but take your point.

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I think I got the right right machine selected that will give you the guides. The first one I would do is the battery removal then do what ABCellars recommends: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 Battery Replacement

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I would start by replacing the battery, yes. If you have an Apple Store nearby, or another friend with a similar machine, you could try just putting a different battery into the machine instead of purchasing one for testing purposes.

Can you get us the exact model number? You mentioned A1286 but that machine just came out a month ago. I'd love to be more specific but I don't know what direction to point you yet. :)

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A1286 is the model number and this is a mid 2009 unibody as described. The number is on the back of the machine and I checked it again with mactracker. if it helps the serial number is W89401DC64C - if you need any other information to help with a diagnosis let me know. was I did shut the machine off this afternoon having been on it all day. This evening it would not start even though the charge light was bright green. I pulled the power lead out and reconnected it still no joy. I disconnected the power supply from the mains and then tried again, this time the light went to dim green - at this point I forced it to start. Its now running but the fan is on all of the time and the keyboard back light is not working. If I leave it all disconnected it will be fine tomorrow - strange!

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Coconut battery doesn't see a battery at all.

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Looks like I had the wrong model number... should have looked more thoroughly.

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Just for my own curiosity: what about cleaning the logic board etc. I am just thinking about orange juice and glucose and corrosion etc. possibility of corrosion issue on charging circuit? Again, just trying to learn about those Apples and Mac's :-)

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It sounds to me that you have a bad power circuit sir. I had a similar issue with an HP computer, replaced the power circuit board in it and it worked just fine (I don't think Apple seperated theirs). My clue is that it sometimes boots, sometimes doesn't. If it was strictly related to the battery, it would always boot on AC power.

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computer stripped and logic board out - some signs of residue on the DC board and logic board, also a little on the case, everything seems to be confined to the 'ports end and display - I forgot to mention that liquid got between the display and glass front looks a bit odd - like permanent clouds - at some point I will need to take off the glass cover and clean it - doesn't seem to affect the way it works though.

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Update: the logic board was thoroughly cleaned using Servisol IPA 170 and an old toothbrush - took my time and made sure everything was completely dry before putting back together - the mac started as before but still hasn't recognised the battery. Took the battery out and the machine runs just the same. Also, and as described above if I remove the MAG power supply and then reconnect sometimes the green light will show as dim and the computer will not start? If I leave for a couple of hours then it will show as bright green and start up again. this is the same with the battery in or out. Question is what in the computer needs time to reset itself if there is no battery installed? Anyone got any bright ideas where I go from here?

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Thanks AB - actually I was wrong about the optical drive, turns out that whoever took the Mac apart - presumably to dry it out, had removed or dislodged (unlikely) the optical drive cable. I refitted and it works great, so that's one problem solved. I also managed to clean the screen by removing the glass - ifixit's guide was invaluable. So, only the power problem left. I'll strip it down again and post some nice close ups.

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macmasher will be eternally grateful.
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