Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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15" MBP powers on but won't charge

Hi guys,

Got a kinda strange one here that I can't figure out. It's a 2011 15". Recently it will only run on the power adaptor (with throttled CPU).

As soon as I pull the plug out it will switch off. However, the battery health is showing as fine and CoconutBattery is reporting no issues.

I replaced the battery last year (official apple wasn't available, so had to use some third party option). I bought a brand new official charger last week, but that hasn't helped. I'm thinking I may need to replace the charging port? It's looking a little charred on both the outer pins.

I understand this is normally a battery issue, but based off the above info do you think the charging port change could be a goner?

Also I have reset SMC and things like that. It's got me a bit stumped. Any help appreciated.

It’s very similar to this thread here btw: (marked as solved but certainly isn’t) MacBook Pro still won't charge after replacing everything.

Update (11/16/2018)

Hmm, may have to place the image here

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2 Answers

Most Helpful Answer

Review this Apple T/N Apple Portables: Troubleshooting MagSafe adapters. Make sure you've got the correct MagSafe charger. And even with the new charger make sure the pins on the connector are not damaged. As you did say the port pins are in sad shape so I would replace it as one of the first things here. Follw this IFIXIT guide MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 MagSafe DC-In Board Replacement and here’s the needed part MacBook Pro Unibody 13" and 15" MagSafe DC-In Board

After doing that I think you’ll need to look a bit deeper as the big hint you dropped is ‘throttled CPU’ which implies SMC is sensing a problem or the SMC logic on the logic board is damaged. By chance did you have a liquid spill at some point into the keyboard or trackpad? The SMC logic is on the backside of the board just under the keyboard. Since you’ll need to pull the logic board out make a detailed inspection looking for staining, discoloration or corrosion. If you see anything take a good sharp picture so we can see it too Adding images to an existing question

MacBook Pro Unibody 13" and 15" MagSafe DC-In Board Image

Product

MacBook Pro Unibody 13" and 15" MagSafe DC-In Board

$24.99

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 MagSafe DC-In Board Image

Guide

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 MagSafe DC-In Board Replacement

Difficulty:

Difficult

45 minutes

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Guide

Adding images to an existing question

Difficulty:

Very easy

2 - 5 minutes

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Thanks a lot for the quick reply Dan,

For the charger, it’s absolutely a brand new official Apple charger, I bought it in store at an official Apple reseller and it’s the 85w one too. I’d like to try a few other options before heading down the DC board route, I notice that there are two other people in the other thread who changed theirs to no avail and I’m not sure I want to tear most of the computer down to do it just yet. The charging port doesn’t look too nice, but the contacts are certainly clean enough.

One thing I’m really starting to suspect is this third party battery I have installed (only option for a '11 machine). Since day one this battery has been a little odd, it basically never charged to 100% (stuck on 99) and at any point around 10% it does a hard shut down, and I even lose things like the system time. Do you think this battery could be causing the issue?

Have attached a screenshot of what CoconutBattery says about it above.

Thanks a lot for your help

by

Can you get ahold of a second battery?

by

Not an official one, but I could certainly buy another third party one. What do you think of the ones that OWC sell? They seem to be the only semi-reputable third party battery suppliers I can see.

What do you think about that coconut battery readout btw? Do you think it's a little strange that it's reading 0mAh of charge? Seems odd that there's nothing at all in the tank.

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The idea of using a second battery was to isolate the issue as being a bad battery or SMC charging logic is damaged.

My money is on the SMC logic given what I see in CoconutBattery

by

Hmm, yeah good point on that mate. Will look to get the tools to take out the logic board this week, hopefully with an update. Thank you very much for your input.

I guess the other reason it could be the SMC is when I attempt an SMC reset I don't really get any response, none of the double chime of power adaptor light changing colour, which I suppose would mean an issue with the SMC?

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Battery is of a good quality and seems to be in perfect health. Magsafe port on that Macbook model doesn’t do much at all, it’s just a first barrier against damages to the logic board. If you have a solid green light it means it works, despite the char on the pins you report. However char might point to some issue happenend before, that seems to have damaged the logic board charging circuit and that’s confirmed by the fact you can’t get a SMC reset. If you have a multimeter you could probe logic board battery connector where I have a feeling you’ll find missing voltages.

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Comments:

thanks arbaman, certainly starting to look like that. I'm now on the lookout for a used mid-2012 model and will move everything including logic board into this one (for sentimental reasons + the high res matte screen which is very hard to come by used)

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There's some demand for logic boards such as yours due to the high GPU related death rate on that model..don't bury it somewhere, get it fixed or sell it for repair :)

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