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Released April 2010 / 2.4, 2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66 GHz Core i7 Processors

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MacBook won't charge or run without battery

Last week, I managed to spill a (sugary) drink into the hinge on the back of my Macbook. It shut off immediately, and I removed the bottom cover, dried the machine as best I could and set it under a fan for 2 days. I continued to let the machine dry for 3 more days while I waited for the tri-wing tool needed to remove the battery. When I removed the battery, there was more residue from the spill that I cleaned up. At this point, I tried to power up the macbook (both w/ and w/out the battery) with no success.

I then got another tool (a torx screwdriver - six pointed star) to remove the hard drive and optical drive -- more residue here. I cleaned everything I could see and let it dry overnight.

This morning the macbook powered up and seemed to be fully functional, save for: I had 50% battery remaining, but it would not take a charge. I removed the battery and plugged in the magsafe connector -- no power, no light on the connector.

I have come to the conclusion that the Magsafe board was fried during the spill. My battery seems functional, although I am unable to charge it now.

My question is... should I take it into an apple store to confirm this, risking that they will notice evidence of the spill thus voiding my warranty. My lcd was also damaged - there's a halo of brightness along the bottom of the screen - but that's for another day when I decide if it's worth replacing the screen.

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In case anyone is interested, my Macbook lived! I'm typing on it right now!

Seems soaking the logic board in alcohol did the trick. I came away with 2 very manageable problems:

- My LCD has some bright areas along the bottom of the screen. They are only terribly visible when there is a white area under them (which, unfortunately most web pages)

- My macbook won't sleep when the lid is closed. I've read that this is most likely a problem with the 'reed switch' - a magnetic deal that lets the computer know when the lid comes into contact with the top case


I've read the iFixIt guide on replacing the LCD and I'm afraid it's beyond my computer repair skill level...

As for the reed switch, I've seen where some people have fixed their issue by locating the magnetic area on the LCD bezel and rubbing a magnet on the top case in the corresponding location. No luck there for me. I've found at least 4 areas on the bezel that are magnetic - not sure how many/which are for the reed switch. I can't seem to find online the exact location of the reed switch for the newest (2011) model of the 15" Macbook Pro.

Any further help/advice with either of these issues is appreciated!


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I guarantee that they'll notice. It's not just "residue". There's a good chance there is more drink left on the board. The system likely needs to be cleaned on the component level (meaning dismantled and each part cleaned). While some areas may well be free of drink, anything that the drink might have touched (LCD, keyboard, motherboard, casing, etc.) will need cleaning.

Unless you purchased accidental damage coverage, no warranty (that I've ever seen) will cover this.

The last time I saw something like this, it was coffee, and it had actually insulated, overheated, and burned out the charging chip. Admittedly, this was not on an Apple, but they're not THAT different.

If you're not comfortable taking it apart to clean it, I'd take it to someone that is. Use high-purity isopropyl alcohol (90% or better) for the cleaning. I prefer foam or foam-over-cotton swabs for detailed cleaning. If you NEED something pointy, use a plastic or wood pick, never metal.

While cleaning, look for signs of heat damage (yellowing of the normally green board, scorch marks). If you find anything like this, I'd recommend replacement. Otherwise, once the cleaning is completed, wait a couple hours (alcohol evaporates quickly, but may collect under chips, which can take longer than usual), then reassemble. Try first without the battery to make sure it turns on. If so, try with the battery (making sure the contacts are clean, if you didn't already).

With luck, it was just drink remnants shorting something harmlessly and just needed to be cleaned. I've seen this happen (wine spill), so don't lose hope.

My only other advice...DO NOT turn it on again until it's been cleaned, regardless of who does the cleaning. Every time you turn it on you may be causing further damage.

It's always possible I've overlooked something, but this should get you started. I hope this helps!

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Here is a link to the ifixit spill guide.

Electronics Water Damage


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There are LSI (Liquid Submersion Indicators) all over the inside of your machine. You'll note they have turned red if they've gotten wet. Refer to this question for locations: Where are all LSI Sensors placed?

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Thanks for the help.

I've pretty much decided not to enlist the 'help' of Apple until I'm out of other options.

When I mentioned that I had cleaned visible residue, I did so with isopropyl alcohol (70%) and cotton swabs - but only on the surface - which I guess is the underside - of the logic board.

After spending quite a bit of time inside my Macbook, I feel fairly comfortable undertaking further cleaning of the logic board myself. Reading through pages and pages of forums, I've seen recommendations to use 90+% alcohol (as Jerry suggested), simply distilled water, or a combination of both (rinsing in the distilled water after the alcohol). I've also seen suggestions for using spray-on electrical contact cleaner.

What are your thoughts on these options?

Also, do you suggest a soak in the liquid, or further application with swabs?

Because I don't see any obvious problem areas, I wouldn't know where to clean with a swab.


Update -- I've just removed my logic board, about to go buy some 91% isopropyl.

Before i soak the logic board, is it necessary to remove the 2 square metal plates that assumingly cover the important processor chips?


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Did you ever end up replacing your MagSafe board or did the alcohol bath take care of the problem? I am having the same problem that you did (no power, no light on the connector)? My additional problem is that the machine won't boot up. I'm just about to try the alcohol bath...

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Lynn -- The Magsafe board was fried. Luckily, the irreversible damage stopped there and didn't continue onto the Logic Board. I ordered a new one and replaced the fried one.

I would recommend you doing the same - as the magsafe is very cheap compared to the logic board. But obviously, go ahead with the alcohol bath first to see if that does the trick. The most important advice I can give you is to be patient. Give everything a couple days to fully dry out before trying to boot anything up again.

Hope everything works out for you!

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Payton will be eternally grateful.
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