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Released October 2008 / 2.4, 2.53, 2.66, 2.8 or 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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After display issue re occured now the machine will not power up

In 2018 this machine developed a serious display issue. Horizontal stripes across the upper part of the desktop and the whole display image oscillating rapidly up and down.

The issue begins during the boot process. At some point the boot screen starts to oscillated. Then the login screen and desktop show the most interference.

It’s useful to note that the screen saver image is NOT affected.

After a real difficult process of trying to replace the logic board. Toward the last I reset the NVRAM and after the second replacement logic board would not show improvement

I replace the original logic board AND THE PROBLEM WAS GONE.

NOW, just yesterday the display issue reappeared. Resetting the NVRAM has not helped. Resetting the SMC also didn’t work. I could not boot into recovery mode or hardware test. (Yosemite is installed and is the operating system used to boot up).

To further complicate the issue NOW the machine will not power up. The power adapter plug status indicator shows Green.

Could this (not powering up) be an issue with the battery? I have replaced the battery once since I bought the machine. The battery the machine came with was bulging and some function issues were noticed. In order to proceed I have to solve the non power up issue.

And, I am not ready to scrap the machine, what else could be the issue?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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What does the onboard battery checker tell you? Press the checker button on the side and tell us how many LED's are lit and if they are steady?


There appear to be eight lights. They all light up.

The method of resetting the SMC was to disconnect the power cord and take out the battery and press the power button for 5 seconds.


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1 Answer

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The Green MagSafe LED and the battery checker is telling us you have power getting to your logic board.

So you either have a bad power switch or the logic board has a problem. Time to pop the bottom cover off and see if shorting the power pads start the system checkout this link MacBook Pro 15", A1286, Late 2008, MB470-471LL/A, Board#820-2330-A, 820-2532-A created by one of our buddies @rdklinc

Let us know if you are able to start your system or not.

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O.K. it did start by bridging those pads.


Did you have a liquid spill at some point into the keyboard? At this point your keyboard and/or its connection to the logic board has a problem.

The good news you can replace the keyboard but is a bit of work! Review the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Teardown Jump down to Step 28 to see the steps.


OH GOD; I know about liquid spills on Macbook pros. I have another newer one that I did spill a bit of water on and it trashed the keyboard completely. Although I can start it with the power button. Recently I tried replacing the keyboard. A huge difficult job.

The replacement keyboard is not function properly; only a few keys work. So I am back to the USB keyboard. For this one, NO.

There is good news to report though. After I got it started and then shut it down and put the cover back on I thought OH Bleep I need to verify the processor speed.

That means I have to start it up again. I tried the power button and it did start.

For further info: I have had thee logic boards, original and two replacements in and out of this machine 5 TIMES before the display issue was solved by resetting the NVRAM while a replacement was in the machine. Then one final time I had to remove the original logic board and photograph the sticker with the serial number so I could prove to the vendor (powerbook medic) that I was returning the second replacement they sent me (both of the replacement displayed the same display issue).


Liquid spills in any laptop keyboard tends to kill the keyboard or worse!

I'm not sure what you're telling me did here, did the power switch work this time?

Surprisingly! This keyboard is one of the easier ones to replace, Apple used screws! So don't freakout.


The power button on the machine this is about now works after doing the bridge start.

If you have read my comments to this point you will understand that I am dreading having to TRY replacing the logic board and/or the keyboard.

This is about another mid 2009 Macbook Pro 15", 2.53 Ghz machine There are 51 tiny, short screws holding the keyboard in place.

To get to the keyboard the logic board and other components have to come out. It is NOT an easy job.


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