MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009

Released June 2009 / 2.66, 2.8, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Solutions as to why my MacBook Pro won't power on?

Earlier today I was using my MacBook Pro and was getting irritated at how hot it was getting underneath even at idle. It was running fine and has been ever since I purchased it.

After reading up on reasons as to why the computer would be excessively heating, I figured an inside cleaning would do the computer some good. Following iFixit's guide for takedown, I was able to clean the dust out of my MacBook Pro. I only went as far as removing the logic board so I could wipe the dust out of the bottom of the case. The fans were pretty dusty as well, I took care of it.

As a note, I didn't use a wet cloth, I just took a paper towel and folded it into a small square being careful I didn't touch anything but the case. The dust in the fans I blew out with a can of air; only after disconnecting.

Upon putting the components back together, reversing each step in the guide; the MacBook Pro will not power back on. I've checked each cable to make sure it was properly connected about 5 times over...nothing.

I've tried to reset SMC.

I've held down CMD+CTRL+Power.

I've checked each cable.

The only cable I can really think of that would be a problem is the flex ribbon cable for the keyboard. It doesn't seem to "lock" into place, but rather sit there. It's being held in by the bracket.

Anyways, I'm freaking out here hoping it's not the logic board, but I fear the worst. The charger light comes on, the battery charging indicator works; even with the button press. However, it's just unresponsive when I press the power button.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Look at all of your cables (especially the keyboard ribbon cable) and make sure that there are no tears in them. They could be so small that you can hardly see them, but it could be causing the problem.

The power button is connected to the logic board through that keyboard ribbon, so it would be very important to check it and its connection again. I am skeptical about that connection of yours. It should quite obviously slide into the connector and then lock down with the bracket. You shouldn't be able to pull the ribbon out when the bracket is locked down.

If it still doesn't seem to be working, if you have the means, you could theoretically extract the hard drive, boot another Mac from it, and set it to schedule a boot-up at a certain time. Then, when you place your hard drive back into your MacBook Pro, it should turn on by itself at that scheduled time without needing the press of the power button, and you can see for yourself whether the keyboard connection is good or not. Does that make sense? If you want to try this method, let me know if you'd like more detailed instructions.

By the sounds of it, though, your logic board should be just fine if you were careful enough. It's the keyboard ribbon cable that's getting me. Also, based on the other functions of the MacBook Pro, it sounds quite hopeful and probable that your logic board does still work.

Good luck with this! I have faith that this will be solved without the replacement of your logic board!

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I opened it back up and checked the cable, stupid ME! I forgot to lock the arm back into place! So this whole time I've been just sticking it in without attempting to lock it. I got it plugged back in and it's working now, however, it wont work on the 65w charger, I have to use the 80w. Second, the battery is totally unresponsive now. Hmm...I bet I zapped the battery beyond it's charge point while messing around. No worries, at least I know the logic board and hard drive are good. I did an SMC reset with no change, I'll find another battery and pop it in. To say the least, you solved my problem. I appreciate your prompt reply! I can't thank you enough, my friend.

by Matthew

It's my pleasure, Matthew! Best of luck with your battery!

by TommyJames337

Thanks for the tip about the keyboard cable. That's what was wrong with mine. Reseated and worked like a charm!

by Tom Coleman

Hi TommyJames337 could you help me walk through the process of doing an automatic start up? without pressing a power button as I have a suspicious feeling on my power button is not working. Thank you.

by John

Sure thing John! This is an extremely useful page! It shows with detail where you need to short out the board in order to boot it up. Bear in mind that you must be extremely careful doing this procedure as you don't want to accidentally blow the circuitry by shorting out the wrong things. But follow that link and scroll down to the part that says "MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)." Make sure your MacBook Pro is off, but plugged in or the battery is installed. As the article says, there are no power pads on this particular model's logic board. So you'll have to use some very very fine wire to touch the fifth pin from the left side of the keyboard connector to the ground post nearby. If your logic board works fine, you will see the fan start to spin immediately and hopefully hear the startup chime! It's relatively simple, you just need to make sure you don't touch anything else on the circuit! :)

by TommyJames337

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open the back plate and touch the power pads together using a flat head. It works as an on button. This way you will be able to see if your keyboard is the problem or if it is something in your board.

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Matthew will be eternally grateful.

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