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Apple Broke It - I Fixed It.

Kyle -

Electronics Skills

How to Apply Thermal Paste

How to Apply Thermal Paste

5 - 20 minutos


Mi Problema

After spending a cool $250 to get my top case replaced by Apple (the keyboard kicked the bucked 2 months out of AppleCare - go figure!), my newly-repaired laptop refused to charge my battery. It worked fine on DC power, but the battery just slowly drained until it was dead.

I tried multiple chargers, a SMC reset, unplugging the battery, nothing worked. The 'Genius' at the Apple store told me that I'd need a logic board replacement, and blamed the fact that it wouldn't charge on me replacing the optical drive with a Data Doubler. He also denied the existence of any components on the logic board that could be replaced, insisting that I'd 'shorted out' the board and that was the reason for it not working.

I suspected a bad MagSafe DC-in board. The part was only $35 on iFixit, and since the worst that could happen was that I'd have a non-functional computer, which I already had, I decided to give the DIY repair a go.

Mi Solucion

The repair was SHOCKINGLY easy. It was described as 'Difficult' on the iFixit site, which I assume is a fair categorization considering the potential damage that one could do. I have a fair amount of mechanical aptitude, but no experience repairing computers. I made sure to constantly ground myself to the frame, keep careful track of the screws, and move with patience.

Once I got the logic board off, I decided to try my hand at replacing the thermal paste application, since it's notoriously bad on these models. It was a little finicky, but all ended well.

Reassembly was slightly harder than disassembly, due to connectors wanting to get trapped under the logic board. Getting the keyboard ribbon back into the ZIF socket was the hardest part of the whole endeavor.

Removing the old DC-In board revealed the reason for my computer's charging problem: When the Apple techs reassembled my computer, they sandwiched one of the DC-in board's wires in a screw hole. The insulating material had worn through, and the exposed metal of the wire was short-circuiting the board. TOTALLY an Apple error. What are the odds I would have heard about this if I'd taken it in for the suggested logic board replacement?

After everything was re-assembled, I plugged it in and got a magical green/amber light from the charger! But when I pressed the power button, nothing happened. I let it charge for a while, tried again and, nothing. I tried reconnecting the keyboard ribbon, but to no avail. I figured that I'd ACTUALLY shorted something out this time, and that I was going to have to send it back. Sadness ensued, and my feelings of victory quickly faded.

Then, like Lazarus risen from the dead, I heard the sound of the startup chime! Success! As it turns out, the battery was just 100% depleted, and needed a bit to charge. I booted it up and everything was good as new!

Mi Consejo

You can do all of these repairs yourself if you know what you're getting into and you're patient.

Go slowly. Read all of the instructions (AND THE COMMENTS) twice before you begin. Use an ice cube tray to keep track of the screws. Believe in yourself. Eat your vegetables.

Be grateful for iFixit! It's a great resource or all of us!

Imagen de Spudger


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


Imagen de Arctic Silver Thermal Paste
Arctic Silver Thermal Paste


Imagen de Arctic Silver ArctiClean
Arctic Silver ArctiClean


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