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Old Apr 7, 2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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MacBook Pro 2007 Santa Rosa 2.4 GHz - Logic Board Replacement

Before the start of this year, I had a perfectly functional 2007 MacBook Pro. Even with Lion installed, the machine was fairly stable, and it could even provide a semi-usable experience in performance-hungry applications like Aperture.

Earlier this year, however, I started getting occasional kernel panics. They gradually increased in frequency and I also began to encounter difficulties with startup. Apple Hardware Test and Disk Utility did not identify any issues. I usually was able to finally get booted after several attempts, and sometimes after trying to boot to the installation disk.

Then, the computer would not start at all. Even with all the tricks--PRAM, SMC, Safe Boot, nothing would boot. I couldn't even boot to an installation disc or a Lion USB.

At the Genius Bar, they seemed to think it might be something to do with my Windows partition. They wiped my harddrive but still couldn't boot to an installation. They tested the memory and everything else and concluded that the issue was the logic board, kind of "by default" from what I understood. They estimated a $500 cost for them to do the repair, which I was not prepared to stomach.

After brining it home, I've tried booting to installations of Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion to no avail. I receive a Kernel Panic in all. When running in verbose mode, the install stops after printing the Airport ethernet address. I've attached a snapshot of the output during the install load, if there is anything anyone on this board can glean form it.

Here are my questions:

1) How likely is it that this is a logic board issue (I'm still worried that it was identified as the issue "by default")? Is it safe to bet that if I repair this logic board or install a new logic board that my issue will go away? Again, the log from the install is attached if that provides any additional insight.

2) If a machine has a logic board failure is it more likely to have a subsequent failure? Do I need to make sure the cooling system or other components of my computer are functional to ensure a new logic board would have longevity?

3) Any experience with logic board repair (~$199) vs. replacement (~$299)? I'm planning on doing the swap myself. I've replaced a hard drive and lubricated a fan and feel pretty comfortable with the internals of the computer. The iFixIt guide shows the logic board replacement requiring a few more screws, and the application of some thermal paste. I guess I could either send in my current board for repair or swap it for a used one off eBay. The Genius Bar supposedly confirmed that my board was not one with one of the nVidia issues. If I get a used one from somewhere else am I taking a big chance? If I get my current one repaired how likely is that it'll last?

4) Should I just sell the machine for parts? Looks like my machine "for parts" goes for $150-$200 on eBay. A working machine goes for $500-$600. That price differential is about the cost of the logic board.

Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated! It pains me to think of selling what was such a great machine for parts, but that might be the best choice. I originally wanted to invest in a new high performance iMac to help with photo and video editing, but now I might need to invest in a new laptop first. I love my iPad, but I'm not prepared for life without a working laptop (different discussion, though).

Here is the log file during install (sorry that it isn't rotated correctly...couldn't find an obvious way to make it upright!):

Click image for larger version

Name:	photo.JPG
Views:	85
Size:	1.76 MB
ID:	334679
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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I have a 2008 MBP 2.4 and last week it started to get the Kernal Panic as well.

The lady running a coffee shop next door to my shop has the same machine and was having the same type of issues. She went to Apple 3 times and on the third time they told her that her machine (verified by serial number( What she said)) had logic board issues from the manufacturer and they were replacing issue for free. She just came by my store to tell me the news because we had been discussing our same issues last week. She had an invoice that cost $530ish and she paid nothing.

I am going to make an appointment at a local Genius bar tonight and see if they will replace mine as well. I will update tomorrow with what I find.

Hope this helps and let me know if you figure anything else out as well.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Apple replaced my logic board for free last yea, under applcare. but my machine was totally dead. Macbook pro 15 inch 3,1.
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Never on its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be thy motive, Nor be thy attachment to inaction.”
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Apple replaced mine 3-4 years ago, no charge. It didn't fail, but the graphics card was being slow, and limiting to a single PCIE channel, instead of the 16 it should have.

If you take it to an Apple Genius again, you could pointedly mention that you had heard that motherboards with the 8600M GT graphics card were being replaced on failure. I don't know how long that warranty extension goes for, but considering it's almost 5 years old, you could be out of luck.

EDIT: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377

I think you're out of luck.

EDIT 2: Considering the motherboard contains the CPU, GPU, bridges, and pretty much everything else required except RAM and HDD, replacing the motherboard should almost certainly work. It's pretty much a new computer.
Had: 450 MHz G4 Cube, 15" 2007 MBP
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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If I were you and Apple won't replace the logic board for free I would sell it as is for parts. Its a 5 year old machine and dumping 300-500 just isn't the smartest investment. You would be better off putting that money toward the purchase of a new machine. The 2007 MBP is quickly becoming outdated, smart money is on a new machine. Sucks that it broke though.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 08:48 AM   #6
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tough call. First thing is I would try to clean up the mac that you have. Remove the fan(s) and blow out all the dust if you haven't already. Reaply thermal grease, etc. Do the easy, low cost stuff like this first.

If it were me, I'd probably be looking for a new computer simply because the one you have now may not be very reliable even after repairs and it is 2007 model. But I'd still keep the mbp that you have now because you may find an inexpensive logic board replacement.

Replacing the logic boards is not as difficult as it appears even though ifixit says "very difficult". If you follow the directions and keep your workbench organized then it is pretty straight forward.

Regarding the cooling. Just be sure you apply new thermal grease and also verify that there is no dust buildup in or around your old fans (or replace them)
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