MacBook 13" Unibody not charging (Green dim light)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by valleyjays, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hello everyone,

    I've searched everywhere for my problem but did not find the answer anywhere.

    My 13" Macbook Unibody (A1287) was working fine, until one day, I let the notebook battery drain out. (I never ever do that, I forgot my charger that day and worked on it for as long as I could.)

    When I got home to charge my notebook I noticed it wasn't powering up after just a few minutes. There is, till this day, a very dim green light when I plug the power adapter to the notebook.

    The charger works on other notebooks. So I know it's not the charger. At this point, the macbook can't turn on, so the PRAM reset features won't work since your notebook needs to power on for that to work.

    My questions are:

    Can a bad battery cause the dim green light to appear and not charge?

    What other things can cause a dim green light?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    The city of Macintosh :)
    Sorry if the answer doesn't really answer it - I like to try:rolleyes:
    I believe that the dim green light means that it isn't the battery but the hardware, which may have a problem with logic board, mother board etc.
    I would recommend taking it into Apple and seeing if it's a hardware issue.
    Usually, even if there is no charge in the battery the computer will start as long as it's connected to a power source. (if it is a logic board, you will be better off buying a MBP or MBA)
    Hope you find the issue. :apple:
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA

    Thanks for the reply.

    I sure hope it's not the logic board. I just finished replacing the screen on this thing!:eek:

    I'll wait and see what everyone else says.

    Otherwise, I may just sell it for what it's worth.

    Thanks again.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2012
    No need to worry

    Your macbook is in deep discharge state. Just charge it for 3-4 hrs until the light turns on.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA

    I'll let it charge overnight. I hope this does it.

    The machine was working great up until I let the battery drain out.

    I'll report in the morning.

    Thanks all.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hello iMacC2D,

    I have done the SMC reset, just now, and prior to posting with no luck.

    I left the macbook hooked up to the magsafe overnight and still, I have the dim green light.

    Is there any chance it can be a bad battery?

    Or could it be a coincidence that my logic board decided to fail the one time I let my macbook battery drain out?:confused:
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Difficult to say. As part of the power and charging circuit, it is possible that the battery is the culprit, and the way to test this is to take the battery out and attempt to start it provided it's a removable battery. If it's integrated, a technician will have to disconnect it and test.

    If the LED still does no illuminate with the battery removed, it will have to be serviced as it's likely something is playing havoc with the Logic Board. That's not to say it is the logic board, there are a number of components that are connected to it that could be causing the problem, but it's impossible to tell over a message board which one or whether it is in fact a Logic Board issue in itself.
  9. macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    The city of Macintosh :)
    Okay, crazy thinking here :roll eyes: - but it just hit me!
    Have there been any black/brownouts lately?
    Maybe it blew the circuit inside your MacBook, and that's why it won't start.
    Has there been any humidity lately or has it gotten wet?
    It may have cause part of the logic/motherboard to corrode!
    you won't know unless you take it in, but if either of these things happened, might be worth a shot.
    Please MacBook! DON'T DIE!!!
    (sorry. i don't know why I felt like doing that!):apple:
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks everyone.

    I'll be opening up the notebook tomorrow. I'll see if anything came loose or see if anything came undone from the last time I replaced a bad screen.

    I recently replaced the screen myself. The notebook was working great after that (1 week). I ordered the parts from powerbookmedic, so I know it can't be that since I ordered 'all original parts.'

    Wondering if maybe the LVS cable came undone or something. We'll see.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2012
    Same Problem!

    Hi guys, I have the same problem on my macbook 13" unibody after replacing a faulty keyboard. Was running the laptop in a temporary state with external keyboard and mouse for a while and charging fine but after replacing the keyboard it ceased to charge.
    Is there any chance of another fix other than replacing the logic board!?
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I thought I'd update this thread.

    I purchased a battery last night to see if that can be an issue before tossing/selling this notebook. As soon as it arrives I'll test it out and post again here with results.

    If my notebook indeed has a damaged logic board, how can I remove all the data, info from within so I can sell it for parts?

    If there is a guide someone can point me to, that would be great.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    I get the "Not Charging" thing all the time, for me its nothing but dirty contacts and it's been happening since 2008.
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
  15. macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    it's possible that the dc-in connector could be bad. someone i know has been having the same issue with their macbook - sometimes it's dim, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't charge at all. battery shows to be 100% healthy.
  16. macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Houston, Tx
    Yes qtips and alcohol would be a fast clean for the connector if it is dirty. Won't hurt to try it.

    As far as the data and information removal, I would either remove the hard drive and keep it or wipe the hard drive. The easiest way to wipe the hard drive is to get a cheap external case for it (cheap because you only need it once). By connecting it to another computer using the case, you can reformat it and make it safe to sell. I would search around for the best way to completely wipe the drive as a simple reformat can be reversed if someone is desperate enough I believe (or maybe I am just paranoid :) ).

  17. macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2009
    Same problems

    I'm having the same problem. My macbook's LCD died. I wasn't using it for about 2 weeks until we ordered a new lcd for it. So I'm not sure the battery or something died during that 2 week time.

    I just finished replacing the lcd but the computer won't boot up at all. Only a very dim light from the magsafe charger.

    valleyjays did you get that battery changed?
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    Hi Valleyjays,

    I've the same Macbook. I also drained it (yesterday) and got the dimmed green light. A year ago, the screen was replaced under Apples warrenty (I think the LVDS cable was bad).
    Usually it will come back to life under a minute after connecting the power adapter. But not this time. Tried another adapter - not starting. The LED indicator is back to "normal" bright orange, but not starting.
    Did a SMC reset the Apple way and the Kris way:
    Funny, once (a tried several times) when I reconnected the battery, it fired up for a few seconds but died again. Like a bad cable connection.
    Any solution, Vallejays?
    It seems an unlikely coincidence that the board would fail at the same time?

  19. macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    Here's an update on the issue I was having while posting in this thread:

    The MacBook that I was using turned out to have a bad dc-in magsafe adapter. I ended up changing it, and now the laptop charges again.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2012
    Did you resolve the problem with your MacBook? My battery drained and I had to replace my charger as it broke hence why te battery drained now it won't turn on or charge and has that dim green light I was using it until the battery ran down and have had no problems I have so much stuff on there im hoping it's not an expensive fix I don't understand how it can be broke :(
  21. macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2013
    Maybe Can Try

    I, also had same issue. Was suffering with it. Kept the charger on for 2 days. I think what happens when you let the battery drain, it somehow disables the DC board. On pure instinct, what worked for me, was to unplug it and let it stand overnight 6+hours. In the morning I attached the L-Magsafe and it worked. I hope this helps.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    This happened to me one time, as a previous poster stated it turned out to just be some dirty contacts with the battery. I cleaned the contacts and it booted right up. I was very worried as well.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2013
    clean RAM

    Had exactly the same issue. Not booting up, dimmed green light.
    It was solved by opening the back and cleaning the RAM, as it was slightly corroded.
  24. macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2013
    SOLVED: Dim Green Light

    After literally MONTHS of wrestling with this issue, I found out the problem was a failed MAGSAFE CONNECTOR on the Macbook.

    It was a VERY weird problem.

    Although the Macbook said "Not Charging," it did charge, but slowly.

    The light was sometimes dim green, sometimes solid green. Never orange.

    Sometimes, if I connected the charger to a working mac and then back to the broken Magsafe connector, it would turn solid green instead of dim green.

    The POWER section of the system information reported all zeroes in the specifications of the charger. As it a defective charger was plugged in.

    Eventually, it stopped working at all so I took it to a professional who fixed it. For USD $200. I know I could have done it myself a lot cheaper, but there were too many delicate parts that risked damage if I did.

    So, I just wanted to pass on a solution for the board. Magsafe replacement is an expert job, so be careful out there.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    Sorry for bumping this thread, but I too had this problem.

    I took it to a third party repair shop (but they're still Apple authorized), and while the repairman first diagnosed it as a Magsafe Connector issue, he then told it was the motherboard.

    I dropped off my MacBook in the middle of May and still haven't had the issue solved.

    I lost patience and eventually picked up a new MacBook Air (which I'm using now).

    My question is, when I decide to get my other MacBook back in its unusable condition... how do I go about migrating all my data onto my new MBA? Is it even possible considering the MB doesn't even hold charge?

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