Macbook Pro Logic Board repair - DIY

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vcoleiro1, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. vcoleiro1, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013

    macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011
    I have a 17" Macbook Pro which stopped working a while ago (out of warranty). When you turn it on, the light at the front would go on and thats it, nothing on the screen no start up chime. Took it to Apple and they said the Logic board was gone and it would cost $600 to replace. Sad day.

    Then I saw the follwoing video which said the problem with Logic Boards occurs mainly due to micro fractures in the solder on the chips . The solution they showed was bordering on me believing it was an April Fools joke. Basivcally they removed the Logic board then placed it in an oven at 200 Degrees Celius for 7.5 minutes.

    Since there was nothing to lose , I gave it a go. After a lot of fiddly work getting the thing opened (worse getting the motherboard connections back on). I got the board out and put it in the oven for 7.5 minutes at 200 degress celcius as the video said. I also put a bit of solder next to it to see visually when the solder melted. . Let it all cool down then cleaned all the heat sink contacts and applied some new thermal paste to the chips. Put it all back together which was a real hassle. Turned it on and..... It Works.

    Anyway, if you are having the same issue here are the repair videos I mentioned:

    If you attempt the fix , make sure you do the following:

    1) Pre heat the Oven properly

    2) Clean the fans out and ensure the vents are clear and the fans spin

    3) Clean the old thermal Paste off the chips and the heating pipe and reapply new thermal paste to the chips before putting the logic board back in. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the old paste from the chips etc.

    4) Try to prop the bard up with foil in places it doesnt touch any chips etc

    5) Don't touch the board until it cools down. If you touch it to early the solder will still be fluid and you displace components.

    6) Don't forget to ensure all connectors are back on the board when you put it back in. Some are heat sensors

  2. macrumors 603


    Yes, it sometimes does work, but many times it's only for weeks or months, most of the people who do this have issues with the GPU, the solder on the older ones were lead free and this was the main problem, it cracked due to heat.

    if you put it in an oven it reflows and the cracks disappear, but over time they reappear again.

    Hopefully yours will work for quite a bit of time before it starts giving you problems again.
  3. vcoleiro1, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011
    Yes, suposedly its due to the heating and cooling that happens everytime you use it. Over time micro cracks appear in the solder joints.

    I have a theory actually, before mine stopped working it was getting very hot for quite some time. The fan didn't start a lot of time and when it did it still would remain hot. I thought at the time this may cause an issue, however, I saw a lot of people say that hot Macbook Pro's are common.

    Anyway, when I opened the Macbook Pro to bake the logic board I also cleaned out the fans and vents which were almost totally clogged. Anyway, I have noticed now that Macbook Pro doesn't even get more than mildly warm and the fans seem to work properly. I would say the excessive heating and cooling caused the problem - due to the clogged fans/vents. This is probably why it reoccurs with some people that do this fix, they need to address the overheating fan/vent issue as well. Otherwise , yes the same problem will occur.

    In any event , reading through the comments on the videos it seems to work for most very well and on-goingly. It all comes down to how you do it , comments I have read from the small amount of people that this didn't last for, say they forgot to apply the thermal paste. Again this is something that's going to cause overheating and therefor the re-occurance of the issue. Lesson - Make sure you apply thermal paste (and clean the fans/vents)

    If you have a Macbook Pro that's getting real hot, I would clean out the fans/vents as a pre emtive measure.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2012
    cooking GPU with air dryer

    I have the Macbook Pro 2.33 (Late 2006). It ran smoothly for six years. I have been opening its case every six months to a year to remove the dust. I had even reapplied thermal paste (arctic 5) between the processors and the heat sink.

    After the last time I opened it, it was getting really hot. It used to reach a point that it was automatically shutting down. Finally the GPU gave up and it showed just artifacts on the screen.

    I opened the case with the intention to bake the motherboard. I found out that the cause of the high temperatures was that last time a I didn't put enough thermal paste. Although there was also a problem that sometimes the fans would not start and I had to restart. Anyway.

    Before baking the motherboard I decided to give it a go to the method with the hairdryer. It is faster and the heat is applied only on the GPU. I did remove the motherboard from the laptop, even though I think that you could even skip this step. I heated the GPU with the hairy dryer for about 10 minutes using the max temperature and max air flow on the dryer. I was holding the hair dryer a couple of centimeters (an inch) above the GPU - not steadily, as you can imagine. It solved the problem, for now at least. If it breaks again, I will post again.
  5. macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010

    Too bad you're late.

    I had the same thing. And when the mbp still boots, they can perform a test that will confirm it's the Graphic chip failure. Mine didn't boot anymore.
    Fixed it with a heat gun, turned up the fans a notch. 6months later video got distorted again. But it still booted, took it to the apple store and got a brand new logic board :D
  6. macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
    I don't want to risk putting my logic board into my oven, so will using a hair dryer or something similar work?
  7. macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    Simply put, no. Most hair dryers can't get hot enough to work.
  8. macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    At this point its better off put in the oven and broken than not trying at all, right. A hair dryer won't get hot enough but possibly a "heat gun" from a hardware store might. Not telling you to use one, but it might.

    Also search for the blanket reflow method. I've heard it works sometimes, but usually with less results than the over method.
  9. macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    You have to reach a particular temperature, if you use the oven the heat is uniform across the board with none of the temperature changes (swinging the heat gun) that killed it in the first place.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
  11. macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2010
    This method is also very popular with the Playstation 3 yellow light of death crowd. I did it twice with my old 60GB original PS3 and both times it worked perfectly. I did use a heat gun rather than an oven though. There are ways to uniformly distribute heat with a standard heat gun.

    It is worth noting that it is only a temporary solution most of the time though. My PS3 eventually died again both times. This method gave me a month or so without failure the each time i did it until I eventually sold it for parts and replaced it.
  12. macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Also works for the infamous X360 RROD if I remember right.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2012
    update on hair dryer method

    three weeks after I heated the GPU with a hair dryer and the macbook pro works still fine
  14. macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2013
    Problem I can see with any Hair drier or heat gun option is that if you get the components too hot and the solder softens too are running the risk of the components moving from the air flow.

    I always wonder about have some components hanging off the bottom of the board...but they do not drop off ? or do they if you get it too hot ? for too long I guess they would.

    Anyway ..about to find out..oven is pre heating now the MBP 07 is in bits...only one way to know for sure :)
  15. macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2007
    I need to try this on my 15" 2011 MBP. Same GPU issues as the 30,000+ other people that Apple won't address.

    Problem is I can't get the battery out. Two of the damn tri/Y wing screws are so tight they're just stripping no matter how much force used. Bought the tri-wing screwdriver specifically to remove it.

    If I leave the battery in during the process of removing the Logic board am I asking for big trouble? Seems like common sense to drain the battery first too I'm guessing?

    Anyone who has experience/knowledge please help.
  16. Netsurfer, Jan 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

    macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2009
    I did the exact same thing in the exact same situation... And it worked.
    I thought the problem went away for good so one day I used it during a little journey in train (without the cooler base...). Chrome made it become too hot... And... The problem came back.
    After that (one week ago) I tried everything without any result at all...
    Two times in the oven, three times with the hair drier like the first time and changing time and temperature... Nothing happened.
    I'm really sad because I really love my MBP... I bought it in December 2006, I put two hard disks inside...used to clean the fans often...and so on...
    Now I don't know what to do...
    I found out a shop that ships from the states... But I live in Italy so... If I have to pay taxes too for this new logic board... I really don't know what to do...

  17. macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2009
    I've just decided to give it another shot with a real heat gun...
    Bought it on Amazon...:p
    If anyone has some advice it would be very appreciated :D
  18. macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2007
    I took out the logic board which had The 8600 nvidia graphics chip and removed what plastic I could find. Pre-heated the oven to 350° and then baked it for 7 1/2 minutes. Got heat sink compound and re-installed the logic board. To my amazement, it worked!

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