13" mid-2012 MBP 'random' powering off

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wegster, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    After a pretty good track record with PPC towers and Intel MacBooks and Pros for the most part, I'm coming to the conclusion my wife's 2012 13" MBP is haunted or something. :-/

    A while back, she'd complained it occasionally 'turned off instantly.' I took a look, and it needed a fan (zero RPMs, so figured thermal shutdown..). As she desperately needed it for classes, I brought it to an Apple Store, who promptly told me they wouldn't touch it because I'd added an OWC drive doubler in lieu of the DVD drive. Not happy with that BS policy, but was referred to some local shop.

    Said local shop of course wouldn't sell me a fan and be done with it, so made arrangements for her to bring it in. She calls me at work later pissed off, as apparently they have a 'special' diagnostic, much more in depth than Apple's, and they need to keep it for 3 days to run it'....all for a fan replacement. Lovely.

    Long story short, ~$140 later for a $20 fan w/3 screws, we get it back. Fan was spinning, but it would still cut off...for her. For some reason, they'd swapped the boot drive back to the primary, which I originally had mirroring data backups to the second drive, but then the drive had started to get errors, so had it booting w/all apps and data off the second 1TB drive. Thanks for..nothing. Pulled it apart and removed the original drive, relocated the second drive to the primary drive position, put it back together.

    I used her machine for hours, no issues, fan good, diagnostics good, running multiple videos good, etc.
    Gave it back to her and all seemed well, for a few months.

    Now we're back to magic...I managed to reproduce the problem once but am stumped. Apparently, if you grab the laptop in your left hand, as in moving it around, fingers under the left rear, thumb on top left of case, and manage to do it just right...the system instantly powers off.

    Now I may be misremembering as it's hard to get it from her 'on demand,' as sitting on a desk it happily runs, but I'm pretty sure both drives (now one) on the mid 2012 are all on the right hand side of the system. I guess it's possible whatever flex is in the system could somehow be causing an issue elsewhere, somehow, but I'm at a serious loss. I had replaced the drive cable previously when upgrading her HD, but even then, it's on the other side of the system versus the only way I've ever been able to reproduce this. Even then, I'm not so sure a bad drive cable would exhibit these symptoms, but giving it some remote possibility..

    Is this an issue known to anyone/anyone have any ideas on this one?

    The 2012 MBP is fine for what she needs it for, so not in any urgent upgrade path on her system at the moment, although a quick look at replacement logic boards seems to put them in the ~$400 range..at which point I'd be better off picking up an entire used laptop.
  2. wegster thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    Any ideas?

    I picked up a used 13" retina, 16GB 256GB SSD to get her by, guess I'm going to spend some time on the 2012 and see if anything can be flexing somewhere shorting to cause this...not sure what else could be going on on this one.
  3. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    It might be the battery, battery connector or the RAM. I had one like this - when I lifted it with my left hand, it rebooted. It was dust build up. Once I cleaned it, it worked fine.

    There's another thread out there and it's the battery.
  4. wegster thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    Thanks, will see if I can locate that thread - hadn't had much luck in doing broader searching previously.

    The system's very clean inside - have had since new and it's been opened a handful of times (RAM, HD upgrades..), blown out each time.

    This one's just powering off..instantly, with the resultant fsck/disk check on power back on (via power button), sometimes needing to do the 'extended hold' on the power button to get it back on. Seems like something 's got to be flexing and shorting...just unsure what/where.

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