Completely dead Macbook Pro (15" 2.53 GHz, Mid 2009)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Droooooj, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Droooooj macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    London, UK
    Two weeks ago I had a small liquid spill on the trackpad and keyboard of my Macbook Pro (15" 2.53 GHz, Mid 2009) whilst it was running. I mopped it up but the trackpad became jittery/unresponsive and after a few minutes stopped responding altogether. At this point I forced shutdown by holding down the power button, and unplugged the machine.

    I've just opened the machine up and removed the battery to inspect for residue inside the Macbook, but oddly I could see none. I've not looked beneath the keyboard as taking the logic board out seems a big job.

    So I thought I'd reconnect the battery and try starting up anyway, but found the machine is completely unresponsive. The magsafe light glows orange, but the battery lights are all dead. I've left the magsafe connected for 10 minutes, but still no lights appear on the battery, and no startup.

    I've also tried disconnecting the battery and just trying to power up with the magsafe connected, but no joy.

    What should I try next?
    Does a dead or disconnected battery on this model prevent the machine starting up? (I've read conflicting advice about this when googling).
    Can I test the battery for life in any way when it's outside of the machine?
  2. macrushfan macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2012
    SMC Reset perhaps? I have 2 late 2008 Macbook Pro's that will not start up if they are completely shutdown. My solution is to heat up the logic board (perhaps a cold solder joint is causing this). This involves removing the back along with the battery and power cord and then SMC reset. Next, plug the magsafe back in, heat up the logic board with a blow dryer or heat gun and mash around on it in various places with a plastic spudger tool while attempting to start up the machine. Watch for the front light to come on as that is the first indicator. Carefully put the battery back in and reinstall the case (be careful since the machine is now running) You may have to repeat the heating steps a few times, don't overheat the board for too long in one place, keep the gun moving. Hope this helps.
  3. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    I've got the same MBP and I love it! One of its few design flaws is that the power button is hard-wired into the main keyboard. So even if the water didn't spill anywhere near the power button, it could have still ruined some electrical circuit needed to turn it on. The real problem, then, is that the power button is a "single point of failure" in the design. You can easily plug-in an external USB keyboard which cuts-out the built-in keyboard, but there's no way to switch the laptop on except for that one button. In fact there's a really good chance your MBP is perfectly functional except for the power switch.
  4. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    What sort of liquid? If it was anything but water, there's probably a residue causing problems. (Even water can leave a residue if it's not distilled, but usually it's minimal.)

    After two weeks one might expect that it's all dried out, but not necessarily. If you feel up to taking it apart enough to remove the logic board, I'd do that. Clean any obvious residue with distilled water (use something like a q-tip, don't just slop water around of course) and leave it apart for a day or two, maybe with a fan blowing on it. If it's still dead after that, you're probably looking at professional servicing and board replacement.
  5. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Since the logic board is right below the keyboard, it's possible the liquid spill shorted out something and now you have a dead MacBook Pro. If it is the power sw as indicated above you can still turn on your MacBook Pro by bridging the contacts on the logic board. The take apart instructions and diagrams at might be of some help.
  6. macrushfan macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2012
    BTW, both of my late 2008 models were refurbs from the Apple store and ironically first gen. unibody. Not sure if my solution would even fix this if triggered by liquid but worth a shot. I never sleep or power down, my issue happened after a rare power down for travel because I knew I needed to replace the battery. My first workaround was to remove the logic board, CPU and bake the board in the oven. That is what brought it back to life then I discovered the applied heat method when it failed to startup the next time. The things we do to keep alive old macs. I cannot justify a new one when memory and drive can't easily be upgraded.

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