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Dead logic board on MacBook Pro (mid 2012, non-retina)

R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
My MacBook Pro suddenly got broken, model A1278, mid 2012, 13", i7, bought in 2013. It doesn't turn on and the battery indicator doesn't work. When I connect it to the charger, there is a dim green light on the MagSafe.

There is something with the logic board. Short circuit was detected and repaired, still not working. Those who repaired the short circuit told me that it might be a dead CPU and offered me to replace the entire logic board. Still want to show it to other repair organisations. Contacted Apple and they told me that the logic board might be replaced for free in case it was a manufacturing defect. However, I will have to wait until Apple Stores are back to work again.

So if it is indeed a dead CPU, then will it be anyhow possible to repair it (I know that the CPU is soldered, that task is difficult and complex, but still)? And does it make sense to repair it at all? I understand that maybe it is time to move on and instead of spending money to repair the old MacBook I should buy a new one.

And if anybody knows some good places to repair a logic board (preferably somewhere around New York City) would be great. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,767
20,868
California
My MacBook Pro suddenly got broken, model A1278, mid 2012, 13", i7, bought in 2013. It doesn't turn on and the battery indicator doesn't work. When I connect it to the charger, there is a dim green light on the MagSafe.

There is something with the logic board. Short circuit was detected and repaired, still not working. Those who repaired the short circuit told me that it might be a dead CPU and offered me to replace the entire logic board. Still want to show it to other repair organisations. Contacted Apple and they told me that the logic board might be replaced for free in case it was a manufacturing defect. However, I will have to wait until Apple Stores are back to work again.

So if it is indeed a dead CPU, then will it be anyhow possible to repair it (I know that the CPU is soldered, that task is difficult and complex, but still)? And does it make sense to repair it at all? I understand that maybe it is time to move on and instead of spending money to repair the old MacBook I should buy a new one.

And if anybody knows some good places to repair a logic board (preferably somewhere around New York City) would be great. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
A 2012 is unlikely to be worth the repair costs. Replacing the CPU is probably more expensive than replacing the mainboard. Would likely be cheaper to just buy a used 2012 from somewhere than to repair it. And incredibly unlikely that it’s a manufacturing defect - it’s been 9 years almost.
 
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avz

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2018
1,163
1,310
My MacBook Pro suddenly got broken, model A1278, mid 2012, 13", i7, bought in 2013. It doesn't turn on and the battery indicator doesn't work. When I connect it to the charger, there is a dim green light on the MagSafe.

There is something with the logic board. Short circuit was detected and repaired, still not working. Those who repaired the short circuit told me that it might be a dead CPU and offered me to replace the entire logic board. Still want to show it to other repair organisations. Contacted Apple and they told me that the logic board might be replaced for free in case it was a manufacturing defect. However, I will have to wait until Apple Stores are back to work again.

So if it is indeed a dead CPU, then will it be anyhow possible to repair it (I know that the CPU is soldered, that task is difficult and complex, but still)? And does it make sense to repair it at all? I understand that maybe it is time to move on and instead of spending money to repair the old MacBook I should buy a new one.

And if anybody knows some good places to repair a logic board (preferably somewhere around New York City) would be great. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

Sometimes all you have to do is to re-connect the Magsafe as it is magnetic and not always makes a good contact(especially if there is a dust build up). I hope that this repair shop did not come up with the "short circuit" thing just so they can charge you something. Those old unibody models are pretty much bulletproof. I am sure that my Late 2008 MacBook will take me right into the ARM era without even breaking a sweat.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,498
7,276
At 8 years old, it might be time to consider a replacement. The new 2020 13" MacBook Pro would be a good choice.

It's easy to take the internal drive OUT, put it into a USB3 enclosure, and keep using it that way. Just get a Phillips #00 driver and take the screws off the back panel. The drive can be lifted out and disconnected. You can use either a Torx T-6 to take the "nubs" off the sides of the drive -- or, VERY GENTLY do this with a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Also, by taking out the drive, you can easily connect it to the new MacBook and use this to migrate your data when you set up the new one.
 

R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
A 2012 is unlikely to be worth the repair costs. Replacing the CPU is probably more expensive than replacing the mainboard. Would likely be cheaper to just buy a used 2012 from somewhere than to repair it. And incredibly unlikely that it’s a manufacturing defect - it’s been 9 years almost.
I've actually thought of buying the same MacBook, but used. Even thought about 15" (same mid 2012, same non-retina).

The initial idea about mine, before it died, was to upgrade it with a new SSD, RAM and OptiBay. Now I would have to buy an old used machine and upgrades (plus having dead MacBook laying around). Besides, there is always a risk of buying some junk online (eBay, etc.).

So, overall, I would not want this option. I mean, a used MacBook with upgrades will not cost less than $500. So maybe in my case it would be more rational just to add some money and buy a brand new one?
[automerge]1591805246[/automerge]
Sometimes all you have to do is to re-connect the Magsafe as it is magnetic and not always makes a good contact(especially if there is a dust build up). I hope that this repair shop did not come up with the "short circuit" thing just so they can charge you something. Those old unibody models are pretty much bulletproof. I am sure that my Late 2008 MacBook will take me right into the ARM era without even breaking a sweat.
I've checked the port many times and, honestly, I doubt that there is something with it. And battery indicator on the left side also doesn't work, so I guess it's something else.

Those who fixed the short circuit issue didn't charge me at all since they couldn't bring it back to life. They offered me a logic board replacement for ~$460. In theory I can replace it myself, though it would not cost less than $300.

Ideally, I would rather repair it than replace it. Thus, I can proceed with an upgrade (SSD, RAM, OptiBay) and don't have to think about reliability of the new (used) logic board.
 
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R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
I wonder if it may be a dead MagSafe board or bad power connection.

Was the MacBook ever dropped or exposed to liquid?
No, it wasn't dropped or exposed to liquid.

Everything happened right after I replaced MacBook's HDD connector. It just didn't start after this.
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,767
20,868
California
I've actually thought of buying the same MacBook, but used. Even thought about 15" (same mid 2012, same non-retina).

The initial idea about mine, before it died, was to upgrade it with a new SSD, RAM and OptiBay. Now I would have to buy an old used machine and upgrades (plus having dead MacBook laying around). Besides, there is always a risk of buying some junk online (eBay, etc.).

So, overall, I would not want this option. I mean, a used MacBook with upgrades will not cost less than $500. So maybe in my case it would be more rational just to add some money and buy a brand new one?
[automerge]1591805246[/automerge]

I've checked the port many times and, honestly, I doubt that there is something with it. And battery indicator on the left side also doesn't work, so I guess it's something else.

Those who fixed the short circuit issue didn't charge me at all since they couldn't bring it back to life. They offered me a logic board replacement for ~$460. In theory I can replace it myself, though it would not cost less than $300.

Ideally, I would rather repair it than replace it. Thus, I can proceed with an upgrade (SSD, RAM, OptiBay) and don't have to think about reliability of the new (used) logic board.

Investing $460 + those other upgrades for a 2012 machine doesn't make any sense in my opinion. If you're worried about eBay, etc. look here:


Very reputable Apple-focussed company that's been around for years.

You can get a late 2013 13" MBP for $519. An early 2015 is around $800.
 

R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
At 8 years old, it might be time to consider a replacement. The new 2020 13" MacBook Pro would be a good choice.

It's easy to take the internal drive OUT, put it into a USB3 enclosure, and keep using it that way. Just get a Phillips #00 driver and take the screws off the back panel. The drive can be lifted out and disconnected. You can use either a Torx T-6 to take the "nubs" off the sides of the drive -- or, VERY GENTLY do this with a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Also, by taking out the drive, you can easily connect it to the new MacBook and use this to migrate your data when you set up the new one.
I'm also thinking of buying a new one.

Will likely go for a Pro since Air got that peculiar cooling system.
[automerge]1591806331[/automerge]
Investing $460 + those other upgrades for a 2012 machine doesn't make any sense in my opinion. If you're worried about eBay, etc. look here:


Very reputable Apple-focussed company that's been around for years.

You can get a late 2013 13" MBP for $519. An early 2015 is around $800.
According to my rough calculations it will be around $700. It's almost the price of an Air or half the price of a good Pro. So I agree with you here.

Thanks for the link though, will definitely check it out!
 
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R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
The battery was disconnected when you changed the cable?
Yes, it was.

Yet somehow short circuit arose. And even after it was repaired still nothing, still dim green light on the MagSafe.

The most interesting is that the previous HDD connector was not broken as I thought. It was working, but the system or the logic board didn't recognize it. And after I replaced the connector MacBook died.
 
Last edited:

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,805
1,501
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yes, it was.

Yet somehow short circuit arose. And even after it was repaired still nothing, still dim green light on the MagSafe.

The most interesting is that the previous HDD cable was not broken as I thought. It was working, but the system or the logic board didn't recognize it. And after I replaced the connector MacBook died.
What was repaired on the MacBook? Are you referring to the replaced SATA cable?
 

R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
Who repaired the short-circuit? I'm curious as to what the short was.
I found some guy on YouTube when I was looking for solutions. It turned out that he got his own repair store. So I went there, they detected the short, fixed it and it didn't help. They told me that it's irreparable, that it's likely a dead CPU and offered me a logic board replacement.
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,805
1,501
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I found some guy on YouTube when I was looking for solutions. It turned out that he got his own repair store. So I went there, they detected the short, fixed it and it didn't help. They told me that it's irreparable, that it's likely a dead CPU and offered me a logic board replacement.
Louis is very good. I'm curious where the short was and how they fixed it?

I use a shop in Toronto and he fixes logic boards for a flat fee. No fix, no pay which is nice.
 

R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
Louis is very good. I'm curious where the short was and how they fixed it?

I use a shop in Toronto and he fixes logic boards for a flat fee. No fix, no pay which is nice.
Unfortunately, they didn't disclose any details regarding the repair. There were few marks left after the soldering and one of the marks was close to the spot where HDD connector connects to the logic board (the other one was close to RAM slots). So maybe it really had to do something with the previous HDD connector.

Same system here. They could not bring it back to life so I was not charged. Still want to show it to other repair organisations and Apple, just to be sure.
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,805
1,501
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Unfortunately, they didn't disclose any details regarding the repair. There were few marks left after the soldering and one of the marks was close to the spot where HDD connector connects to the logic board (the other one was close to RAM slots). So maybe it really had to do something with the previous HDD connector.

Same system here. They could not bring it back to life so I was not charged. Still want to show it to other repair organisations and Apple, just to be sure.
Makes perfect sense. I hope you are able to repair it for cheap; otherwise, it's time to find a cheap logic board or MacBook upgrade.
 

R5152

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 18, 2020
13
1
Makes perfect sense. I hope you are able to repair it for cheap; otherwise, it's time to find a cheap logic board or MacBook upgrade.
Thanks for the support!

Actually, right now I'm inclined to buy a new MBP (happily the HDD is working so I can retrieve my data) and keep the old one to come back to it later.
 
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