How in the heck did I manage to short out my motherboard!?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by campbeln, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. campbeln macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    Greetings and salutations!

    My wife's Macbook Pro 15 (A1211) had a loose hinge, so following the iFixIt guide I was able to get into the hinges and tighten them up no problem.

    But when I reassembled the Macbook and plugged it in... that dreaded burning electronics smell! So I cracked it open and found this (or see attached image):

    The major picture is of my motherboard, the inset is from an iFixIt guide of the same motherboard version with the fried part circled. This section is next to the left fan (which you can partially see to the left, the silver in the bottom left).

    My best guess is that I didn't give the cables entering from the left side of the hinge assembly enough slack, and when I put the top-case back on it tugged on the cables (which it did) and mis-seated the top connection.

    So, how in the heck did I manage to do this on a "simple" fix? I've taken apart Dell, eMachine and Gateway laptops, as well as countless desktop systems without a problem, so this wasn't my first rodeo. This has me a bit freaked out getting into future Macbooks. So if anyone has any insights on what may have caused this (and if it's fixable) I would greatly appreciate it!

    Current status of the Macbook: does not power on, latch release light doesn't come on, all I get is the green light on the Magsafe :(



    Attached Files:

  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I've had a MacBook Air that would short out. I didn't know what was going on, but I noticed that if I removed the bottom case it would boot.

    That computer was never opened up until that point, so it was weird. Sorry that probably doesn't help one bit, but I just wanted to say I've had weird shorts as well.

    Nonetheless, sorry to see this has happened to you.
  3. campbeln thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    Anyone with a guess? Tips for next time?

    Thanks alphaod, misery does love company =)

    So, does anyone have tips on how I can avoid killing the next MBP I get into? Please?
  4. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Well... considering your personal experience, I would try to avoid opening MacBooks up, unless on this occasion it's just shear bad luck!! In which case ignore what i just said and keep opening them - would help if you have some home insurance too! ;)

    BTW, did you check the underside of the top-case? Sometimes conductive foam bits get accidentally moved, leading to a short after the device is reassembled - I think apple inserts them to keep the grounding 'in check', they're not necessary IMO.

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