MacBook Air won't turn on

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jools5858, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. jools5858 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2016
    #1
    The other day I went to use my MacBook Air (11 inch, Mid 2013) and it wouldn't respond to the power button. It was completely turned off. I tried a bunch of stuff such as holding down the pwr button for 10 sec, resetting the SMC, and opening the back and unplugging the battery for a few minutes, but couldn't get it to start. I then removed the SSD, and when I put it back in, i got the Apple chime and it booted (without pressing the power button). Once it started though it was super slow and choppy, with the pinwheel gong crazy, and the fan running high all the time. It then randomly shut down again, and I had to mess with it for a while to get it started again. I sort of went back an forth for a while with similar scenarios, sometimes when I would get it started again it would go through the whole Apple logo boot, and sometimes it would go right to the password screen, with no audible chime. Every time, it seemed to be the SSD removal/replacement that triggered it though. I reinstalled the OS (with an SSD wipe), but it didn't change anything. So I think it's safe to say it's a hardware problem. I thought it might be the SSD, but I tried turning it on with the SSD removed, and it still won't start consistently. When I do get it to turn on, if I press the power button once it's running, it turns off instantly, no 5 second delay to force shutdown. If I close the lid with it on, it goes to sleep, and comes back on when I open the lid back up. I wanted to get some input before I started spending $$ and throwing parts at it. Also, the charge cable is lit up green, and when it starts it's at 100% battery life. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #2
    I suggest you try to boot from an external drive. If you still continue to have problems, I think your suspicions of a hardware problem are likely true.

    Good luck.
     
  3. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    So correction to what I stated earlier. I removed the SSD again, and now without the drive in it boots every time. Obviously it goes to the no drive found icon (file folder with a '?'), but it boots none the less. So I'm 99.9% sure it's the SSD. So two questions, one, as the recovery partition is on the SSD how can I go about reinstalling the OS with a brand new drive. Or alternately, can I reformat the existing SSD completely (as opposed to just the primary partition), and see if that rectifies it? And again, in that scenario how can I get the OS back on?
     
  4. zaaach48 macrumors regular

    zaaach48

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    #4

    You can reformat the drive without destroying the recovery partition and then boot to recover and restore the OS that way. It will likely take a VERY long time.

    Personally, I would use another Mac to create a OS recovery thumb drive and hang on to it: http://www.macworld.com/article/309...-a-bootable-macos-sierra-installer-drive.html

    Also, I would contact Apple about the issue. You mentioned yours is a mid-2013 MacBook Air, and Apple release a quality program for known faulty SSDs in this model. It only covers for 3 years from original purchase date though, so you may not qualify.

    https://www.apple.com/support/macbookair-flashdrive/
     
  5. iSightG5 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #5
    My girlfriends air just did the same thing! I have an appointment on monday but was curious if there has been any update to your situation?
     
  6. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Nothing yet. I thought mine was the SSD, but after trying it few more times, it turns out that wasn't the issue. Now I'm finding that if I disconnect the battery (had to open it up to do it...) and reconnect it, it will start, and will run, but the fan is going crazy the whole time. I can restart it and it will reboot, but if I shut it down it won't turn on again. If I pull the battery connection and reset it like that, it'll boot again. I think it's the motherboard, but mine's out of warranty, and I wan't to be sure before I spend the $500. Id really appreciate it if you let me know what they tell her.
     
  7. iSightG5 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #7
    I don't have the whole story from her but what she mentioned was she kept putting off and update, assuming it was 10.12.3, and it finally forced her to reboot and when it did thats when the issues started. At first I think she said she was promted for a password to login and then when she closed it it would be dead but she was able to get it to boot again. After a day or so of that it wouldn't reboot and the charging cable wouldn't show the green charging light, but if you left it plugged in over night the next morning the green light was on but it wouldn't boot.

    So I tried reseting SMC and that didn't help so I opened it up and removed the SD like you had and tried booting...no response, also disconnected and reconnected the battery and that didn't help. The charging cable no longer shows it charging even leaving it plugged in over night so I'm not sure if its the cord, io board, battery or logic board.

    I'll update with any new info after my appointment monday afternoon.
     
  8. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I completely wiped my SSD and reinstalled, but it didn't fix anything, so I've ruled out software. With that said it could be a firmware thing. I'm not a 100% on how Apple works as far as firmware though, I don't think it uses a BIOS per say. Anyway, the only thing that can be done at our level that I'm aware of is an SMC reset (which I've tried). Mine happened right out of the blue too, so I wonder if an update of some kind screwed something up within the firmware. The equivalent of a bad BIOS flash. Let me know what they say tomorrow for sure though.
     
  9. Kresno.awe, Jan 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017

    Kresno.awe macrumors newbie

    Kresno.awe

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    #9
  10. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  11. iSightG5 macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Mone wont even boot, its like the batter is totally dead, so can't try NVRAM reset
     
  12. iSightG5 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #12
    Well now this is strange....so the Air wouldn't respond and has been dead since last Monday, I haven't been able to get it to boot or show any signs of life....until today.

    So as I'm gathering everything to head to my appointment at the Apple Store, I notice the green light is on on the charger. I haven't been able to get it to come on for a couple days. I figured I'd try and boot it up again for what seems like the millionth time, and about 20sec later it shows signs of life!

    It booted to an error message saying it didn't shutdown correctly and if I wanted to reopen the windows from last time. I click yes and it loads up everything! I'm thinking awesome! Then about 2mins later it goes black...crap!

    I hit the power button again and it again boots, loads everything and this time I check the OS version, its running 10.12.1, so I hit software update and it powers down again....

    Hit the power button again and after everything loads I select restart and it reboots and everything loads and I hit software update and start downloading 10.12.3, starts the install, reboots a few times and then has been stable for about 45min now.

    Not sure what to make of all this and I rescheduled my appointment to Thursday in case this doesn't have a happy ending but as of now it appears to be functioning like normal.
     
  13. SparkFlash macrumors 6502

    SparkFlash

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    #13
    Really sounds like a battery issue/power issue. Let us know what the bench says. Curious!
     
  14. iSightG5 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #14
    So far all is well, no issues with powering it off and on or coming out of sleep, battery is holding its charge and no issues with the charging cable either. This whole situation has been very strange but it appears to be back to normal and if its still ok tomorrow ill be canceling appointment
     
  15. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2016
    #15
    Alright, I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a new motherboard. Any last thoughts before I dump the $600+? I'm having a real hard time justifying the cost, as with the high running fan and the unresponsiveness to the power button, it's a textbook SMC reset issue....
     
  16. Bart Kela, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #16
    Nowhere in this discussion thread do you make it evident that you have brought your device to an Apple Store and asked them to diagnose the issue, something they will do free of charge.

    As far as I can tell, you are trying to figure it out and fix the issue all by yourself.

    Any reason for this?

    You do know that the Genius Bars at Apple Stores have extra diagnostics tools (hardware and software, some of it in a back room) and more importantly experience that the typical consumer does not have at their disposal, yes? That's what they do all day, look at unhealthy or broken devices. It is highly likely that in any given month, they will diagnose several MacBooks that won't power up.
     
  17. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Closest Apple store is 3 Hrs away unfortunately...
     
  18. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #18
    That's too bad, sorry to hear you aren't willing to make the trip.

    I don't suppose you have tried an Apple Authorized Service Center, have you? They don't have all of the diagnostic resources as a Genius Bar in an Apple Store, but they will certainly have more experience than you.
     
  19. 960design macrumors 68020

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    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #19
    Reads like liquid damage. You said you opened it up, did you notice the liquid sensors?
    http://www.cultofmac.com/67303/new-macbook-air-has-record-amount-of-moisture-sensors/

    Just typing it, because we just surplused a 2015 MBPr ( maxed out ) because of liquid damage. $1340 for repair was too much. Very sad, it was beautiful... but completely dead.
     
  20. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2016
    #20
    Granted, the folks at the Genius Bar would definitely be the authority, but I'm a Software Engineer, so I do have some experience with this sort of thing. It's just a tricky issue, and I want to diagnose it properly instead of just throwing parts at it. I was hoping somebody had come across the same issue, just to confirm before I dumped the motherboard and bought a new one. As basically everything except the SSD and WiFi card are integrated, I can pretty safely say the issue is with the motherboard (logic board), but I'm more so trying to determine whether it can be salvaged via resetting ram or firmware. Just looking for input from others who may have dealt with this before.
     
  21. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Though it's not necessarily conclusive, you could run hardware diagnostics as well https://support.apple.com/HT202731

    Thing is, maybe it's the main logic board (MLB), maybe it's a problem with an interconnect to the MLB, or the power supply... You mentioned fan over-speeding - a temperature sensor may have become disconnected or damaged (on MLB or elsewhere)...

    So, even though it's a 3-hour drive to the Apple Store, I'm not sure a shotgun replacement of a $600 part is the best approach.

    When you did a "full erase" of the SSD, did you wipe just the Macintosh HD partition and reinstall Sierra, or did you wipe the entire SSD and reinstall from Internet Recovery (would have given you the original OS)?
     
  22. jools5858, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Ran the diagnostics, and it came up with "There may be an issue with the System Management Controller (SMC) PFM006", which is what I figured. As far as the OS reinstall, I only wiped the Mac HD partition, and reinstalled Sierra. I'll try a reinstall from Internet Recovery, but it's showing the same symptoms even with the SSD removed, so I'm not sure it will help. Nothing to lose by trying though. Not sure if this helps, but when I boot it with the battery disconnected and the AC power connected, it obviously lit up orange (no battery), and when I press power it goes green for 2-3 seconds before going orange again. It'll only start if I remove the AC power, then reconnect it.

    EDIT

    Ran the diagnostics a second time, and this time also got "There may be an issue with the power management system PPN001" In doing a little research, there are some indications that it could point to a temperature sensor problem on the top case...
     
  23. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2016
    #23
    So I bit the bullet and made the 6 hour round trip to the Apple store today, and I have to say, not much gained. The guy that looked at my computer there took it in the back, and came out and told me that he was able to get the computer to boot over and over again with the battery removed, which I have been unable to do, and am still unable to do. So unless it wouldn't work for me, then for some reason started working in the back of the Apple store, then stopped working again once I got home, I think he was mistaken. He then told me that it could be the logic board, the battery, or the what he called the "SMC board". The board he labelled as the "SMC Board", is the MagSafe/USB/Audio board. When I asked him about whether it had the actual SMC on it, he was adamant that it was part of this board, and not on the MLB. To my understanding, the SMC is on the MLB, or am I crazy? Anyway, long story short, he suggested changing the battery, MLB, and I/O board for a whopping $893 plus tax. I told him that even with the battery removed it was still messed up, and he said they would change it anyway. A bit of a joke as far as I'm concerned. They suggested replacing everything except the keyboard, touchpad, and speakers. Is the SMC on the MLB or no? I was positive it was part of the MLB...
     
  24. jools5858 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  25. Johnny365 macrumors 6502

    Johnny365

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