macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
Hi guys, I just bought a second-hand macbook pro 15" late 2008. First I decided to go by and check out the macbook but the guy sounded quite trustworthy. So I decided to transfer the money and have him mail the macbook instead because he lives quite far away (bad call, obviously).

Today I recieved the macbook including a charger. I booted up the system, installed a clean version of Lion OSX and everything was running smoothly, although it was running a little hot.

After messing around with some settings I closed the cover and expected it to go into sleepmode. When I returned 30 minutes later the macbook felt quite hot still. So I guess it didnt go into sleepmode?

The same happend again and I placed the laptop on my bed. When I returned 40 minutes later the laptop was just dead. Oh lord...


- Just dead. Pressing the button gives no response, period.

- No white indicator light

- No startup sounds

- No white screen

- No fan noise

- - Just dead :(

What I did so far:

- PRAM reset etc.

- Removing the battery

- Changing the power chord

- Disassembled the entire macbook and reassembled

Can you guys give me some advice :( What do you think? What could be the cause? It booted up without a problem in the world, until (i guess) the battery went dead. Did this guy screw me??

Any (useful) suggestions are welcome!

P.S. plz dont tell me im an idiot for buying something over mail without buyers protection. My wife already did that for you guys, trust me... ;)

tnx! Anthony


macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2012
Did you melt something? Or it could be a sign of a dead Hard Drive, I had some of the same symptoms when mine needed a new one.


macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
Hi guys, I just bought a second-hand macbook pro 15" late 2008. First I decided to go by and check out the macbook but the guy sounded quite trustworthy. So I decided to transfer the money and have him mail the macbook instead because he lives quite far away (bad call, obviously).

Firstly, IMMEDIATELY print out a hard copy of any communications you had with this person, and if there was an ad on Craigslist, eBay, etc, print that too.

When you say you transferred the money, what exactly did you use? If you used Western Union, you're pretty much hooped.

If you used Paypal or similar services, or paid with your credit card, you've got better luck.

Explain to the seller the computer was defective on arrival. Ask for your money back. Then file a complaint with the service you used to transfer the funds and/or the credit card company.

I'm presuming you have the address of the seller. The next step would be to file a small claims action to get your money back.

If you sent cash or paid with Western Union...I'm with your wife on this one... :)

Good luck. Hope the situation gets resolved.


macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
So, the machine was working when you received it.

Batteries can die spontaneously (mine just did). However the mac should still power on when plugged in.

Is it a unibody or non-unibody? Which model and graphics card?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012

Hey guys, sorry for my late response. I'm in quite a different timezone than most of you guys (the Netherlands).

First of all thanks a lot for your replies :)
Here in the Netherlands the mail-system offers an options called Rembours where you can pay the mailman. It is quite an old fashioned system but.. yeah.. Here in Holland working with credit cards is not as common as it is in the US.

I am glad to tell you guys I solved the problem :) Well, I didn't quite solve it yet I just identified the actual problem and have an idea on how to fix it. I'll give an elaborate explanation about my troubleshooting process, just for future troubleshooters. Maybe it can help them out too. For those who are just interested in the cause of the problem, you can skip the fairytale and go the the bottom of this post.

=================== // Start of Fairytale =============
Before posting this thread, as I mentioned, I disassembled my entire mac because it was not booting anymore. I reassembled it and still no luck! It seems that there was a serious problem. I feared what every mac-owner's worst fear is: A busted logic board (replacing is at least 400 bucks)

After posting this thread I decided to wait on your recommendations and tried them (for example replacing the hard disk, no luck). I disassembled the notebook and started working on building it up from scratch, once again. STILL NOTHING. But, before closing up the laptop I noticed that the battery was charging again (hmm okay, at this stage I felt that any change is good, so I was happy!) I decided not to touch anything and let it charge over night.

When I woke up I pressed the power button and YES! It booted.
-- thus I concluded it was a power problem --

I fully reassembled the macbook and was hoping that it would still work. Yes it did! Although the battery was not charging. It was not draining but also not charging. I got the message 'battery not charging'. So that was yet another problem - or actually the main problem- which needed to be solved. At this stage it could very well still be the logic board of course. But the story continues...

And yes.. once again I disassembled the macbook to check all connections concerning the power supply. You can recognize those as being the only ones plugged in on the bottom side of the logic board. There is a third one situated next to one of the other two (black and small).

By coincidence I saw one tiny change: The MagSafe charger has a light! I didn't know that because this is my first macbook. Before this light was off (not green, not yellow just off). This light was now orange. I instantly booted up lion and the problem seemed to be solved! Everything was working as expected (or desired).

I reassembled the macbook and .. damn no luck ... SO yet again disassemble, reassemble (x4) and I had the EUREKA moment !!!! It seemed that when the main cover (which covers the logic board) was mounted on the laptop, the battery was not charging.
==================== End of Fairytale // ==============

So, it seemed that the logic board is short circuiting somewhere which prevented the power supply to function properly. I found out that there are several (pressable) copper pins on the logic board which (I assume) function as 'ground' wiring. The ground is connected to the cover of the logic board through these pins. Once I disassembled this cover, the macbook functions properly. Through trail and error and some luck I got the job done :)

What to do now?
I am now using the macbook without the metal cover. Its working smoothly! I know it also functions as heat conductor so I'm not using the laptop for extended periods. To fix the problem I think ill try to figure out which of those pins are short circuiting. Once I identify that one, i'll put a non-conduction glue on it and hope the problem is solved. If I can't identify it ill just insulate the entire cover. Hope that this will do the job :)

Once again thank you all for your response and help. I hope that with this elaborated troubleshooting log I contributed to the mac rumors community :)

Yes, the seller screwed me but fortunately it was an easy fix. I got this laptop for a very reasonable price. I'm sure that if he knew it was an easy fix he wouldn't have sold it for this price. This is a small consolation. A lesson to be learned here (which we all actually already know): If something looks too good to be true, it usually is!

Greetings from Amsterdam,



macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2011
I was told that to be on the safe side you should put your computer to sleep manually and be sure that it is off and only then close the lid instead of just closing the lid and expecting it to sleep. Just saying it because I noticed that you said that you closed the lid expecting it to sleep and it didn't.
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