MacBook Pro freezes only when bottom case is screwed in

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cheso, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. cheso macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    Alright guys, this might sound weird and yes, it makes no sense at all, but I've tested it out at least 20 times and it really is the screws that somehow cause the problem:

    I have a mid-2009 15" MB Pro. I recently had to install a new hard drive, since the old one was about to die. I installed a 750 GB Seagate (basically the same thing as the old 7200 rpm 500 GB 16 MB cache one, only with more capacity). The problem I'm having is very weird and I can't find the solution:
    When I installed the HDD, secured it with the little plastic bridge with 2 screws and then put the bottom case on with the 10 little screws, it first worked no problem, but after a few minutes, kernel panics started to occur. Every 5-10 minutes, OS X freezes (beach ball) for about 20 seconds and then, either starts working again or I get the dark screen that says I need to turn it off and then turn it back on again. For some reason, when I was testing the hard drive in an external case and then I put it back, without screws first, so that it would be faster to take it out, the system worked flawlessly for hours. Then I decided to screw the HDD and the bottom case back in and guess what, kernel panics again.

    Do you think this might have something to do with a screw or the bottom case touching some part of the logic board or so? If so, what do you think is the solution?
    I know you might think it just randomly sometimes works and the screws have no effect but trust me, I've been testing it for 2 weeks now, putting the screws in and then taking them out again.
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    How thick is the HDD, is it exactly the same as the one you removed ?
  3. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    maybe something you doing when screwing the bottom on is making the RAM unseat?
  4. cheso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    The HDD is exactly the same size and everything...What do you think is the solution, if the case really is touching some component when screwed in?
  5. cheso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    To narrow it down, I tried simply leaving out the HDD bracket ( and screwing in the 10 screws holding the bottom case in place. Everything runs no problem. So, the problem is actually in the bracket. I'm thinking that it might be because the SATA cable is running under it and the bracket might be pushing it down too hard, do you guys think that's the case?
  6. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2009
    Easy to test... put the screws in holding the bracket, but down tighten them too hard. :)
  7. jbzcar macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    I was about to post that it does sound like a cable problem. They can be finicky.
  8. cheso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    Just to close this up, my MB Pro is written off. I decided to go for a MB Air, I was told that there's a 99% chance it's a problem on the logic board, since the problem was there even without the screws, it just occurred a bit later. So right now, before my MB Air arrives, I'm running this MB Pro from an external USB 2.0 hard drive...Any ideas how to save it or make the best use of it?

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