Missing serial number on logic board did they switch my board with a bad one?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jollyrgr, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Jollyrgr macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2010
    I trust my local shop 100% but how easy would it be for someone at the regional shop to take my working board, pull it, replace it with a bad one with the serial number wiped off of it and then have a good working board?

    I took my mid 2010 MBP to my local genius bar for its final servicing under apple care. It needed an optical drive, prom battery, rechargeable battery was starting to go and the magsafe needed to be wiggled which they said could be a logic.

    When I took it into the local shop it worked. The local shop did not have the needed parts so it was sent into the regional shop. The regional shop said the screen was cracked which voided the Applecare, quoted me $1,200 to fix it without telling me what they were going to fix.

    Anyhow when I got it back from the regional shop it was totally dead, not even the battery indicator worked. Opening it up to do a SMC reset and replace the rechargeable battery I noticed that the battery screws were kicking around in the case. I know that those screws were tight because I opened it up to replace my bigger hard drive with the original one before I sent it in. One of the hard drive protector plate screws was really loose too and the hard drive ribbon cable was folded over.

    I took it over to my store today to see if the serial numbers matched up and they said that the serial number on the board was missing and they could not access the electronic one because the board is dead. They did have the right numbered board when they electronically checked it when they were looking at it for repair and sending it off.

    Today the manager came out with the tec to work with me on this issue. I am going to send the board off to a third party to see if they can solder it to fix it and hopefully the serial numbers will match if it wakes up.

    Did I just loose a good logic board to someone at Apple? How should I proceed?
  2. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    When an AUTHORISED service centre repairs a MBP, they must do a complete repair. This means, if you have a cracked screen and a faulty optical drive, for example, but only want the screen repaired so you can use the machine, the AUTHORISED centre will refuse to do this. They must repair everything, so in this example the optical drive and the screen.

    An AUTHORISED service centre also has to send off any replaced parts to Apple, if Apple judge these part to in fact not be faulty, the service centre will have to cover the repair costs. Also the service centre must use an intranet type system internal to Apple to order replacement parts, it's all pretty tightly controlled.

    If the service centre that carried out the repairs to your MBP is an genuine Apple Authorised service centre, it's unlikely, though not impossible, you have been part of a scam. If they have replaced the logic board, whether under Applecare or through you covering costs, and the machine has returned dead, the repair has not been carried out effectively and the service centre is under an obligation to take the machine back until the repairs have been completed effectively. Any work done to your machine, replaced parts etc will be in the database and can easily be checked.

    If you have not used an Apple Authorised service centre, you're on your own!
  3. Jollyrgr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2010
    The regional repair center is Apple.

    They voided the Applecare and sent me a check for $11. They did not catch the wiped serial number.

    How hard is it to wipe a serial number off of a logic board at Apple's repair center?

    Could the board never of have had one?

    Im smelling a rat. Who can I complain to?
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009

    New boards are manufactured without a serial number encoded in them, and after repair the service center is supposed to run their utility to burn your serial number into it. You should contact the repair center to get the serial number burned in as some functionality depends on having that serial number encoded properly.
  5. Jollyrgr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2010
    Where exactly is the serial number supposed to be burned into the logic board?

    This is not a new board. It is a mid 2010 17" MBP.

    Can this number be scrapped off?
  6. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    chrfr is correct, new logic boards do not come with a serial number, the technician who replaced the board is responsible for running a utility which will create a new serial number for the board. This process is essential as some things are dependant upon the board having a serial number. It is possible the technician forgot to run the utility. Although you have a 2010 machine, if the logic board has been replaced it will be with a new board. Apple, indeed any company, must maintain stocks of component parts for maintenance and fixes long after the computer is no longer manufactured.

    From the sounds of your description of your MBP when it was returned to you, loose screws etc, it sounds like something else was going on and that the machine had not had it's service finished.

    Return the MBP to the service centre, they can see who serviced it, they can see any replacement parts etc and will take the machine back and get things done properly. Ideally you should check the machine when collecting it and before you leave the service centre, switch it on, play around for a few minutes, just to make sure it's running OK.
  7. Jollyrgr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2010
    My board has never left my mac unless it was taken out at the repair center.

    My local shop says that there should be a serial number printed on the board itself and in the software.

    I am confused if this happens when the computer was made in 2010, or when it was brought in by me for service the first time.

    Could the board have spent its entire life in my Mac without having a serial number printed on it?

    I cant prove that this is my board because it is missing the serial number.

    Bottom line the logic board was working when it arrived at the repair center and was not when it left. Could the loose screws have killed the logic board?
  8. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    This kind of stuff could happen in 3rd world countries. For instance, you take your car to replace the wheels and you get a car with an engine older than the one had before... :D
  9. Binomio macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    This sounds interesting, do you know what regional shop was it? Or the location? Also is this shop Apple authorized?

    I've worked at an authorized Apple service center in the US before, so I will try explain a couple things.

    Most Apple repair centers replace parts at the sub-component level (LCD, Logic Board, Superdrive, HDD etc). Those centers do not repair the sub-components, instead they swap failing components with good parts, this is done to speed up repair (1 Day repair). Then those bad parts are sent overseas where they're repaired/scrapped. This is sort of like a cycle really.

    So in your case, the repair center probably replaced your logic board with a refurbished board. Then it was serialized electronically with a special tool. The techs do not transfer the little serial number sticker to new boards as this is impractical and may damage the logic board.

    As for the DOA board, you may want to send your laptop back, you have a 90-day warranty after you receive your laptop from a depot.
  10. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK

    What exactly are you concerned about? You used an Authorised service centre, so just take the MBP back and get them to sort things out.
  11. jafingi macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2009
    I don't understand why you're making this such a big case.

    Fact is: You brought a WORKING Mac to the store, and received a FAULTY Mac after the repair.

    The thing to do is to return it to the store again, telling them that the machine was DOA, and make them fix it!

    Don't make it more complicated than it is :p
  12. nickandre21, Jul 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

    nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    As every stated above please take the laptop back to the same service center.
    Ive had a logic board replaced on my macbook pro they do not have any physical labels to tell of the machines/logic board serial number. The same goes for a bottom case. The serial number will only be digitaly available for use with some softwares that require an hardware id for licensing purposes or itunes store.
    My macbook pro after the logic board change worked at store but since they wiped my hdd i could not test it, got it home was installing my software and bam dead logic board again took it back to store and a new box laptop given.
    I had a friend who had damaged her screen towards the corners but screen was usable they only voided warranty on the screen the remaining parts had warranty on them she got her logic board replaced due to a faulty ram slot.

    You might want to check your job sheet when you picked up the laptop whatever parts changed would be listed there. If none have been changed then was its logic board changed previously? If not then you can question them as they will never remove a serial number label from the board. More tell tail signs would be if the ports look rather clean and shiny.
    But an apple authorized service provider would not plug in a new logic board without documenting it on GSX. All old parts go back to apple. If it does not reach them they make them pay. Each replaced board has a serial number of the laptop it came out from mentioned on the packaging. It seems distant that they may have swapped stuff but we cant be so sure. Can you feel any adhesive on the ram slots which could hint that they might of accidentally removed the label? Have you tried shorting the power pads on the logic board to see if the board powers up still?
  13. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    My take on the OP's situation is that he brought a basically working system into his local Apple store to have a few problems fixed under warranty and they then shipped it off to a regional repair center which noticed the cracked display, voided his warranty and presented him with a $1200 quote to fully repair the computer. It sounds like he declined the quote, so I'm assuming that they should have shipped it back to him in the same condition they received it. But, according to him, he received it back with a dead logic board with no serial number and some loose parts rattling around inside.

    Since the store he brought it to originally saw that it was functioning at that time, I would hope that they would help to get this problem resolved. I'm concerned about the OP's comment that he will bring it to a third part service center. I would try to get a resolution from Apple before doing that.
  14. spooner13 macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2013
    Same concept!

    I took my iphone to our local irepair shop to have the battery checked. He said it would take five minutes, but came out 25 mins later and said I had bigger problems then the battery. He said I had half a screen out. I just used it before I went in there. I guess my questions is, is there a way I can see if that is the screen that is supposed to be there? I just do not feel good about it because he kept asking me to sell it to him since it was worthless. I want to nail his ass if I can, just need some proof.

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