Probably a dead logic board?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr. Bleach, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. Mr. Bleach macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #1
    The other day my wife's early 2008 MBP 15" would not turn on fully. When you power it on, you can hear the fans and optical drive energize. I tried every key combination and SMC reset and it does nothing new. I tried inserting the recovery disk and the drive reads it a few times and then nothing. Now I can't eject the disc in addition to the original problem. The light by the button you press to open the laptop glows intermittently.
    After reading anything I could find relating to these symptoms, I conclude that the logic board is dead.
    I've read baking the board is an option but only a temporary fix. I've seen lots of used boards for sale but I think those are only going to be a temporary fix and probably just baked boards as well. I've seen new boards at a few places with a cost of $800+.
    I'm leaning toward just baking the board and get it running to just back up anything that may have been missed since the last back up. I doubt I will buy a used board and at the cost of a new one that is out of the question.
    I'm putting my flame suit on now. I don't think investing in a new MBP is worth it at the prices they currently ask for them. I have read a lot about the reliability issues others have had with newer machines. Here it comes, I have never had a PC laptop ever die on me. The MBP that replaced the Sony VAIO still works and had worked at least 6 years before being replaced despite all the abuse (related to the crashes the MS OS put me through) I subjected it. I bought the MBP to have a reliable OS and that I can't dispute. I liked it so much in the beginning that I bought another MBP 15" a late 2008. A couple of years ago, it's graphic's card started to fail. Luckily Apple fixed it for me but not after a few trips with the machine not failing their tests. It was repaired but not to my satisfaction. It runs hot if I run or visit any graphics demanding programs and sites. I should have taken it back to the "geniuses" to straighten it but I didn't within the so called warranty period, which is my own fault. I just didn't want to make the trip (1.5 hours one way) or deal with the crowded store (extended periods of waiting of at least 30 minutes but usually way more). I have never abused either MBP and have tried to take good care of them.
    I really like the overall stability of the OSx. There have been good ones and not so good updates. I have never had a crash that needed to completely reinstall the OS and start fresh like the PC's before the MBP's had needed. OTH, I got my daughter her first computer anbout two years ago, an HP. I only bought that because I didn't want to shell out nearly $2K on a kid's 1st computer even though she already knew how to use a MAC. So far, at a price of only $600, it has operated as reliably or better than our MBP's in that same amount of time.
    I don't want to go back to any windows machine so I desperately need some good advice to avoid going back to the dark side of computing. The memories of lost productivity and futile frustrations from windows are still very vivid.
     
  2. ajbudis macrumors newbie

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    Jun 30, 2013
    #2
    Didn't spend the time reading the wall of text, however, give a bit more of a description and might be able to help you. PRAM reset, SMC reset, are all great starts. Would NOT recommend heating a logic board up. Typically depending on the computers age you can bring it to the Apple Store and they will have better option for you.
     
  3. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #3
    This is all it does: "It would not turn on fully. When you power it on, you can hear the fans and optical drive energize. I tried every key combination and SMC reset and it does nothing new. I tried inserting the recovery disk and the drive reads it a few times and then nothing. Now I can't eject the disc in addition to the original problem. The light by the button you press to open the laptop glows intermittently."
    It basically whirs a little and nothing, just a dark screen, no bong, not much else.
    It's an early 2008, if I could be assured it would only cost around $300 to $400 to reliably fix, I might go for it.
     
  4. ajbudis macrumors newbie

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    Jun 30, 2013
    #4
    Apple Stores have an option where you can send it to a repair facility for a flat rate fee depending on the size. If the computer is not getting past POST, and you have no liquid damage... It probably is a logic board, maybe RAM. If it's a logic board the flat rate fee without liquid is about 280-310 at an American Apple Store.
     
  5. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #5
    Ajbudis I hope that I can get it fixed for that. I guess I'll wait to bake the board until I can check that out.
    Is there a chance it could be bad RAM? I have another MBP, a late 2008. Would it be worthwhile to try the RAM from it?
     
  6. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #6
    OK, I talked to the local Apple store and they said they won't even work on something as "old" as my 2008 MBP. They suggested a 3rd party in the area and the best they could quote was $500 to $800 for a repair. I don't even think paying in the lower end of the quote is worth it.
    I need some suggestions before I start baking the board or part it out.
     
  7. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #7
    Given that your machine is from 2008; my honest feeling is that you should start to look at replacing that with something new before spending hundreds of dollars trying to fix it. You can get refurb/ new MBA's for around the same budget that has been quoted to fix your old machine. And anything new will definitely be snappier than your old computer.
     
  8. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #8
    I've been thinking going that route or make a hackintosh.
    I've lost my faith in Apple products since they no longer feel like supporting their slightly older products. I'm kind of bummed I didn't get much support here either.
    I know if I mod a pc to run an OSx I can keep it going as most of them have generic internals.
     
  9. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #9
    I relived a memory of a MiSery Windows today while trying to print a document my daughter created on her HP. I wasted nearly an hour trying to correct some settings just so that POS would print it.
    I'm not going to buy another computer that run Windows.
    I'm not happy with Apple but I feel it is the lesser of two evils. My sanity is worth more than saving money on buying a less expensive machine with a convoluted OS that is a virus magnet.
    I need to make a wise decision on what machine to buy that will last longer than the last MBP.
    I apologise for my poor attitude toward a forum that dedicates its efforts toward making Macs a pleasant computing experience.
    Will someone be so kind and help me by giving some good suggestions?
     
  10. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #10
    For about the same price as roasting the board, you can get a used 2009 Mac on ebay. And baking the board may not fix it anyway.

    Also have you considered trying Ubuntu Linux? It's built on Unix which is supposed to be "rock solid" like OS X but because it is made for any computer, it has some of the pain of Windows.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    6 years is fantastic for any laptop!!

    I am afraid that six years is great for any laptop, you may not have had a windows one die in that time but they usually do, it is the nature of the beast.

    I your case I would try replacing the hard drive 1st before you think about baking boards its the most likely culprit in any PC failure.

    As for a replacement laptop any of the macbooks airs or pros from the last 2 years will suit you fine, a 13 inch rMBP refurb from apple probably your best bet.

    Honestly I find peoples thinking on tech is a bit screwed up especially when it comes to apple products. If you use something for a few hours a day for 6 years then you have got your moneys worth even if it cost $3000. Computers are limited life items.
     
  12. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #12
    Assuming even moderate use over 6 years, you might see other failures after that. I don't know that I would dump too much into a machine of that age. Bad ram usually causes crashes and unstable behavior rather than a complete failure to boot. SMC reset rarely (if ever) fixes this kind of thing. There are certain things that are fixed by some of the resets, such as if the system is searching for its boot volume in the wrong place, causing it to hang for a long time. That isn't the case here.

    It may be too old for that, as it's definitely in vintage status. It's at the time where repairs depend on availability of components, and they are sure to be refurbished components.
     
  13. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #13
    Thanks for all your replies.
    Would it be worthwhile to try a known good RAM and HD from another working MBP? I have a late 2008 that I could try them on this MBP.
    If these items don't start the dead machine, I would still try baking the board. I have nothing to lose except some time, effort and some inexpensive adhesives.
    My wife is leaning toward a new machine if all else fails. She also wants something that has at least a 15" screen, Too bad 17" MBP's are a thing of the past. I've seen the 13" machines and they are obviously too small for our liking.
    I have tried Linux on my Vaio several years ago but it left the machine somewhat crippled. Linux either did not have some necessary drivers or it wouldn't fully recognize some of the hardware. I don't know if the version I used was Ubuntu but I know it was available then.
    I personally like to keep things a long time especially when something costs as much as a MBP does. I don't buy new cars and expect to replace it in 6 years and get absolutely nothing for it. I also would expect a manufacturer to service it even if it is out of warranty a few years.
    I used to think that Mac's were the Mercedes of computers but obviously they are not since Mercedes will still service any year car you bring to them. I know this from personal experience.
     
  14. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #14
    The thing is, few people actually want to get service for a 6 y/o laptop. As you've noted, the repair price will typically be higher than the value of the computer. Looking at my local used market, that computer seems to go for 350-400$ and you say you're prepared to that price to get it working. I don't see how Apple could pay a technician for 2h of work, get you a refurbished part (on top of keeping inventory on parts no one wants) for a repair that may or may not work at a price that doesn't come close to the used value.

    Computers are vastly different to cars. You can expect a computer to get twice the performance at the same price after 4 years. A 20 y/o car that works will still get you around. A 20 y/o computer has absolutely no practical purpose. On top of your Mercedes example being a collectible. I don't see a lot of Chevettes being repaired to their former glory.

    It might be worth swapping the RAM and HDD as it's a very fast operation on the 2008 models, but I doubt that's your issue. For a Ubuntu machine, look online for information on a specific model before buying it. Compatibility has gotten much better with time but there still are some machines (especially laptops) that'll have minor issues like wifi or sound.
     
  15. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #15
    Thanks Paolo. I will try swapping the RAM and see if there is any issue with them. That's the easiest step. Then I will look for a cable that I can use to externally connect the HD to my other MBP.
    I'll shop around to see if anyone sells laptops that run Linux. I will need one that will run WiFi. We like to use our computers on the coffee table which is why a laptop with good WiFi cap[ability is a must.
    I've seen a few PC type laptops, including my daughter's HP, and they all felt cheap compared to our MBP's.
    BTW, I still have a desktop PC that I built nearly 15 years ago and it still works well enough even with the old technology inside it. It has an AMD processor, a Geforce video card and either 2 or 4 Gigs of RAM. Believe it or not, it does not feel that noticeably different from the Dell Windows 7 machine I have to work with at the office except that mine still runs XP. It just doesn't have the versatility a laptop does so it rarely gets used any more.
     
  16. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #16
    While you can do that, ram or HD problems match your symptoms. That machine has an optical drive, so you could just boot from an old OSX dvd, either the one that came with it or a retail copy. With newer ones that lack the dvd drive, you can do the same thing with a firewire connected drive, thunderbolt connected drive, or a thumb drive. I don't really agree with Paolo here. Given your symptoms, those suggestions amount to throwing things at the wall.
     
  17. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #17
    It was the first thing I tried. Nothing happened when trying to boot from the optical drive except that now the disc won't eject.
     
  18. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #18
    I'm assuming you held down the appropriate key. Typically if your problem is ram you know by instability. It reads bad data and eventually kernel panics due to corrupt data once enough blocks are filled with data that is actually important to system stability. I've never seen or heard of it causing what you mentioned. I could probably look up if the drive has an emergency ejector. A dead drive would not prevent you from booting from another drive. They do have a boot order, so you would want to hold down the appropriate key. It's most likely a dead logic board, which is unfortunately not worth the cost of repair.

    Regarding repair from Apple, they loosely guarantee 5 years of available parts, most of which are refurbished components after the first couple years. In the 5-7 year range the machine is considered vintage, so repairs are subject to component availability. They don't really guarantee anything. Beyond that point they mark it obsolete and no longer supported, at which point your only option would be third party repair service.

    Also I can't recall whether that was a generation with known problems, but any repair programs would be over by now anyway. If you replace it with anything used, avoid the 2010s and 2011s.
     
  19. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #19
    My wife needs a computer and she dislikes using my daughter's HP.
    So, last night I ordered for her a new, mid 2014, 15.4" MBP with retina display.
    The specs are:
    2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell)
    16GB of Onboard 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM
    512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M Graphics (2GB)
    15.4" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
    2880 x 1800 Native Resolution
    802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, HDMI
    FaceTime HD Camera, Dual Mics

    I think she should be happy with this once it arrives.
     
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #20
    Very nice

    Thats the top spec macbook pro you have there you are going to be jealous it really is a great machine...
     
  21. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #21
    She actually thinks she's getting this machine:
    2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell)
    16GB of Onboard 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM
    256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
    Integrated Intel Iris Pro Graphics
    15.4" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
    2880 x 1800 Native Resolution
    802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, HDMI
    FaceTime HD Camera, Dual Mics

    She would have been OK with it but I wanted her to have the better one.
    I might be a little jealous but I will use it from time to time for our photography needs.
     
  22. Mr. Bleach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #22
    I got the old Mac working again. I baked the logic board today, applied new goop to the chips, put it back together and it's running again!
    In fact I posted this message with it.
    We'll see how long it lasts.
    BTW, my wife loves the new Mac so this one will be just a spare.
     
  23. sevoneone macrumors 6502

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    May 16, 2010
    #23
    This happened to a friend's Early 08 MBP a couple of years ago. Pretty much exactly as you described.

    Apple charged her $350 to replace the logic board, but at that time the machine was only 4 years old so they had the parts. As thekev mentioned, usually Apple can repair a machine until it is 7 years old, but known good logic boards for that model are going to be hard to come by because of the graphics recall on that model probably exhausted Apple's supply long ago.

    6 years is a very good run for any notebook computer IMO. Unless you never move it, they take a lot of abuse. Glad to hear you got it working again though.
     

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