Unusual Power Issue: Logic Board or MagSafe Board failure? Or something else...

blairybearjessper

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2018
3
0
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what is wrong with my mid-2012 15" MacBook Pro Retina (i7, 16GB RAM, Intel & Nvidia GPU). This will be a bit of an essay so bear with me!

Background

Bought in September 2012, had logic board and GPU replaced under Apple Repair scheme due to faulty graphics. Also had battery replaced in March 2018 for failure within healthy cycle count. I also bought a new MagSafe charger once the battery was replaced as mine was beginning to fray at the connection.

Issue

I was sitting using my MacBook for surfing the web, a bit of thesis writing with no issues. Battery was charging and the light on the charger was on and green. I switched it off, unplugged the charger from the Mac and mains and set it back into my office without plugging the mains back in (I would normally keep it on mains even when fully charged on advice from Apple). The next day, I plugged in the charger and found the amber/green light wasn't coming on and when I looked in the System Report, AC charge was not being detected and the battery was not charging (not an issue at the time as battery was 100%). I changed the socket being used and again, the charger light was not coming on and the System Report was showing no connected charger. The MacBook itself is still working perfectly despite this (no start up issues, no random shutdown, a little overheating but updates were occurring and the fans shut off once the process was complete). However, with the MacBook switched off and left on the charger for a few hours, the light comes on and the MacBook charges perfectly but one you use the MacBook on the AC charger for more than 5 minutes, the light of the charger switches off and the System Report no longer detects AC charge connected. I also reset the PRAM and SMC multiple times however this issue persisted.

I took the MacBook into my local Apple the next day where I found out my model had been declared vintage only days before and they wouldn't repair it. At the Genius Bar, all they did was connect their own charger which again, wouldn't light up or be detected, tested my charger on one of their MacBooks (it works perfectly), then opened my MacBook to check the connections to the logic board and I/O board. As the connections were deemed to be ok, they said take to a repair shop.

I then took the MacBook to an authorised service provider who opened it up and declared immediately a logic board failure, without any testing... he then said as the model was vintage, tracking a logic board would be difficult with a new one costing £700 before VAT and repair costs.

As the MacBook is working perfectly besides not detecting AC charge while it is switched on, and needing to be left on charge for a few hours before its detected, I'm not convinced it's a logic board failure, and I'm beginning to suspect the MagSafe board itself. I've looked online to see if anyone else has had a similar problem to me and can't find anything as most also entail random shutdowns, other issues or the light on the charger fading/flickering whereas mine is bright and steady when it does come on.

Has anyone here seen/been through/heard of something similar? I really don't want to pump loads of cash into this model if it is something minor to be repaired. I also really need to get my MacBook back in action ASAP as I'm completing my bioinformatics PhD and my MacBook Air just does not have the power necessary for programming. Any advice is massively appreciated!!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,803
33,772
Boston
The magsafe circuitry is on the logic board is it not? I think either way, your SOL.
 

blairybearjessper

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2018
3
0
The magsafe circuitry is on the logic board is it not? I think either way, your SOL.
Hey! I'm not massively familiar with the internals of a Mac, I know there's circuitry related to the MagSafe on the logic board but is there not also the separate MagSafe board? If so, could the failure of this cause this issue? Literally everything else about the MacBook is working perfectly and it does charge after a few hours being left on the charger.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,343
2,739
Delaware
@maflynn: Not quite accurate
The magsafe (DC-in) board (with the connector) is a separate part.
Not expensive, maybe $40...
You can view the repair steps to see if you might attempt that task: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBoo...Mid+2012+MagSafe+DC-In+Board+Replacement/9729

The logic board repair relatively recently, probably swapped the old magsafe board to the replacement logic board, so that magsafe board could still be a likely failure. It's a challenging repair, as the logic board has to be completely removed to replace that DC-in board.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,679
6,855
OP wrote:
"As the MacBook is working perfectly besides not detecting AC charge while it is switched on, and needing to be left on charge for a few hours before its detected, I'm not convinced it's a logic board failure, and I'm beginning to suspect the MagSafe board itself."

With all your writing above, you didn't make the problem clear enough (at least to my old mind).
Let's get a few things straight.

You said above, "the MacBook is working perfectly"
except for:
"not detecting AC charge while it is switched on"

Even though the green and/or orange light is not displayed when the MagSafe is connected, does the battery still charge? You can ascertain this by the icon in the menu bar.
Or.. does it NOT charge?

IF the battery is still charging...
and
IF the only "problem" is the lights on the MagSafe connector don't indicate properly...
then
... I'd leave it alone and keep using it as it is.

I -WOULD NOT- pay for a logic board replacement so long as it "is working perfectly".

Why not?
Because... it still works.

When it STOPS WORKING perfectly -- THAT'S when "you pay".
 

blairybearjessper

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2018
3
0
@maflynn: Not quite accurate
The magsafe (DC-in) board (with the connector) is a separate part.
Not expensive, maybe $40...
You can view the repair steps to see if you might attempt that task: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBoo...Mid+2012+MagSafe+DC-In+Board+Replacement/9729

The logic board repair relatively recently, probably swapped the old magsafe board to the replacement logic board, so that magsafe board could still be a likely failure. It's a challenging repair, as the logic board has to be completely removed to replace that DC-in board.
Would there be any way to ascertain that the MagSafe board is definitely the fault before purchasing new parts?
[doublepost=1531752166][/doublepost]
OP wrote:
"As the MacBook is working perfectly besides not detecting AC charge while it is switched on, and needing to be left on charge for a few hours before its detected, I'm not convinced it's a logic board failure, and I'm beginning to suspect the MagSafe board itself."

With all your writing above, you didn't make the problem clear enough (at least to my old mind).
Let's get a few things straight.

You said above, "the MacBook is working perfectly"
except for:
"not detecting AC charge while it is switched on"

Even though the green and/or orange light is not displayed when the MagSafe is connected, does the battery still charge? You can ascertain this by the icon in the menu bar.
Or.. does it NOT charge?

IF the battery is still charging...
and
IF the only "problem" is the lights on the MagSafe connector don't indicate properly...
then
... I'd leave it alone and keep using it as it is.

I -WOULD NOT- pay for a logic board replacement so long as it "is working perfectly".

Why not?
Because... it still works.

When it STOPS WORKING perfectly -- THAT'S when "you pay".
Apologies! It wasn't a very clear description. What I mean by working perfectly is that there is no issues with the actual use of the MacBook, it switches on/off ok, boots up with no issues, no random shutdowns, all other functionality is working bar the charger not lighting up on connection, the MacBook not detecting the connected AC power unless the machine is switched off and left on the charger for several hours until the light appears.

When the charger is initially connected, there is no amber/green light and the MacBook system report shows no connected AC power, only running off battery charge. Once I switch the MacBook off, there is still no light on the charger, however, once the charger is left plugged in for a few hours, the light appears and the battery charges as normal. When the MacBook is switched on, the light remains on the charger and the System Report shows AC connected, but after 5 mins use of Mac, the light on the charger goes out and the system report shows no AC connected charge, running off battery.

The battery does not charge when the charger light is off. It only charges when the machine is switched off and left on the charge for several hours until the charger light reappears. I have not tested leaving the MacBook switched on and running for several hours to see if the charger light will come on during use as I did not want the battery to go flat without being sure the charger will eventually charge.

I hope this is a bit clearer! If not, let me know :)
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,679
6,855
I'm wondering if you have "bad contacts" between the MagSafe connector and the connection port on the MBP.

Check these carefully with a magnifying glass.
Are the contacts clean?
Does any one contact seem "retracted" (not far out enough to connect with its corresponding contact "on the other side")?
 

mjel

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2018
1
0
I am having a very similar issue.

One day i was working away and I saw a low battery message - I knew i was plugged in so I was a bit confused - thought my AC was not plugged in -- once I ascertained that it was not the AC - i have several others to test with -- i determined it was the MagSafe charging port.

I had the same experience with APPLE store - so I may be purchase the magsafe part - any words of wisdom here?



Would there be any way to ascertain that the MagSafe board is definitely the fault before purchasing new parts?
[doublepost=1531752166][/doublepost]

Apologies! It wasn't a very clear description. What I mean by working perfectly is that there is no issues with the actual use of the MacBook, it switches on/off ok, boots up with no issues, no random shutdowns, all other functionality is working bar the charger not lighting up on connection, the MacBook not detecting the connected AC power unless the machine is switched off and left on the charger for several hours until the light appears.

When the charger is initially connected, there is no amber/green light and the MacBook system report shows no connected AC power, only running off battery charge. Once I switch the MacBook off, there is still no light on the charger, however, once the charger is left plugged in for a few hours, the light appears and the battery charges as normal. When the MacBook is switched on, the light remains on the charger and the System Report shows AC connected, but after 5 mins use of Mac, the light on the charger goes out and the system report shows no AC connected charge, running off battery.

The battery does not charge when the charger light is off. It only charges when the machine is switched off and left on the charge for several hours until the charger light reappears. I have not tested leaving the MacBook switched on and running for several hours to see if the charger light will come on during use as I did not want the battery to go flat without being sure the charger will eventually charge.

I hope this is a bit clearer! If not, let me know :)
 

Ramon Florentin III

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2019
1
0
I have the same problem with a 2013 MacBook Air. Sometimes it would take like 5 hours before the amber light comes up but there are times that it would light up right away. What I noticed though is that, the chance that the amber light would show up immediately is if my battery level is at 30% or less. I had it diagnosed and I was told that it was a logic board issue and that it would take around 600 to 700 dollars to repair it (service not included). So I ended up buying a new MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Air still functions normally once the charging light comes up and can be used for hours but once I unplug the charger, it will again take hours before the battery starts charging. When that happens, I usually stop using it at 20% battery and plug it - and it will eventually charge but only God knows when.
 

_Kiki_

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2017
961
279
I have the same problem with a 2013 MacBook Air. Sometimes it would take like 5 hours before the amber light comes up but there are times that it would light up right away. What I noticed though is that, the chance that the amber light would show up immediately is if my battery level is at 30% or less. I had it diagnosed and I was told that it was a logic board issue and that it would take around 600 to 700 dollars to repair it (service not included). So I ended up buying a new MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Air still functions normally once the charging light comes up and can be used for hours but once I unplug the charger, it will again take hours before the battery starts charging. When that happens, I usually stop using it at 20% battery and plug it - and it will eventually charge but only God knows when.
sell faulty MBA for someone who knows how to repair and move along
 
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