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Macbook late 2009 repair advice, power/keyboard not working

by zero_mac / July 30, 2013 11:48 PM PDT

i'm trying to repair a late 2009 macbook for a friend. it won't power on via the power button. i shorted the power-on pads on the motherboard and it will power on and boot up for about 20 seconds, but just before the login screen appears it powers off.

inspecting the keyboard ribbon there are small marks on it so it may need to replaced.

can anyone tell me is there any way to get more diagnostic information about the problem? if the keyboard ribbon was faulty, presumably the system wouldn't power off mid-boot? this is why i'm reluctant to go ahead and order the new keyboard cable. booting from cold it seems to get a bit further so it may be heat-related. I cleaned off the motherboard (it was quite dusty) and replaced the thermal paste, reseating the heat spreader. it had been quite messily done before with way too much paste, oozing out the sides. the fan is clean and spinning up nicely.

i'm considering selling it on for parts but it would be great to get it up and running again. there is no issue with data recovery etc.

thanks for any help.

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It upset a friend when I pointed this out.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 31, 2013 2:19 AM PDT has a lot of similar machines for under 300 here. These are working machines and they are back in business and in their case a newer model for under 300.

There are service manuals and parts out there but I see a lot of new techs that want to "get it right" and only replace the borked parts the first time round. That wears off after a few years and they get better at this. Sometimes they learn to compare refurb costs to repair costs. If this machine had a bum board, the refurb seems to win every round.
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re: Macbook late 2009 repair advice, power/keyboard not work
by zero_mac / July 31, 2013 4:56 AM PDT

hi Bob.
thanks for the reply. i can sell it as is (this side of the pond) for €100, but if i fix it i can sell it for €300.

i was just wondering if anyone had experience with boot-up / power off issues like this, and if a new keyboard cable is likely to fix the problem.

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Sorry no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 31, 2013 7:49 AM PDT

In my experience when it's doing that it's a bum power system and since that's on the mainboard you find replacing that fixes it.

HOWEVER cables are dirt cheap so why not?

And in closing, as a tech I don't want to upset you so this is just a reminder that at that age you would have torn it all down, wiped off the old heatsink compounds, applied fresh, re-assemble, cleaning as you go.

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