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Macbook a1181 logicboard replace battery charge prob.

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August 19, 2012 8:55:41 PM

Not sure if this is the right thread to post under but I didn't see a hardware forum for mac. The other day a customer brought in a black Macbook 13 (model a1181) they spilled wine on (guessing it was white wine because I couldn't see any reddish blotches). The wine acidity had done some serious damage to the "logicboard" and the thermal compound was fairly corroded at several angles (as well as spotty all over the board). So, I cleaned it up and reapplied some AS5. Didn't work. We ordered a new logicboard and I replaced it. Wasn't too bad. It initially started up fine, but the battery is not charging. It would boot from the battery and as long as the Magsafe charger was plugged in, the battery retained it's 30% charge (but would not charge upward above 30%). It will boot under the fan test w/o the battery in it. We tried the SMC reset and PRAM commands. Basically, just removing the charger, holding the power button for 10 seconds, inserting charger while holding the power button, and it would power on with the fan at high speed. Also, booted several times resetting with the "Command, Option, P+R". Updated the Macbook with an SMC update and still the battery would not charge. I did notice the old logicboard and the new one do not have batteries on the bottom, as I've seen illustrated for some of the a1181 models. That's one concern. Another is the fact that the new logicboard is used, but it functions well. Brand new ones where much more expensive. The Magsafe charger is the original 60w one and tested with a multimeter shows that the correct wattage is coming through. So, I'm trying to narrow it down. It's either some software reset I'm missing, the charge port (is the original, as the new one has not yet arrived) and is somehow receiving wattage to power the macbook, but not charging the battery (I think this unlikely). Or, it is either a dead battery (I think this unlikely as well). Lastly, I'm wondering if it is the battery port itself that connects to the logicboard. It's the original, as the new logicboard did not come with one. Yet the charger, when plugged in, will hold the battery at 30%.

I'm at a loss here as to what it could be. I've worked on iPhones and pads galore, but the Macbook is a different beast entirely to me. I would really appreciate any advice or thoughts as to what the problem could be.

More about : macbook a1181 logicboard replace battery charge prob

August 20, 2012 8:08:56 AM

Check the battery pack; don't knoow about that model but on some Apple Laptops there is a small battery monitor (processor) embedded in the battery pack.
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August 20, 2012 11:58:20 PM

Test with a new battery, if that fails, then you probably got a bad logic board and should send it back DOA. It is also possible the magsafe board is bad, but I'd consider that extremely unlikely given that it manages to power the unit otherwise.
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August 21, 2012 12:42:14 PM

Thanks Guys. I did get a chance yesterday to check out the battery for a chip or some sort of reset. It is the original and it has the test button with the five LED's. So I held that down quite a few times, just to make sure. Today I'm going to try swapping out the magsafe charge port, but the one we ordered is, of course, used:-( Came in looking worse than the original. All that's left is to swap out the battery connector to the logicboard, but I really don't think it's going to work. We got good readings with a multi-meter at the connectors. I'll get someone to run the battery to "Batteries Plus" and check it out, though I'd rather get an actual Mac battery. I think it likely the logicboard is bad. I've read a bit about people buying these "tested/working" logicboards, and they have similar problems.

I was surprised at how easy (almost too easy) it was to change out the board, but it's a Macbook, after all. I'll dive into it again today and see what if I can eliminate some problems.

BTW: Pretty cool, Scott, that your with Asus! I only use Asus motherboards in all my custom builds. Definitely a loyal customer. Actually ready to scrap my old iPad for the Transformer Prime or Infinity.
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August 21, 2012 5:48:23 PM

Well, you're also in luck that for about two years before coming to Asus I worked as an Apple repair tech. Finally got tired of the abuse -- Apple is a nasty, NASTY company to deal with on the business side of things -- not to mention ethical issues, so happy to make a change.

The part you're talking about is called the sleep switch, because it also controls whether or not the unit enters sleep mode. There's a magnet in the display that will trigger the sleep mode. So, it's important to make sure you know whether you have the energy star version logic board or not. I was tripped up by that one time when Apple's fulfillment warehouse sent me the wrong one with a new logic board. The difference has to do with the number of pins on the sleep switch. IIRC, the energy star ones have a gap of two pins, while the non-energy star has a solid "forest" of pins. Make sure to test the sleep mode before the DOA return period on the sleep switch expires, and you give it back to the customer.

Anyway, glad to hear you're happy with our stuff. Feel free to buy as much as you want so I'm sure to continue having a job. :) 
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August 22, 2012 12:47:24 PM

Yikes, I've Apple was pretty wicked. Maybe more now with the lawsuits and now having seen all the guts of iPod,pads,phone and macs. Tempted to swap my personal iphone for a Droid now. You can surely count on me continuing to use ASUS. It's pretty much all I trust mobo-wise, monitors, tablets and other devices.

I checked it out on a different magsafe charger (same W & Amps), but still no charge or light on the magsafe. Battery is good according to Batteries Plus. The sleep mode , I did not know about, so that's something I'll look into. Don't think it is an energy star (want to say this is a 2008/ either that or a 2007) because it did have the prongs with no gaps. Complete forest all the way down, and does snap into the logicboard, so I'm going to pull it today and look at the "new" logicboard. All things considered, if it doesn't cut it, it has to be the logicboard I'm guessing. That would be all that is left (that I can think). Plus, I've found online that some of these "tested/working" described logicboards being sold are being bought and it looks like others are having the exact same issue (if not very similar) regarding the battery. I'm nearly ready to tell the customer to just stop drinking while computing and just buy an ASUS laptop ;-)
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August 22, 2012 5:48:31 PM

Yes, Apple has the face it puts forward to people, and then there's the real face of the company. It's manipulative, abusive, anti-competitive, and monopolistic just to name a few things. I have nothing but good things to say about some of the grunts in Apple's SPS and TSPS department down in Austin, TX, but then there are people like their boss Jason Hsi the NA manager of Field Support, David English with World Wide Field Support, their boss Nicole Goodman (whom I've never interacted with directly, but I understand she's a real piece of work), some guy who's last name I can't remember but his first name is Kevin and he's a level up from Nicole, and even Tom Moyer who's Apple's Chief Compliance Officer whom I have dealt with and is kind of a jerk if I were to constrain my comments. The front-line employees are great, it's the management that is the problem.

Anyway... You've replaced pretty much everything in the chain between the battery and the AC adapter, so that kind of says that the battery is the problem. The only other possibility I can think of is that you're using a 45W AC adapter. You'd need at least a 60W to run the unit and charge it at the same time. I always just had a couple of 85W adapters so I never had to think about it.

And depending on where you're getting your parts, do not assume that they are good. A lot of the gray market vendors like Blue Raven and MPD just hoover up parts from large operations, and have rather lenient retirement policies for parts sent back as DOA. I'm actually surprised someone would be willing to pay to replace the MLB on a MacBook, since it's usually like 75-80% of a new unit at retail when you are dealing with no-core parts like those with liquid damage.

Make sure to get another battery. Preferably one you know is good because it works in another unit.
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August 24, 2012 1:36:30 AM

I don't know how or why, but I finally got it to charge. So the battery tested fine, changed the charge port, didn't charge. Finally, I took out the original battery connector, and sure enough it was an energy star with 18 pins, gap too. Put it under a high power binocular scope and cleaned some very minuscule corrosion points. When I hooked it back to the logicboard and popped in the battery, it started to charge. Why or how that little bit of corrosion caused it not to charge, I don't know. So, surprisingly, we got a good "used" logicboard. Whole thing is strange for me. Maybe t just wasn't making full contact.

After working on Apple products, I'm more inclined to not own any. They are good at micro computing components, but as far as repairs, it can get pretty sticky. It wouldn't surprise me as to how Apple really is. I've heard tons of rumors expressing your sentiments to a tee. It's sad because the lower "grunts" are the ones that always get stepped on. I keep reading about their ridiculous lawsuits against...well pretty much everyone. Even the one where the Judge asked Apple's lawyer if he'd been smoking crack. Says a lot about their legal department as well.

I really appreciate all the help guys. Scott, I'm going to e-mail or PM you here, if you don't mind, (will be from Tyler = me) regarding the company I work for. We are trying to get re-seller capability from Asus directly.
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August 24, 2012 1:37:20 AM

Best answer selected by SuperAxilla.
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