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  1. #1
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    Hello,

    So I spilled a fair bit of black coffee on my MBP 13 inch late 2011. Immediately removed power, flipped it upside down, and shut it off. I took the back off and let it dry under a fan. I plugged the power cable back in but all I got was a dim green light on the connector and it wouldnít turn on. So then I took the logic board out to inspect for any signs of corrosion or any liquid. I didnít see any corrosion as far as I could tell but I brushed it pretty good with a toothbrush and isopropyl alcohol. I put everything expect the back cover back in place.

    Now when I plugged the power cord back in I got a solid green light, the fan spun for a quarter second, but it wouldnít turn on.

    I reset the SMC, and the keyboard backlight would flash for half a second, the light on the connector would turn amber, but it wonít turn on.

    Iíve tried variations of this with the battery connected or removed. The light on the connector varies from solid green, dim green, and amber throughout all of these attempts to solve the problem.

    I tried holding down the power button with the connector removed, connecting the cord while holding the power button, and then letting the power button go, and I got a startup chime but it powered off a few seconds later. It was hard to recreate this because it only works sometimes but could recreate same thing. The next time I recreated this I did a PRAM reset, and lo and behold, I got the computer to boot up. This was in some special mode where I think something is bypassed so the CPU runs at a lower clockspeed and the fan spins all the time. I could shut down and power on again multiple times in this mode just by pressing the power button. Once I removed power and tried to turn it on again it wouldnít turn on. But if I did the power button, connect cord, release button trick then it turned on in the special mode again (without having to do the PRAM reset).

    Now hereís where things start getting weird. I canít remember the exact sequence but I think I removed the power cord, and then the battery for a couple minutes, plugged it back in, and tried to start. Nothing. But when I REMOVE the power cord, the computer starts up in the special mode again. It will only last for three or four seconds and then die unless I plug the power cord in before it dies. For example, the computer is not turned on with no power cord connected. I plug power cord in. Nothing. I remove power cord. Computer boots in special mode. I plug it back in within three seconds and it continues to boot in special mode.

    I then disconnected the battery and tried to get it to boot up again on DC power. I sometimes can get it to boot into the special mode. When I plug the power cable in for the first time after the battery has been disconnected for a few minutes the fan will spin up for less than a second and the keyboard backlight will flash.

    Is this a battery issue? Sometimes the battery indicator on the side will work and show an almost full battery, but I won't be able to boot it up.

    DC bus issue? SMC? I canít diagnose because I donít have a multimeter.

    What the hell is going on at this point. I am thoroughly confused. Any help would be appreciated. Is this something that could be repairable or should I just give up? I donít have a multimeter or any soldering experience but I could pick some up and figure it out.

  2. #2
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Your machine is toast and you have random circuitry that's fried. The only REAL fix is likely a logicboard replacement and for a 8 year old machine, that isn't recommended. Time to start thinking about getting a new (or refurbished) Mac.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    Your machine is toast and you have random circuitry that's fried. The only REAL fix is likely a logicboard replacement and for a 8 year old machine, that isn't recommended. Time to start thinking about getting a new (or refurbished) Mac.
    Except that it boots just fine in this special mode. Everything works just fine and dandy, except the fan is running all the time. Clearly it isn't completely toast. If I can boot it up like this then it can't be that hard of a fix.

  4. #4
    What is that "special mode" you are talking about?
    Why do you even think it's a special mode?
    And what does not work when you try to use the Mac in this "special mode"

    Once you spill liquid on a MacBook (or any computer) and it gets into any of the electronics, the computer normally requires major repairs.
    I only ever managed to rescue one that had just a small amount of water spilled on it - I ended up putting it into rice for 2 days and then cleaning everything.
    I was actually surprised it booted up and worked after that - but this is the exception.

  5. #5
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    pm-r's Avatar
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    What is that "special mode" you are talking about?

    +1!!

    Or download and add Macs Fan Control.app:
    Macs Fan Control - control fans on Apple computers, also on Windows via Boot Camp

    It might buy you a bit more time before the whole Mac succumbs and goes kaput...!!!

    You never know...


    - Patrick
    ======

  6. #6
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    There is Safe Mode, not sure what special mode is. But if everything is working except the fans going crazy, then see the link that Patrick posted and control that. However, know that things will continue to flake out over time.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  7. #7
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    Slydude's Avatar
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    @Patrick

    If I'm reading the initial post correctly, and I might not be, that Mac isn't staying on long enough in a stable situation to install anything. Not really sure how that software helps in this case since there is clearly some hardware issue in play (possibly several).
    Last edited by Slydude; 10-22-2019 at 09:47 PM.
    ďHard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.Ē
    Kevin Durant

  8. #8
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villyvitz View Post
    Except that it boots just fine in this special mode. Everything works just fine and dandy, except the fan is running all the time. Clearly it isn't completely toast. If I can boot it up like this then it can't be that hard of a fix.
    I know you're trying to be positive...but what you may not realize is...basically almost everything on the computer is on the logic board...and if one little circuit has been compromised by the spill on the logic board...in almost all cases...the repair is a replacement logic board.

    If you took it to Apple for diagnosis & repair...the Apple techs would see that the liquid spill sensors have changed color...and their required repair would be a replacement logic board.

    Just being honest...I know this is a serious situation.

    - Nick

    p.s. In case some further convincing is necessary...please have a look at this 7 year old (435 posts) liquid spill thread:

    The Official "I spilled liquid in my MacBook, what do I do now?" Thread
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    Bizarre behaviour after logic board cleaning after a spill
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    This was in some special mode where I think something is bypassed so the CPU runs at a lower clockspeed and the fan spins all the time.
    I don't know what that is, and it doesn't seem very useful, but I also vote that the logic board is toast. You probably have multiple burned out portions of various integrated circuits caused by the presence of the liquid shorting out all kinds of circuits and about the only way to repair the board is to replace EVERYTHING on it. That's a ton of labor, and way too expensive for any reasonable repair approach. So I also vote for a replacement logic board. Or a new machine because that is an eight year old machine and maybe not worth the cost of repair.
    Jake

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