waterdamaged macbook pro battery difficulties
September 17, 2012 6:22 PM   Subscribe

so i "fixed" a relative's water-damaged macbook pro, but it still has issues.

here's the story - early 2011 15" macbook pro. one of their kids spilled water on it, they promptly buried it in rice etc., but the thing was dead. after letting it sit around for a couple of months, they gave it to me. i took it to the apple store, they said $1200, i said no. when i got home i opened it up and the thing was still overflowing with rice - obviously these script following masterminds heard "water damage" and immediately went to "money" and didn't even crack open the case.

i read that if you clean off all the corrosion, it may stand a chance. so i did that. still DoA. so i set it aside unthought of and untouched for another couple of months.

finally i got around to reexamine the problem, and plugged it in- and the thing worked! granted it, would shut down randomly, but that was solved by removing the presumably fried battery.

so here i am today. i replaced the battery with a used one i bought online. the computer works, plugged in and unplugged, with no random shutdowns.

UNLESS - when it's put to sleep when unplugged, then plugged back in. it dies, and won't start again until the battery is disconnected. after it's started and reconnected, there are no problems. (until it's put to sleep unplugged again :)

i know this is a unique problem, and there is obviously something wrong with the power or battery connection/regulation system (whatever it's called) causing the computer to do this. i would take it to the apple store, but considering how their answer last time was "we're not checking, but give us money", i'm reticent. they also might flip out when they hear i've been touching their user irreplaceable battery, and especially when they hear i brought a water-damaged computer back to life. at best i expect them to disappear with it and say it's completely friend and worthless to teach me a lesson, at worst i expect them to stone me as a wizard. thank you.
posted by camdan to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Hey, I'm hear to hail you as a genius, not stone you as a wizard.

You might try one of the third party Apple computer stores - they tend to be a little more liberal with the advice and flexible about fixing unfixable things. Of course, their advice costs money, but substantially less than $1200.
posted by arnicae at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2012

I agree, pending excellent advice from here. When I need work done I go to my local guys. They have all the official certifications or whatever, but they're a heck of a lot more flexible. And unlike the Apple "geniuses," they don't call me a liar to my face. Always a plus!
posted by wintersweet at 7:46 PM on September 17, 2012

Try looking for capacitors on the motherboard that are swollen or leaking.
posted by gjc at 9:51 PM on September 17, 2012

The techs probably popped it open, took one look at all the rice, thought "c'mon, gimme a break". Then quoted for everything.
posted by Packed Lunch at 12:23 AM on September 18, 2012

I guess you could try doing a PMU reset, but it could be on its last legs & resetting it might leave you with a dead machine.
posted by Packed Lunch at 12:39 AM on September 18, 2012

My old iBook used to have a separate board that dealt with the DC input. I had to replace it once and the new part wasn't very expensive. If your Mac has one of those you could try a replacing it.
posted by run"monty at 4:26 AM on September 18, 2012

Get in touch with Expert Mac Repair. They are in D.C. but will work with you via FedEx.

I highly recommend them. They are fabulous!
posted by jgirl at 4:58 AM on September 18, 2012

Best answer: i've decide to let it go for now - it's such a rare problem it really doesn't affect the useability of the macbook. if the problem escalates i may take it in to a certified 3rd party, rather than the apple store.
posted by camdan at 12:51 PM on September 20, 2012

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