What to do with a dying 08 Macbook Pro?
October 27, 2012 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I have a early 2008 Macbook Pro that has just now come down with the dying logic board problem. I bought it outside the 4-year period (so no free replacement) and have a new MBP anyways, so how can I get rid of it such that maximize my return value?

The Apple site implies that I'll have to pay for the logic board replacement since it's outside the four-year period, and I'm not really sure that I want to spend the few hundred dollars on that. Other than this, though, it's in good working condition (albeit with a battery that lasts ~15-20 minutes), so I'd have to think it's worth something to someone.
posted by RyanAdams to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Start by taking it to your local Apple Store to see what the cost of a new logic board actually is.

When I replaced my '08 MBP with an early '11 model in early 2011, I had them swap out the logic board to (hopefully) fix a graphics chip issue. I vaguely recall that the price assigned to the logic board was something insane like $950, though it was covered by AppleCare. I just had the logic board replaced in the new machine a few weeks back, and the price for the logic board is now $487.50. I'm not sure if that reflects cost reduction that wasn't possible with the earlier machine, pricing that is more sane, or something else.

If the price for a new logic board for your machine is $500 or less, then it might be worthwhile for someone to pay you some money for the machine and then pay for the replacement. If the price is still close to $1000, then probably not. If the logic board is down around $250, then paying for the swap yourself will probably ensure an easier sale at a higher price.

As usual, eBay and Craigslist are the places to go to find out what your machine is worth as well as a buyer. Cash transactions on Craigslist in a neutral location (Starbucks would be ideal) is the easiest and safest route.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:52 PM on October 27, 2012

This is kind of vague, but mostly to open the idea up to someone who knows more: I've sold faulty/broken-ish (not smashed, but not working right either) iPods before for parts through Craigslist. Trying to price is will be hard I imagine, but it's an option.

I agree with b1tr0t that if you can fix it for relatively cheap you'll have an easier time getting someone to take it off your hands.
posted by jorlyfish at 4:55 PM on October 27, 2012

If this is a MacBookPro6,2 model it may be covered outside the warranty period. It couldn't hurt to take it (and a copy of the linked document) to an Apple store and see if they can help you out.

To find out the model name, choose "About This Mac" from the Apple menu, choose "More Info", then choose "System Report". You should see "Model Identifier" in the resulting window.
posted by blob at 6:42 PM on October 27, 2012

That top case is worth something, if working. Let me know if you can't get rid of it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:59 PM on October 27, 2012

If you do need the logic board replaced, it tends to be in the $700-$900 range. But they do have an option to send the computer to their off site repair facility for a flat rate repair, during which they replace any broken components on the machine. The price depends on the model, but it tends to run around $300. Make sure you've got your info backed up, cause they could replace the hard drive without letting you know.
posted by bluloo at 7:12 PM on October 27, 2012

My experience is that if you take it to the Apple store, they may give you an initial estimate, and then send it to a repair depot. Once the repair depot assesses the cost of the repair, you can decide to go ahead with it, or have it returned to you.

And yes, those laptops have problems with cracked display bezels that can eventually lead to failure of the screen. Replacing the bezel itself is a PITA, but replacing the whole display assembly is pretty easy. So the scrap value is pretty good.

Keyboard/trackpad assembly is also worth something.
posted by Good Brain at 7:12 PM on October 27, 2012

It's a Macbook4,1 model. Relevant specs are here.

I hadn't considered just selling it as parts, but that does make some sense. (Plus, someone would end up with my right Shift key from the keyboard which, due to what I can only imagine was a manufacturing defect, is actually a "Shif" key.)

First steps will probably be to check with the Apple store, then. I'm not really worried about the data on there... in fact, I was trying to wipe it out tonight and go with a clean install, but I couldn't make much progress on it without the machine freezing up.
posted by RyanAdams at 9:35 PM on October 27, 2012

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