Introduction: How to Repair the Macbook Pro Logic Board at Home

A Logic board failure (computer doesn't start, black screen) is a very common failure of (old) macbook pros. The repair costs are way higher (around 600$) than what a used non broken mac is worth. Therefore, I decided to use this method to repair my 2008 macbook pro. It worked out well. However, I do not assume any responsibility if something goes wrong using this guide.

All you need is

Step 1: Open the Top Case

  1. open the top case - you will need a torx °6 screw driver and a small Philips screwdriver

Step 2: Remove the Logic Board

2. Remove the logic board, again you will need a torx °6 and small Philips screw driver

3. Clean the logic board (remove also the thermal compound)

Step 3: Bake It!

4. put the logic board on aluminum foil pillars

5. preheaten the (kitchen) oven to 220°C / 428°F with air circulation

6. put the logic board in the oven, turn the temperature to 200°C / 392°F with air circulation

7. After 7 minutes turn the oven off and open it a bit

8. put new thermal compound on the cooling

9. after the logic board has cooled down, take it out of the oven

Step 4: Reassemble

10. install the logic board

11. put on the top case again

Comments

author
soyelmnd (author)2017-01-13

Incredible! Writing this using my resurrected Macbook 17" 2011 - A1297. The machine wasn't able to turn on, black screen with running fan, probably due to the announced AMD GPU failure or something. But it's working like a charm now without any issue, amazing :-) Thanks a ton

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soyelmnd (author)soyelmnd2017-09-05

Amazing, this is the 2nd time I've baked the Macbook. So this is 8 months after the first attempt, the Mac turned into a silent black screen box with fan and hard disk running. Less than 30 mins for the whole process, and again, it works! Thanks so much :-)

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diachedelic (author)2017-09-04

Worked on an early 2011 15" macbook pro! I don't have to spend $500 on another (possibly questionable) motherboard!

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momoves (author)2017-08-17

Thanks! Btw it helped me to use a little iron wire to hang the board on to a grill. That way you can use the wire to go through the screw holes and not touch anything else.

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margarita (author)2017-08-14

Hey there! Is there any particular thermal compound you recommend over another? I'm having a hard time getting my hands on the German one featured on here. Thanks for posting this, can't wait to try it on my Mac, what's the worst that can happen, it's currently DOA as this is the 2nd time the motherboard has died. Apple replaced it but it died like 7 months later and they offered me cash to get rid of me hahaha. I bought a new Mac but my old one deserves a second, er, third chance, thinks me :)

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CarolineC61 (author)2017-04-21

Truly amazing!! Thank you so much, you saved my laptop! I am still in shock that it worked. Had taken my late 2011 17" MacBook Pro to apple when it wouldn't get past a blue screen which just happened suddenly and was told the logic board was dead. Of course there was a recall that had ended in late Dec 2016 and this happened in February so thought I would have to pay for a new logic board but then couldn't believe that they told me they weren't being made anymore! I had nothing to lose. Was truly very skeptical and my husband said it was just a prank created by a group of people. THIS IS NOT A JOKE! It works. So grateful to have my computer back. You are awesome!!!

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KwameF1 (author)2017-04-21

This worked MacBook working as good as the day I bought it. Thanks!

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akarshsodagudi (author)2017-01-08

Can anyone tell me if I can do the same with MacBook Air 2013 13inch .. it's been sitting dead for past 1 year

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soyelmnd (author)akarshsodagudi2017-01-13

+1 give it a try

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akarshsodagudi (author)soyelmnd2017-01-15

Do we need to put thermal compound before putting it in the oven ?

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soyelmnd (author)akarshsodagudi2017-03-29

Not really, you should clean all thermal compound before putting it into the oven actually. I believe keeping 'em there might be harmless, but will make a mess after baking, as those thermal compound will become solid and harder to be wiped away; so better be a clean raw board.

Sorry for replying this late, didn't notice :-) can't believe it's been 3 months since I gave this incrediblly weird and helpful trick a try. Still using the machine everyday without an issue.

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MokshitC (author)akarshsodagudi2017-01-10

You should be able to, give it a shot, it's dead anyways.

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KeithS153 (author)2017-03-08

My 2008 2.5 GHz 15" MacBook Pro was running on battery power when the battery died. Afterward, the front light and the fan would come on, but there was no chime, and the screen was blank. I tried several things to reset the computer. Baking the logic board did the trick! Thanks! According to this youtube video, this is due to a defect in the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics processor, and baking it resets the solder on the card. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqjeKqWbTg4

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srizzuto made it! (author)2017-02-15

I'm speechless! It worked. Thx

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mckennapat (author)2017-02-02

Many thanks for your instructions; I have a 15" Early 2011 MacBook Pro which was stuck on a blue screen and was effectively an expensive brick.

Now after following the steps below a month ago I now have a perfectly functioning MacBook and hopefully many more years to go.

All I would add is to disconnect the battery by unclipping the connector and be careful with audio sub woofer connector.

author
soexy (author)2017-01-24

Didn't work for me :(

If you google KT Electronics logicboard repair they are cheapest I can find with 5 stars reviews. I've contacted them so far so good. Will post results!

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JanV132 (author)2017-01-20

Can't believe this actually would work on my MacBook Pro 17" mid 2009, but it did! Thanks for the tip.

The original issue with the laptop was that it required 10 presses on the power button to get it to boot into the login screen. Typically 9 times it would simply power down in the middle of the boot process.

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JanV132 made it! (author)JanV1322017-01-20

And used the tip from info.pathogen as well that suggested to use screw drivers as stilts.

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info.pathogen (author)2017-01-19

SUGGESTION!

I am highly experienced in mac repair but normally I send main board failures away for repair with a component level nerd. I have just attempted this for sh*ts and gigs, still awaiting results (I will post results soon) but I did make one small adjustment that many will like. I took four small precision (aka micro) screw drivers and used them as stilts. This is WAY better then using tin foil. Hope this helps!

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MokshitC (author)2017-01-10

Amazing, did it on Macbook Pro late 2013 with retina display, finished on Jan 8th 2017. working like a charm. Thanks so much

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SébastienA9 (author)2016-12-13

Hi, I'm about to attempt that on my macbook Air, not Pro, can I follow the same instructions ? (like oven temperature, "baking" time) Or the logic board from a macbook air is different than that of a Pro one ?

Thank you !

author

Did you do it ??
What was the result??

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BobbyS69 made it! (author)2017-01-04

Thank you so much for this solution. We paid 40 Euro for diagnosis that the Logic Board was permanently damaged. Perfectly beautiful MacbookPro 17 inch 2009 unibody 'vintage' edition.

For 17 inch unibody removal see some videos that are more specific:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYD_btEHfu4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN2QdAM76C0

Just make sure remove all plastic stickers on the rim of the logic board (top and bottom) and make sure the aluminum pillars are placed in the screw holes to avoid any contact with other transistors. Remove the speakers also. And the RAM of course. Make sure to remove the cooler that lies on the 3 processors (the Unibody 17 inch had 3 of them). Clean the silver compound good also.

There was no damage or melting of the USB ports even though they were plastic.

Dude, cheers you made my day really thanks! It was such a waste to have a 3000 USD perfectly new shiny laptop wasted. I considered selling it for parts to Apple, wow! Thanks Thanks a million!!! Sharing this on my FB page!

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OhDan (author)2016-11-22

Colour me impressed; it worked. My (early 2008) macbook pro had been diagnosed professionally as having a failed mainboard. I was quoted £450 for a new one. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I followed the above. (removing all plastic attachments as described in the comments, 10min at 210C in a laboratory fan oven)

On reassembly it beeped to indicate a RAM failure (i may have damaged something during disassembly). Problem was with only one of the seats / chips, with only the working one in, it powered up and loaded perfectly.

Thanks a lot

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Focker65 (author)2016-11-21

Used machine screws to get it off pan...put pointed end in holes.....oh remove your mic and onboard speaker too....or you will melt it

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Focker65 (author)2016-11-21

Wow it actually worked! Was fixing to buy a used MBP and thought what the heck I will give it a try....and it actually worked! Just upgraded to Sierra. Awesome to have people give advice even when the "PC" say NO do not do this! Bring it to a Pro so we can can rob you blind!

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chinda.raul (author)2016-10-24

alright! writing this on the formerly bricked, now bright and shiny macbook pro resurected! thanks for the instructables. a note, make sure you take off the metal+plastic spacers at the rear of the board otherwise the plastic will melt and make it a pain to install. I ended up not using the spacers but could have easily been avoided.

as for the oven, I turned it on to 385F to pre-heat, stuck the board in there on 3 aluminum cones and closed the door. when the oven chimed that it's to temperature I turned it off, let it sit for another 3 minutes and cracked the door open. after ~5 minutes I opened the door completely and waited to cool. easy to follow, amazing! thanks

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KonstantinosT5 (author)2016-09-02

it seems that it is functioning properly apart from the fact that I have a display issue. It is changing colors and it is a bit misty. I suppose that something has been affected by overheat. Everything else seems ok. I don't know what to do for the display issue.

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WillW36 (author)2016-03-11

This is such nonsense, solder does not melt at 350 degrees. You might fix your board temporarily but this is not a permanent fix.

Take it to someone who knows what they are doing.

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JuanC222 (author)WillW362016-08-05

yeah and they'll charge you an arm and a leg. just dump the thing and move on.

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mdshann (author)WillW362016-03-25

I'm not saying that this is a good idea, but it can work. Solder melts at lower temperatures that what he says to set the oven to. (428 preheat 392 bake)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solder

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JacobJ46 (author)2016-07-02

I tried this and it worked. I looked at the testimonies from other people who had done it and only one had a negative experience. It worked for others and it worked for me.

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NdawulaF (author)2016-02-11

Thank you so much. My MacBook pro had screen distortion, frezzing, white blank screen , name it. But when i followed the instructions here and baked it in my gas oven for 7 mins at 220c. Haha, i tell u now i enjoy it so well without the previous issues. I was worried of spending another $$$$ buying the logic board. But with your help i spent afew dollars buying the aluminium coil and thermal conductor for placing on the processors. thanks so much.

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ErichH3 (author)2015-10-27

You owe me a new Logic board. =) j.k. all I have to say is this should be a Final attempt Do this at your own risk. when I applied power and pressed the power to turn on an ISL 6263 DHRZ H925BB6 chip decided to catch an attitude and spark in a electrical flame. The best part of waking up is to smell fried logic board in your cup!!!! do at your own risk. =)

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Random_User2 (author)2015-07-04

My 2008 McBook Pro 15" stopped working and had weird pattern on screen with stuck partial boot. No chime at boot either. After reading several articles on the web about baking motherboards, I tried it, nervously. 360 degrees F in preheated oven for 7 minutes. You must ensure the larger chips are on the top side during baking. After putting it back together . . . . I was shocked to find it functional and working again ! Pay attention to the Sleep LED diagnostic codes. . . . I did not have my DIMMs seated properly. Make sure you take a picture of the motherboard in notebook before you proceed. categorize the screws as you remove them as it is important to place them back in original location. When you get ready to replace the motherboard back in your notebook, ensure you clean up the heat sink pads (three of them) and remove the dried up thermal compound. Do the same with top of the larger chips that contact the heats pads. Be gentle and do not force anything. practice putting the motherboard back in and connect any cables that connect to underneath the motherboard. After you master that, remove the already baked motherboard one last time Then you MUST add fresh thermal compound to the top of the three heat sink pads in the case, install the motherboard and attach the screws near the heatsink area and reconnect the cables and try it ! Make sure all cables are connected and DIMMs are installed. Try it. If it works, then attache remaining screws and finish the job. If it does not, buy yourself a guaranteed functional used motherboard.

author

Forgot to mention . . . . after baking time is complete - gently and partially open the oven door and leave things alone until the heat escapes the oven for 10 minutes or so. this allows the solder to re-solidify. no handling of the motherboard before it is cooled. If you jar / shock things, parts may be displaced

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TNieu (author)2015-06-05

I'm confused as to why you decided to do this. What information did you come across suggesting this as a possible solution to your dilemma?

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Random_User2 (author)TNieu2015-07-04

With long term use and over years you will drop you notebook. there is also constant heating and cooling that takes place over this time. This puts stress on the solder joints and can cause some of them to develop micro fracture and break away from their needed connection. the sensitive connections are the ones under the larger chips. Baking the motherboard simply melts the existing solder and removes any fractures. Melt point is generally around 170 degrees C.

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TNieu (author)2015-06-05

If this is a process one is willing to undertake, might I suggest, using a soft bristled toothbrush, and industrial grade isopropyl alcohol (99%), cleaning the logic board prior to oven process. The alcohol cleans the board and displaces any moisture. This might solve the problem without having to bake the board.

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TheModeDecoder (author)2015-04-17

I successfully repaired my unibody Macbook Pro using this technique. It worked really well and in fact the Mac is running better than ever now! This article gives the basic technique but I needed to look for more detailed instructions for safe removal of the logic board. The two problems I came across were

1. Its not mentioned here or elsewhere that the speaker needs detaching (maybe this is a difference in the unibody version) As its mostly soft plastic, it mostly melted and I had to remove it. Not really a big problem, but you may as well avoid this if possible.

2. The heat caused the solder between the heat sinks and the chips to melt so that they fell off in the oven. I got around this after sandwiching solder wire between the sinks and where they were supposed to be attached and put it all back in the oven again to melt and then cool and harden. Its quite fiddly getting the logic board out but not too bad if you have some suitable tools. Great fix though - I'm really impressed! Thanks :)

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TheModeDecoder (author)2015-04-17

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lee.gichui (author)2015-02-24

You are not clear on where exactly you are supposed to put new thermal compound. Can you elaborate this well?

My laptop has this same issue and has several squares when switched on. I can only see my files when on safe mode now. I really need to sort this.


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wilgubeast (author)2014-09-24

Looks good as new. Any updates for the unibody models?