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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Is my MacBook Pro dead?

Apple MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 17" Mid-2009 Specs

Identifiers: Mid-2009 17" - MC226LL/A* - MacBookPro5,2 - A1297 - 2329*

Thanks to forgive my approximate English, I'm French.

My Mbp 17" mid 2009 (A1297) doesn't start, the magsafe has the green light or orange when the battery is a bit empty, the lights on the battery say that it's charged, it had no accident like liquid spill and it didn't fall.

Those last months it started with some difficulty, I had to reset the SMC a few times before it would start, but it worked. And this time it didn't start up, it seems that there is no power.

I've tried every trick I found on the net and on Ifixit : reset the SMC, by-pass the SMC, tried to startup with the pads.

When I reset the SMC, the magsafe which is orange before becomes green for a few seconds and goes back to orange, so it seems that the SMC works !

I tried 2 magsafe, they both work.

Unfortunately I have no other battery to check and I'de like to avoid to buy a new one just to check and find that the problem is in the motherboard, because this battery seems to work, the leds light up when I push the button, and if I leave it connected after 1 day or 2 there are less leds working.

I don't know what else to try, anyone would have an idea ?

Thanks for your answers.

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Do you get any lights or sounds when trying to start up?


Nothing happens, no light, no sound, as if there was no power at all !!


Do you have the resources (tools and skills) to measure power lines on your logicboard?


Hello I have a multimeter but not yet the skills, I'm checking on the net how to get them.


Give us the number of your logic board. Should be a 820-XXXX printed on the board.


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It is most likely the Tantallon capacitor on the logic board. It will need to be replaced by someone who knows how to remove the old one and solder on a more capable one . All the 2009/2010 17”machines have this weak spot, and will eventually pack it in. But the fix is easy, if you know how to solder and read the schematics.

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Hello Jurgen

I have what I believe is the same symptoms on my A1297 - MBP5. 2 only my is still starting up for the moment. My gut feeling has been for while that it is a Capacitor that is failing as I have to insert the power connector up to 5 times for "loading" a capacitor before the machine eventually start up.

Yesterday the Time and Date also went haywire....I believe this machine to be on its last legs.

I would take it in to a specialist but with living in Africa - Tanzania, that is not a real option.

I have been searching for a capacitor that might be the culprit but until I read your comment about it being a Tantalon Capacitor I believe there is some hope.

I am unsure if it is possible for you to help me with the location and part number of the Tantalon Capicitor.

I am getting older and my eyesight is deteriating but I used to solder a lot as a. Telecoms Specialist.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

By the way...I belive this model Computer to be the best that was ever made...I live this old thing.


Given your situation eyesight, skill level indicated, i would suggest that you just buy a good used logic board of Ebay, but only after you made sure that none of your peripherals are not causing the interference with start up. Did you try booting either with the keyboard ribbon disconnected, using the bootup contacts on the board yet? Often a spill of liquid into the keys can prevent boot up. If that is so, the keys can be replace for $30 on Ebay...


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Power Issues, Power Adapter Dead, No Power

1 Check for damaged pins or magnetic debris on the MagSafe power

adapter. If the pins are okay, reseat the power adapter connector and

make sure it is fully inserted.

NOTE  Refer to Knowledge Base documents 303566,“MacBook Pro:

Troubleshooting MagSafe power adapters with stuck pins,” and 302461,

“Troubleshooting iBook, PowerBook G4, and MacBook Pro power


2 Remove any connected peripherals.

3 Try a known-good power outlet.

4 Remove the battery and AC power.

5 Press the Caps Lock key to see if the light on the key comes on. If it does,

hold the power button down for 6 seconds to shut down the computer

and restart.

6 Reset parameter random-access memory (PRAM) by pressing the power

button, then holding down the Option-Command-P-R keys until you

hear the startup chime at least one additional time after the initial startup


7 Reset the Power Manager.

NOTE  Refer to Knowledge Base document 303319, “Resetting MacBook

and MacBook Pro System Management Controller (SMC).”

WARNING  Make sure you do not hold down the Fn key when resetting

the Power Manager. Resetting the Power Manager means you will also need

to reset the date and time in Date & Time preferences.

8 Test each RAM slot individually with known-good RAM. The computer

should still start with only one known-good dual inline memory module


9 Remove the AirPort Extreme Card.

10 If the computer starts on battery power only, try replacing the MagSafe

board with a known-good MagSafe DC-in board.

11 Verify cable connections and check cables for damage

12 Verify that the power button is connected properly to the logic board. If

the power button is not functioning correctly or damaged, replace the

top case.

13 Replace the logic board.

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Thanks for the tips I've already tried some of them, even removed both rams to see if it would beep, to no avail.

I'm going to remove the airport card, and maybe the motherboard to check it, I'll keep you posted.


This is the procedure right out of the manual. If you get to step 13, set up a Flat Rate repair from Apple. I will cost about $320 plus tax but they will replace everything that's faulty for this fee. Be sure to have a hard drive backup or pull your drive and drop another Apple one in. If you don't have another Apple drive get one from an independent Mac repair guy like me. We have stacks of bad Apple drives sitting around.


Hello I tried to power it up without the airport card, nothind happened.

I removed the motherboard, I've seen nothing special but the fact that the heatsink sensor cable was not there, but as it worked for years without it I suppose that it's not the problem, and the mac didn't heat.

As I said before the pads on the motherboard indicate 3,4v.

What else should I do to check that the motherboard is dead ?

Thanks for your answers.


Hello mayer, thanks for your last comment, but I already did all the tests you mentioned, reset smc, by-pass smc, start from the pads, remove memory etc., all of them. The one I didn't know was to disconnect the airport card, I did that too but nothing worked, I'm afraid that the motherboard has to be changed…

Unless someone comes back with some less expensive idea.

Thanks for your help.


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A potentIal solution is to just buy a brand new battery. I had the same issue before, ran through all the tests, hard drive ... but once the battery is completely dead even with power charged plugged in it will go into a boot loop so purchasing a new replaceable battery should resolve the issue.

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andynice será eternamente grato(a).
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