Repaired MacBook Pro!

First of all, I have to thank the Lord Jesus.  He takes us through these kinds of trials.   And I learned so much going through the ordeal.  So many things.

Today I was at work, bothered by every technology issue.  These folks I work with have delegated some of the technology help to me.  Five times a day someone’s Windows 8 tablet/computer hangs, doesn’t sync, fails to recognize peripherals, etc.  SpartanNerd that I am, perhaps I am a little bit TOO unafraid of computers!  They keep me hopping, and I am happy to help.  (How often does Mac OSX hang or fail to recognize peripherals….NEVER!  We should have got macs!)

But what bothers me, is that I could not fix my own MacBook Pro, which took a nasty fall in May and hasn’t worked correctly since.  I can fix everyone else’s problem but my own.

Now I’ve opened this machine several, several times.  Stared at it, poked at the wires.  Removed things.    Nothing worked.  It always would go to sleep shortly after showing me the apple screen.  Also in Bootcamp mode with Windows 7.  The only mode that would work was Windows Safe Mode for some reason.  But then the machine is severely stunted, so….

I detailed my workaround in this post.  Basically, I trial-and-error-ed the mac hard reset and PRAM clear over and over, restarting until I heard the fans blow, which apparently prevented the machine from sleeping.  But in this weird, undocumented mode, the keyboard and trackpad do not work.  So I have been using an Apple bluetooth mouse and keyboard that I have laying around for my iMac.  These items didn’t work that great with the iMac, but they have been a lifesaver in my situation.  Furthermore, in this stunted mode the computer is much more sluggish.  And the Superdrive wouldn’t work.

But not now.  After today’s revelation!  How come I never saw it before?

I recently discovered that I could go into this secret mode, and cause the fans to stop blowing after startup, by choosing “Sleep” from the apple menu, and then causing it to wake up.  I discovered this by accident…The bluetooth mouse is very sensitive.  I would choose “sleep,” the screen would darken and fan would stop, but before I could flip the switch on the mouse, the movement would wake it back up….but the fans were not blowing.  This little accident got me thinking about the problem some more.

My thought process was….”Maybe the ribbon cable from the keyboard is loose somehow…That’s why it won’t wake up.”  I thought of this in the past, but when I saw how hard it was to fool with the MacBook Pro Unibody Topcase, I backed off.  You more or less have to disassemble the whole thing.  But today, with newfound courage and “what do I have to lose,” I decided to go ahead with the operation.

But it didn’t come to that!  After I removed the battery, hard drive, DVD drive, some of the cooling system…I realized I could see the enclosure magnets…How come I never noticed them before…I think it had something to do with removing the hard drive.  But as I looked at those, I began to think….The sensor…must be somewhere up here near the magnets?   If it is not in the screen.

So I checked the keyboard cable.  It was fine.

I thought about the sensor some more…and found one for sale on eBay.  Now I didn’t buy it…I just looked at it….It is connected to the battery indicator lights….Those little LEDs that tell you how full the battery is if you press a little nearly invisible button.

So my reasoning was…”Can the machine work if I remove those?  How about if I just disconnect them?”  Guess what…


What I Learned

Where does Jesus fit in this story?  As I was disassembling the machine, I thought, “If I break it, oh well.  I was planning on replacing it anyway.”  Then I stopped and said a prayer right then and there.

Today it was Jesus who revealed the fix to me.

What have I learned from this three months of torturing?  (To me, that’s what it has been.)

I am too attached to my stuff.  I have had some near depression because of this.  Remember the long blog hiatus?  It’s not that I couldn’t blog.  I didn’t feel like it.  I didn’t feel like using my other mac, my iPad mini, or my iPhone to blog.  I didn’t feel like using my work-issued PC (though I probably wouldn’t have anyway) or another laptop I have access too.

Because my favorite machine was broken.

I also only recorded one song this summer….Because of my broken laptop.  Notwithstanding I had the ability to record other ways….(iRig, Guitar to USB, digital monitors, Digitech GNX4, or other mentioned devices.)

I came out of my funk about the time the BIG LOTS MOTUC thing hit.  I bit the bullet, and forced my Macbook Pro to work for me so I could review figures.  But the rituals that I had to do to make it work were killing it for me.

What else did I learn… Nothing as deep.  Now I know how to replace/upgrade the hard drive, remove and replace the SuperDrive, and remove and replace the battery.  All of which I was convinced I would have to go to the genius bar to do.

I was going to grudgingly buy a new mac, probably at around $1300.  Jesus kept me from this by helping me fix it today….Now I have one more blessing to count!