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I was just using my laptop normally when suddenly the whole computer just shut down. I turned it back on straight away and it was fine. Another hour passed and it did the same thing. I could also turn it on again. And then it happened again, this time I couldn't turn it back on!! I have never spilt any liquid over my laptop so it isn't liquid damage. I have tried resetting SMC, replugging the battery cable inside the computer, leaving the charger disconnected from the mac for a few hours, nothing works! The strange thing is when I have my charger disconnected and I press the little button on the side to show power, nothing happens. But when I do the same with the charger connected it shows full battery.

 

I have a MacBook Pro 15" Early 2011 running OSX El Capitan.

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Your Mac should still be able to turn on with a dead battery. As long as charger is functioning properly, it's more than enough to both power up and charge your Mac.

You have three possibilities for the cause of this:

MagSafe Board (highest probability). This board is known to go bad and when it fails, it presents symptoms similar to what you are describing. The good news is that this component is very inexpensive ($10-$15).

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You said in your post you had opened it up and disconnected/reconnected your battery so it sounds like you have the tech skills to do this repair.

Your Charger (medium probability). This is the easiest test to do. I once took in a MacBook Air into Best Buy and hooked it up to a charger they had connected to one of their display models to verify that the charger wasn't the problem. It may or may not be the charger, but there's no need to spend $60 - $100 just to test it out. if your computer comes to life after plugging in another charger, you have your answer.

Your Logic Board. (least probability). This is obviously the most expensive, but most of the time, it's not the issue. The only way to diagnose this is at the component level. If you have exhausted the first two possibilities, it's time to send it in for a professional diagnosis.

  • I've mentioned this on someone else's answer, but a faulty battery can stop a machine from powering on. Especially if the battery is physically damaged, such as expanding – Trent Jul 18 '17 at 12:33
  • The OP disconnected the battery as part of his diagnostic and a battery is not required to power up. – Allan Jul 18 '17 at 12:41
  • If the SMC is corrupt then it won't. From personal experience I can assure you that if the battery is faulty it can stop the machine from starting its power on sequence. This was a particularly common issue in pre unibody MacBooks. Source: I'm an Apple Authorised Tech – Trent Jul 18 '17 at 21:40
  • @Trent - so a 2011 MBP; is that pre or post Unibody? – Allan Jul 19 '17 at 0:26
  • its a Unibody MacBook Pro. Unibody refers to the keyboard enclosure being embedded in the top case, so if there is only 3 external enclosure parts (display lid, topcase/keyboard assembly, and bottom case) then its a unibody. While it was common with pre unibody MacBooks, I've replicated the same symptoms on nearly every modern apple laptop - inclusive on the 2011 models (both early and late) – Trent Jul 19 '17 at 0:33
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The battery appears to be dead or damaged. I would go to an Apple Store to have it replaced. But It is still strange that even with the power cable connected it does not turn on.

Another test you could do is resetting the PRAM by holding Command + Option + P + R and turning on the MacBook

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    Lol he just said it doesnt turn on again so dont think he can reset PRAM :P – emotality Jun 26 '16 at 11:18
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    How do you reset NVRAM when you can't power on? How do you know that the battery is dead without doing diagnosis? – Allan Jun 26 '16 at 12:06
  • @emotality sometimes the machine appears like its not powering on but still is. I recommend holding the power to ensure it's off. Then power on attempt PRAM reset. – Hefewe1zen May 13 '17 at 18:08
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Even if your battery is dead, your computer should still switch on, see this article for more details.

Might be power cables inside your laptop. You can test with voltage meters, if you don't know how it works, you can always go to an electrician or just take it into a computer shop or even Apple.

  • Not technically correct, a faulty battery can stop your machine from powering up correctly. To ensure its not the battery you'd have to disconnect the battery and ideally connect a known good working battery – Trent Jul 18 '17 at 12:31
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Here are the troubleshooting steps recommended by Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT204267

These are the steps I personally would take to diagnose this issue and resolve it:

1: attempt to reset the SMC: https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201295

2: try a different charger, also attempt the first step again

3: this step and all that follow require tools and technical knowledge and understanding. If you don't have both, don't try it. The damage you can cause your machine or yourself isn't worth the trip to an Apple Autherised Service Provider or store.

Disassemble the machine and inspect it for liquid damage, or burn components

Disconnect the battery - the method to do so will vary from model to model. Ideally you'd want to try also replacing the battery with a known good working battery but it's unlike you have a spare.

4: Reseat the AC MagSafe / I/O board connect/s to the logic board. Also reseat the screws for the board to ensure its not shorting out. Again it would be worth swapping this part for a known good working part but again probably not something everyone has on hand

5: remove the logic board, I/O or MagSafe board and the fan/s. Find the power on pads and bridge them to "hot wire" start them (with the charger connected). This removes all the other possible components that could be causing an issue. If the fan spins up it means the machine is shorting out with one of the other components - enjoy finding out which one it is.

6: if you've made it to here you probably have a faulty logic board. With Apple gear its generally cheaper to just buy a new machine at this point

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