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

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My early 2009 17" mbp won't start after it has cooled down

This started last winter

The same happens if the computer is asleep, I will come back to it, it a key to wake it up, the screen turns on a split second and it turns off, then pressing the power button does nothing

I have now replaced the battery, but still have the same problem

The only way to turn it back on is to physically heat it slowly for about 10 minutes (on a wall heater, or on an electric stove, so the top case feels warm to the touch, then do an SMC reset (holding shift-control-opt and the power button 10 sec) then pressing the power button again. Sometimes it boots up half way and shuts down, but pressing the power button again (and or another smc reset I forgot) and it will complete the boot, and be fine

Have you guys seen this elsewhere?


Update (08/30/2018)

Ok thanks for your help, I should add that I replaced the battery because the original was swollen up big,and not leaking if it helps

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This is VERY odd behaviour. Having worked on electronics for 30+ years it SOUNDS like you may have a loose solder joint that is disconnected when the system cools and components shrink/move when they cool. I would guess somewhere in the power supply.

I know you don’t want to hear this (I know how attached I still am to my first PowerBook) but it may not be economical to repair. At 9 years old it’s a grand-daddy of laptops…


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@craigburdett I find that my customers who own the 17" models are very reluctant to let them go as 17" machines stopped being made. So I do my best and add a SSHD and max the RAM out so they can get several more useful years of service. Many customers don't want the expense of replacing a machine that serves their needs well. As for me I don't need a hot rod to drive to the grocery store.


@mayer you are so right(as usual). My processor requirements are too great and I had to give up the larger display a few years ago. But I do miss it. I wish Apple would bring back the 17" MBP... :(

And you are also dead right that an SSD+RAM completely changes older machines. I just did that to a 2011 MBP our daughter was getting ready to replace and she loves it again.


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Sounds like one or more of the caps are breaking down. You’ll likely need to have someone with good micro-soldering skills and access to the needed parts take a look at it. It might be not too costly.

The other direction is to just replace the logic board while not cheap it will be the easiest direction. Here’s the IFIXIT guide MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Logic Board Replacement and here’s the available board MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early 2009) 2.66 GHz Logic Board.

I have a 2011 17” model which I just love! The bigger display makes picture editing so much easier so don’t be to quick to throw it away!

MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early 2009) 2.66 GHz Logic Board Görseli


MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early 2009) 2.66 GHz Logic Board


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I agree, had a few repaired with this issue, it might be one of the small tantalum capacitors that has worn out.


You guys are both right. I didn't even think about a cap.

I've had boards repaired at L2 Computer and had great experience with them - they are on 10th Ave in NYC.


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