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A1211 MBP won’t charge, tried two I/O boards. Very dim MagSafe light.

I have decided to try and resurrect my old MacBook Pro because pandemic and boredom.

In late 2012 the MagSafe port stopped charging the computer, but it would still happily run off a charged battery. When plugged in, the MagSafe light would cycle between green and orange, but would never charge the battery. I also recall that none of the left I/O ports worked properly, but could be mistaken.

Based on my recollections, and the still blinking MagSafe light when I pulled out the old Mac, I ordered a replacement left I/O board from ifixit. I have been unable to find a way to charge my battery to determine if the machine would still run on battery power, but assume the battery is totally shot after 6+ years on a shelf anyway.

After installing the new board, I saw no light on the MagSafe charger. I swapped back in my old board, and got blinking lights. I swapped in the new one again, hoping I had just installed it improperly. Still dead light.

I have swapped boards multiple times since, now getting the no light situation on both boards. It turns out this “no light” is actually a dim light, and the new board has a steady dim light while the old one blinks bright briefly sometimes.

I am going to keep looking for a way to charge my battery, and will check for continuity in the power wires from the I/O board to the logic board and the battery connectors, as I somewhat suspect a fault in these wires or their connectors, but think it’s a long shot at this point.

In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for other parts I might need, or other things to check? I fully believe that this Mac still works if I can get power to it, but that’s proving to be a lot more challenging than I hoped!

Also, anyone think replacing the I/O board was not needed? Maybe I had another issue from the start?

and what might have caused the MagSafe light to go from blinking green then orange to very dim with very brief green flashes?

any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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After sleeping on it, I went back today and realized I must have left the hard drive unplugged. The new I/O board works fine. Still haven't got the machine to fully boot (stays on the startup apple logo screen forever), but my charging issues are solved!!

Two lessons/solutions to remember:

1) go to bed and come back in the morning

2) Always plug in a hard drive! Why does that affect charging? I don't know, but it definitely does!

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