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Old 06-18-2017, 01:43 PM   #1
Spork Schivago
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Default MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Hello,

The title of this post is a bit misleading. The hard drive is actually fine. I'm trying to rule out if it's the logic board or the flex cable. Does anyone know of any ways to test the flex cable? The logic board needed replacing and I've replaced it, but I'm not certain if the flex cable is also bad or if I got a faulty replacement logic board.

I've ordered a replacement flex cable and am waiting for it to arrive, but I'd like to try and verify that it's bad in the meantime, just so I can sleep a little better at night

I was thinking of trying to find a pinout for the cable (821-1226-A) and trying to use an ohm meter to check the continuity. The square plug has very small leads! Has anyone done this? I'm having trouble finding the pinouts.

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

What was the original problem and what's the motherboard model number ? the pinout should be on the schematic/boardview.
I'd first inspect the connectors on the cable and the board under a microscope then test with some needle probes for continuity.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
What was the original problem and what's the motherboard model number ? the pinout should be on the schematic/boardview.
I'd first inspect the connectors on the cable and the board under a microscope then test with some needle probes for continuity.
I'm sorry, I should have provided that. It's a Late 2011 MacBook Pro A1278. It's logic board's part number is the 661-6158. I believe they call it a MD313LL/A.

Some sort of liquid was spilled on the original keyboard. It ruined the keyboard and trackpad but also fried the keyboard controller on the logic board. A replacement keyboard got most of the keys working, but not a vertical row of keys. They didn't work until the logic board was replaced. I cleaned the old board with distilled water and a tooth brush.

I've cleaned the hard drive flex cable as well, even though the liquid didn't appear to get down there. I've verified the hard drive is in good working condition. I don't have a microscope, but I do have a magnifying glass. The connections I see look good.

It's hard to tell, but looking at the connector that physically plugs into the hard drive, maybe some of the pins aren't the same height. Maybe some are a bit lower and perhaps this is where the problem is. Perhaps they're not making proper contact.

Where do you find the schematic/boardview? I can't find much of that stuff for Apple products. iFixIt has some stuff, but I cannot find what I'm looking for.

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

I think it's this one. 820-2936-B.

A loupe might have better magnification but a stereo microscope is best for this type of work. You need to be able to properly see what you're working on.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 820-2936 051-8658 K90i.pdf (1.69 MB, 12 views)
File Type: rar 820-2936B.rar (108.1 KB, 10 views)
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

You may want to try the workaround mentioned here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amg5w0rlwDo&ab

Looks like the flex can be damaged over time due to movement against the chassis and is easy to protect it; for some people insulating it solved the problem when it was caused for intermittent shorts, not broken connections.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:22 AM   #6
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
I think it's this one. 820-2936-B.

A loupe might have better magnification but a stereo microscope is best for this type of work. You need to be able to properly see what you're working on.
How did you find these? I have the absolute hardest time finding schematics for Apple products. I thought maybe only authorized repair centers had schematics. I searched the net for a quite a bit yesterday looking for the pinouts.

I'll go through them and see if it looks right. Thanks!!!!!

**EDIT: I've wanted a nice microscope for a while now. What do you use? I'm looking for one that I can hook to a computer (in Linux or Windows) and control / view it from there. I don't really want a cheap one, I wanted something real nice. Eventually, I plan on trying to build a BGA rework station and I want to have a built-in microscope. For that though, I think I'm going to need to just buy certain parts and essentially build one, rather than buying a pre-built one and just connecting it to the system.

Thanks!!!!

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Old 06-19-2017, 10:56 AM   #7
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

I'm on page 42 but I'm having trouble reading it. I see there's a IC, U4510, and I see the connector, J4501, but I believe this is just the connector on the board, not the actual flex cable. Where is the actual flex cable located at?

I might be reading this wrong. Maybe J4501 is that connector on the IR board and U4510 is on that.

Thanks.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:59 AM   #8
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hasefroch View Post
You may want to try the workaround mentioned here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amg5w0rlwDo&ab

Looks like the flex can be damaged over time due to movement against the chassis and is easy to protect it; for some people insulating it solved the problem when it was caused for intermittent shorts, not broken connections.
Hope this helps.
I'll give that a shot. I didn't think that might be what the problem with the flex cable was. I was thinking it was a short or a bad solder joint on the connector that plugs into the logic board or the pins that plug into the hard drive were smushed down too much and wasn't making contact.

Thanks for the link!
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork Schivago View Post
How did you find these? I have the absolute hardest time finding schematics for Apple products. I thought maybe only authorized repair centers had schematics. I searched the net for a quite a bit yesterday looking for the pinouts.

I'll go through them and see if it looks right. Thanks!!!!!

**EDIT: I've wanted a nice microscope for a while now. What do you use? I'm looking for one that I can hook to a computer (in Linux or Windows) and control / view it from there. I don't really want a cheap one, I wanted something real nice. Eventually, I plan on trying to build a BGA rework station and I want to have a built-in microscope. For that though, I think I'm going to need to just buy certain parts and essentially build one, rather than buying a pre-built one and just connecting it to the system.

Thanks!!!!
Found using a search engine. Google is my first choice. Some from this forum too.
Forget digital microscopes, they a better than nothing but get yourself a proper stereo microscope. Mine was second hand and oldish off ebay. Best bit of kit I've bought.
P.s. IMO microscope not needed on BGA station either.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:35 PM   #10
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
Found using a search engine. Google is my first choice. Some from this forum too.
Forget digital microscopes, they a better than nothing but get yourself a proper stereo microscope. Mine was second hand and oldish off ebay. Best bit of kit I've bought.
P.s. IMO microscope not needed on BGA station either.
You don't think a microscope is a good idea on the BGA rework station? I understand they're not necessarily needed, but don't higher quality ones tend to have a split system one, where they can view, from the side, the balls being melted or something?

Not sure if microscope is the right word here, but I wanted an optical system that had a + on it or something, and then the idea was to control the heating element using the PC, so I could move from component to component. Probably a worthless idea though.

What would you consider a good stereo microscope? Friend of mine has one they got somewheres they want to sell. They checked it up online and found out it's really expensive (around 4,000$ new). I don't think I could afford something like that!
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:49 PM   #11
diif
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

AmScope is a name I hear mentioned quite a bit. Louis Rossmann uses one I believe. Around $500ish I think.
Any scope that allows you to see properly IMO is a good scope. You need to be able to use it in a comfortable position.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:48 AM   #12
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

What do you think of these two?

http://www.amscope.com/stereo-micros...mp-camera.html

http://www.amscope.com/stereo-micros...mp-camera.html

I know you're not big on the camera stuff, but these are much higher quality I think and they're trinocular, so two holes for looking through, one for the camera...

From what I've been reading, I think the first one might have a better lighting option. I think the difference between the two for lighting is the first one might light more of the whole board, whereas the second one just has a fiber optic ring light, where it just lights up what's under the viewing area.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:28 PM   #13
diif
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

180x or 225x is not needed for repair work. The cable for the optic fibre ring looks like it would get in the way too.
Louis Rossmann has a video where he talks through his kit, check his channel.

I have no issue with camera stuff, it's nice to be able to show others when asking for help or showing off repairs. I've thought about getting one of those cameras i can put in place of the eyepiece.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Yes, he 180x or 225x is definitely not needed for repair work, but we have a daughter now, and thought that could be a decent magnification to show her other things, when she gets a bit older. In biology back in high school, we had 4000x magnification I believe. That was cool. We each had a leaf that we had to bring in and slice open and look at under our microscope. I picked mine before I came to school and you could see stuff going on in the leaf still! Things were moving and all that stuff. I can't remember what the teacher said it was, something like the leaf was processing chlorophyll or something weird like that.

Obviously, we wouldn't see anything cool like that with a 180x or 225x microscope, but I still thought maybe it'd peak her interest a bit into science. What do you think? A waste of money or maybe worth the investment?

Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Buying quality tools is never a waste, how much those extras are worth and are going to be used, only you can decide.
I guess it depends how long it will be before she's able to use it. Are there things that the $1200 would be better spent on before then and what's to say in that time you'll have earned lots of $$ and be able to buy her own science lab if that's what she's in to.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
Buying quality tools is never a waste, how much those extras are worth and are going to be used, only you can decide.
I guess it depends how long it will be before she's able to use it. Are there things that the $1200 would be better spent on before then and what's to say in that time you'll have earned lots of $$ and be able to buy her own science lab if that's what she's in to.
Yeah, that's a very good valid point. We're trying to upgrade the house a bit, but little bits at a time. For example, we're having the panel and subpanel removed, and having one big electrical panel put in. The electrician is adding a whole home surge protector and a lightning protector to it. The line coming to the house is too close to the neighbors barn. That needs to be moved. The electrician has to raise the wire at the house for it pass code. He's adding the 240 receptacle in the basement for my BGA rework station and he's adding a nice big light down there for my work bench (hopefully the CCFL type ones, but the ones that use an LED bulb instead of CCFL). Then he's adding another receptacle in basement for the dehumidifier. Total, the cost is 3,190$. I'm 290$ shy, but should have it after this MacBook and this TV is repaired (well, the TV is repaired, I just need to get paid).

There's sooo many repairs we want to do, but we try to prioritize them. The baby's 8 months old now, so I think it'll be a good number of years before she's able to use something like that, so for now, maybe I should buy a cheaper version, just for the electronic work.

What would be a good magnification that you'd suggest? Something like 2x - 40x? I really want one with the camera and a built-in light to illuminate the board. I always seem to struggle with lighting! I saw a cheaper version with a 3MP camera, but my wife says 3MP isn't very good at all. She says for something like this, I really want the 10MP camera. Do you think that's true?
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

I'm not sure what magnification you need because my scope has no markings.
I know I use 5x wide eyepieces and have 20xW also on my shelf. If I twist the bottom half of my scope a quarter turn another lever of zoom is provided.
Yes, you need a light. I would think most come with them and 20 will buy an LED light ring if not.
What are you using the camera for ? It's only for reference MP isn't so important.
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

There was a MacBook model where the Cable always is the issue.

Don't know if it is this one. You should definitely rule that out...
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:54 PM   #19
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
I'm not sure what magnification you need because my scope has no markings.
I know I use 5x wide eyepieces and have 20xW also on my shelf. If I twist the bottom half of my scope a quarter turn another lever of zoom is provided.
Yes, you need a light. I would think most come with them and 20 will buy an LED light ring if not.
What are you using the camera for ? It's only for reference MP isn't so important.
The camera is mainly for other people to look and see what I'm seeing (mainly my wife, but sometimes friends). Sometimes, my wife takes an interest. I also really want the ability to record what I see, to look at again later. This is important to me for whatever reason. Maybe it's got something to do with the brain issues. Docs say my personality is going to start to change now, whatever they mean by that.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: MacBook Pro (Late 2011) and hard drive issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Payne View Post
There was a MacBook model where the Cable always is the issue.

Don't know if it is this one. You should definitely rule that out...
It was the cable. However, using the electrical tape did not fix the issue, which made me worry a little, but today, the new cable came and problem fixed.

There's a new problem now and I don't think I can fix it. The backlighting for the keyboard isn't proper. I don't think one of the layers is properly aligned. The 7, Y, H, N keys light up, but no other ones. If you look at an angle, you can see the rest of the keyboard has light, it's just not shining through where it's supposed to. I pulled the H and D key up, and it appears to be an alignment issue with one of the layers on the backlighting.

It's a really big job, at least for me, to get to that keyboard backlighting. I don't think I'm going to worry about it, unless the customer asks. When they brought it to me, that's the way it was.

Unless anyone knows of an semi-easy fix...

Thanks!
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