Cooking the Books (or, Baking My MacBook Pro Logic Board)

April 27, 2010 by · 389 Comments
Filed under: Apple, Life, Tech 

Well, it’s taken me a little while to get this post up—not to mention the fact that its taken me a long while to get any posts up—but I thought this one was worth it just as an encouragement for anyone else who might be dealing with a fried MacBook Pro logic board that is out of the AppleCare warranty coverage. I also needed to get this post up before I forgot most of the details.

As a little background, I put my MBP (17″ 2.5GHz-early 2008, Model A1261 to be exact for you that are searching) to sleep by closing it up for the night, which I’ve done for the past 2+ years with no problems. The next morning I noticed that the glowing power light on the latch release was off and thought it strange and then went to open and wake it and nothing happened. After futilely trying to wake it by varying degrees of banging on random keys and quickly pressing the power button I waited several minutes before I committed to powering it down. After powering it down, I tried to start it back up. While I could hear the hard drive spin up and the optical drive go through its start-up whirrings, there was no start-up chime and no effort to display anything on screen. I tried all the start-up key combinations to start in safe-mode, reset PRAM, start diagnosis—nothing worked. Tried to insert original system install disk and boot from that, all to no avail.

After going through the Apple Support boards, I could not determine a culprit and since there are no Apple Stores closer than the 330 miles to Seattle yet (soon in Spokane I hear), I resorted to taking my system to the only certified Apple Repair shop in Spokane. We were hoping that it would fall under the Nvidia Graphics chip issue so that Apple would cover the replacement (note to self: on future MacBook Pro purchases: Get the full three-year AppleCare coverage!). Since the system would not even get past the initial boot phases, there was no way to even diagnose any other problems. Which AppleCare concluded that it would not fall under the Nvidia replacement program. Which that meant it would be in the neighborhood of $1000-1200 to replace logic board ($800 logic board + labor)—which is not much less than the $1200-1400 my system in good condition was going for on ebay. I’ve since gathered the necessary courage (and tools) to do it myself, so I could save the labor charges in the future. I also found a resource that I might consider as well if I had to face the issue of replacing the logic board again; DT&T Service claims they can replace my model logic board with a refurb for $450. Maybe next time…

I was faced with trying to sell the dead MBP on Craigslist or ebay whole for $600 or try to recover more by dismantling it out and selling the parts on ebay and maybe be able to make up to $800. I determined that the time and effort involved in managing that many auctions wasn’t worth it and posted it on Craigslist. I got exactly two calls on it—one by one of the techs at the shop who diagnosed it originally to ask if I’d ruled-out the Nvidia issue (doh!) and the other by a guy who was tempted to buy it to try to fix it, but just didn’t have the time—he asked if I had considered “baking the logic board”. He quickly countered my skepticism with a plea to Google the term and that I’d find a plethora of advice on how to do it. (Update: when I wrote this, I couldn’t find the contact info for him but just recently found it. Here’s his link: http://www.spokanepcrepair.com/) So I did and he was right-there’s a bunch of crazy gamers out there resurrecting dead graphics cards, Xboxes and logic boards.

I’ve never been afraid to get under the hood and swap out RAM, replace a hard drive or optical drive, but removing the logic board from an expensive laptop (at least when it was bought), was a little beyond my comfort zone. Figuring I had nothing to lose if I messed up the logic board I found some helpful videos on YouTube that showed how to disassemble my MBP and remove the logic board. After running out to get a better selection of Torx screwdrivers, I found this video helpful (with the exception of the backing music):

After successfully removing the logic board, I then proceeded to prep it for inserting it into the oven. Now if getting into the guts of a $3K+ computer doesn’t make you nervous enough, then actually taking the most important and expensive element out and sticking it into an oven should do the trick. One of the things that nobody covered very carefully, was how much of the additional plastic parts should be removed before inserting into the oven. I was initially fearful after reading several posts where the user would actually remove ANYTHING that was plastic and re-solder it back on afterwards. I wasn’t really committed or prepared to do that. I was most nervous about the USB, DVI and Firewire ports because there was no way I was going to be able to remove those and put them back on. I concluded that they have to be made up of at least heat-resistant plastics, and I hadn’t read or seen anything that lamented melted ports and that I should be OK.

I was careful to remove a piece of foam cushioning that is attached to the board and placed it back on afterward.

Here it is after I removed the foam piece:

One thing (actually two) that I did not think to remove were the two sleeves for mounting screws that are located at the top of the board (see circled areas in image below). I thought they were metal, but they turned out to be not-so-heat-resistant plastic and I unfortunately learned that lesson the hard way. They are no longer the best part of the securing system of my logic board. I managed to recover one, but the other was toast.

The instructions I followed for baking came mostly from this post on Overclockers. I preheated my oven to 375° F (helpful marital tip: coordinate with spouse if attempting to do this anywhere close to dinner time—trust me on this). I placed the board on rolled-up balls of foil (not sure why—just doing what I saw in the other pics) on top of cookie sheet covered with foil (to catch the grease drippings, or melted plastics I suppose—thankfully there was neither).

Forgotten Mounting Sleeves

Time to take a deep breath… At this point, it should be noted that we actually gathered the whole family around to pray for God’s mercy and that He might bless this endeavor in that it was affecting my ability to provide for the said whole family. It was time to start baking…

After reading through numerous posts (well over 20 or so) about different temperatures and times to bake for, I settled on 7m:30s at 375°F for these two reasons: one is that most of the realistic sounding posts hovered between 7 and 8 minutes so I thought 7:30 should do it. And the other was after reading several posts that 375° would be sufficient to soften the soldering joints to just barely the melting point allowing them to reseat better and where anything over 400°F would melt the soldering too much—along with all the other plastics and burn the stickers.

It’s not easy holding your breath for over 7 minutes, but with prayer, we persevered (it was a family event at this point). After letting the board cool for about 10 minutes (I think “rest” is the proper cooking terminology), it was now time to start on the process of putting the board back in the case.

One thing that helped immensely in the re-assembly process was that I took pictures with my digital camera of all the critical assembly points so that I could reconstruct it all back together to the original condition. With the exception of the oft-pointed out melting of the mounting screw sleeves, everything went back together smoothly and with all the family gathered around (actually they were out watching a movie because it was pretty boring watch me put the machine back together) to hear the delightful start-up chime and watch the screen flicker to life and post a question mark because I hadn’t put the original hard drive back in. But that question mark was a beautiful thing, because it meant that it was alive and looking for a suitable, bootable drive. I had removed the hard drive and placed it in an external enclosure so that I could access it from my older system to at least be able to get some work done and also to initially rule out that it was a hard drive issue. I wasn’t worried about losing my data, as I use Apple’s Time Machine and had my drive backed-up. Putting the hard drive back in was fairly quick to do, and after that was in, the system booted up beautifully.

Well, I don’t have any pics or video of it coming to life but suffice it to say, that I’m typing this post on it and have been working on it happily for the last (almost) 30 days and thankful to the Lord in showing His mercy. I’ve read that there are no long-term guarantees with this fix and to not expect it to last forever. How long that turns out to be, I’ll be sure to post in the future, but I’m taking the precaution of planning for its imminent replacement (hoping my system doesn’t take that last statement personally).

There does seem to be a casualty after the baking in that since I’ve made the fix, it looks like I lost one of my USB ports on the left side closest to the power plug. It provides power to the device, but the device (both input and disk) is not recognized. That and the fact that I had to re-enter all my passwords as once the board’s battery is disconnected, the OS X Password Keychain is wiped. So, that’s a bummer, but well worth the trade-off of having a working system back.

If I could recommend anything to anyone in the future of how to prepare before an event like this happens is, in addition to keeping your drives backed up (at least with Time Machine), is to have a good password manager with all your passwords stored—specially if you have multiple email accounts and website accounts in Dreamweaver that you manage.

And finally, be sure to give a hearty and heart-felt thanks to a gracious Lord who has shown us mercy indeed! Hallelujah!

(Update on Aug. 24, 2011: After hearing of so many success stories of others inspired by this article and baking my MBP six times [five more times after this article], one of the important steps that I did not perform during this bake and therefore did not include in this article is to be sure to clean the old thermal paste off of the processors and the corresponding heat sinks. And then to re-apply a quality thermal paste to the processors and heat sinks. The first five bakes lasted for various durations between one month and four with the average being two to three months before having the problem again. Each time, I failed to clean the old and apply new thermal paste. On the sixth bake, I finally did that and have not had to bake again since Feb 24, 2011 [exactly 6 months so far]. I have detailed this in my post: My MBP is Officially Hexed—But There’s Hope, please read that in addition to this post before baking. Also, as of today, I have counted a total of at least 22 people who have successfully cooked their books and posted back on one of the “Baking the Books” articles—so hopefully, that will give you hope.)

 

Comments

389 Responses to “Cooking the Books (or, Baking My MacBook Pro Logic Board)”
  1. Henry says:

    WOW.

    A few days ago I underwent the same happenings you wrote at the beginning: put my MBP to stop (as usual) and it didn’t wake up any more. I forced shutdown and it didn’t boot any more (just 2 seconds of standby light and then OFF). Tried all the possible resets (SMC, etc.) but nothing.
    I was really sad about this, as my old 15″ MBP early 2008 was still in good shape, powered by a 128Gb SSD (+500Gb HDD in place of the Superdrive).

    At the Apple Store the “Genius” told me it was, for sure, a logic board failure and that I could have it changed for around 400-450€. BUT he added that my MBP was becoming “vintage” in 2-3 months and, in his opinion, it didn’t worth it.

    Googling and googling, I found someone writing about “baking the logic board”. It sounded strange and a bit ridicolous. More googling and I found this very post. My ideas about baking were changing, I had to try. I had nothing to lose, I would have bought a new logic board on eBay (around 250€ + taxes from USA) and never have it repaired by Apple.

    I opened it up, cleaned the old thermal paste (from both the chips and the heatsinks), BAKED it at 200°C for 7’30″, re-applied a new thermal paste (Arctic MX-4), re-assembled, connected the power cord and…BOOM!!! It booted up playing the lost sound! (without even pressing the I/O button).

    Now it’s re-indexing Spotlight and CPU is working hard (up to 100%), but temperature is not going over 67°C (and ambient is 28°C)…

    Hope it will last long!

    Thank you mate, great tutorial, I’ll spread the voice :)

    Cheers from Italy

    • Antonio says:

      Hi Russell,

      I would like to thank you for posting your story.

      After going to sleep, my macbook pro went on a coma state. I could hear the super drive and hard drive waking up but no sign of a chime and the screen would remain black.

      Your post, gave me the courage to bake my apple too and now I’m writing these words from my revived mac.

      I read many blogs and posts on the net but yours was much inspiring and I wanted to share my story too, since I had to bake my logic board TWICE before my mac came back to life !!

      Before the first bake, I cleaned the thermal paste on the chips and heatsink, then baked the logic board for 7min30sec at 375 Fahrenheit… I applied new heatsink compound and reassembled everything and pushed the power button and…nothing happened… I was very disappointed but since I’m stubborn I removed the logic board once more and baked it a second time for 8 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit. Reinstalled everything… crossed my fingers… prayed the lord ( maybe I had forgotten to do so the first time ;-) )… and pushed the power button… and … it came back to LIFE as If it was waking up from the sleep mode.

      What a strange feeling to see it coming back to life after being baked in an oven !

      Everything was just the way it was the minute it went to sleep. It did not ask to reset the time or passwords until I restarted the computer. Then, it asked to reset the clock as if it had a factory reset.

      I’m backing up my computer, just in case it decides that it had enough “oven experiences”. I hope that this temporary fix will last for as long as possible.

      Thanks again !!

      P.S.: I forgot to say that I also air sprayed to remove all the dust inside the computer and also the dust that was obstructing the CPU cooling fans.

    • clare Tompson says:

      Hi
      I thought i would just add a little something to your blog. My apple Mab Pro 17in died- screen went wierd for a week or so. Took it to Genius BAr they fiddled around clean install everything supposedly ok. Took it home delighted. Loaded it up with new stuff and left it running on dest loading some software. Next day BLACK screen no start up . BUT.. small whirring sound inside. Left it for a year – could not bare to throw this lovely precious thing away.
      Read up blogs all the time – tried everything . Then read a blokes crazy attempt and WHAMO – its up and running once again. I did not bake it. I think all of this black screen no chimes is a cut out through overheating and crap batterries.
      This is what I did – I took out battery, connected it to power, lay it face down closed and switched on , on a cushion, put another feather sofa cushion on top and went shopping. 4 or 5 hrs later came back – remembered computer- unplugged it took it outside face down for two mins – it was not hot . came in and switched it on – and IT WORKED> I tried to charge batterry and put battery in at later point – but it failed again but later just came back. I had bought a new battery before my comp died. I blame them. but my baking is certainly easier than yours and I left memory and hard disk and everything in place!
      Gook Luck
      C

  2. Shannon says:

    I just got my 2011 MacBook Pro back from my local Mac Store. It was sent to Apple for repairs and came back with a new logic board and heat sink. One of the problems I’ve had with it since the very beginning was how hot the body got. I sit in my recliner with the computer on my knees/thighs. It’s just how I work! And I wear shorts everyday of the year… I have some terrific SCARS from BURNS caused by the hot computer. Because I have diabetic neuropathy my pain levels are higher than average. I get blistering burns before I realize how hot it is. When the logic board failed, and I discovered I had Apple Care (I had forgotten to register it, but it was ok), the thing went to Apple for repairs. I got it back today and I am amazed at how cool it is running! Hopefully, no more burns!

    My MacBook is from the day they released the aluminum body version in 2008… I think. It has served me well, but now I realized it too is very hot. I will see what Apple does about it.

    I do appreciate your Bake the Logic Board information. I will surely try it first at any sign of failure on the old 2008.

  3. Kevin says:

    Wow!
    I’ve never had a mac in my life and a friend dumped this on my door step so I had nothing to lose – followed the instructions and wowweeee I’m typing on it right now.

    Yes, and thank Lord Jesus, not for macs but for grace.

    Blessings brother.

  4. Lars-Erik says:

    Great tutorial. Worked for me, and gave me another 6 months out of my Macbook before it died again. Cheers!

  5. The Geezy says:

    You sir…are a gentleman and a scholar. Because of you, I am typing this THANK YOU on my Macbook Pro instead of buying a new one!

  6. JP says:

    Thought I’d write about my experience. Bought a second hand 2008 15′ Macbook Pro (A1260 board) last december. Unit would either not boot or boot with distorted graphics. I also noticed that the MagSage LED would be dimmed (green) most of the time when plugged in.

    Initially, I was able to fix the unit by doing the blanket trick. This repair lasted 2 weeks before the distorted graphics came back.

    Opened up the unit, cleaned everything, baked the unit 7 minutes at 400° in my convection oven. Re-applied thermal paste and added copper shims like suggested online. Broke one of the thermal sensor connectors on the board in the process (heatsink sensor). I plugged the heat sink sensor in the bottom case connector on the board since I estimated that this would be more important in terms of temperature reading. Unit booted up fine but fans ran at full speed all the time until I installed a modded version of SMC Fan Control made for this unit (FanControl-modded-1.2m_r4.pkg , Google it up). With this software, fans at full speed on startup but slow down to 1900rpm after login (or whatever I set it too in Fan Control). Unit ran hot doing basic tasks. This repair lasted 1 month. Unit would not wake up from sleep. All reset procedures would make the unit turn on but with a white screen. Blanket trick would bring it back to life but unit would die a couple of days after each blanket sessions until no boot at all. agSage LED would be dimmed (green) most of the time when plugged in.

    Did the same procedure again. Removed shims. This repair lasted 2 months. With same results as first attempt.

    Completed a third attempt this weekend. This time, I baked the motherboard at 400° for 5 minutes and 450° for another 3 minutes. Applied pressure to the GPU chip once out of the oven. This time, unit runs way cooler (never above 70°). It now seems right. Some notes:

    Make sure you wrap the ports on the board with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil to prevent melting of the plastic.
    I used Artic Silver paste removal and cleaners on chips and Arctic Silver 5 paste. Apply a small amount of paste on both the chips and the heatsink and smooth it out evenly with a latex glove (ask Google for this). I put way to much paste in my first attempts.
    I cleaned the MagSage port and plug with the Arctic Silver chip cleaner using a Q-Tip since I had nothing else to use. I now get a steady LED on the MagSage when fully charged. I suspect this might have been the cause of the not waking up problem.
    Careful with the thermal sensor connectors :)

    • Thanks for posting your experience! Interesting how you applied different baking times and temperatures but it makes sense. Would be interested in hearing how long this bake lasts—please post again in the future!

      • JP says:

        I will post back in a couple of months or when repair fails. My MBP had the same not waking from sleep issue you described and I really believe that the MagSafe connector might have played a big part in the problem by sending confusing signals to the board. Did you notice if you had a faded green LED on your MagSafe plug at some point?

      • JP says:

        Had to do the blanket trick this weekend. Twice. Do not know how long it will last but it still works. Arrrggghhhhhh!

  7. everythingzen says:

    WOW!! I had no screen at all and figured out it was the well known problem with the video and logic board. Got it fried just as described above and IT WORKS!!!
    whoohoo love my apple baked :)

  8. Two times baked says:

    Thank you for this article, I used your instruction today for the second time. My MBP broke down year ago and I successfully reflowed it with your instructions. It worked for a whole year plus couple of weeks, yesterday it broke down again. Second reflow today and it works again.

    You said in the article that “once the board’s battery is disconnected, the OS X Password Keychain is wiped”. That’s actually not the case. The passwords are still in the keychain, but because the system clock has been reset to Jan 1 2001, system cannot use the passwords which seem to be saved in the future. I cancelled the password prompt for wifi network, set the clock to correct date manually, and tried to connect to network again – connection was made without password prompt.

  9. Mike says:

    Baked mine today 7 months after paying PowerBook Medic to reball my gnu chip. I actually would not have sent it to them had I not broken off two connectors when removing the logic board the first time around (never work on a board late when you’re tired!)… Anyway, the reball did not last under the stress of 6 months of my son playing hours of Minecraft! So today, I removed the board, baked it and it works like a charm. I think it also solved a battery charging issue. Whatever connection that might have failed causing inconsistent battery charging might have reflowed as well. Long story sort, after SMC reset and adding SMC Fan Control app, everything is working well and operating at much cooler temperatures. You won’t believe it until you see it! I recommend anyone who has a dead Mac to give this a try, especially if your machine is older and out of warranty. You’ve got nothing to lose and more time to gain with your old reliable Macbook Pro. Thanks so much for providing such great information and for helping me to save my hard-earned money!

  10. Phil says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the excellent write up. I too baked two MBP logic boards and voila, working again. 375 for 7.5 minutes. One had no display, the other came on and said ‘restart computer’ error message. Thanks again,
    Phil

  11. Neale says:

    Wow, it really works. My MacBook Pro went to sleep and slipped into a coma. Wouldn’t wake up, black screen, no start up chime etc etc. tried the baking method, 375f or gas mark 5 for 7.5 mins and the thing wors again. Like the author I have lost the USB port next to the power connector. I ave also lost my airport and nothing I do seems to bring it back. Anyone else had this Robles after baking?

  12. David says:

    Awesome!

    Just did it today and I am now writing this comment from my resurrected Macbook Pro.
    Had the famous graphic board issue that Apple acknowledged Macbook Pros from 2007 – 2008 (no display but the computer was working). Baked the logic board following your recommendations (7.5 minutes at 200°C), and now it woks again.

    Thanks for all the useful tips (melted screw mounts, and thermal paste) I had absolutely no problems following all your recommendations.

    Let’s see how long it lasts.

  13. Emile says:

    Yep, another successtory! Completely revived my MBP3,1. Without your excellent recipe mine would have certainly ended up as parts on a scrap heap. I followed all your extra hints and tips and was able to retain all ports and functionality. It seems faster to boot and even quieter! I won’t mind doing this again in about a year or so when my son has minecrafted it to pieces once more!

    A big thank you, Russel!

  14. Richard says:

    Thanks writing this out. I baked my logic board after getting a quote to have it repaired by apple. So far so good aft er two days.

  15. anthony says:

    great site, success !!! happiness, relief =) thanks

  16. Jacob C. Dando says:

    Just cooked my book last night, worked like a charm, I also replaced the thermal paste with new paste, tightened the monitor screws and cleaned everything. It feels like new.

  17. Steve says:

    I recently bought an old 15″ 2008 vintage macbook pro on ebay. It worked fine for about 2 months, but then it failed to start up at boot-time. I was about to consign it to the scrap heap and buy a new one, and was researching online how to remove the hard drive so that I could recover data.

    I’m not quite sure of the sequence of websites, so can’t give them credit, but somehow I ended up on this site and thought ‘what the heck’ – I’m scrapping it anyway.

    I’m not really very technical, but have built a few PCs from kits, and this gave me an unfounded sense of confidence. After buying some tools (there was no ‘star shaped’ screwdriver in my IKEA toolkit …) and some heatsink paste I got started.

    My darling wife, who seems to have less confidence in my abilities was laughing at me when she saw that I was about to disassemble a laptop – telling me I would never get it back to together again. When she discovered that I was planning to bake it for 8 minutes at 375 degrees in HER oven, the laughter stopped and I think the term ‘idiot’ was used before she walked out with a dire warning of consequences if the oven got broken (notice the lack of concern for my macbook pro).

    I followed the instructions (sort of) for disassembly and cleaning, ignoring the part about making careful note where all the screws go on the basis that this was only going to take an hour or two and my memory was surely good enough to remember something as straightforward as which identical looking screw goes in which identical looking hole in which order.

    After noticing that my oven wouldn’t go up to 375 degrees celsius I fortunately realised that we were talking farenheit and I needed about 190-200 degrees C. Feeling like a sci-fi version of Delia Smith, I popped the board into the oven, balanced on 4 balls of foil as described in the recipe (which it seems nobody can explain the need for …)

    8 minutes later the timer pinged, and I hadn’t set fire to the house or broken the oven. I was a bit concerned about the timing, though, since I had followed my usual habit when cooking of sitting down in front of the football and as usual hadn’t heard the timer when it went off. Hoping I hadn’t waited too long, I took the board out of the oven and set it aside to cool down – leaving it for about 20 minutes.

    I then applied some heat sink paste and started re-assembly – completely ignoring the instructions this time. As I was applying the final screw I was wondering why there appeared to be an empty connector slot near the middle of the board, but since I couldn’t see any spare wired connectors I put my nagging doubts aside and continued. I completed the reassembly with only 8 screws left over, and one lost when it fell on the carpet. No matter – it was the moment of truth and I hit the ‘ON’ button.

    ‘EUREKA’ it spun up past the moment of failure and kept going – obviously working well – and I sat staring at the screen waiting for it to display something. It turns out that the empty connector socket on the logic board was for the screen backlight cable and the display was not going to come on while it was not connected to anything! I tried using an external display and everything was working fine!!!!

    Another 45 minutes to take everything apart again, find the missing connector trapped under the board, hook it all up, reassemble (with 10 screws now left over) and hit start again.

    WOW! A fully functioning Macbook Pro and I was able to have the last laugh with my wife – albeit at 3 O’Clock in the morning given how much longer than expected I had taken. Funnily enough she didn’t appreciate being woken to be told the good news, but I was so happy and excited to have succeeded that I couldn’t stop smiling!

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed here. This is a truly amazing fix which reinforces my long held belief that IT is a black art. Discovering that a non-initiate like me can do this only increases my amazement, since I have no understanding of root cause or why it works. A bit like following Delia Smith’s recipes, I suppose!

    Steve

  18. Dave says:

    I couldn’t believe it when I heard it, but it’s true. I thought I was out for a new lcd, battery and a hard drive I had purchased, and installed with no avail… I had the dreaded video glitch symptoms, and though for sure the money was wasted. My first macbook (A1211) was dead. Or was it! My coworker buddy told me about your site, and he did it. It worked. What? Baked Apple? We had fun with that! Finally, I could wipe the dust off and give it one last shot before the final rest.
    Tonight, I did just that, 385°F for 8 minutes. Left in the oven door open afterwards to cool and to avoid disturbing the works. Reassembled with new Arctic paste, and after a bad ram chip was removed, I’m up & running. Installed SMCfancontrol to keep it cool.
    Let’s see how long she sticks around. Thanks!
    Thank You, and iFixit, and John Shabeeks!

  19. Mads says:

    I had problems with my macbook unibody not turning on. I went to the apple store and was told the logic board was dead and it would cost 1500$ to fix it.

    Went home and tried this, and now it is alive again :)

    It runs rather hot, but i suppose yhat is due to me not reapplying the thermal paste + old thermal paste seemed uneven.

    I have now ordered new thermal paste and will try to put that on and see how long the mac lives – hopefully it will work for a while.

  20. Jordon says:

    After nearly a year after my MBP that I purchased in May 2008, I finally stumbled across this. The local Apple Service Shop wanted $600+ to replace a “bad logic board”…HA! This worked wonders and praise God for He is exceedingly good things!

    Thanks to everyone who posted that this worked and most of all to you Russel for posting this in the first place!

  21. bobazhar says:

    As I am writing this, the logic board is in the oven. Hope comes out ok

  22. Carl Schultz says:

    hello all. I did the blanket, turned on “bake” The laptop worked for 4 days, then back to the video problem (random character-like over graphics). So now I am in the process with this oven bake method. While I liked the logic for 375 degrees F and 7.5 minutes, I don;t think that is hot enough. Maybe someone knows the “burn” temperature (or melt temp) of the board. Am thinking that 400 or more would be the answer. Don’t think the solder “flows” at this or other temp, but needs a higher temp and that might melt/damage the board. My 2 cents worth. I feel badly about this as it is an older friend and I “checked out” the unit and he shelled out for the Macbook Pro. FYI: It is EMC 2136, A1226 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo

  23. Gary says:

    I tried this on my late 2008 macbook pro 17 inch and it seems to have fixed my intermitent video problems thanks for giving me the gumption to try it. Baked for 8 minutes at 193ºC and reinstalled started up good and no video artifacts. Lets see how long this board lasts now.

  24. Jake says:

    Thanks for the walk-through. I’ve cooked many motherboards on a low setting (~200F) to dry them out after a healthy dose of distilled water to rinse off the coffee, milk, baby puke, etc. I hadn’t cooked one to reflow the solder. Worked like a champ.
    As a rule, I always replace the thermal grease when working with processors (cheap insurance). With the amount of excess paste I found all over the edge of the die, I wonder if that had anything to do with the problems?

    If you find that there is a lot of excess thermal grease, you can scrape it off, collect it in something small like a plastic thimble, or container cap (something without threads), mash it up and add a drop or two of WD-40 or mineral oil. Mix it up and eventually it will become the same consistency as store bought grease. Just make sure all chunks are mashed in.

    It beats waiting for the next day to finish up after a night of “Cooking the Books”. Nice to reap the fruits of your labor and confirm success.

  25. Gary says:

    2007 15 inch MBP with corrupt video. Bought used 2 years ago with bad video problem. Used a heat gun to bring it back then. Recently it died again. This time I baked it at 375 in a convection oven for 6 minutes. Nows runs great..again. Had to install the modded fancontol app to regulate processor fans. No problems with usb ports.

  26. Glen Goldsmith says:

    Today, 11/30/2013 I baked my A1261 (Macbook Pro 17″ 2007 era) for 7.5 minutes at 375 degrees. I started to smell burnt electronics when the time was up so I was quick to get it out of there. Thanks to Russell H. and ifixit.com for the how-to’s. I’ll comment again if/when the bake quits! Thanks fellas!

  27. Lakshmi Krishnan says:

    I am having the same problems. Have you heard of the class action suit?
    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/08/class-action-filed-against-apple-for-defective-macbook-logic-boards.html

    We need to put #s on these logic board failures. My description of the problem here under LaksK
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/23970718#23970718

    Thoughts on how we can get Apple to acknowledge their mistake?
    Lakshmi

  28. Tom says:

    2007 MacBook Pro- logic board died… 7.5 minutes at 375 did the trick!!! Thanks!

  29. Tom says:

    2007 MacBook Pro- logic board died. 7.5 minutes at 375 did the trick. Thanks!!! Fan seems to be running a bit louder than usual though…

  30. tom says:

    In theory if the CPU burned out, it should be theoretically possible to get a new processor and place it onto a small potato chip mount and then jumper it to the corresponding terminals of the defective CPU. But it is very theoretical and experimental. Ambition finds a way.

    Tom

  31. ReD says:

    Just baked my mbpro a1260 …. And bingooooooo…. Back to Life….

    Thxx for the idea…

    Bye

    Nb: 200° > 7 min

  32. Red says:

    Juste baked my mbpro …… And bingooooooo … Back to Life

    Thxxxx for the idea….

    Nb: 200 º > 7 min

  33. b sagof says:

    about to try this also… it IS weird how many of our early 2008 MBPs all wound up having the same fatal issue around the same time…

  34. Neil P says:

    Wish me luck..oven pre heating now.
    2007 MBP…freebie :)
    Hardly used…been in cupboard for three years 108 battery cycles on it.

    Guessing graphics issue random squiggly line on screen ..no boot..no Apple store on the island I live on…only going to scrap otherwise so nothing to loose..if it works great..if not..flea bay here we come :)

  35. Jose says:

    Great my Macbook Pro is back. Thanks.
    Desde españa os confirmo a todos que mi mac resucito tras el horneado de 7,30 minutos.
    Coste total de la operación 1,2 de pasta térmica y el gasto del horno. antártico.

  36. tasdim says:

    Apple pie!!!!!
    I first cooked my best friends macbook pro on May 2012 twice to make it work for 18 months.
    Yesterday, I recooked it since it stopped working again with the same symptoms, and I hope it will last for another 18 months!!!!
    Always on preheated oven, 180 degrees Celsius for 9-10 minutes, aluminium foil to cover the usb and vga slots, alway removed the old paste from cpu, gpu and northbridge and applied new paste on them!!!!!
    Best solution ever for curring macbooks and any other laptops with gpu problems. I have cooked over 5 different laptop with excellent results…. They all work!!!!

  37. Jean-Marc says:

    HI ! :)
    On the bus to school, my daughter had a water bottle and her 13 ” mid 2012 Macbook pro in tje same bag. the bottle spilled and the macbook got soacked.
    The Macbook never rebooted and was totally dead according to the Apple support staff. She needed one for school so we had to buy her another (.
    After Xmas I decided to see where I could resell a dead macbook or sell parts.
    I found your site while browsing some of the results.
    I followed the instructions to the letter and cooked the logic board 7.5 minutes at 375 degrees F(~190 C).
    I reinstalled everything ( I only broke the left battery connector).
    Miraculously the macbook pro woke up and I am now in the process of updating it to the last version of the OS.
    I am now the proud owner of a revived Macbook pro. Hopefully there are several more months of life left in the laptop
    As an engineer I must offer you 1E6 thanks for your super site!
    jmp

  38. Bret says:

    Just did this on my early 2008 macbook pro. I can’t believe it worked perfectly. No issues, all ports work, etc. Just wow.

  39. Hugo says:

    Hi,
    I just want to share that I successfully bake my motherboard following your instructions. I recently bought a A1261 machine that would not boot up, only a dim light in the front and fans spinning. I removed the motherboard and baked it for 7min30s at about 180C. It has been running fine for the last 5 days. I also installed SMC fan control software and it shows 38C at idle and 40-50C when running a looped HD video, with the fans running at 2500RPM. So far so good!

    thanks for your tips!

    Hugo from Canada

  40. Paul says:

    Just wanted to post my experience – I feel I owe that at this point.

    We had 3 non-functional MacBook Pros. I managed to swap parts around to get one working well, but the other two had the black screen issue. Connect to power, press the power button, and the optical drive, hard drive, and fans would start as usual but there was no chime and no screen activity. The white status light on the front of the machine was on, and I noticed that it would dim and brighten as I covered with my hands the ambient light sensors under the speakers. I removed the RAM and tried start up – it should produce a strange tone to indicate a RAM issue – and nothing. I played around with swapping parts between the two before settling on the fact that both logic boards were bad.

    I baked both of the logic boards at the same time, at 375 degrees for 7.5 mins. I was not hopeful as I tried each one in their respective laptops – but to my surprise they both booted up normally! I never expected I would get all three running again but it seems they are for now.

    Russell: You’ve indicated that the baking tends to create a functioning board for 6 months or so. Anyone else have any experience with the longevity?

    Thanks for the great post.

  41. joka says:

    great tutorial!!! followed the steps, baked the board for 7:30 at 190 °C – reassambled it – power on -> Tatata!!!

  42. Paul says:

    Thanks for the article, it was helpful. I baked my old 2008 and my 2011 MacBook Pros which both had this issue. They seem to be working for now.

  43. nyk says:

    I have an early 2011 MacBook pro. it managed to grey screen at boot, I carried it around for 1 month before I had a chance to learn about baking it. o
    checked around the town I was currently in pokhara nepal and just so happened that a local computer repair place had a chip cooker. I thought this would be safer and cheaper since I was in nepal. we sat down together and he ran diagnostics after diagnostics on it. I kept suggesting it was the graphics card. when we finally checked it, he used a multimeter to tell if the pegs werent sending a voltage between them. one peg wasn’t. so we used his super fancy machine, took out the mother board, layed it flat and reflowed. it worked fine for a week after that but just yesterday my computer started running irrationally hot while using google chrome only. it got up to 70c and wouldnt do any command. I tried to shut it down but it froze and I turned it off manually, a few hours later and guess what grey line screen at boot up. boo.

  44. Russell,

    Great job on the writeup of Baking Your Mac Book. I found your blog in a google search for re-flowing a Mac Book Pro. I was given an older 2006 Intel Core Duo laptop that had a black display issue that I was able to temporarily fix by reflowing the GPU.

    I found that by wrapping the Mother board in foil ( I read this on some one’s you tube posting ) and exposing only the GPU, I could set the temperature of the oven to 400 degree’s, I believe that the solder used for the BGA work melts at 425 degree’s and left it in the oven for 12 minutes, as soon as it was done, I pressed on the GPU slightly so that the solder balls would have a better contact surface. So far the repair has lasted about 4 months.

    I also read on several sites that by using copper shims between the GPU and CPU heatsinks that this seems to lower temperatures by up to 20 percent, and lastly I use Fan control and SMC Fan control ( I dual boot OS X with XP ), which helps keep the CPU and GPU temp lower by increasing the fan speed.

    Just thought I would pass that on.

    Jose F. Medeiros
    408-256-0649 Google Voice
    San Jose, California
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/josemedeiros
    “There is nothing you can’t accomplish if you let another man take the idea”. ..President Ronald Reagan

  45. Dave C says:

    Russell, I just baked a fresh A1260 Apple pie and my wife says it is delicious.
    Thanks for your recipe. I managed to have a few minutes creeping up to 415 degrees, and so far so good, in case anyone wants to know. We have a wily old Okeefe & Merritt that has a mind of its own. Cheers!

  46. paschal odemorin says:

    Hello Russell,

    Thanks for this article,

    I Have locked my macbook pro A1226 in a cupboard for two years. simply because it will not power up, charge or make any noise.

    i took it to a local shop and i was told it needed a new motherboard.

    so i decided to to bake the motherboard, applied new thermal heat. then i carefully assembled them together. i powered it. the charger light came on for the first time in two years and also the fan spanned also but the screen did not come on.

    is there anything that i didnt do? i belive am half way there now. i can hear the mac came back to life just need it to show on the screen.

  47. William Cheek says:

    Ohhhh yeah. Allow me to add my joyful voice to the chorus!

    Model: MBP 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 (mid-2010)

    Symptoms: sudden kernel panics, black screens, and psycho ruined-VHS-like distortion, all requiring hardware shutdown and restart. The first episode occurred mid-2012, but it wasn’t until about 3 weeks ago that these things started suddenly happening every 30 minutes of usage time.

    Actions: logic board removal according to iFixit.com, baking according to this post. Actually, I baked twice (375 F for 7.5 minutes) about an hour apart, and gently pressed down on both GPUs for about 20-30 seconds after removing from oven. Very careful removal and re-application of thermal paste (used Arctic Silver 5).

    Result: three days of heavy use later, the thing is running seemingly faster and cooler than I can ever remember, and of course I have had none of the prior symptoms.

    Backstory: a splash of beer soaked the keyboard back in early 2012. Three weeks ago, I agreed to the $310 logic board replacement at the Apple Store….but when they sent it off they detected liquid damage and thus it was a $1200 repair or nothing.

    Interestingly, when I declined the repair over the phone they seemed to indicate that liquid damage was almost certainly the culprit. The photos that accompanied the work authorisation request were certainly quite garish. However, as I dismantled the computer I found that all but one photo had shown obviously innocuous discolourations on the inner shell. These were easily wiped away by isopropyl alcohol, as were the couple spots of minor superficial corrosion in three places on the logic board.

    It was clearly the known GPU issue all along! The irony, then, that liquid damage in essence reduced my repair bill from $310 to $40 (thermal paste, screwdrivers).

    In conclusion…..BAKE!!!

  48. Jonathan says:

    Just wanted to submit this. just baked my 2007 macbook pro and I am happy to say that i am typing on my resurrected computer right now.

    thank you so much for this!

    Jonathan.

  49. Christian says:

    Thank you sir. Thank you thank you thank you. It didn’t work at first so I baked it like 9 times. Turned out it was also a display issue. Unplugged display internally And hooked up a divi to hdmi adapter to my tv and SHAZAM. You are my savior.

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  5. [...] time to have them test my system to see if it would produce the Nvidia error (see my first article: Cooking The Books). I have to take my hat off to the two techs (er, geniuses) that tried everything they could think [...]

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  10. [...] da kann ich mir ja gleich einen neuen kaufen. Aber irgendwie bin ich dann doch noch über einen Schicksalsgenossen gestolpert, der das Problem unkonventionell lösen konnte: Das Logicboard in den Backofen schieben [...]

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