A question I see asked often is, “how many times can a logic board be baked and still be successfully revived?”. One very qualified answer is “at least seven.” The other question usually asked is, “for how long does the bake last?” and to answer that, “at least six months.” At least that’s been my experience. Hopefully, that experience will be coming to an end very shortly. You’ll have to find someone else to provide you with your vicarious techniculinary fixes.
Just as I had been bragging to several people both online and off about how my system has been up and running now for “over” six months (5 days over to be exact), my system decided to not wake up this morning. Bummer. The good news is tear down and bake and rebuild went pretty quick. This time I timed it and it took me almost exactly an hour for the whole process (your time may vary), but I think that’s fairly good. And no screws missing after all these tear-downs and rebuilds too!
This time however, I won’t be pushing my luck anymore. After taking the “hepto-baked” MBP back to the Spokane Apple Store yet again and, yet again, failing to produce the now-coveted Nvidia error code (after I lost count how many attempts the Genius™ tried to produce it [thanks Jason!]), the best they could offer me, yet again, is the $310 repair offer that will hopefully cover anything that might happen to need replacing on my MBP. Other than the fact that it will be like it has been preserved for 3+ years and with 3-year old chip designs and technology, it will be just like having a new MBP and should (hopefully) be good for another 3-5 years.
So, I will be taking it back tomorrow to the Apple Store to submit it to the “depot”. I decided to bring it back home because I’m going to remove the upgraded 500GB drive and put the original 250GB back in it for the service. Even though I have a back-up of the drive, I would have to purchase another drive to restore to–so its easier just putting the 500GB in an enclosure and working from it until I get the system back.
My main concern now, is what replacement system will I be getting. This one will most likely be handed down to my daughter and hopefully its baking days will finally be over.
This was too awesome to pass up. A link to this video was posted in the comments section of my blog post Cooking The Books (or Baking my MacBook Pro Logic Board) by Roland who’s IP showed him from Montreal. He did an awesome job putting together this accelerated video (on his revived MBP) that compresses the whole experience into a little over four minutes that’s made even more entertaining by a nice soundtrack: Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim.
Roland is now one of at least 15 people that have commented on my blog posts alone (up to at least the writing of this post) that have successfully baked their logic boards. Only one person has experienced anything like a fail, but there were other indications that it wasn’t the same exact issue that I had originally posted about.
I hope to post again excerpts of some of the success stories for more encouragement and also possibly something to show Apple that they need to rethink their policy in expanding these symptoms to the Nvidia 8600M issue or creating a whole new category. Normal users shouldn’t be expected to have to go through this trouble to repair something that wasn’t their fault to begin with.
It took me awhile to get this posted. Not sure if it was the fact that I’ve had an incredibly busy month or that I was just tired (it is getting a little old) of posting how many times I’ve had to bake my MacBook Pro now—six for anyone whose counting (hence the clever “hexed” title). I’m getting more than a little self-conscious about mentioning it now, specially when you read further and find out how my n00bness has more than likely contributed to this multi-bake syndrome. I’m really only posting this for the benefit of those who will experience the same issue or similar and that they might avoid my fate—so read on.
I’m sure for most of you this is getting old (so just buy a new Mac already!). But for me, my investment is being stretched past three years (next month) and I’m still holding out an outside hope that Apple may have a change of heart and decide to include this symptom in the Nvidia case and I’ll get the logic board replaced free and be able to pass it on down to my progeny. I know the symptom is pretty common because this site gets quite a bit of traffic based upon baking a MacBook Pro and this model (A1261) in particular. For those of you that are looking at the possibility of baking your logic board, if you haven’t already, check out the previous articles I’ve posted, specifically beginning with Cooking the Books.
Back to the point of this post–on January 31st, after slightly over four months of up-time (which has been the longest time by a month so far), and right in the middle of huge web launch deadline, my MBP refused to wake up that Friday morning. This time, for the first time, with no peripherals attached when put to sleep by closing the lid–so that kinda blew my peripherals-affecting-the-sleep-mode theory. I went to work going through the now very familiar process of tearing down, baking and putting it all back together. It can be noted that just the weekend before, I finally upgraded to Snow Leopard OSX 10.6.6 from 10.5.8 and upgraded my original 250GB hard drive to 500GB. I don’t think that had anything to do with the last failure, as it was working swimmingly that whole week, but it’s worth noting.
The encouraging news for anybody who has made the commitment or about to make the commitment to bake their logic board, is that in this case, my board has been baked successfully five times. Of course, that is all contingent upon your definition of encouragement.
Here are the (now four) previous MBP Baking Series articles:
Cooking the Books (or, Baking My MacBook Pro Logic Board)
Twice-Baked Mother Board (or Refried Logic of my MacBook Pro)
Ooops! I Baked It Again. (3rd Time!)
It’s Officially a Quad-Baked MacBook Pro (4 Times and Counting)
You can tell I’m running out of steam for creative titles. Next will be something to do with Hexes I’m sure.
For those who are keeping track of how many times my MBP has been baked and come back to life, as it stands, the official count is now four. This time, it lasted over one and a half months since the last baking session. I won’t bore you with any new details other than to say, after four successful tries, I’m now committed (like I wasn’t before) to baking the board for as long as it will let me do it. I’m sure that at some point, it will finally give up the ghost, but until then…
Some points to note: it now only takes me about 15 minutes to tear apart the machine (disassemble is probably a gentler way of saying that). It takes a little longer putting it back together because after spending a great deal of time trying to reconnect the only connector that connects to the underside of the board (connecting with me on this?) and then position the board at an angle so that I can get the port side (the other side) to fit through the openings in the case and allow the board to seat properly. I invariably fail to remember that I didn’t connect the battery unit before I went through the convolutions necessary to seat the board. I then remove the board, affix the battery and then go through said convolutional placement of board once more. So, in all, the reassembly takes at least 10 minutes longer for me. However, I’m getting real good at it. Maybe next time, I will remember to affix the battery beforehand.
For those coming to this article for the first time, I have three other posts of the whole MacBook Pro logic board baking ordeals: