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Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

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I shut down, but it restarts on it's own

Hi guys,

As a mac tech for 30 years, I am pretty familiar with most issues. When I can’t solve one, I turn to you guys. 100% fix rate, thanks.

Here’s what’s going on that I cannot figure out. It’s actually a late 2008 MBP 13: 1278. I build them for underprivileged kids to use for school. I got this one as a corporate turn-in . First, it came with a bad logic board. I replaced that. All was well, but no Wifi. I replaced the monitor with the better cable. The original cable was missing a brass connector. I didn’t want to dismantle the monitor to replace the iSight connector. I plugged the new cable in, I get Bluetooth and Camera, still no wifi. I got a cheap wifi usb adapter, all is good. Sorry, but wanted to give you background before my current issue.

I’ve tried everything I know to try but when I shut this unit down, it restarts on it’s own. The button is fine, and if I hold the button down for 5 seconds, it will shut off, or crash out. Not what I want, and you get the error message when restarted.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Reset NVRAM and PRAM several times, removed battery, pressed power button. Every reset possible, no effect.
  2. Created a new user, and new profile after I added the Wifi adapter. No effect.
  3. There is no restart on crash option on this OS, so no option there. I’ve tried resinstalling El Capitan, formatting disk, checking cables, everything is good. Overall, that’s the only issue that’s presenting itself.
  4. I’ve tried some Terminal commands from my online search to reset the state of the unit and reset the startup, so it goes through the Q&A like a new user. No effect.

Is there some terminal command I can run to bypass whatever it is that’s causing this? The power button is tip top and tried another keyboard just to make sure, just plugging it into the keyboard port to check while chassis was open. I also ran disk first aid, and no errors. So, I think I’ve done everything logical. I just can’t get it to shut down using the proper method. Even starting in Safe Mode did not have an effect. It still restarted. So, something is triggering it to restart. No peripherals are connected, aside from the wifi adapter. But, it was doing this before the wifi adapter. Could it be the board is looking for wifi and just can’t find it? I’m totally stumped on this one. I took a look at the console and found a couple errors. I’ll post the picture.

Any help appreciated, I try to assist people. Not used to being on this side, but this one got me! Thanks in advance.

Thom

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Replaced Air Card, although it's only offering me Bluetooth, replacing it with a salvage one stopped the issue of constant restart after shutting down. Shuts down properly now, and USB wifi adapter is faster than onboard. Good to go. Thanks, Dan. You always make me look at things and clear my head. Always a great resource. Last thing I would expect. Pass it on…

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Sounds like the keyboard or the logic board power switch circuit is messed up. I would disconnect the keyboard ribbon cable and using a USB keyboard & mouse see if you can turn on the system using the power pads, then using the shutdown via the USB keyboard and mouse does the system restart that way on its own?

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Thanks, Dan. I did that, same effect. Plugged a different internal keyboard via ribbon cable with back off, Used the start button to start it, then used shut down from the menu. Still restarted. So, not the button or keyboard. I also thoroughly cleaned the board and checked the power-on contacts to make sure they weren't shorted together, and plenty of separation and clean.

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@thomhemler - If you disconnected the ribbon cable the power button is not wired! So it won't startup using it. You need to use the Power pads on the logic board to kick it over. With no keyboard of any sort connected in the ribbon cable connection what happens?

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I reconnected a new keyboard with ribbon cable, with the unit off. Pushed the power button on the loose replacement keyboard, it started. I used the mouse to shut down, with the replacement keyboard connected. It shuts down, writing post file. Then, after 5 seconds, restarts on it's own. That was with the keyboard/power button loose and not in the chassis. Not a USB keyboard, but a 1278 replacement keyboard. I keep a couple in stock. So, I ruled out the keyboard/power button sticking. The power button is part of the replacement keyboard.

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@thomhemler - Thats why I had you use the Power Pads on the logic board as I assumed you didn't have a spare.

But I still need to know! What happens when you don't have ANY keyboard connected via the Ribbon cable connection? This is a Test!

So using the USB keyboard and mouse and turning the system on via the Power pads, then shutdown what happens ???? Does it startup on its own ????

I would also try using a fresh drive with OS-X El Capitan (10.11.6) as your current drive appears to have something messing up the OS.

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This a late 2008, Dan. Where are the power pins on this model? I'll try anything. I tried switching ram out, too. It's like there's a cmd telling it that it's not done doing something, or an instruction to restart instead of shutdown. Set to not sleep, too. Tried both ways. Like a badly written kext or unfinished update.

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