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Repair guides, support, and troubleshooting information for the first 13-inch MacBook Air to feature Apple's ARM-based M1 SoC (with an 8-core CPU and up to an 8-core GPU). Released in November 2020 and identified by model numbers A2337 or EMC 3598.

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M1 MBA Non responsive after power surge, but holding idle temp

We recently just had a lightning strike to our house, and it took a toll on our electrical system. One item that was affected was an M1 MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air was powered on and plugged into a 3rd party charger when lightning struck. Shortly after I noticed it was just unresponsive, black screen, looked powered down. I assumed it was just fried, but did some troubleshooting on it.

I tried powering it on normally, power cycling (holding power button for 15 seconds with no power in), swapping different chargers while continuously attempting to power it on, plugging in peripherals to see if I could get power out, and I got nothing. I would have tried NVRAM and SMC reset but that doesn't seem to be an option for M1 macs.

I finally opened it up to look inside, and it just looked normal, although I didn't do a lot of digging. No fans to check because this model just doesn't have fans. However I noticed the CPU/SoC heat sink was hot. I thought it could just be since it was powered on recently. I got a temperature probe though and let it sit for an hour or so, and it kept an idle temp the whole time at about 30° C.

I tried powered it on/off again, and it still had no response. I finally disconnected the battery, and the SoC went stone cold. After reconnecting the battery, hooking up a charger, and trying to power it on again, the SoC stayed cold and I couldn't get it to respond or 'power on'/heat up again.

Apple store techs tried to help troubleshoot, but their diagnostic computer couldn't connect to it and so they stopped there.

By the idle temp it appears to me that the SoC was running at some point, but it's like it's in a coma and nothing will respond: no display/backlight, no power out, and I'm not even sure if the power button works because I couldn't shut off the SoC and now it won't come back on. I don't know a whole lot about M1 MacBook's logic boards and power supply systems, so I'm not sure where to go from here.

Any ideas?

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Sorry on your plight!

Lightening and power surges has the ability to do a lot of damage. While you might overcome the simpler issues with the AC power issues, the micro electronics within your system will require a lot of effort to trace out the damage.

Many hours of time and access to the needed discrete components to replace by someone with the deeper skills, Apple doesn't make it easy! The best you can do here is just replace the logic board.

Consider the costs, while I advocate people to repair their gear, the persons ability and how damaged the device is often becomes the limiting factor! Sometimes there are at point we just can't overcome, sadly I see that is the case here.

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Although it may be extremely difficult, and possibly a waste of time, do you have a place to point me for where to start on learning how to repair the logic board? I may end up replacing the logic board anyways, but I could keep the fried one to work on. It may just become a long learning project, as I already have another computer to use in place of the fried one.

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@danj pretty much answered the question, anything struck by lightning is fried. Even though there is heat on the SOC it is probably doing nothing as all the IC's are fried by the huge jump in voltage from the lightning. For the future to protect against lightning you can install a surge protector for lightning that look like these

Block Image

These are for the EU, if youre in north america im not sure what the standards are there sorry.

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@robustmarker - We have similar devices here in North America! And are the a great solution over discrete suppresser strips.


Even still they have a lifespan! Regions with heavy lightning will then them replaced frequently to sustain the protection.

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Sadly I don't think that would have saved me in my situation, as the surge did not come through the grid but lightning directly hit the house. The circuit breakers were about the last things to be hit.

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@pyrotex7 I believe that these would of still saved you, depending on how you have wired your house if your electrical system is properly grounded (meaning entire earth circuit is connected to a grounding rod) it should avoid paths of higher resistance (eg your computers) and go straight to the ground. Atleast in EU this is standard code for electrical installations as I said before I am not sure about the US. Regardless it happened and we can all learn for next time, sorry about your laptop.

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Kanen Stephens будет вечно благодарен.
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