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Repair information and guides for the updated version of the 2015 Retina MacBook that was released in early 2016. Model A1534 / EMC 2991

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Can you test the USB-C port w/ multimeter on seemingly dead MacBook?

Is it possible to use a multimeter to determine if the USB-C port is dead before taking the laptop apart? If you open it up, how can you test to see if its the defective part before replacing it?

Update (08/10/2018)

I appreciate all the responses but I think we're getting a bit off topic :) My original question was "Is there anyway to test the USB-C port w/ a multimeter to know if it's bad?" If I determine it's bad, clearly I'd order one to replace it.

Update (08/16/2018)

So interesting discovery, when plugged into USB-C, the white battery light on the logic board comes on. I *think* this is a pretty good indication the USB-C port is ok but since it the laptop still doesn't power on, does that mean the logic board is bad even though the white light on the logic board illuminates?

Also, I don't hear a chime but it must be powering on to some extent because the trackpad is clicking which doesn't happen when the power is off. I can hold the button for 10s which would be the power shutting off and the trackpad doesn't click but then pushing the button to turn on (again no chime) but the trackpad does click.

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What appears to be the problem with your port? Are you able to charge the systems battery?


Doesn't charge, computer appears to be completely dead.


So we don't know if the charger is working then. I would look at getting a USB-C power meter like this: Type-C Power Meter Tester for USB-C Devices


The adapter and cable are fine as I tested them on another MacBook and they worked perfectly. I appreciate the link to the meter though. Question for you… the meter won’t do me any good if it’s the logic board or the usb-c port right? Since the machine isn’t turning in, in theory it could be either and without turning on, it won’t draw power, correct?


Sadly I think you're at a crossroads. If you had a spare USB-C port cable you could try powering the system up via it MacBook 12" Retina (Early 2016-2017) USB-C Port Assembly .

But, I think its more likely the logic board got damaged from a static discharge or power surge, just like @jessabethany has pointed out.


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Michael I do not see why you couldn’t. Problem you are running into is that you need the schematic and the board layout to measure the power rails as well as find the components etc. that are at fault. Here is an example about the power aliases for it and you see that you should get 5.1V on those.

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Now you are in a situation where you need the schematics to see where the rails are etc. As you know, those schematics are proprietary and Apple Does not want anyone to have those or to share.

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To answer your question specifically — No.

You want to know in advance if a part is bad without replacing the part, and there is no way to know that for sure.

You can get a usb-c ammeter which will tell you what you already know—the port is not drawing current, but it won’t tell you why. You can use experience and signature problems which will tell you that this is almost always a board problem, (unless you can see physical damage to the port) but that isn’t “for sure”. The only step to rule out a bad part is to try a known good part.

You could also spend a long time measuring continuity and resistance to ground for example between the external port and various spots internal to the board and comparing to a known good laptop but again—this isn’t a functional test and doesn’t tell you for sure that the port itself is working and is quite laborious. You could verify some things—such as is the port passing charger voltage into the device, but of course that leaves the variable of whether or not the port itself needs to check a box to itself be verified by the board before it will allow the charger voltage to pass through.

The feasible test is to rule out a known good port, and then to send the laptop off to a MacBook repair specialty shop to troubleshoot the motherboard.

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Michael sarà eternamente grato.
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