How to start this MacBook Pro?

I have here a MBP (Retina, Early 2015) Model A1502, Big Sur

It was used up to five weeks ago, pretty much always on mains power.
We replaced it due to its swollen battery, and because, at this age, it’s not anymore giving enough performance. For said five weeks it was on the shelf, I now want to security delete its SSD, get a new battery, then use it for basic stuff or donate it.

But it doesn’t start at all.
I tried SMC reset and have kept it on its charger over night. No luck.
On one or two of my attempts to switch it on I saw a large icon about charging, indicating that it was completely out of charge. I can’t reproduce this anymore.

Any other ideas?

If it won’t boot while connected to power, then the battery is probably completely kaput, and you would need to replace it in order to power up. With a swollen battery, you should replace that before doing anything else anyway.

This discussion contains multiple people confirming that a 2015 MBP will not boot without a functioning battery:

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Yes I think that’s right, this MBP can’t start without battery.
When the MacBook was still in use, the battery was already swollen. Something must have changed while it was just sitting on the shelf. From almost kaput to totally kaput.

Any idea how I can delete all data from the SSD before I give it to a repair shop?

I assume that because you asked that question you don’t have the MBP encrypted with FileVault., because if you did it’s a non-issue.

So you have to power on the system to delete data on the SSD and the battery is not letting you power it on.

:point_right: :point_left:

One other thought, though. That model may have a proprietary blade SSD. The technically inclined may be able to pop that SSD blade out of the system, but that’s going to limit the ability of the repair shop to verify that the system has been repaired successfully.

Good point. Although it is complicated to replace the battery on that model as a do-it-yourself project, it’s relatively straightforward to remove or replace the SSD. The hardest part is having the right screwdrivers and keeping track of the different kinds of screws after you unscrew them.

If the data on the SSD is extremely sensitive, that could be an option. In fact, if you have another A1502 available, you could even swap the SSD into the other machine, wipe it, and then stick it back in the original.

@mHm There is another possibility. On the motherboard is a Boot Post, which you short to another metal piece sticking up. The power code is plugged in without the battery.

There is a site on the Interweb that has photos of an assortment of Macs over the years that show the various locations of a post. I tried it once on my dead old MBP but no joy. I had no idea whether I did the short properly.

Try this site . May not have the latest MBPs but the author may still be around.

If this doesn’t work, the motherboard is shot

As far as the SSD goes I have a Sata/IDE UCB 2.0 adapter. Sort of like a Swiss army knife with different connectors. Or just get a cheap empty enclosure and drop the SSD into it.

HTH Mike

BTW here’s how to dispose of an Apple product

Apple recycling via Fedex

@josehill Having read the IFIXIT instructions for battery replacement, I just don’t fancy such task, I 'm otherwise quite good with screwdrivers. Yes, the data is sensitive, and having learnt about this, I have now advised the person about encryption. The old MBP didn’t have FileVault activated.

I have another identical model here, its battery was removed, SSD is empty. I can swap to the empty SSD, then I have no worries to give it for repair, swap back afterwards.

@mrnoonan1 The SSD in this model is unfortunately a proprietary PCIe/NVM connector, my own Swiss Army drive dock doesn’t have such connector. Good idea though.
Do you have any more details about the to be shortened post on the motherboard?

There is a reputable company in the USA that sells an external “transfer enclosure” that is compatible with the Apple SSD from that model. That would let you remove the SSD and erase it on any Mac or PC. They have some good videos showing how to perform the SSD removal procedure.

They also sell their own custom SSDs that are compatible with that Mac, though you need to be sure the machine has the right firmware (High Sierra or newer) to work with their drives.

You would need a P5 Pentalobe screwdriver and a T5 Torx screwdriver to do the work.

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@josehill Thanks, yes, this is OWC, they’re also known here (UK) and have retailers in UK and Europe. Good idea.


I have run on older MBP without a battery. I simply removed the bloated replaceable battery, plugged in the power cord, and booted. Think of this as the batteryless iMac, I.e.,

And like an iMac when you lose power you lose memory. Get a UPS (Universal Power Supply) for about 4 hrs of power from its battery. It’s very awkward to lug combo to meetings however :wink:

I had a swollen battery in my early 2015 MBP and replaced the battery with this kit from OWC:

Watched a couple of videos on the OWC site, took my time, and it was relatively straightforward. The battery has worked well since installation.