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MacBook Pro Won't Start

Posted on 2009-05-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I have a Macbook Pro (Early 2008 edition, last one before the unibody update) which will not start. Upon pressing the power button the unit does make the noise of the DVD drive initializing and has a solid white power light on the front of the unit, but no display picture, no typical "bongggg" startup noise. I have followed all the directions in http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1365?viewlocale=en_US to no avail. The unit is now running with one piece of the stock RAM. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:amshaffer
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12 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Philip_Spark
ID: 24405172
Can you boot from your system disk?
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24405901
I assume that you get the same results whether you're running on battery or power adapter???

Try this.  Remove the battery and the power cable and hold down the power button for one minute.  I know that the article you referenced in your original post mentions this, but has you hold down the button for way less time. Then hook everything back up and plug the power into the wall and give it a shot.  Also make sure that the wall outlet truly has power.

Do you hear any noise at all coming from the MB when you attempt to power it on?
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Author Comment

by:amshaffer
ID: 24406048
I am not able to boot from the system disk.

Same results on AC or battery power.

Holding the power button down longer yields the same results. The wall outlet has been tested.

The unit does make noise upon startup. The optical drive initializes, the hard drive spins up, the rear fans as well as the CPU fan all start up.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24406740
If it was just the display, I'd suggest putting on an external monitor, but if you're not even getting the startup tone, I'm really tempted to say that something's gone out with the logic board or a sub-module somewhere inside the case... especially since you've tried resetting the SMC and PRAM.  I'd suggest taking it to your Apple dealer.

I'm not sure that even target disk mode would work in this situation.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:dalesit
ID: 24410474
However, you won't get the startup tone if the sound volume was off when the Mac was shutdown.....

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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24411368
I don't have a MB in front of me, but unless it comes with a hard on/off switch for the sound, I wouldn't think that whatever you did in the OS would affect the sound on boot since that happens regardless of the OS loaded and happens way before the OS ever loads.
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Expert Comment

by:nrtst29
ID: 24427719
Try booting up in single user mode with command+s. Another option is to try and boot from a firewire drive in target mode to see if that path is working.
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Expert Comment

by:nrtst29
ID: 24427739
As another noted I would also check just the display hold it up to the light and move it around at different angles to see if you see anything while pressing on the screen brightness button repeatedly. If you did reset the PRAM then that would reset the sound otherwise it will stay at what the OS set.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:dalesit
ID: 24429906
jhyiesla - the Mac will store the volume level in PRAM - if it is muted, or down to 0, then it will not sound when you boot the box. This is the case on all Macs. As nrtst29 noted above, resetting the PRAM will reset the startup chime.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24430939
dalesit... thanx for the info:

If that's the case, then the asker should definitely try putting on an external monitor in case the problem is the display.
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Accepted Solution

by:
amshaffer earned 0 total points
ID: 24432870
I have tried all the above solutions in my troubleshooting and ended up taking the machine to the Apple Store the morning after my initial post. They confirmed it was a logic board failure.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24433064
Not happy that you had a logic board issue, but glad you were able to get it addressed and figured out.
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