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Dead Macbook Pro

December 22, 2008 by debbie T | Mac Corner

I am writing this on my iPod Touch, my poor MBP is dead, totally black, won’t boot.

I am so bummed, I think it’s my graphics card. The Apple tech was pretty stupid, I asked if I could use a Powerbook to erase the MBPs hard drive, and he said no… Don’t know why he didn’t tell me how to use target disk mode, but I figured it out myself!!! Very disappointed in his lack of knowledge!

Well, this is getting too hard to type, wish me luck!!!

Merry christmas everyone!!!

(see below comments for update!)

There are 8 comments

  1. oh I feel for you! if it doesn’t boot at all, why do you suspect the graphics card? Have you done some of the PRAM reset kind of stuff? Do you hear any tones when you try to boot it up?

    If you CAN get it to boot but can’t see anything, try hooking up an external monitor? If it works, then it’s not the graphics card.

    Comment by Allison Sheridan on December 22nd, 2008
  2. Hey Allison,
    Thank you for commenting. I was thinking about you last night while I was going through all this mess.

    It started when I shut my MBP lid, and then I brought it downstairs. I plugged it in, opened it, and nothing. I shut it off, turned it on, several times, and heard the chime/gong, but it was completely dark.

    I seem to recall having issues before about waking it up from sleep like this. But usually I can just shut it off and turn it on and it comes back.

    Anyway, I went through all the pram and nvram stuff w/ the apple tech. It did nothing.

    I set up the Powerbook last night and used 7-pass erase to erase the hard drive (all night) using Target Disk – boy, that is a neat little feature. I am bummed that firewire isn’t used in some of the new Macs now. I think that is a nifty thing to use. I could see my hard drive perfectly from the Powerbook!

    I did a little bit of googling last night, and found out it could have been a ram problem, so I woke up this morning, ready to check a few things.

    And guess what, it booted to my install DVD. hmm, curious, isn’t it?

    I ended up installing Mac OS X this morning, and it appeared to work.

    The reason I thought it might be the graphics card, was because of the whole issue with the Nvidia graphics card problem. I had been having little issues prior to this (on and off) with pixelated LCD, so I thought maybe it was the problem.

    I have to do a bit more research…sigh, it couldn’t have happened at a more busy time!!!! Like I have hours to research this! ha! So, I might wait until this weekend. I have Friday off, so I will see if I can figure it out after Christmas.

    Right now, I am booted into my external hd. God, I love that hard drive. It has saved me countless times!

    I will use Super Duper and copy all my files to the MBP hard drive.

    I don’t know. I wonder if it just needed a “good nights sleep” or something. In hindsight, I wish I didn’t erase the hard drive, it would be interesting to see if it would have booted on its own this morning after a ‘rest’ – I will still get it checked out eventually, because I don’t want this happening again!!!

    You are such a peach to comment, I will keep you posted on what I learn about this problem.

    Comment by debbie T on December 23rd, 2008
  3. Well my Macbook Pro is in the Applecare Hospital.

    I was sooo stupid. There was a mis-communication between me and the Applecare tech (over the phone) and I thought my appointment was today at 4pm with the Genius…dur, turns out my appointment was LAST Tuesday.

    What a dummie. And I double-checked my appointment last Tuesday morning and I didn’t even look at the date. I don’t even know how I made such a silly mistake, but anyway, they kept the MBP as a quick dropoff, and they will be contacting me w/in 72 hours.

    I have been using my DH’s Powerbook. It’s a great ole laptop, but I am missing my OWN computer.

    So, to update, my MBP worked for a little while, as noted in my first comment, then it went black again.

    I ended up erasing the hard drive again using the Powerbook and Target Disk. It wouldn’t even allow me to use the install DVD. It booted once to my external hard drive, and then went black after that.

    I hope they can figure it out quickly! I would love to get it back by the weekend!

    Comment by debbie T on December 30th, 2008
  4. oh and I forgot to mention, I removed both my OWC ram sticks to make sure it wasn’t a bad ram problem.

    I added back the Apple ram, and no change. I still think it’s going to be a Nvidia problem, but who knows. The word is they are replacing the whole logic board, so maybe that is what they will do for me too.

    Oh and it was funny, because the girl (who was cute as a button) was getting my information, she couldn’t understand why I didn’t have a username and password for logging into my account on the computer. I tried to explain that the drive was wiped clean, there was no OS installed, but finally another worker understood what I was telling her.

    Comment by debbie T on December 30th, 2008
  5. I forgot to ask you – is this a new MBP or an older model?

    Comment by Allison Sheridan on December 30th, 2008
  6. Good question. It’s about 1.5 years old. I got it around June or July (I think) 2007. It’s 2.2ghz with the Nvidia 8600 chip.

    There have been a lot of problems with failing chips, and some have had multiple replacements.

    Nvidia said it was a soldering problem. Supposedly they fixed the problem on the newer replacements. Hopefully.

    Comment by debbie T on December 31st, 2008
  7. Last update: Got my beloved Macbook Pro back last Friday.

    Yeah, I know it took forever, and it was partially my fault (misunderstandings and mis-communication) but I am just happy it’s back.

    They replaced the Logic Board, which is what I assumed they would do (Nvidia graphics chip). I am really hoping that they fixed the problem with the bad chips and it won’t fail again in a couple of years.

    So far, it’s working well, fingers crossed!

    Comment by debbie T on January 15th, 2009
  8. I lied, one more update. I forgot to mention that when I got the laptop back, I think I got a new/refurb battery.

    My last saved data on coconut battery showed 63% capacity @3465 mAh.

    I checked coconut battery when I got the MBP home, and it was much higher @ 89% 4938 mAh. Cool!

    Comment by debbie T on January 18th, 2009