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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MacBook Pro-blank screen on startup

MacBook Pro-blank screen on startup
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Bollo
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Oct 4, 2009, 04:17 AM
 
My mbp turned itself off yesterday in a fairly abrupt manner. I thought nothing of it and went to bed. On starting it thismorning i was greeted with a blank screen and no startup jingle. All that happens is that the disc drive makes the usual noise and the screen stays black.

I've tried booting from cd but only succeeded in getting a disc stuck in the drive

What should I do? There dont seem to many options....

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AKcrab
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Oct 4, 2009, 04:56 AM
 
No startup chime means no "Power On Self Test"; probably a hardware failure. You can try zapping the pram (cmd-opt-p-r press the power button and wait for two chimes). If you have some spare sticks, you could try swapping out the RAM.
     
Doc HM
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Oct 4, 2009, 05:47 AM
 
It's not that uncommon for the startup chime to become muted. Several of my Macs do that all the time, so your Mac may well be starting, it's just that you can't tell. The drive noises indicate that this may be so.

In fact it may be that your Mac did not turn off at all last night, rather that the screen failed. It could be that the backlight has gone, in which case you would maybe see a very faint image on the screen if you hold it up to the light. However it could be the cable connecting the graphics card to the screen. This passes through the hinge assembly and can become worn causing the screen to die.
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Bollo  (op)
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Oct 4, 2009, 06:28 AM
 
I've tried resetting the pram but without success. The computer is on but it didnt respond to that set of command keys...The battery was in need of replacement so is there a possibility that it needs a new one to work properly?

On the screen front cant see anything but you are right in that it didnt turn off fully-the keyboard lights were still on and so was the white light at the front.
     
Doc HM
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Oct 4, 2009, 01:12 PM
 
I'd say it's almost certain that your video cable is worn. You can take the top off the MacBook fairly easily but detatching the screen is a bit of a chore.
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seanc
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Oct 4, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
Why not try hooking up the MBP to an external display, just to confirm that the graphics output and everything else is working.
     
Bollo  (op)
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Oct 4, 2009, 06:46 PM
 
the fact that the intro noise doesnt sound seems a bit odd though, or would that happen as a result of the screen not connecting?
     
ibook_steve
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Oct 4, 2009, 08:45 PM
 
"He's dead, Jim."

There is the possibility that this is a video problem which you can only confirm by attaching an external display. However, if you've reset PRAM, still hear no boot chime and no display is coming on, I think you have a way more serious problem.

A dead battery would not cause this.

If you have multiple RAM sticks or can try RAM replacements, you can experiment with that. You can also try resetting the power management system. Search Apple support for how to do this for your machine.

You can also try running the Apple hardware test from your installation DVD. However, if you have a disk stuck in there and can't get it out, that means that the machine can't even communicate with the drive.

Sounds like an extended trip to an Apple store is in order...

Steve
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Bollo  (op)
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Oct 5, 2009, 06:22 AM
 
I've given up on trying to do things myself as nothing seems to be happening-I would like to retrieve some data using target disc mode but i have a feeling it wont be able to do that either seeing as the keyboard isnt responding.

I went to the mac store and they said its likely to be an NVidia problem which can be sorted for free. If not then it could be an expensive logic board replacement-yay.
     
P
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Oct 5, 2009, 08:12 AM
 
Since you've already gone to the store, I guess this thread is pointless, but FFR:

If you've reset the PRAM, don't have any headphones or similar plugged in and still don't hear anything, it is not a video problem and it is very unlikely to be a RAM problem. Resetting the PRAM resets the volume, so there would be some sort of sound if the system manages to even start the self test. A properly detected RAM problem would manifest as a different audio signal than the regular single chord (usually four notes, I believe).

In your case, the power seems to work since the HD is spinning up and the optical accepted your disc, but the CPU either isn't resetting or stops executing very early and there is no video signal at all. Could be just the graphics chip, if you're lucky, but it could easily be something else on the motherboard such as a bulging cap. How old is the MBP?
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Bollo  (op)
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Oct 5, 2009, 11:46 AM
 
Its coming up to 3 years old and has been absolutely problem free hardware wise since i got it.
Target disc mode didnt work either. I hope it is the graphics thing cos its going to cost a bit if not...

Thanks for your help.
     
olePigeon
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Oct 5, 2009, 12:20 PM
 
Did you try resetting the SMC?

Unplug the laptop and take out the battery, then hold the power button down for 5 seconds.

Put the battery back in and try booting the computer.

If that doesn't work, take it in to get serviced. Also, if you bought it with your credit card, check and see if the credit card gives you an extended warranty. Sometimes they have a +1 Year warranty on top of whatever the computer you bought had.
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ibook_steve
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Oct 5, 2009, 01:29 PM
 
Of course, you can take the disk out and put it in an external case if you need to get anything off of it.

Steve
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olePigeon
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Oct 5, 2009, 01:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Of course, you can take the disk out and put it in an external case if you need to get anything off of it.

Steve
I have a nifty IDE/SATA to USB adapter that I use quite often. It's really handy.
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