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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Macbook died w/o warning and won't power up! >.<

Macbook died w/o warning and won't power up! >.<
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phuture
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Oct 5, 2010, 07:13 AM
 
Hi,

My 2008 white macbook (2.4 Ghz, 160GB HD, 2GB RAM) died on me all of a sudden. It was running Word, Safari, and iTunes. The screen just went black and I heard the hard drive spin down and it wouldn't turn back on. Battery is strong (5000mah) and was fully charged and plugged in -- plug was green -- when it died without warning. I tried the following: unplug battery and power, hold down power button for 30 seconds to reset; and tried to restart by holding down command-control-power. Nothing in both cases.

Do you know what would cause a spontaneous shutdown and not restart again? No power surge, nothing. I'm a 3rd-year law student on a tight budget, need my laptop daily, and can't afford a new one right now and this one's out of warranty by 1 month (got 1-yr extension from my credit card so I didn't buy applecare). I could repair it if need be -- I used to swap parts out of my old Pismo all the time lol. Seriously if anyone could help I'd be very grateful!!!

p.s. thank goodness for my old G4 desktop holdin it down while my MB is out of service!
reprazentin tha apple since 1987
     
LifeQuestCC
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Oct 5, 2010, 10:21 AM
 
Sorry to hear your macbook woes. The exact same thing happened to my my white macbook at about 9 months old. I was holding it in my lap working in Pages. My daughter asked me a question and I looked away for a second. When I looked back the screen was black. I thought it had gone to sleep but nothing could bring it back. I took it to the Apple store and they had to replace the entire inside top case to fix it. Out of pocket it would have cost about $1100 to replace according to the invoice. Fortunately it was covered under icare.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 5, 2010, 10:31 AM
 
Command-control-power no longer works on the Intel laptops sadly.
Does it still charge the battery when you plug it all in? Still get a green light on the charger at least?
If you want to be really thorough, you could open her up and start disconnecting things but to be honest its probably about 95% sure to be a logic board failure. I'd check the home contents policy if I were you.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
olePigeon
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Oct 5, 2010, 11:09 AM
 
Try removing the battery completely and running the laptop just on the power brick. I've had 2 or 3 laptops that would spontaneously kill batteries, and the laptop wouldn't work with the battery in.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
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vintagegeek
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Oct 5, 2010, 11:36 AM
 
Go to your local AppleStore, explain you're a student and ask them to take a look and see if they can diagnose while you're there. If they can and do and its not too much then you can decide. If its in-between OK and Yikes I'll get a new one, then ask them if you can buy the AppleCare retroactive. They may only give you 2 yrs from the date you should have bought it but what the heck. Also, let them know you're a multiple Mac Owner, plus maybe a iPod or 2 plus iPhone etc. If no store nearby call AppleCare and explain the same. I've heard cases where they really are quite amenable if your sincere.
     
Person Man
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Oct 5, 2010, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by vintagegeek View Post
Go to your local AppleStore, explain you're a student and ask them to take a look and see if they can diagnose while you're there. If they can and do and its not too much then you can decide. If its in-between OK and Yikes I'll get a new one, then ask them if you can buy the AppleCare retroactive. They may only give you 2 yrs from the date you should have bought it but what the heck. Also, let them know you're a multiple Mac Owner, plus maybe a iPod or 2 plus iPhone etc. If no store nearby call AppleCare and explain the same. I've heard cases where they really are quite amenable if your sincere.
He could do that, yes. He also said he didn't buy AppleCare because his credit card provides an extra year of protection. Which means that they would reimburse him for the cost of any repairs. He doesn't lose anything, though, by trying what you suggest.
     
phuture  (op)
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Oct 5, 2010, 02:40 PM
 
Thank you all for the encouragement and suggestions! Pulled the battery, let it sit for 6 hours with no power, then plugged in the power cable. The power cable lit up green. I tried turning it on with no battery in the unit and just the power cable attached but no dice. But the cable lights up! Logic board failure? Or something minor (I hope)?
reprazentin tha apple since 1987
     
olePigeon
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Oct 5, 2010, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by phuture View Post
Thank you all for the encouragement and suggestions! Pulled the battery, let it sit for 6 hours with no power, then plugged in the power cable. The power cable lit up green. I tried turning it on with no battery in the unit and just the power cable attached but no dice. But the cable lights up! Logic board failure? Or something minor (I hope)?
Well, if it's the DC board, they're gonna replace the whole motherboard anyway. I'd take it to an Apple Genius and have them look at it for an official diagnosis, then go from there.

Silly question, but do you have AppleCare?
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
seanc
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Oct 5, 2010, 04:17 PM
 
Could be the top case assembly, perhaps the cable has failed, causing it to think you'd held the power button and now you can't turn it on.

Unfortunately, the top case only has one cable and it's a ribbon style cable.
I broke it on one of my MacBooks, ended up buying a used top case and cable from eBay.

Amazing how "dead" a MacBook is without it - I couldn't find a way to turn mine on.
     
phuture  (op)
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Oct 5, 2010, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Well, if it's the DC board, they're gonna replace the whole motherboard anyway. I'd take it to an Apple Genius and have them look at it for an official diagnosis, then go from there.

Silly question, but do you have AppleCare?
Now I wish I did! @vintagegeek, thank you for the advice, I'l try it

Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Could be the top case assembly, perhaps the cable has failed, causing it to think you'd held the power button and now you can't turn it on.

Unfortunately, the top case only has one cable and it's a ribbon style cable.
I broke it on one of my MacBooks, ended up buying a used top case and cable from eBay.

Amazing how "dead" a MacBook is without it - I couldn't find a way to turn mine on.
I hope it's anything but the logic board. still can't believe how my useful machine has turned into an oversized, shiny paperweight in a split second!

***EDIT***
I borrowed my brother's macbook to get some assignments and docs and such off my hard drive. I put my hard drive in his book and it worked fine. Then I put his drained battery in my macbook... and my macbook's plug turned orange, his battery lit up, and it started charging. Don't know if this has any significance or not. This means at least the hard drive's still good and the machine can charge batteries ok
( Last edited by phuture; Oct 5, 2010 at 09:56 PM. Reason: updated information)
reprazentin tha apple since 1987
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 6, 2010, 05:13 AM
 
It means your DC board is working, but we knew that anyway since it would have started from the fully charged battery. If you want to test the top case theory, there should be a pair of solder pads on the logic board you can short to power it on. They will be marked "PWR".
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
seanc
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Oct 6, 2010, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If you want to test the top case theory, there should be a pair of solder pads on the logic board you can short to power it on. They will be marked "PWR".
No, there's an 8-10 pin connector, which connects keyboard, trackpad & power button. I couldn't find any combination of shorting to turn my MacBook on.
     
phuture  (op)
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Oct 6, 2010, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
I couldn't find any combination of shorting to turn my MacBook on.
Agreed. Tough to diagnose! Powerbook Medic charges $95 for labor and $15 for the cable, $130 for the top case.

I went to the Apple Store, explained why I need it repaired fast, and the Genius suggested I consider picking up a new machine today I said I'll stick with mine and he prodded and looked on the computer and said it's most likely the logic board. He quoted me a flat rate of $280 for parts and labor and I said ok... cuz used 2.4ghz logic boards on ebay are over $300. what do you guys think? Good deal?
reprazentin tha apple since 1987
     
seanc
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Oct 6, 2010, 03:43 PM
 
How much poking and prodding did he do?
I'd like for it to be tested with a different top case & cable first - also, remove the RAM and see if it will power on.

It wonder if it's something related to the original issue way back in 2006, which I believe was the insulation of the fan cables breaking down and creating a short.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 6, 2010, 04:07 PM
 
As I recall, it was a short in the temp sensor cables causing the machine to think it was critically hot and switch off.
     
seanc
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Oct 6, 2010, 04:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
As I recall, it was a short in the temp sensor cables causing the machine to think it was critically hot and switch off.
I wonder if it was possible for that to become a permanent short?
Anyway - more diagnosing to be done. I'm bemused that a logic board can just up and die.
     
phuture  (op)
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
How much poking and prodding did he do?
I'd like for it to be tested with a different top case & cable first - also, remove the RAM and see if it will power on.

It wonder if it's something related to the original issue way back in 2006, which I believe was the insulation of the fan cables breaking down and creating a short.
The genius messed with the power button while holding it to his ear, reset the SMC, tried it with a different plug, tried it without the battery, and tried it without the hard drive. That's when he declared it most likely the logic board. IDK if he touched the RAM -- don't think so. I've always wondered if these machines would even start w/o RAM but never had the balls to try it myself. I'll hopefully get the macbook back by the weekend -- we'll see what the verdict is at that time
reprazentin tha apple since 1987
     
seanc
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Oct 7, 2010, 05:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by phuture View Post
I've always wondered if these machines would even start w/o RAM but never had the balls to try it myself.
It won't do anything useful, but it should at least turn on.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 7, 2010, 05:07 AM
 
The shorted temp sensors were on the first gen MacBooks. The 2.4s were fine. Yes, the connector for the top case is a square one with 8-10 pins in it, but there is also usually a pair of solder pads on the board which are there specifically for engineers to test without the top case installed. I don't have the manual handy and some models don't have them but I'm pretty sure the 2.4 will have them on the board somewhere. They can be very tricky to find if you don't know exactly where to look.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
rjt1000
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Oct 7, 2010, 07:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by phuture View Post
Apple Store...quoted me a flat rate of $280 for parts and labor and I said ok... Good deal?
I'd say $280 to go from paperweight to functioning 2008 macbook is a very good deal.
     
phuture  (op)
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Dec 1, 2010, 04:20 AM
 
Been a while! I'm writing this from my fixed macbook! Just wanted to say thanks and give an update: it was the logic board and get this -- the speaker. I agree with lifequest's experiences and seanc -- how can a logic just up and die?
reprazentin tha apple since 1987
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 1, 2010, 10:11 AM
 
A speaker? Do you mean they swapped out the logic board and it still wouldn't boot until the replaced the speaker as well? If thats the case, (probably not) I would suggest no logic board was required in the first place. Still $280 is a good price for one. In the UK you'd be charged at least double by Apple for that and from an AASP probably four times as much. Or more.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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