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macbook help!


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#1 cgirl0111

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 07:35 AM

I'm posting this for my sister.. she sent me the following note last night:


when i restart it
it lights up for like 3 seconds
every now and then it gets to where it's loading
and then it goes black
i even saw some things online where it gave you different boot up keys to do. and the one worked. during bootup if i held option it would go
but now that doesnt work anymore
and i tried putting the installation disk in because the one thing said to do that too
and that went. so i know the screen itself still works. but now i tried to do that a little bit ago and it went black

Any thoughts on what it could be? She said when she googled the issue with getting a completely black screen during boot a few people said they had the same thing happen and it was their logic board? She said one of the boot up keys took her somewhere and it scanned her hard drive and the results came up saying that the hard drive was fine, then it moved on with its boot and went black again.

She's got a macbook from about 2008. she used a pc based laptop to send me the note. I'm pretty good with troubleshooting pc's but macs are foreign to me.

Edited by cgirl0111, 15 September 2011 - 07:38 AM.


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#2 michaelhallsted

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:55 AM

well, i did a similar search, and there were various culprits sited...
overheating, bad logic board, the screen's power inverter went bad, faulty nvidia video chipset...
all caused black screens. the faulty nvidia chipset seems to be the main one.

the main problem with laptops is that any hardware problems can only be fixed by someone who really
knows what they are doing... and with apples... it needs to go to an apple store or authorized technician.

it is probably out of warranty, since most applecare agreements only cover 3 years... so it might be
very expensive to get it fixed. who ever looks at the macbook could tell you the cost to repair.

it might be best to buy new, or newly used... powermax is a good place for used macs.
hopefully, she has a backup of any needed files and documents. but if there is no backup,
to recover them, once she has a working mac, she can put her old macbook in target disk mode,
and pull anything she needs off the macbook onto the new one. if target disk mode does not work,
then you could pull the hard drive out of the macbook, put it in an external enclosure, and attach
it to the working mac.

good luck with it. if this all sounds foreign, post back with any and all questions.

michael hallsted

final note, if she does send it in for repairs, make sure that who ever fixes it, leaves
the hard drive untouched. i've seen many stories of people who take their computers in
for repair, only to have the technicians wipe clean and reinstall the operating system,
on the hard drive, as part of the repair... and people then lose everything they had
on their computers. take care.

#3 cgirl0111

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 07:59 PM

well, i did a similar search, and there were various culprits sited...
overheating, bad logic board, the screen's power inverter went bad, faulty nvidia video chipset...
all caused black screens. the faulty nvidia chipset seems to be the main one.

the main problem with laptops is that any hardware problems can only be fixed by someone who really
knows what they are doing... and with apples... it needs to go to an apple store or authorized technician.

it is probably out of warranty, since most applecare agreements only cover 3 years... so it might be
very expensive to get it fixed. who ever looks at the macbook could tell you the cost to repair.

it might be best to buy new, or newly used... powermax is a good place for used macs.
hopefully, she has a backup of any needed files and documents. but if there is no backup,
to recover them, once she has a working mac, she can put her old macbook in target disk mode,
and pull anything she needs off the macbook onto the new one. if target disk mode does not work,
then you could pull the hard drive out of the macbook, put it in an external enclosure, and attach
it to the working mac.

good luck with it. if this all sounds foreign, post back with any and all questions.

michael hallsted

final note, if she does send it in for repairs, make sure that who ever fixes it, leaves
the hard drive untouched. i've seen many stories of people who take their computers in
for repair, only to have the technicians wipe clean and reinstall the operating system,
on the hard drive, as part of the repair... and people then lose everything they had
on their computers. take care.


Thank you so much for your reply! She took it in to an apple store and they diagnosed that it is some kind of display issue. They said she can mail it out and get it fixed for whatever the cost is or she can opt for a 280$ flat rate fix. I picked up a mini-dvi to vga converter and plugged it in to an external monitor and it came up with a picture - but it was just extending her screen acting as a dual display instead of mirroring it. I then looked at her laptop and saw faint outlines of a box on it and cleaned all her smudges off the screen and realized there was a picture on her laptop, but it's SOOO completely dark that you can barely make it out. I found where the apple was up in the left corner and saw it bring up the drop down box, i arrowed down to what i thought was system preferences and a faint dark box came up on the screen so i tried to find my mouse again (which i kept doing by dragging it over to the working monitor, finding it, and slowly dragging it back onto her screen) and was able to drag the preferences box over to the working display. From there i set her mac to mirror its display.. so now at least she has a working screen to use it with.

I told her to back up all of her stuff and send it to get fixed for the $280. It sounds to me like the backlight in the screen is bad. I'm not sure if they just have to replace the backlight or if that requires a whole new screen. mac's really aren't my thing but i'm glad she'll be able to get her things off it. (i've heard the same nightmares about mailing your computer off to get fixed and it being formated in the repair shop)

Edited by cgirl0111, 18 September 2011 - 07:59 PM.





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