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Old Feb 27, 2012, 03:43 PM   #1
nickds
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Question Macbook 2009 Black screen but can hear startup chime

Hello,

I have just been given a Macbook 2009 that wont turn on. When you press the power key you hear the normal boot chime but no picture appears.

The laptop was given to me without any hard drive, so I installed a blank 250GB HDD. The HDD has no OS on it, and I am not sure how it is currently formatted as it is new.

Even when I use an external screen and regardless of whether a HDD is present the macbook does not show any sign of life on the macbook screen or external screen but still makes the chime noise.

Any help would be great,

Nick
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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I'm guessing either the logic board is toast or the graphics component... or both!
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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Have you tried booting with an external display attached while the lid on the Mac is closed?
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiesForTheLiars View Post
I'm guessing either the logic board is toast or the graphics component... or both!
I hope not! Very expensive to replace from what ive seen

Quote:
Originally Posted by iDecker View Post
Have you tried booting with an external display attached while the lid on the Mac is closed?
Yes, still black screen

Oh dear, but if the chime sounds there must be hope?
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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In my line of work, I would assume [without having my hands on the actual device] that your GPU is, as said before, toast.

The only other thing I could thing to try is:

Reset PRAM by holding Command+Option+P+R upon boot-up until it chimes twice.

Shut down the computer and this time, reset the NVRAM by holding Command+Option+O+F. Enter the command reset-nvram and press enter/return, then type reset-all and press enter/return.

The Mac will reboot and the moment of truth will arrive... *holds breath*
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Still dead, what would your next advice be? Im in the UK would it be cheaper to replace the logic board myself or get a repair service?
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Never ever ever ever even touch the inside of your computer if you don't have considerable experience working on computer hardware. Take it to somebody who has done similar repairs.

I honestly don't think the motherboard can be saved. Say three hail-Woz' and do whatever your budget permits.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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Still dead, what would your next advice be? Im in the UK would it be cheaper to replace the logic board myself or get a repair service?
It might cost almost as much to repair the board as it would to get a newer Mac.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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Given that it was a free mac, I'd recommend walking away now before you spend too much money on it.

I'd personally, try to fix it. But probably end up wasting a ton of money and then throwing it away.

You could always try taking it to an Apple Store and see if they'll diagnose it.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:16 PM   #10
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Selling it would be reasonably lucrative. Aluminum MacBook parts are highly sought-after as the early MacBooks are coming out of warranty.
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Old Mar 7, 2012, 09:20 AM   #11
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I thought I'd reply here as it's currently with me.

I've given it the once over and I'm not entirely convinced it's the logic board, although my mac hardware knowledge is fairly limited.

I put an OS X DVD into the drive which it happily takes in and I can hear firing up. With a torch, I can see the apple logo on screen and the rotating 'busy' symbol. After about a minute, the logo stops spinning and I can see graphical 'glitches' at the top of the monitor where I think it's trying to draw to the LCD but cannot. However, it's not the end of the story as I believe the unit is still completely responsive since I can still press the caps lock on / off (light responds), I can press the enter key and I can hear the DVD spin up to get to the next part etc. However I obviously can't see what's on screen and since I wouldn't know how to install it blindly, I can't go any further.

Does this still sound like the GPU? My understanding of hardware would expect the system to completely lock up if the GPU crashed.
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Old Mar 7, 2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Going off the above - definitely GPU.

Just because it is faulty - doesn't mean it would lock up. There could be all sorts of symptoms derived from a dead GPU.

But the part that confirms it is this:

"..... I can see graphical 'glitches' at the top of the monitor where I think it's trying to draw to the LCD but cannot."

Said it right there. GPU is faulty.
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Old Mar 7, 2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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Ok - cheers.

Under normal hardware instruction, should a GPU fail after it had been asked to process something, it would throw an exception which would lead to the system freezing. I didn't know that Macbooks had the resilience to keep going even if the GPU fails. My initial thought was the LCD screen since the LVDS cable looks damaged.

No doubt the OP will read this but in any case I'll let him know.
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Old Mar 10, 2012, 08:44 PM   #14
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It might cost almost as much to repair the board as it would to get a newer Mac.
Even considering the worst hardware failures on the logic boards, this often isn't true. Even if more than the GPU has gone, it is likely fixable.

It's one thing if your keyboard didn't respond, your case were beat in, your trackpad didn't click, and your screen were cracked. You'd have to replace a ton of items, and in this case, it may not be worth it.

However, what's been described here is a single issue: a bad set of components on the logic board. An otherwise fine computer with a fairly simple logic board problem. Replacing the board is expensive, but fixing them is cheap, comparatively to purchasing a new machine.

See if Apple will fix it for under $250. If they won't, send it off to a place that can. You'd be surprised(at both Apple's generosity, and at the amount of places that will fix it for under $250).

Price on eBay starts at $90-$350 for GPU repair on Unibody models. Some people work out of garages, some work out of offices, some work out of stores, some work out of lab looking places, and most of the above do a fine job. Choose your poison.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 03:11 PM   #15
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I just thought I'd had a final stab as I'd written the laptop off to be honest and was gutted. I held the option key down which shows you boot devices, held the torch to it and nothing. I pressed right and enter as I knew the pen drive comes up on the right. Suddenly the light on the pen drive started flashing, I was so shocked. I then plugged the dvi monitor in and it was booting into the installer!

Well my luck streak promptly ended I feel like crying lol

I replaced the LVDS cable and the screen and nothings changed, still black screen.

I did notice a bit of grime on the display cable plug on the logic board so used contact cleaner and got it off, could the socket have become damaged?

It just doesnt make sense, it boots fine, shows on external monitor, has had a new screen and new LVDS cable and still doesnt show on screen?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 03:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
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It just doesnt make sense, it boots fine, shows on external monitor, has had a new screen and new LVDS cable and still doesnt show on screen?
The logic board is probably burnt-out in the area that supplies the voltage to the inverter - not that unusual......

Chances of it being repairable probably about zero.....

Just use it as a desktop hooked up to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 12:47 PM   #17
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When I shine a torch at the screen I can see clearly the image is there, I see other people on the internet posting about a blown fuse, is there any chance of repairing it others seem to have had some success
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 01:49 PM   #18
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The white Unibody MacBooks should have a fuse - same as the Aluminium models - you describe it as a 2009 - some 2009 are Unibodies but most are the earlier A1181 model...

Which model do you have ???
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 04:31 PM   #19
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The later 2009 version, the A1342 2.26Ghz

Not sure if these are any help to anyone







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Old Mar 13, 2012, 05:05 PM   #20
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The problem is in the red oval - looks like liquid damage from here
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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I assumed so because the white doesnt look very normal. I had ringed this in another picture but didnt post it. I tested over two of the contacts and got continuity, any other tests I should be doing or any ideas if that is repairable

Also the network port and magsafe connector work fine
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