13" macbook pro not booting

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
I picked up a macbook pro 13" mid 2009 model on CL, the guy said that it needed a new hard drive. I got it home and hooked a new hard drive up to it, and a start up disk, and it loaded past the apple screen, gave me a blue screen for a second, then went to a white screen with the arrow in the top left, then it changed to a pin wheel (still on the blank white screen) after a second the top inch of the screen goes grey with little specs in that gray area. Any ideas what it could be? Here's a picture of the screen. thanks for the input guys

 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,095
2,057
Oregon
Your MBP has a NVIDIA 9400m video card that uses system memory as video ram. I'd try putting some different RAM in there and see what happens. What you describe sounds like a GPU issue.
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
Your MBP has a NVIDIA 9400m video card that uses system memory as video ram. I'd try putting some different RAM in there and see what happens. What you describe sounds like a GPU issue.
I tried putting the ram from my 15" macbook pro in there and same issue still. does the video card need to be reflowed? Is that something I can do myself? I've never done anything on a logicboard on a computer before other than swap them out and things like that.
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
Is the graphics processor issue also what is preventing it from booting past the blank white screen shown above?
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
Yes I did try to turn it on....but I also knew that I was buying a broken MacBook so after it came on and the folder with the question mark came on I couldn't do any more testing til I got it home. So do you think that's related to the graphics card or not?
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,095
2,057
Oregon
Yes I did try to turn it on....but I also knew that I was buying a broken MacBook so after it came on and the folder with the question mark came on I couldn't do any more testing til I got it home. So do you think that's related to the graphics card or not?
Which OS did you install? It could possibly be a driver issue.
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
I tried booting it with my hard drive that has mountain lion and it didn't load, then I tried a disc from snow leopard and I can't get it to load with the disc in it while holding "c" and it just takes me to that white screen pictured above
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,095
2,057
Oregon
I tried booting it with my hard drive that has mountain lion and it didn't load, then I tried a disc from snow leopard and I can't get it to load with the disc in it while holding "c" and it just takes me to that white screen pictured above
Use your working Mac to create a Mountain lion USB restore drive and try that. It's possible that the optical drive isn't working.
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
Use your working Mac to create a Mountain lion USB restore drive and try that. It's possible that the optical drive isn't working.
Ok, I'll try that. I tried taking the hard drive out of my working MacBook pro and it still didn't start, wouldnt this be the same thing?
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,095
2,057
Oregon
Ok, I'll try that. I tried taking the hard drive out of my working MacBook pro and it still didn't start, wouldnt this be the same thing?
It should, but I guess it's possible that there is a driver issue if the hardware in the two MacBook Pros isn't the same.
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
Ok, thanks for the input. I'll try that and get
Back on here and let you know what happens. I'm away from the computer and won't be able to try it until Saturday night
 

Sonhascome

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
272
0
Maryland
I pulled the hard drive and tried booting it with nothing but the disc drive still no luck. I'm going to try the usb with the os on it later today. Any other input in the mean time
 

SuperCompu2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2006
852
1
MA
So as it turns out, I'm having this exact same problem.

OP, what eventually became of this issue? Were you able to resolve it?
 

SuperCompu2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2006
852
1
MA
Ok, so here is an exhausting list of things I have tried to resolve this issue. If anyone can add ANYTHING I haven't tried yet, I'm all ears!

-Simple Restart
-PRAM/NVRAM/SMC Resets
-Short and Long Apple Hardware Test (passed both)
-RAM swap with another working machine
-Booting Various Linux distributions (none will boot completely)
-Installing Windows (only works when NVIDIA drivers are uninstalled)
-Using the
Code:
sudo bless -firmware MBP55_00AC_03B_LOCKED
command in Terminal (obviously a directory was specified) to no avail
-Tried Reinstalling OS X, even tried a new HDD.
-Booting from Flash drive to OS X (10.6, 10.7, 10.8) or Linux
-Tried manually installing new NVIDIA drivers within OS X itself
-Permissions check/repairs

I just don't understand how Safe Boot will work, but regular graphics will not! It might be worth mentioning that the cursor and pinwheel render correctly upon trying to boot it normally, it just doesn't render anything behind it (and eventually ends up bugging out anyway). The cursor usually remains active though.

Anyone have any insight for me? Could this be a very specific hardware failure that only affects certain functions of the graphics card?
 
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