2007 Macbook won't boot

weekend warrior

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2008
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Hey guys I could use some troubleshooting help.

Over the weekend I bought a used late 2007 Macbook off Craigslist (for a mere $20), it came with no harddrive. No problem, I have a no longer working (early 2007?) Macbook so a tried swapping that HDD into the new one. It worked! OSX booted right up into my old profile, all the old files/apps were present. The only problem was that the keyboard didn't work. The trackpad worked, the power button worked, but the keyboard wouldn't work, the "caps lock" green light was lite though. In trying to troubleshoot I also realized the internet didn't work either, I could connect to my wifi, but firefox/chrome wouldn't work.

At this point I was more concerned with the keyboard, so googling around, one possible solution I found was to boot into "safe mode". With an external keyboard I did this- I turned it off, pressed the power button, when it chimed I held the shift key until the Apple logo and rotating gear appeared. It just sat at that screen. I let it sit there, waited and waited, after about 10 minutes of nothing happening I decided it didn't work. I pressed the power button until it shut down.

When I pressed the power button to boot it up again- nothing happened. I can't boot it up at all anymore and plugged into the charger the light on the mag charger doesn't come on. Nothing is happening. I've tried 2 different chargers, I've tried resetting the SMC, I've tried taking the HDD and ram out and starting it. Nothing has worked.

I don't know if I bricked it, or if the HDD incompatibility had something to do with it, or if some hardware part fried. It's obviously not a big lose if it never works again, only $20 lost. My hope was to drop an small SSD in it and have a nice cheap back-up computer since I want to buy a new Haswell MBP later this year. I don't live close enough to any Apple Stores to bother taking it in to get fixed.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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The late 2007 Macbooks require 10.5/Leopard in order for the keyboard to properly work. The other Macbook's hard drive may have 10.4/Tiger on it that would not have the correct keyboard drivers on it. That machine is savable, but you'd need a retail Leopard or Snow Leopard disc to get it going again.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
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Elkton, Maryland
Have you tried downloading the highest Combo Update for whatever OS you are running? It is possible your install only is running the drivers for the old MacBook, especially if it is not running the latest version. Worst case the parts should be swappable.

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Try removing all power and holding the power button for 30 seconds. Then reattach the battery and MagSafe. I personally think that since you had issues with the keyboard, that the top case assembly (which includes the power button) bit the dust. I believe the two are compatible so you may be able to swap the top case (keyboard, trackpad, and power button) to the newer MacBook from the totally broken one.
 

weekend warrior

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Original poster
Nov 19, 2008
45
0
[/COLOR]Try removing all power and holding the power button for 30 seconds. Then reattach the battery and MagSafe. I personally think that since you had issues with the keyboard, that the top case assembly (which includes the power button) bit the dust. I believe the two are compatible so you may be able to swap the top case (keyboard, trackpad, and power button) to the newer MacBook from the totally broken one.
Tried holding the power button for 30 seconds, nothing happened. The top case of the older Macbook is in too bad condition to swap it in. I think I might try to swap out the power connecter, seen here- http://i.imgur.com/wnKfOxK.jpg

The late 2007 Macbooks require 10.5/Leopard in order for the keyboard to properly work. The other Macbook's hard drive may have 10.4/Tiger on it that would not have the correct keyboard drivers on it. That machine is savable, but you'd need a retail Leopard or Snow Leopard disc to get it going again.
I need to figure out how to boot it before I can think about updating/installing a new OS. Thanks for the tip though, wish I had known this before trying the "safe mode" boot.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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I need to figure out how to boot it before I can think about updating/installing a new OS. Thanks for the tip though, wish I had known this before trying the "safe mode" boot.
You can't boot it from the currently installed OS on the hard drive. A faulty topcase/keyboard does not exhibit the problems you have outlined in your first post.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
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Elkton, Maryland
Intell, according to the first post it is completely dead. He claims that not even the MagSafe light comes on. Then later on he talks about Safe Boot. I apologize for the confusion but it sounded as if it did nothing at all, this made me think the Mac isn't getting a startup signal from the top case.

OP, does the Mac do anything if you try to start it? If so then replacing a power connector or top case will do nothing as it is functioning properly. You then have a different problem.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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The Magsafe light will illuminate regardless of keyboard compatibility or functionality. If it does not, then the Magsafe or logicboard is faulty.
 

weekend warrior

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Original poster
Nov 19, 2008
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OP, does the Mac do anything if you try to start it? If so then replacing a power connector or top case will do nothing as it is functioning properly. You then have a different problem.
It does nothing. The absolute only thing that happens when plugged in is the light on the mag safe will glow very dimly green. Pressing the power button does nothing. No sounds, no beeps, no lights, no nothing. I've tried two different mag safe power bricks.

Booting into safe mode was a suggestion I found for a non-working keyboard. The computer booted up fine before I tried that, now it doesn't.
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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OP should try removing the battery cable (the cable in your picture) from the MacBook, just to see if the magsafe connector light will come on when attached.

If the OS X system on the swapped hard drive was not compatible, then it would have never booted the MacBook, so why did the OP say that it DID boot to the desktop. Got to be pretty close if you can get logged in to the user.
Sounds like mainly a power problem.
I would open it up, and reseat every connection I could get at, particularly the magsafe connector on the logic board, and get a good close look at the logic board keyboard connector - the only connector that is always unplugged when removing the top case. I've seen a few of those partly break away from the logic board.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
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Elkton, Maryland
Since it is dim that is a good sign, sort of. My MBP dimly lights if I put the MBP MagSafe towards the USB ports. Don't know why, but I don't care either. Try swapping the top cases temporarily to see if it will chime. I don't believe the MacBook has the power terminals you can short to start it without a top case.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Non-unibody Macbooks do have power points on the logicboard that can be shorted to simulate a power button press. However, doing so would get the same result as a power button press as the Magsafe/logicboard is not working correctly.
 

weekend warrior

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2008
45
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Well I'll. Be. Damned.

I did what Altemose suggested and swapped the keyboard top case with the one from the older Macbook and it worked! It booted up, the keyboard works, and even the internet! :eek:

But, like I said before this top case is in really bad condition, it's bent to hell, the track pad is ripped off, there's no way I would be able to fix it and get it put into the new Macbook.

So now the question is, now that I got it to boot back into OSX, is there any firmware/ drivers I can download to get the keyboard top case that came with this Macbook to work?
 

Altemose

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Mar 26, 2013
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Try running the latest combo update for your OS. You must be running OS X 10.5.8 for this new MB to work. Now I honestly think it is a hardware issue as even if the OS did not have the drivers, the power button would still work! I think you will need a new top case...
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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just a hunch - have you tried swapping the original top case back, just to re-check that one still does not work? Sometimes you get the happy surprise that a reseat of that keyboard connector on the logic board fixes your issue completely.

What version of OS X are you booted to, when that works?
 

weekend warrior

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2008
45
0
Try running the latest combo update for your OS. You must be running OS X 10.5.8 for this new MB to work. Now I honestly think it is a hardware issue as even if the OS did not have the drivers, the power button would still work! I think you will need a new top case...
When I go into About This Mac is says it's running 10.5.8. It also shows the correct processor speed (2.2) for this Mac versus the Mac the harddrive is out of. Should I try to "sync" what's on the harddrive and what the hardware needs? :confused:

That sounded stupid...

Basically should I just do a full system update?

just a hunch - have you tried swapping the original top case back, just to re-check that one still does not work? Sometimes you get the happy surprise that a reseat of that keyboard connector on the logic board fixes your issue completely.

What version of OS X are you booted to, when that works?
Not yet, I'll try that after I power it down again.

It's running 10.5.8.
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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So, if you have 10.5.8, then keyboard drivers are not an issue.
You COULD download and install the 10.5.8 combo updater - from here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL866

You can expect that it will take a good 30 minutes to install.
Did to give the original top case another try, just to do a double-check that it continues to not work?
 

weekend warrior

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2008
45
0
Ok, I put the original top case back on (while it was still booted up).

Touchpad works, keyboard does not work, power button works.

Edit: pushing the power button turned it off and I was able to restart it with the power button again.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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While not a good idea to swap the topcase when on, it's generally safe to do so. The trackpad and keyboard are USB devices to OS X and the power button is a simple switch.
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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If you can find another one or two MacBooks on craig's list for the low price that you already paid, you might get one with a functioning top case/keyboard, and make one completely good.
Otherwise, I expect that you will get to use an external keyboard, if you decide not to replace the top case. Useful, but not very portable anymore.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
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Elkton, Maryland
Personally, I am surprised my advice worked! If it fails then you know it is a keyboard issue within the top case. As Intell mentioned, a keyboard is a USB device to OS X and so you should be able to verify if it shows in :apple: System Profiler.