2008 MPB Not Powering On

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by amherstmedia, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. amherstmedia macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2014
    I'm hoping someone here might have some insight into an issue we've been having with our 2008 MBP. I went to power it on one morning with no luck. The screen doesn't power on and I don't get the Apple boot tone. It briefly sounds like the optical drive is starting to spin and the front LED lights up, then it just powers down again. I've tried booting it with and without a power supply with the same results. I had checked a couple of forums where some people had similar issues and it was suggested that the RAM might be bad, so I tried replacing the RAM. If I remove the RAM entirely, I get a loud beeping tone every few seconds, but when I put the RAM back in (old or new), it goes back to the previous issue. Any thoughts on what could be wrong?
  2. hermagerd macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2014
    If the battery is from 2008 as well, that could be the problem. In my experience some parts of the boot process requires energy from the battery, and often they wont start without a functioning and somewhat loaded battery as a safety measure.

    Can you try the battery in someone elses MacBook? On my macbook with a broken battery I can bypass the SMC by holding down the on button, connecting the adapter, and not letting go of the on button until it starts. Usually it takes 5-10 seconds, but then it almost always starts. I also had the exact same symptoms as you have, until I discovered that it was the battery and that I could bypass the SMC.
  3. amherstmedia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2014
    Unfortunately, it's a 17" model and I don't have access to another one. I can tell you that it's not the original battery. I think we're on the third battery at this point. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on another battery to test it. If I hold down the power button, I can hear the hard drive spinning up for a few seconds longer, but then it ultimately shuts off again and never gets to the point of the screen coming on or the Apple tone kicking in.
  4. hermagerd macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2014
    Okay, if you have time you could try to remove the battery before testing to bypass the SMC. Be sure to press the power button before connecting the adapter, and continue to press it afterwards.

    Have you tried resetting the SMC? I'm pretty sure you press cmd+option+shift +power button at the same time before starting it (though I'm not sure if you should have the adapter connected or not). If it doesn't seem to make a difference, try googling SMC reset or PRAM reset to be sure.

    Also, with the adapter plugged in, does it try to start by itself periodically, or only when you press the power button? Does the adapter indicate that it is charging (goes from solid green to red) or is it solid green all the time?
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If your 2008 model is of the pre-unibody variety, your GPU has likely kicked the bucket. The 8600GT in that generation has a known manufacturing defect whereas pretty much all of them die.

    Apple had a recall going for a while, free logic board replacement. Unfortunately for you, that program ended on December 7th, 2012.

    At this point, you can try having it repaired (if you're lucky Apple will give you the flat rate repair fee, $300 or so) or you'll have to get a new logicboard which retails for something in the vicinity of $700-900 installed.

    Seeing as the machine is downright ancient by today's standards, I'd rip the hard drive out to get at the files and toss it, but that's me.
  6. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Try removing the battery and holding the power button for 30 seconds. Then press it in 5 second intervals 5 times. Plug in the power adapter and see what it does. If it starts then reinstall the battery.

    While all of these boards will have this fault, it hardly makes the machine trash. People do have good luck with reflowing boards of all manufacturers due to this infamous Nvidia failure of the era.

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