Dead (almost) MBPro after update ... what to try?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hfg, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. hfg, Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    My daughters 2008 15" Mac Book Pro suddenly died after doing the latest OS X update. After the update completed and it rebooted ... nothing! It just went black with no start-up chime.

    However, some small things are still working:
    The power light comes on when power switch is pressed.
    The power switch can force power off by holding it in.
    The optical drive does the calibration thing after turn on.
    I can hear the hard disk spinning.
    The charger is still working and indicates state normally.

    There is no startup chime
    There is no video
    There is no backlight
    It does not boot, or display any non-bootable icons (no obvious disk activity sounds)

    I have tried SMC reset. This includes removing the battery for awhile, and pressing the power switch..
    I can't do PRAM reset or any of the diagnostic boot modes because it doesn't even get to the chime.
    The battery seems to be charging normally and the condition lights on the battery show full charge.

    I plan to open it up and remove the hybrid hard disk (installed years ago) to be sure it isn't preventing booting (I have had that happen on a iMac, you would think the SATA interface would isolate it enough). I will also check cable and RAM insertion while in there, although it normally sits on a table for all usage and hasn't been dropped.

    Is there anything else I might try???

  2. hfg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Just to update this status:

    I removed the disk and it tested fine on another computer. I was able to boot the other computer from this disk in an external USB 3 enclosure ... so the update was successful even though the computer failed.

    I installed the original disk back in the MacBook Pro and checked all the cables and RAM insertion. Nothing else inside looked odd or damaged.

    Still open to other ideas ... but I am now suspecting that something critical like the CPU failed at just that moment of the update-reboot. It could be a power supply issue, but the optical disk, hard disk, and power light are at least getting power.
  3. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    The lack of a start up chime might just mean that the sound is turned off. Do you have an external monitor you could connect to see if the problem is the inverter board for the LCD screen?
  4. Mnowell69 macrumors regular


    Jul 4, 2013
    Bedford, UK
    Graphic chip failure. Try booting with the left shift key pressed, which will attempt to boot your Mac in 'safe mode'
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP asks:
    "Is there anything else I might try???"

    Try booting the MacBook from a DIFFERENT drive, such as connected via USB.

    Try booting the MacBook from the upgraded drive connected via USB (by this, I mean the drive that was originally inside but now won't boot).

    Any changes?

    Having said that, since the MacBook is now 8+ years old, might be time to start shopping around for a replacement.

    Final thought:
    You mentioned above that the drive that failed was a "hybrid" -- one of those Seagates that has both spinning platters -and- a flash memory?
    I'm wondering -- just wondering -- if something in that drive's setup or circuitry just refuses to work with the latest version of the OS that you installed...
  6. hfg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Thanks all for your suggestions ...

    I had tried the L-Shift (and others) with no change ... the display and backlight is off, and I don't hear any disk activity other than the spin sound.

    I did try a different drive both external FireWire, and installed internally ... no change.

    The Seagate "hybrid" drive with both spinning platter and flash worked fine on another computer, and in fact would boot another computer and showed that the OS X update being performed did complete OK despite the computer dying at the reboot. The hybrid drive seems to work fine under OS X 10.11.6.

    I am going to try the external monitor this morning, but I don't have high hopes since there is no disk activity.

    Yeah ... probably time to replace it ...

    Thanks for all your input ...
  7. ljjycss macrumors member


    Apr 2, 2016
  8. hfg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I tried that, along with other startup-key combinations. I don't think it is getting that far along in the boot sequence since these keys are checked at the chime time.
  9. hfg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Tried the external monitor ... no video output ....

    "... I think she's dead Jim ..."

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