Fixing MacBook Pro For Friend - Now Won't Turn On - HELP!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BzowK, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. BzowK macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Good Afternoon -

    When it comes to computers, I'm basically a PC guy. I"m a network admin for a big company and work with Windows all day. I'm an advid iPhone / iPad user too, though, and do a bit with OSX.

    Yesterday, a friend at work and I were talking about his MacBook pro. He inquired about a few things including Windows 7 on it. I said I'd be happy to set up BootCamp for him. While at it, he said that he had purchased a Lion USB drive and asked if he should upgrade. I've done thousands of Windows installs and a few OSX ones so I said I'd do it for him.

    Today, I received his MacBook Pro (Late 2008) 2.4 Intel Dual Core CPU / 2GB RAM, his software, and the Lion USB key. I booted into OSX and copied his "profile" over the network to a SMB share. I tried upgrading directly with Lion, but it wouldn't let me as I found out it had to be upgraded from 10.6.X - not 10.5.X. Therefore, I decided to do a clean install.

    I booted to the 10.7 Lion USB drive and went into Disk Utility where I erased the hard drive. I only erased it - didn't repartition or change drive's format. Before proceeding, I thought I'd be nice and go one step further for this guy and install new RAM into his computer. It was 2x 2GB SO-DIMM 667MHZ RAM which I read would work with it and double his RAM to bring it to 4gb. I installed it.

    The Problem

    I turned the computer back on with the Lion USB in and only got a white screen. The cursor appeared, but nothing else. I thought that since there wasn't an OS on the HDD, that it would default to the next boot device as PCs do, but it didn't. I turned it off, then back on again - except - it didn't come back on!

    So that's where I am. I have a friend's computer which won't turn on.

    Note: The battery is bad I've been told and will always show only 1 light of power. The power cord is good, though.

    Here's what I've tried so far:
    - Removed the battery / power cord for 5 minutes
    - Tried with just the power inserted (Get green light on power cord)
    - Reinserted original RAM (actually did that first and it has stayed that way during all T/S)
    - Swapped RAM into other's socket
    - Removed battery & Power - held the power button down for 10 seconds - reinserted and tried to power back on
    - Got Stressed!!!

    Any suggestions would be great - Thanks!!!
  2. 808? macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Try holding down the Option key when you boot, you should be able to select the Lion install key from that.
  3. BzowK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Yes - Thank you. That part I do know. The problem is that nothing happens when I turn on the laptop.
  4. MacsAreBetter\ macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2010
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Hey dude,

    Exactly the same thing happened to me when I installed new OWC 8GB RAM. I just did a clean install of OS X and it worked fine. I believe its a common problem, so do that. Good luck and don't worry :)
  5. BzowK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Guys -

    Thanks again - But - I can't even turn it on.

    I'd love to reinstall OSX or anything else, but there's no power!
  6. echosky81 macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    Try an SMC reset. This sounds like a power issue though, if the battery is bad than has he been using just the power brick since it went bad? If so I would recommend trying a new battery and see if that helps anything and leave in that old 2 GB of RAM. If this was a hardware configuration issue you would be hearing a beep sequence on boot. Also are you seeing any status lights on the magsafe adapter?
  7. BzowK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Thanks -

    I tried the reset (unplugging battery & power, then holding power button for few seconds) and nogo.

    When I plug the power in without battery and the light is green. When i do so with the battery, it was red - but now green as I assume the battery has been charged.

    I just took the machine apart and reseated cables. Still - when i try to turn it on (with or without battery) I get nothing - nothing at all.

    Any more suggestions??? Thanks!
  8. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    some electronic need to charge for a bit even before they turn even with the charger attached. im sure you thought of that but just by suggestion
  9. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    find a new friend?

    It might somehow be battery related. Do you have the option to swap the battery out for a new one? Is the power cord strong enough (85 W at least) for the macbook?

    I would try an apple store.
  10. Ant.honey macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    New York City
    Can you try another battery? Shot in the dark. Might be a bad logic board.
  11. djhyro macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2007
    maybe one of the RAM slots are bad..did you try booting up with just one stick? if its a no go..try the other slot?
  12. BzowK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Yep - Tried everything - still - when I hit the power button, I might as well not have the battery or power cord connected. The fans don't even spin up.
  13. WAM2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2011
    United States
    Hmm. What year is it? 08? 07? If its the non unibody, I Can only think of the GPU Failing, which is not uncommon. You may have just had the worst luck to have it fail while you were fixing it!

    EDIT: Saw its the late 2008 unibody. Hmmmm
  14. ljonesj macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Kingsport TN
    take out the ram you installed and try turning on from the stock 2gb
  15. Jrv macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    Long Beach, California
    If his laptop isn't even turning on, then ram isn't going to make a difference. The thing would still boot even without ram.

    OP, there is something physically wrong with the hardware. You probably broke something when you opened it. You need to bring it to a professional.
  16. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    If you're not able to Option/Alt boot to the Lion USB install, then I am almost 100% certain it is because of a failing hard drive. Replacing the HD would most likely fix your issue.
  17. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Well, you would be wrong. The machine doesn't even power on with any fans or white screen.

    I had a problem while taking apart my 2011 MacBook Pro that was similar to yours. At least on my model, there are small brass pins that can be pushed when the bottom lid is closed. Are these pins being pushed? I can't remember about my 2008 but I know the newer 2011 models have this safety feature.

    P.S: I'm also a PC guy when it comes to building towers.
  18. huythanhv2 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2010
    Hmm this is interesting, I didn't know this, can you show me where is that pin? It would be great if you can get a photo from iFixit or sth. Greatly appreciate. =)
  19. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Just check the bottom of your 2011 model with the bottom cover off. There should be (I think) around 3 or so small pins on the frame. They are easy to spot, as they are placed close enough to be pushed in when the bottom of lid is closed. The pins are about 1 mm tall.
  20. Ant.honey macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    New York City
  21. Queen6, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

    Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Take out one of the 2Gb ran sticks and replace it with the 1Gb original the machine will start up fine, it`s a limitation of this system, mine did exactly the same thing recently. If you want 4Gb it has to be specific modules. In order for the memory to work in a Mac, the SPD EEPROM must be programmed correctly, and it must include parameters, that specify the timing information for the memory bus speed used by your particular Mac (667 MHz), MBP 4.1 A1260 per chance.

    This has nothing to do with the Nvidia GPU issue...

    re-read the original post, mine powered on to a white screen, my MBP is a 4.1 Classic (silver keys)
  22. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    Depends on whether he has the unibody model, or the late pre-unibody version with the 8600m GPU. Late 2008 MBP with the 2.4Ghz (pre-unibody) would be the last generation before the unibody models came out with the 2.4Ghz, so he's not going to have the one piece bottom casing like the 2011. Upgrading the memory on the 2008 would only require him to remove the battery to access the memory door, so in theory nothing internally should have been touched.

    I have the same machine with a similar issue as the OP about a month ago. Decided to wipe the HD and do a clean install of Lion. Machine was fine before hand, but after HD wipe system would not boot up and was constantly stuck on the boot screen with cursor (and getting to that screen was a hit or miss). Confirmed with Apple that it was a HD issue; replaced with a brand new HD and everything was good to go.

    OP theres a few options you can take:

    1) Replace HD and/or battery
    2) Replace the original memory back in (though I'm sure that the first thing you did)
    3) SMC/PRAM reset
    4) Create SL/Lion install on external firewire drive (faulty SuperDrive?)
    4) Take apart MBP and make sure the keyboard cables, SATA, etc. are firmly connected.

    Assuming you never took the machine apart and all of these solutions didn't fix your issue, then your best bet would be to take the machine to Apple and have them run a diagnostic on the machine and see what they say. Could be logic board, power supply, etc.
  23. Nice macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2010
    have you touched a metal surface inside the computer to discharge any static electricity from your body before changing the ram?
  24. soccerchamp macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2014
    Did you ever find out how to fix it, I have the EXACT same issue…
    Please let me know!

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