Help! Macbook Pro won't turn on

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bwhite123, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. bwhite123 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2012
    Hello (I think this is the right place to post this...)

    I have an Early 2011 Macbook Pro 15" with OSX Lion and Windows 7 using bootcamp. I downloaded Mountain Lion from the App Store and made a bootable USB drive.

    I followed this guide and did remember to unplug/plug in the battery cable inside the laptop at the relevant points.

    I swapped out the original HDD that was in the laptop with a new 640gb Western Digital HDD. When booting with the USB drive, I select the Mountain Lion/USB install, but after some waiting a grey "no entry" sign (circle with diagonal bar through it) appears on the screen and the laptop won't do anything.

    I turn off/on again and the keyboard backlight comes on and HDD makes a reading noise for a few secs and goes quiet, but the monitor stays blank and nothing more happens. Turning it off/on (yet) again now the HDD makes a noise like it is being read for a few seconds then goes silent, the white light on the front of the laptop comes on but nothing else happens (this time the keyboard backlight in addition to the monitor stays off).

    I switch out for the old HDD that has OSX Lion on it but the same happens. Note that after initially taking out the OSX HDD whenever I turned the computer on I was lazy and didn't screw the bottom of the laptop back on and instead just pressed it down into place - could this cause a problem when opening the lid of the laptop back up without the screws in place? I have tried turning the laptop on with and without mains power attached and the same happens (the battery indicator shows the battery has full power)

    Now the laptop is back to how it originally was, with all the screws back in place etc. but will not turn on. I really can't understand how I managed to so completely break it by switching out an HDD (I'm a Computer Science undergrad and have put together my fair share of computers).

    Luckily there is an Apple store in the city I live in (In England not the US). I have booked a genius appointment and wondered

    a) Whether there was anything obvious I could do to fix the problem without having to take the laptop to the genius

    b) What should I tell the genius? I could go for "Tried to install Mountain Lion and now it won't turn on" or I could recall the above story, or something in between the two. As I was only swapping out an HDD, I didn't check to see whether I was breaking the warranty (was I?).

    In the past I have taken out the fans (using a screwdriver bought on amazon as the fans, but not the HDD, have strange screw heads) from the laptop and cleaned the dust out of them; the last time I did this was a few months ago and the laptop worked fine, but the once perfectly black tops of the screws now have some silver scratch marks on them... will the genius notice/care?

    Any advice would be awesome.

    tldr: Swapped out HDD from 2011 macbook pro 15" and now it won't turn on, even with the original HDD back in it. What to tell the Apple genius?
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Just play dumb. It just stopped working and you want the genius to look at it. They'll just have to figure it out.

    I doubt they'll be able to tell that you did anything to it if you don't say anything.
  3. bwhite123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2012
    Playing it dumb it is!

    I guess they don't have any way of finding out whether the bottom of the case has been taken off etc. (like they have a strip in the headphone jack of iPhones to tell if they have ever been in water)?
  4. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    The RAM and HDD are user replaceable parts, Apple provides instructions on how to do this. Removing the bottom case doesn't affect your warranty.
  5. bwhite123, Aug 18, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012

    bwhite123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2012

    I took the laptop to the apple genius and after showing him that the monitor/keyboard wouldn't turn on he tried connecting it to an external monitor which also didn't pick up any video output from the macbook. I then left the macbook with apple for a couple of days whilst they switched out the logic baord (luckily I was still within the 1 year warranty peroid so it cost £0 not ~£400). This fixed the problem and I went home happy with a working laptop.

    Fast forward 2 days and I am restarting the laptop and OSX begins to load, but gets stuck at the apple logo on a white background with a spinning circle below it. After turning it off by holding the power button down for 5 seconds I turn it on again, and now the original problem is back (No power to monitor/keyboard, white light on front comes on, can hear HDD being read before going quiet).

    I have no idea why it still doesn't work - my (totally random) guess is that some other component (e.g. GPU, RAM or HDD?) is partly broken and keeps frying the whole system. When the laptop broke for the second time I only had power, ethernet and headphones plugged in. I'm currently using the ethernet + headphone cables with my backup desktop, so that only leaves my power brick as a possible problem (yet another random guess)?

    As my 1 year warranty runs out on 29th August (10 days time) this is becoming a problem - what would apple do if I took the macbook into the store for a second time (they can't keep replacing logic boards indefinitely)?


    tldr: Early 2011 Macbook Pro broke (No power to monitor/keyboard, white light on front comes on, can hear HDD being read before going quiet) so took to genius who replaced logic board and it worked for 2 days. Now the same problem has come back. Warranty runs out in 10 days - what to do?
  6. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I think the general rule of thumb is that they can try to fix the same issue up to three times. After that they will provide you with a new computer. If you have three different issues, they normally replace the computer immediately because it may be a lemon. This is my experience with Apple geniuses. Also because your issues began and they attempted a repair before the warranty ran out you should be fine once your warranty does run out.

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