Help me diagnose a problem with my old macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jrm27, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hello all,

    I need help diagnosing what is wrong with my macbook pro. A buddy of mine handed it to me when he upgraded about a month ago. He had been having trouble with it and finally decided he'd had enough. I wiped it clean and did a fresh install of snow leopard. That didn't really help too much!

    So, here's the problems:
    1. Having trouble booting up... even safe booting. It will often just hang at the apple screen... the spinning wheel stops spinning and just freezes. Will often boot up after letting it sit and trying again a few times.

    2. Once it is booted up it works just fine for a while. However, it will sporadically freeze. When it freezes the screen goes nuts. It flickers, turns pink/purple, etc... Then the only way to turn it off is to do a forced shutdown by holding the power button.

    Any ideas? Might this mac be savlageable, or it is it time to give up on it?

  2. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Another idea would be to make an appointment at an Apple store and let the genius tell you everything they find.
  3. ramzhh macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Bring it to Apple. Sounds like a hardware problem to me... Run hardware diagnostics to check for problems, and then bring it to Apple. Always good to be fixed for, let's say, 300 bucks, than to buy a new one for over 1000!
  4. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    When the computer is up and running, open the Apple Menu top left, About this Mac, More infor. and post the results here:
    For example mine, a 2009 MBP shows:
    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,4
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.53 GHz
    The we can give you much more accurate help.
    You may have one of the models that have the infamous nVidea graphics cards that is under an extended warranty, if so Apple will fix it for free. But without more info it is hard to say what the source of your problem is, could be anything from a bad HD to a motherboard. :eek:
  5. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Thanks guys! I would include that data, but now I cant even get the darn thing to boot up. It just hangs at the apple boot screen. A safeboot won't even work... Shoot. The nearest apple store is 150 miles away, but it sounds like it might be worth the drive.
  6. Vurius macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    Sounds like a logic board issue to me. That's going to be very expensive to fix, if you don't have Apple Care for it. My friend's MBP had the same issues, and Apple wanted $1150 to fix it (it was 4 years old at the time). He bought a different brand computer instead.
  7. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    No apple care remaining... boo!

    When I pull the battery, the following is inside... does this info help?

    2.4ghz Core 2 Duo/2gb/256MB VRAM/160gb 5400rpm
  8. docal97 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    you need to take it in. They will tell you what is wrong and how much it may cost.
  9. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    okay, finally got this puppy booted up. I booted it in target mode and ran disk utility to repair the disc. it didn't find any problems, but would boot up in safe mode afterwards.

    So, here's the info:

    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: macBook Pro 3,1
    Processor Name: Intel Coer 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 ghz

    I'm still trying to get time to make the drive to the nearest apple store (120 or so miles away). In the meantime, can anyone tell me if this info helps diagnose? Thanks!

  10. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
  11. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    It's a 2.4 so yes it would be. Personally, I'd almost guarantee it's an 8600 issue.
  12. robgoblin macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2011
    +1 for the logic board. you can look at my earlier posts to see how i fixed it! i learned my tricks from puttputt, he has great info! and search the web for baking your logic board. if you got a screwdriver and an oven you should be fine.:)... but its def the logic board together with the 8600gt nvidia graphics chip. no doubt. google 8600gt problem macbook pro. or search macrumors theres tons of info!
  13. Merkava_4 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2010

    That's exactly what I was thinking. ;)
  14. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    If its the 8600GT then definitely take it in, they may well be able to do something for you given the issues with that card.
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If it has the nvidia 8600gt card in it, they will replace the logic board for free. Bring it in to apple, that sounds just like it. They all have a 4 year extended warranty on the logic board due to a faulty graphics card. At least on the display side of things.

    The rest of the problems sound like a hard drive going bad. If I'm correct on both counts, you just got a MBP for the price of a hard drive.
  16. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    well, here's hoping. I just called apple support and they think it could very well be the nvidia problem. I've got to get it down to an apple store and see what happens next.... Thanks for the direction all!
  17. thehumble1 macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    West Philly
    Apple is extending the warranty for 4 years from date of purchase (or more). They can tell if it's the NVIDIA by using a test device NVIDIA developed for this problem. Take it in.

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