Is it my logic board, RAM, or hdd?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by PatrickMac, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. PatrickMac macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012
    My mid 2009 white macbook wont display anything. i installed a 750gb harddrive about a year ago, and replaced one of the 1gb sticks of ram with a 2gb stick about 2 months ago. every thing recognized and it was running very smoothly until last week when i went to do a routine restart. the computer just stuck on the desktop with the spinning disk in the middle for a couple minutes so i just powered it down manually.

    NEXT STARTED THE TROUBLE! it wouldnt start up after that. I can hear the hdd spinning and the dvddrive starting up and the light turns on. but thats all i get.
    i was convinced it was logic board so i went on ebay and bought a used 2008 black 2.4ghz macbook thinking i could just take the logic board out of that one and replace my 2.13 ghz board. the guy said it was working all it needed was RAM, a hdd and the L bracket to cover them. he has 100% feedback so i am trusting him that it works. but when i put my RAM and hdd and L bracket from my white mac into the 2008 black one i just got yesterday, IT IS DOING THE EXACT SAME THING AS MY WHITE ONE!
    he said it was working so heres where im convinced that it could be a faulty hdd or RAM.
    Ive also heard of battery connection issues.

    has anyone had the same troubles or know what hardware issue it might be?(assuming that its harddware)
  2. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    Sounds like a hard disk problem, but the best way to tell is to try them one at a time. Try the system without the upgraded RAM (replace it with the original modules). If it works, that means the RAM is faulty. If it doesn't, put your upgraded RAM back in and try a different HDD.
  3. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Do you get BEEP-BEEP-BEEP on startup? If so, almost definitely RAM. Since you most recently replaced the RAM, then I would start with removing the newest RAM stick (the 2GB one, right?) and see if that helps. Next, I would try the hard drive.
  4. PatrickMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012
    ive tried a lot of combinations. trouble is i dont have an extra hdd to try since i dont know what happened to the original.

    The white one is a goner i think. it doesnt even respond to the power button anymore. but i might have not put it together right so ill take it apart and resemble it and see how that one goes.

    but i just tried the black one without the ram and the hdd in it at all and i did get the BEEP BEEP BEEP. does that mean that the logic board might be still good??? i still didnt get anything on the screen. i have a startup disk and i and used cmd R but that didnt do anything (now its stuck in there)

    my main goal is to get at least one working computer out of the two lol:D

    so i guess my question is, is that beeping a good sign? i almost crapped my pants in excitement when i heard it :D

    another question is, should I get something on the screen at all, even without the ram or hdd?
    are there any commands that I can use that might help?

    Thank you so much for the reply guys. im new to this forum but ive always used it to look up stuff for my mac:apple:

    I read somewhere that someone had the same issue and fixed it by messing around with the battery connections so ill try that as well.
  5. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Sounds like it to me. I'm not an expert, but when I put bad RAM in my MBP, that's exactly what it did; BEEP BEEP BEEP and nothing on the screen. I had to press and hold the power button to get it off.

    I don't think you'll be able to until you get it to boot; btw, I think CMD-R is only Lion/ML Internet recovery (somebody correct me if I'm wrong). If you want to boot off a disc, it's CMD-C or Option and select it.

    Ha ha! Tru dat!

    No, you won't get anything without RAM and HDD. Have you zapped the PRAM? Don't think it'll work, but try holding CMD-OPTION-P-R before you press the power button.

    No problem. Sounds fixable to me; just make sure you have some good RAM (512MB and 1GB sticks are just a few bucks on eBay). It would boot to a disc even without a hard drive.
  6. PatrickMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012
    are there any recalls for either the a1181 2008 2.4ghz board or the a1181 2009 2.13ghz board?

    i swapped hard drives with my twin brothers mac and it loaded up, and the ram also and they all worked. so im assuming the problem is the logic board for both computers. I did manage to successfully swap logic boards. put the 2.4 into white mac that had the 2.13. i couldnt detach the video cables off the board so i had to take apart the whole mac to get the cables running up the screen too. pain in the ass but i believe i made some progress.

    I got a screen flicker when i hit the button now, and i never got one of those before with either machine. idk what it means but my quest to fix it shall continue.

    if anyone has found a cure for maybe a bad video card or tried anything with the power connections and got it working, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I even tried the freezer trick but got nothing.
  7. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    You've done quite a lot of fiddling around, so who knows what the original problem was. Generally speaking, when the mac hangs at the spinning grey loading screen (with the apple logo? or are you referring to another screen) I would do the following:

    1. boot in single user mode and run fsck. Then reboot.
    2. if 1. doesn't work I would try to boot from a known good volume. This might be a USB key or disk, or, probably, the original Mac OS DVD. Here I would use disk utility to check the drive is visible, check SMART status, repair volume/permissions. Reboot?
    3. If neither of these work then it's not the hard disk that's the problem. Reset the SMU I guess. Reboot. No joy? At this point I would try removing RAM sticks one at a time (if there are two I'd try one then the other).

    Have you tried an external screen with whatever you've put back together?
    Really, after dismantling and reassembling the computers it's really hard to know what the problem is. Could be anything at all. Screen flicker probably means 1. something else is now broken. or 2. something isn't back together right.
  8. PatrickMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012

    ordered a working 2.4 a1181 logic board and installed it yesterday. it was doing the exact same thing as what my other 2.4ghz logic board is doing. This makes me believe that the problem isnt the logic board.
    but heres my question.
    could the firmware in the harddrive that i have that was installed on a 2.16ghz processor not work with the 2.4ghz processor?

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