Is it the end of my Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by furcalchick, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #1
    I'm a bit queazy in the stomach as I'm typing this, as I'm really worried that my late 2006 C2D 2GHz White Macbook could be on its last legs, as I'm not sure what's causing my problems as of late.

    The problems started two months ago, as the screen started to dim at random to the lowest brightness setting. Scrolling back to the lowest setting and bumping it back up would fix the problem for a while (a few hours at most), but it's so bad that I had to hook it up to a external display to fix the issue. The external does not flicker on and off. Just an annoyance mostly. Then two weeks ago, the computer would randomly restart sometimes after I woke it up from sleep, and it became more frequent with time, where it would happen every time. Verified my hard drive and it needs to be reformatted. Already saved my data so it wasn't a big concern, and when I hooked my computer to external boots, none of the behaviors showed up. So I reformat and reinstall my main drive. Things are fine, then I run verify disk again, and it's corrupt already after two days. I go to one of my backups, and runs fine...until the behaviors start showing up under this external (but then again, this was a clone of the hard drive that started the issues). I then repaired the original, and I didn't have to reformat. So all boots are working fine, happy right? However, last night, it takes 3 or 4 boots to get the system up (under both drives), and it ran a bit hot with just safari on. I did some searching, and alot of signs point towards a logic board failure, and that usually means game over. I also suspect RAM failure, as sometimes, it only picks up one of the ram sticks. I still wonder if it could be a hard drive issue. Any ideas?

    I realize that it's five years old, but I would really want this computer to last as long as it can. Thanks.
     
  2. Android300zx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #2
    I would say that your drive is bad. Have you tried or considered replacing your hard drive? It could very well be the logic board. Check eBay for a replacement or research symptoms of a bad logic board on Google.

    Also for the screen issue I would bank on the fact that the LCD panel is defective. Eventually I believe your screen will stay black despite the laptop being on. If you shine a flashlight in the Apple logo in the back of the laptop you would be able to see the screen despite it being black.

    The repair for the screen will probably be $200+. If anything I would sell the laptop as is and list what's wrong. Maybe you can get a couple hundred and put it towards a used one on CL.

    I hope that helps a little.
     
  3. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #3
    I don't think there is anything wrong with the hard drive.
    My experience is that when a drive goes, it's gone. If you're lucky, it starts to make noise in time for you to get the data off.

    A bad logic board could explain the failed boot attempts and failure to recognize ram.

    The logic board could be causing the back light issues as well, but i'm not as sure about that.

    Good luck.
     
  4. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #4
    While this really sucks, at this point I wouldn't invest too much into an old laptop unless you are offered flat rate repair at a rate that you consider to be viable. Bear in mind chargers can break too, and they tend to be expensive. If it has the original battery, that thing must be getting old too. I'd be somewhat surprised if a laptop that old got a couple hundred with problems. It's not that economically feasible to repair if too many things are wrong with it.
     
  5. Android300zx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #5
    Check Craigslist in your area and type Macbook in the search box. You'll see ads from people who buy these laptops. You can contact one of them and see how much they are willing to give you. From there you can gauge how much you can sell it at.

    You can try and ask them about repairing it but it'll probably cost you an arm and a leg unless you want to do it yourself.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    It's kind of unfortunate, but these days they build laptops/notebooks to keep the parts count down (more or less). This results in computers where it's very difficult to diagnose and repair logic board problems. Even if you find an issue, it's all but impossible to repair anything on the board since it's mostly built by machine.

    In the old days you could get individual chips out and replace them, but these days..no.

    I wouldn't put a lot of money on a 2006 laptop.
     
  7. ibuyufo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #7
    hard drives sometimes will not just drop dead. There may be bad sectors in there that when accessed causes the OS to kernel panic or do weird stuff such as reboot.
     
  8. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #8
    update

    okay, it's five months later, and i'm starting to think the logic board is starting to go wacky. about a month after the post, i tried other hard drives, and the same things happened on occasion. then suddenly, the problems vanished for a while. then, about a few days ago, they pop up again, more frequent than ever, with restarts every time i go to sleep, and now today, my fan reads at 0 rpm, despite the fact that i can hear it hum still, albeit slowly, which means sudden shutdowns. sigh. i'm starting to think it's time to look for a replacement.:(
     
  9. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    #9
    You could try an reinstall. But as you've said that with other drives, the problem persists, it sounds like it's standing on it's last legs.

    You could also try a PRAM reset (P+R+option+command) at boot up. You hold do this until the MacBook boots up for the third time, that gives the complete reset.

    Good luck.
     
  10. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #10
    good news

    okay, there is good news despite the fan not working correctly. the random restarts from last week are not happening anymore after waking from sleep. and as long as i don't run video, the computer doesn't get insane hot, and runs decently.

    i think i was about to give up on my fan working again, when about 15 minutes ago, my fan came back on to full speed, just as sudden. no idea why it happened or what caused the initial slowdown in the first place. but smc control is helping me maintain my macbook fan now, running at 3600 rpms. i hope it keeps on going. i don't know how much longer, but either way, it's probably time to start looking for a newer computer, as this one is getting up there in age.

    thanks for your help.
     

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