MacBook Pro boots to black screen

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by elbirth, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    A little while ago I went to pickup my MacBook Pro from the table and noticed it was extremely hot to the touch. It was supposed to be asleep, but for some reason had come back on. The fans were running at full speed, so I opened it up and instead of going through the shutdown process, I held down the power button to turn it off.

    I let it cool down a bit and then tried to boot it back up and the screen never seems to come on (it was working when I shut it down). I hear it turn on and the hard drive spin up, and the small light on the latch on the front comes on.

    I've tried removing the battery and holding down the power button for several seconds to reset the PMU and also held down cmd+opt+p+r to reset the PRAM but I never see a grey screen, and it doesn't reboot itself like it's supposed to.

    None of this has worked... does anyone know what I could do?
  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Did you reseat the RAM? Other than that, I'd take it to Apple.
  3. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    have you tried all of this while it's plugged in? you said you removed the battery but did you attach the power cord?
  4. elbirth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    Yep, I tried reseating the RAM and I've tried it with the battery in plus AC, as well as the battery out while on AC... nothing

    I tried calling Apple earlier but their phone support is closed and it said to try tomorrow... so I guess I'll spend Christmas day on the phone with them to see what can be done. If I have to send it in, this'll be the 3rd time....
  5. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    3rd time? I would nicely ask for a higher-level service rep and possibly talk about a replacement.
  6. ricksbrain macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2005
    Miami, FL
    I'd look for a new one, too, likely. But I wonder if it's fully booted. Can you try to attach an external monitor?
  7. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006
    Sadly they will only replace it (at least according to policy) if the same thing breaks 3 times. (My logic board died 3 times and they replaced the whole unit for me). Definatley call and try for the replacement though, who knows, you may get a really nice high-level rep!
  8. elbirth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    I hooked up the external monitor that I use with it everyday, but it doesn't seem to get a signal even after sitting for a while (it just goes to power saving mode)... is there a way to make the external monitor the primary upon boot? (I use it as a secondary screen, not as a replacement for the laptop's display).

    And this actually is the 3rd time for the display, really. The first time I sent it in, it was due to overheating as well as a faulty power inverter in the display (it was making it flicker and have really dark spots in the center). When I got it back, they replaced the logic board and heating fins, but didn't touch the display. I called them up and sent it back in and finally got the power inverter in the display replaced. It seemed fine after that, but after several weeks I would notice rarely that the screen would "jump" until I either rebooted it or put it to sleep and woke it back up. At first I thought it was an issue with just playing videos because it only happened while watching a DVD.. but it happened once and then never happened again for nearly a month.. and then it happened maybe two or three more times over several more weeks. Since I couldn't replicate it, I didn't know what it was, but a friend of mine who used to work at the Genius bar said he'd seen it on faulty power inverters. So assuming the display is what's wrong, this will be the 3rd time being sent in for that.

    To illustrate what I meant by the screen jumping, the 2nd time it happened, I took a short video with my digital camera, although it started out much worse than this:

    My main concern right now is getting my data because it's my only Mac (I'm on a Windows computer now). I have it back up nightly to my home file server, but I haven't mounted the server's share folder for a few days and I don't know if it automatically connects to backup and then disconnects at night when it backs up or if it requires I already have the directory mounted (I use PSyncX).
  9. elbirth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    I just got off the phone a little while ago with Apple Support. They put me through to some specialist who tried walking me through several things on the phone (all of which I had already tried) and of course nothing worked. I asked about getting it replaced since this was the 3rd time, but she claimed that the "3rd time's a charm" is in fact not an actual policy on their end.
    Is there any documentation about this anywhere?

    I'm taking it to an Apple Store this evening to see if someone there will replace the whole thing or at least can fix it... if not, I've got the specialist's extension and will call back tomorrow to get a box shipped to me to send it in yet again for repair.

    The care-free attitude of "I know we can get this fixed... I just don't know how long it'll take" has really been very off-putting and I'm officially a hate of Apple Support. If I didn't like the actual product so much, I'd never do business with them again.
    This is a business machine that I HAVE to have functional, and even after repeating this severla times, there's no sign of sympathy at all.
  10. CliffLandin macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2009

    I was able to fix this issue on my MacBook Pro simply by zapping the pram.

    To do so start your computer while holding down the Command + Option + P + R keys. Wait for the second chime and then release the keys.

    Hope that helps.
  11. mishakin macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2009
    blank screen macbook pro

    hi there,

    I fixed the problem very easily, after trying to delete some files sleepimage, etc. I also tried to remove the battery while the computer was shut downed, but with no effect.

    I solved the problem by removing the battery while the computer was running, then I put back the battery turned on the my mac and the problem was sorted out.
  12. heroofhyr macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2009
    Tried resetting pram, reinserting RAM, everything. Your suggestion worked great for my 2006 MBP! Cut my finger on the falling battery pack, but Snow Leopard is coming out this week and I really didn't want to lose my laptop 3 days before, so I don't care. Thanks!
  13. Funzo macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2009
    My solution

    Ok, so i have managed to get my mac going again, its not 100% and im never gonna switch it off or close the lid until i absolutely have to. Here is what i did:

    1, switched it on
    2, pressed the off button, then "S" then enter, this puts it to sleep
    3, held the off button until hard shut down
    4, switched it back on

    the symptoms i had where:

    my mac switched on, booted, made all the right noises, but had a black screen. When i closed the lid, the comp kept on running as normal and the light on the front glowed brightly (but did not pulsate). When i open the lid, it goes off.

    I read through a lot of articles and nothing worked for me (option, cmd, r, p) etc.

    As i am writing this article, my Mac is running very hot, im abit worried by it. This all started after i closed my mac one time, and it kept running (lid closed), the second time it has happened.
  14. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    Thank you for sharing your results with us. Most people don't, which leads to useless threads being created when people could have simply used the search function.
  15. elbirth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    Also for the record since I started this thread 3 years ago when I was having issues... they ended up replacing the logic board and heat pipes yet again. Somehow the computer had come out of sleep while it was still closed and overheated the insides to the point of messing up a few components on the logic board, so unfortunately it wasn't anything I could have fixed myself anyway.

    Although I had a ton of problems with it and had to send it in 3 times for replacement of parts, it's since been problem-free and I still have it today. The only issue is that the battery life has dwindled (as laptop batteries are prone to do) and it gets incredibly hot on the bottom.

    I now have a Mac Pro that I use as my primary machine, however, so it only gets used when I'm traveling or sitting on the couch or something.
  16. sunnyd76 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009

    've had the same problem on my 2007, pre penryn, macbook pro 17. I've been doing prom resets on it to fix the black screen for about a year and half. On friday last week it finally popped it's clogs and I spent about 6 hours rebooting, reseting prom, removing battery plus all the tricks i've learned to-date, but nothing worked. I took it into the Apple store in Birmingham UK for the first time about this issue (it was out of warranty when it first occured, and all the threads I read said Apple would ask me to pay for it). The apple genius pulled out a tester that the store had received from Nvidia, powered up my laptop and plugged it in. He immediately recognised that I had faulty hardware (logic board) and promptly booked me in for free of charge repairs. I asked for more information about the issue and basically, Nvidia are paying for the logic board upgrade (they're installing a brand new Revision 2 board) and labour as the board was defective from manufacture.

    Not sure what's changed with the policy on board replacements for this issue, but I can only assume that Nvidia finally caved and decided to do this as part of goodwill!

  17. Waragainstsleep macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2003
    If you had worked in IT support, you would know how often operators hear the old "Can't live without it" line. Everyone says it, even students these days.

    If its that critical, you'd have a spare. Or rent one. Sounds harsh, but there it is.
  18. nomadelmundo macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    IT's the NVIDIA logic board, get it replaced for FREE from Mac Genius

    I have a 1st generation Macbook Pro, ran fine until recently installing Snow Leopard, and the screen went black a day later. Was able to bring it back by holding down power button for 10 seconds and after the loud beep it came back. This happened almost daily for 1 week then finally earlier this week it went dead. I have spent almost entire day reading every forum support site, did everything to reset it but no avail.

    I wanted to share this frustrating experience so no one doesn't have to go through with this.

    I took it to Mac Genius Bar today and they guy diagnosed as a known NVIDIA video card problem because by plugging an external monitor still nothing showed up. He scanned my MacBook Pro and told me the logic board with the video card will be replaced in 3-5 days at NO CHARGE to me even though my warranty is long gone, but it's a known issue, so Apple will replace for FREE. I hope this solves the problem.

    Take it to your local Mac Shop and get it fixed before this runs out.

  19. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Issue is only with certain MacBook Pros. Take it to a service provider or Apple Store to have it diagnosed and qualified. Obviously if you have AppleCare it'll be free of charge but it can be a nice surprise if you have an out of limited warranty computer.
  20. ruftytufty macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Berkeley, CA
    to those of you that had this problem:

    did you always get a chime on startup, and normal behavior (other than black screen)?
    or, did you sometimes get no chime?

    i'm having a similar problem, but it's not consistent.

    last night it mostly wouldn't chime on start at all, no signs of life except a little fan and disk noise. occasionally got a chime, but no successful boot.

    today i got it to boot, but i'm reluctant to turn it off now.
  21. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    FWIW - I had this problem with my refurb MBP 2.4ghz. Phoned AppleCare, the rep told me to unplug the charger, take out the battery, then hold down the power button for 20 secs. After that plug everything back in. It didn't work so she agreed I had a faulty nvidia graphics card and they would repair it free of charge. I do however have AppleCare, but I believe the free repair extends to those outside of warranties.

    Pretty happy with the prompt service from apple. Just gotta wait now to recieve it back from Group 8 in the uk now!! The looooooong wait!
  22. ruftytufty macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Berkeley, CA
    I was having this problem on my MacBook Pro - one of the models known to have this problem. However, most of the time, the machine wouldn't chime when I powered it on. A couple of times I got it to boot into Target mode, so I knew it was working, even though no video.

    So - I brought it into the Apple store, to the Genius bar. They couldn't tell whether it was the Nvidia graphics problem, so they were going to charge me their standard flat-rate charge for this computer, about $330.

    They check in my MBP, send it off for repair, and the computer comes back 5 days later, express shipped to my house. The repair sheet says "Graphics Processor Issue on MLB" - i.e. it looks like it's the Nvidia graphics problem after all, but I'm still being charged the $330.

    I called up Apple to complain. After going up about 2 levels within Apple tech support, I was then transferred to customer service. They investigated what my repair was, decided my computer was covered, and agreed to refund my $$. The cust. service rep. was very helpful, but basically said that once the repair depot had the computer, that they would not look up/change the billing if it turned out to be a repair covered by an extended repair program.

    The good part: I got the cover repaired under warranty.
    The bad part: I had to spend almost an hour on the phone after the repair to get someone to acknowledge that the problem was likely caused by the NVIDIA chip, and was would be covered by the extended repair program.
  23. jeroenbookpro macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2010

    Hi guys,

    I've had the same problem like you guys.
    my 2 and a half year old macbook pro suddenly boots up with a black
    screen. External monitor doesn't work, trying to slove it didnt work,...

    solution: i bought the macbookpro on the internet, with one year of guarantee.
    despite the guarantee was over, i took the laptop to my local apple dealer,
    they noticed the problem was an nvidea fail.. so apple recognised the problem
    (logically) it was specefic to the macbook pro released in the year... so they
    had a extended warranty for that problem.

    So they replaced my motherboard, for free, i did pay 30 euros , but i got them
    back. i bougt 6 beers for the people who repaired my laptop.

    Now its working again.

    Its a pain in the ass, but it's repaired for free, so, i still like apple now.

    ps: sorry for my bad english...

  24. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA

    My friend had this issue on his MacBook Pro 17". The computer obviously booted up, but his built-in screen and an external screen would not work.

    I looked up his computer model based on the serial number and found it was one of the ones with the Nvidia GeForce 8600 video chipset. This is one that's been recalled by Apple, HP, and others.

    He took the laptop to the store and they repaired it free of charge.

  25. uthne macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    Repair free of charge

    My trusty MacBook Pro screen just turned black. After trying all the tricks to fire up the videocard (i also tested with an external monitor) it is likely the Nvida GeForce 8600M GT have failed.

    A quick search through turned up this document.

    It states that a if such a videocard fails in a MBP (may 2007 -- early 2008) within 4 years of original purchase it will be repaired free of charge :)


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