Macbook Pro (early-2008) won't turn on...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oxfordguy, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2008
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    Oxford, England
    #1
    My early-2008 Macbook Pro won't turn on - when the power button is depressed the white front led goes on briefly and the discs sound like they're about to spin up, then the machine goes dead (within about half a second).

    Has anyone else here experienced similar issues? If so, what was the diagnoses?

    Am not sure if its related, but have been having a few problems with the machine the last 12+ months - sometimes when in OS X the machine would "lock-up" and not respond to mouse of keyboard input - would have to hold power button down to restart, which would usually resolve the problem - this problem has been occurring more frequently recently. Also sometimes the keyboard would appear to get stuck (not physically i.e. no stuck key) and the machine would repeatedly repeat the last entered keystrokes or else it would "miss" key strokes. I did have these issues investigated last year by an authorised Apple service centre whilst the machine was still covered by extended Apple Care (which it isn't anymore...), but no fault was found with the keyboard.

    Also - 3 days ago I upgraded the machines RAM, but respected ESD guidelines (grounded wrist strap etc.), and this did seem to be working fine and OS X was reporting and using the added memory correctly. Also, I've tried swapping back in the old memory, but the computer still won't turn on.

    BTW I have tried resetting SMC and PRAM following
    Apple's instructions:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.7/en/mh26871.html

    This has made no difference, though.

    When I discussed the fault with one of the IT guys at work he thought it may possibly related to the known NVIDIA graphics chip issue with this model of Macbook Pro:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377

    In which case may be covered out of warranty by Apple (NB: machine is less than 4 years old, was bought in April 2008). If the logic boards needs replacing and its not covered by this, though, I suspect would cost more to repair than to buy a new machine :-(
     
  2. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    BTW my MBP has also been saying "Service Battery" recently, though it seemed to have been holding a charge well enough (and still indicates that its "full" when you press the button on it), so I don't think the not turning on thing is likely to be anything to do with that, but though it might be worth mentioning.
     
  3. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

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  4. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oxford, England
    #4
    Thanks for the link. Also, thinking about it, the last few weeks I have been playing a 3D game (Dragon Age Origins), which has probably put the GPU under more stress than usual (though nothing it shouldn't be able to handle, if not faulty), so it's possible this may have accelerated the GPU failure.
     
  5. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oxford, England
    #5
    Okay, have just had the test report back from a qualified Apple Service Engineer, it doesn't look good:

    I guess if I could get a logic board I *could* try repairing it myself, though that doesn't look easy and the part alone is likely to be quite expensive. :(
     
  6. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oxford, England
    #6
    UPDATE: I've been quoted just under £500 (about $790) to repair this - would include a new or Apple-refurbished logic board and labour charges for fitting (and VAT i.e. UK sales tax). This is actually quite reasonable compared to some other quotes I've seen. Am not sure whether to go ahead with the repair or not - see this thread.
     
  7. 666sheep, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #7
    I second this.

    OP, with all due respect to your trusted Apple Tech, I think that logic board failure is related to 8600, not the RAM slots.
    Cheapest way to fix 8600 failure will be graphics chip reballing. See if any of non-authorized laptop services in you area is offering such thing. Cost should be much lower than £500.
     
  8. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oxford, England
    #8
    But in that case, why does the machine exhibit "the normal beeps" on start-up when no RAM is installed, but refuses to turn on when known working RAM is installed?

    What does "reballing" mean - is the graphics chip replaceable?
     
  9. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2008
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    Oxford, England
    #9
    Okay, I think I've found out what "reballing" is and how this can fix graphics chip problems (I watched some Youtube videos about this), sounds great if that *is* the problem (but if it *is* the Nvidia GPU failing then Apple ought to be repairing this for free themselves anyway if the machine is less than 4 years old, which it is, see: )

    I'm still not convinced the Nvidia chip is the problem, though - I wasn't experiencing any problems with my display prior to the machine not being able to turn on, but most people with Nvidia problems seem to experience this.

    Still, it could be worth getting a second opinion and having someone else look at it...

    ----------

    Apparently typical NVIDIA problems would be indicated by:

    • No display
    • 3 Beeps - 1 long and 2 short, screen remains black
    • Vertical and horizontal stripes appear on the screen
    • Screen is divided into multiple parts
    • White/Grey screen, sometimes with lines & Overheating

    I wasn't getting any of these symptons, the laptop simply doesn't turn on with RAM installed:

    As I said, when the power button is depressed the white front led goes on briefly and the discs sound like they're about to spin up, then the machine goes dead (within about half a second).

    If the memory modules are removed, the machine starts up, but (perhaps unsurprisingly) makes three long beeps - i.e. "no good RAM banks", has a black screen and gets no further.
     
  10. 666sheep, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
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    Poland
    #10
    From what you said above, I think that POST (Power On Self Test) is failing after RAM check. RAM is checked just after CPU check. If it would be fried slots, you should get beeps with RAM installed as well.

    In those MBs sometimes northbridge is failing too. Symptoms are similar too yours. Here in Poland fixing it is equivalent of about £150.

    Apple Service Providers has testing procedure to check if computer is covered by exchange program. To pass it, laptop must start, but no video. If it doesn't start - they often refuse to exchange logic board for free (at least here in Poland).

    I can't tell 100% sure is it GPU and northbridge or only northbridge (or only GPU) but I'm 99,9% sure it's not the RAM/slots issue.

    You can try to contact those guys: http://www.e14tech.com/services.html It looks that they have needed equipment and knowledge to diagnose and fix such problems.
    ...or try what this MR member has suggested
     
  11. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oxford, England
    #11
    Thanks for the info., may try these guys, though may try to visit an Apple "Genuis Bar" in an Apple Store first - the nearest Apple Store to me is Reading (I'm in Oxford, UK), though will have to get a train or bus to get their, as don't own a car.

    What is interesting is that no one on these forums (not just this thread) seems to think the problem with my Macbook Pro is the one the certified Apple Engineer diagnosed! I just hope I can get it fixed for less than the £500 quoted...
     
  12. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2008
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    Oxford, England
    #12
    Thanks for the info., may try these guys, though may try to visit an Apple "Genuis Bar" in an Apple Store first - the nearest Apple Store to me is Reading (I'm in Oxford, UK), though will have to get a train or bus to get their, as don't own a car.

    What is interesting is that no one on these forums (not just this thread) seems to think the problem with my Macbook Pro is the one the certified Apple Engineer diagnosed! I just hope I can get it fixed for less than the £500 quoted...
     
  13. neenja macrumors 6502

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #13
    I had pretty much the exact same problem as you. Also have an early 08 mbp (4,1) version.

    Take it into the genius bar. ASAP. If you call and they diagnose your problem, of course theyre gonna tell you it will cost.

    I set up an appointment, brought it in, the "genius" ran some tests, I mentioned the Nvidia issue, and he filed up some paperwork and waived all the fees. It ran up to almost $600+.

    About 3-4 days later, I got a call, came back, picked up my mbp. Booted it up, and all my stuff was still there.

    But trust me, I tried EVERYTHING and researched for 2 whole days on how to fix this, nothing worked. Bring it into Apple. It is def worth the trip.

    ----------

    also, I experienced ZERO video card issues. it just out of the blue died. I woke up one morning, tried to power up my mbp. I see the light on the front of the case, and it just dies. Didnt even get to POST part.
     
  14. neenja macrumors 6502

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  15. oxfordguy, Oct 21, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

    oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Am booked in for an Apple Store Genius Bar appointment in London this Sunday. If they won't sort it out will investigate reballing the GPU and maybe the Nortbridge chip.

    If that don't work, hello speed-bumped 2011 MBP (and empty wallet...)
     
  16. Oxonian3 macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Trinidad
    #16
    Yeh had this same problem.Got home tried to boot it and it won't turn on.Thought it was RAM but it's more serious.The logic board,which these models are notoriously known for,failed.Had to get a new laptop as you see in my signature.
     
  17. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oxford, England
    #17
    But you still have your 2008 MBP as well? Are you going to try to get it fixed?
     
  18. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #18
    I've reflowed these models with the nVidia issue and it DOES NOT fix the power on for a second then power off issue. It's not related. There are two symptoms related to the nVidia issue, it's power on but no video and the machine boots and the other is solid front LED, failed POST. With bost instances the machine will stay powered on. These are besides the obvious graphical corruption if it does boot with video.
     
  19. Jock macrumors newbie

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Hadleigh Essex UK
    #19
    Nvidia 8600GTM issue June 2007 MBP Santa Rosa

    Had very similar experience to Neenja above, no visible video, would "chime" only if RAM in Slot 1 removed and power button held down for 20sec+. Made Genius Bar appointment (Lakeside), NVIDIA issue diagnosed. Lakeside said they had to charge for a new logic board as past 4 year limit, but would fit it for free. They suggested I call Applecare, who authorised an exception for a FREE logic board replacement, done next day. THANK YOU APPLE!
     
  20. Sonhascome macrumors 6502

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    Maryland
  21. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2008
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    Oxford, England
    #21
    Go Apple! :)

    Took my dead MBP to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store in Covent Garden (London) today, explained and demonstrated the problem. They said they can't tell if it's the NVIDIA issue or not if it doesn't turn on, but it might be, so they said they will replace the logic board free of charge! I didn't have to push them to do this, very impressed by the customer service! :)
     
  22. neenja macrumors 6502

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #22
    right on! let us know how it works out for ya when you get your mbp back :)
     
  23. neenja macrumors 6502

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #23
    any update? when are you expecting to get it back?
     
  24. oxfordguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2008
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    Oxford, England
    #24
    Its still with the Apple Store, when I took it in on sunday they said the repair would take between 3-5 days and they would call me when it was ready. Hope its ready to collect by Saturday morning, as that's the only time I'll be able to collect it this weekend.
     
  25. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
    #25
    Oh, nice to hear that. Hope everything works out.
     

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