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Macbook suddenly malfunctioning: black screen

Jacob Brown

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2020
12
0
My mac was fine yesterday. The next time I turn it on the screen is black. I didn't drop it. Didn't spill anything on it. It's not the screen brightness keys. Checked that first. I restarted. It makes the start up chime and then just a black screen. It's not black black. There is some really dim light for a few seconds and then it goes completely black. I tried starting in safe mode. It chimes and then nothing. I tried SHIFT+Control+Option+power for a few seconds. Same thing. I tried Command+Option+P+R. Black screen. It is fully charged. It is a 2014 macbook pro with the newest operating system. Is there anything left I can try.

-Thanks
 

revmacian

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Oct 20, 2018
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This sounds like a hardware issue. Did you open the case or make any repairs?
 
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Jacob Brown

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2020
12
0
Does the Apple logo on the back of the lid light up when open?

Right after the chime it is not lit up. I wait for about 20 seconds and the apple logo light turns on. The keyboard lights are on too. I have left it on for a few minutes. The apple logo stays on. The screen is dimly lit but still black. Thank you for the help by the way.
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
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Right after the chime it is not lit up. I wait for about 20 seconds and the apple logo light turns on. The keyboard lights are on too. I have left it on for a few minutes. The apple logo stays on. The screen is dimly lit but still black. Thank you for the help by the way.
You’re welcome. Though, I’m not sure how much more help I could be.. I was thinking this was a hardware issue with your LEDs but perhaps it is not. Hopefully someone else can chime in and help further.
 
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Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If the Apple logo is lighted up and nothing on screen, take an extremely bright light and shine it on the screen too see if you can see anything in screen.

Also try connecting it to an external monitor.
 

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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
164
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Southern NH
If the Apple logo is lighted up and nothing on screen, take an extremely bright light and shine it on the screen too see if you can see anything in screen.

Also try connecting it to an external monitor.
I'm not sure I can add anything, but my only thought was that the EFI was corrupted, as that's what happens on a cMP with a non-Apple video card. ????
I would try booting from an external SSD clone if you have one. If it boots, it appears that it's a boot drive failure. That means replacing it. I haven't opened anything newer than a 2012 MBP, and I believe all the most recent laptops have the NVNe blade soldered, just like the RAM. 2014 units still had older style PCI proprietary blade. The only place I know that makes these drives is OWC, and here's a link: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-pro-retina-display/2013-2014-2015
I believe they have an install video for it. The only problem is that these drives are very expensive, but it looks like they are selling them out due to the fact no more of those MBPs are still made, as Apple has gone completely over to NVMe blades for MBPs. The OWC quality is usually better than Apple SSDs. If you are happy with that MBP, I think it would be worth the upgrade. It looks like 2012s, running Catalina will be in it's last OS, but I would think your 2014 would still be on the approved list for another couple years. Good luck.
 
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Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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I'm not sure I can add anything, but my only thought was that the EFI was corrupted, as that's what happens on a cMP with a non-Apple video card. ????
If the EFI was corrupted, it's unlikely it would chime as the presence of the chime means that the MacBook has passed a basic hardware test.

All Macs and MacBooks use either Intel, nVidia, or AMD GPUs AFAIK. If the OP's MacBook is a 15", it would always boot using the integrated Intel GPU. If the MacBook is a 13", it only has integrated Intel graphics.

I would try booting the MacBook by holding down the D key after pressing the power button to see if the hardware diagnostics screen appears.

I would try booting from an external SSD clone if you have one. If it boots, it appears that it's a boot drive failure. That means replacing it.
If it was a drive failure, I would expect to see the flashing ? folder or prohibited sign.

I haven't opened anything newer than a 2012 MBP, and I believe all the most recent laptops have the NVNe blade soldered, just like the RAM. 2014 units still had older style PCI proprietary blade. The only place I know that makes these drives is OWC, and here's a link: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-pro-retina-display/2013-2014-2015
I believe they have an install video for it. The only problem is that these drives are very expensive, but it looks like they are selling them out due to the fact no more of those MBPs are still made, as Apple has gone completely over to NVMe blades for MBPs. The OWC quality is usually better than Apple SSDs. If you are happy with that MBP, I think it would be worth the upgrade.
The OWC drives are not good value for the money. The OWC drives are nvme drives attached to an Apple 12+16 connectior. The same thing can be accomplished by getting a Sintech adapter and a third-party nvme drive. This adapter/drive combination is far cheaper and will perform as well or better than the OWC.
 
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Cyprusian

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2018
78
93
Northern Ireland
This happened to me when my 13" MBP was out of Apple Care cover and it cost me €550 to replace the screen. I hope you are more fortunate with your solution the I was!
 
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Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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I have a mid-2014 13" Pro and just discovered that it would keep rebooting on its own.

I suggest powering it up with the charger and just leave it to see if it reboots on its own.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,872
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Between the coasts
Definitely try to connect it to an external display.

If you see nothing when you boot to Internet Recovery (Option + Command + R), then it's not an issue with the internal hard drive, since Internet Recovery doesn't use the internal hard drive.

Resetting NVRAM will make sure it isn't a problem with video settings - https://support.apple.com/HT204063

This is very possibly a display failure of some sort. Since the Apple logo does light up eventually, the display backlight seems to be working. If an external display works, then it's likely related to the internal display module. If an external display also doesn't work, then the main logic board starts to become suspect... but I'd leave that kind of troubleshooting to a qualified repair shop.
 
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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
164
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Southern NH
The same thing can be accomplished by getting a Sintech adapter and a third-party nvme drive. This adapter/drive combination is far cheaper and will perform as well or better than the OWC.
Thanks, I didn't know of that fix. I'll check it out. I'd much rather use a Samsung blade.
 
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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
164
32
Southern NH
I don't recommend the Samsung nvme drives as they tend be draw a lot of battery power, even when idling.

This is an excellent thread and it applied to late 2013 to early 2015 Pros: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-2013-2014-macbook-pro-ssd-to-m-2-nvme.2034976/
Thanks Audit. I checked out the forum link and a video, and it looks like that swap of the blade couldn't be easier. To get my 2012 up to par, I had to pull out the HDD and move it to the optical bay which I pulled. I then put a 500GB SSD in the HDD bay, and maxed out the memory before buttoning it back up. Once the case is open, it looks like a one screw job to attach the blade. I'll let you know how it goes, as I think I know 2 friends who may want to upgrade.
 
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Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks Audit. I checked out the forum link and a video, and it looks like that swap of the blade couldn't be easier. To get my 2012 up to par, I had to pull out the HDD and move it to the optical bay which I pulled. I then put a 500GB SSD in the HDD bay, and maxed out the memory before buttoning it back up. Once the case is open, it looks like a one screw job to attach the blade. I'll let you know how it goes, as I think I know 2 friends who may want to upgrade.
You are welcome.

You need to be running at least the High Sierra bootrom before making the swap because the High Sierra bootrom has nvme support.

I installed nvme drives in four early 2015 Airs, an early 2015 13" Pro, and I'm doing the same for my mid-2014 13" Pro.
 
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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
164
32
Southern NH
You are welcome.

You need to be running at least the High Sierra bootrom before making the swap because the High Sierra bootrom has nvme support.

I installed nvme drives in four early 2015 Airs, an early 2015 13" Pro, and I'm doing the same for my mid-2014 13" Pro.
Thanks again. That's good to know about HS, but that's my oldest OS. I mostly work on cMPs, and in order to boot from NVMe, the flash (144.0.0.0) prior to installing Mojave was essential. I still have clients who have to stay with High Sierra to use their medium format sensor tethered in Capture-1. I keep both HS and Mojave boot drives on a 970 and a 960. I use both Mojave and Catalina on my MBP. I am curious about what brand you use, since I never had to think about battery consumption with the blades inside my 12-core. I also noticed that the new 970 EVO+ has lower power consumption than the 970 EVO. Do you use even lower power blades for your MBPs? Also make sure you don't get an EVO+ without the firmware update. I've never seen more kernel panics per hour in my life. I had two towers stripped to the bones, praying I could get one of them to work, replacing pieces one at a time... I had to take it back and get the EVO (no +) which worked perfectly. I read about 2 month later that the firmware upgrade made the EVO+ work fine in Macs. I noticed there was reference to this in the article you referred, as I wasn't sure if it was only on the cMPs. I actually installed one for an external boot drive for an older iMac. It's great for an external (mid 400MB/s reads and writes) on USB3, but not the 2,800MB/s reads I get in my cMP (Syba bifurcation PCI card on X16 slot to get PCI 3.0 speeds for two blades).
 
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Jacob Brown

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2020
12
0
If the Apple logo is lighted up and nothing on screen, take an extremely bright light and shine it on the screen too see if you can see anything in screen.

Also try connecting it to an external monitor.

I tried an external monitor. It didn't work :(. I tried shining a light on it too. I didn't see anything.

Thanks though.
-Jacob
[automerge]1582595982[/automerge]
If the EFI was corrupted, it's unlikely it would chime as the presence of the chime means that the MacBook has passed a basic hardware test.

All Macs and MacBooks use either Intel, nVidia, or AMD GPUs AFAIK. If the OP's MacBook is a 15", it would always boot using the integrated Intel GPU. If the MacBook is a 13", it only has integrated Intel graphics.

I would try booting the MacBook by holding down the D key after pressing the power button to see if the hardware diagnostics screen appears.


If it was a drive failure, I would expect to see the flashing ? folder or prohibited sign.


The OWC drives are not good value for the money. The OWC drives are nvme drives attached to an Apple 12+16 connectior. The same thing can be accomplished by getting a Sintech adapter and a third-party nvme drive. This adapter/drive combination is far cheaper and will perform as well or better than the OWC.
I tried booting while holding down the D key. It did something slightly different. The screen stayed black the whole time and the apple logo did not light up. When I don't hold down the D key the screen glows dimly but is still black and the apple logo turns on.
[automerge]1582596163[/automerge]
Definitely try to connect it to an external display.

If you see nothing when you boot to Internet Recovery (Option + Command + R), then it's not an issue with the internal hard drive, since Internet Recovery doesn't use the internal hard drive.

Resetting NVRAM will make sure it isn't a problem with video settings - https://support.apple.com/HT204063

This is very possibly a display failure of some sort. Since the Apple logo does light up eventually, the display backlight seems to be working. If an external display works, then it's likely related to the internal display module. If an external display also doesn't work, then the main logic board starts to become suspect... but I'd leave that kind of troubleshooting to a qualified repair shop.

I tried holding down option Control R and the logo did not turn on.

-Jacob
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,948
1,532
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks again. That's good to know about HS, but that's my oldest OS. I mostly work on cMPs, and in order to boot from NVMe, the flash (144.0.0.0) prior to installing Mojave was essential. I still have clients who have to stay with High Sierra to use their medium format sensor tethered in Capture-1. I keep both HS and Mojave boot drives on a 970 and a 960. I use both Mojave and Catalina on my MBP. I am curious about what brand you use, since I never had to think about battery consumption with the blades inside my 12-core. I also noticed that the new 970 EVO+ has lower power consumption than the 970 EVO. Do you use even lower power blades for your MBPs? Also make sure you don't get an EVO+ without the firmware update. I've never seen more kernel panics per hour in my life. I had two towers stripped to the bones, praying I could get one of them to work, replacing pieces one at a time... I had to take it back and get the EVO (no +) which worked perfectly. I read about 2 month later that the firmware upgrade made the EVO+ work fine in Macs. I noticed there was reference to this in the article you referred, as I wasn't sure if it was only on the cMPs. I actually installed one for an external boot drive for an older iMac. It's great for an external (mid 400MB/s reads and writes) on USB3, but not the 2,800MB/s reads I get in my cMP (Syba bifurcation PCI card on X16 slot to get PCI 3.0 speeds for two blades).
I heard about the 970 + problem and it being solv with a firmware update.

I'm not worried about speed of three nvme drives because they are all being used in machines for email, office apps, and surfing. No video or audio editing is being done on these machines.

I've just Intel 600p, Intel 760p, hp ex900, and lexar nm600. None of these are speed demons but they are faster than the stock 128 GB drive and battery life is still pretty good. They don't generate too much heat either.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,948
1,532
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I tried holding down option Control R and the logo did not turn on.

-Jacob
Try Command+option+r which is internet recovery.

I have the same MacBook pro that I bought for parts and it would not show the Apple logo. It just kept rebooting over and over.

Try this:

  1. disconnect the battery, connect the charger, don't touch anything, and it should boot on its own; or
  2. disconnect battery for a few hours, connect battery, connect charger, try to boot.
 
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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
164
32
Southern NH
I heard about the 970 + problem and it being solv with a firmware update.

I'm not worried about speed of three nvme drives because they are all being used in machines for email, office apps, and surfing. No video or audio editing is being done on these machines.

I've just Intel 600p, Intel 760p, hp ex900, and lexar nm600. None of these are speed demons but they are faster than the stock 128 GB drive and battery life is still pretty good. They don't generate too much heat either.
It's funny that I really only cared about speed, and spent an extra $200 so I could get current PCI 3 speeds, never concerned about the power consumption. I've never had a laptop with NVMe, hence my lack of understanding about using them in MBPs. I remember doing the research and finding that the Samsung blades had some advantages over the competition. The ability to double the speed of my NVMe boot drive and Adobe swap files, etc. makes it worth it. This makes my fast drives get close to 3GB/s, while my fastest SATA SSDs can't even get to 300MB/s due to the SATA 2 limitations. I have a Sonnet SATA 3 card that holds 2, 2.5" drives inside and eSATA for externals. Raided SSDs can get just under 1GB/s, but RAIDs and APFS don't work with the latest OSs.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,948
1,532
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
It's funny that I really only cared about speed, and spent an extra $200 so I could get current PCI 3 speeds, never concerned about the power consumption. I've never had a laptop with NVMe, hence my lack of understanding about using them in MBPs. I remember doing the research and finding that the Samsung blades had some advantages over the competition. The ability to double the speed of my NVMe boot drive and Adobe swap files, etc. makes it worth it. This makes my fast drives get close to 3GB/s, while my fastest SATA SSDs can't even get to 300MB/s due to the SATA 2 limitations. I have a Sonnet SATA 3 card that holds 2, 2.5" drives inside and eSATA for externals. Raided SSDs can get just under 1GB/s, but RAIDs and APFS don't work with the latest OSs.
Since the nvme drives were going to be put into Airs and Pros that only support pcie 2.0, speed will always be limited by the bus width.
 
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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
164
32
Southern NH
Since the nvme drives were going to be put into Airs and Pros that only support pcie 2.0, speed will always be limited by the bus width.
No question, but even PCI 2 will give you 1400 MB/s which is almost 50% faster than the fastest bus on a PCI 2 Mobo, and more than 4 times the speed of SATA 2.
 
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