MB Pro won't boot on planes

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JillV, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. JillV macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    Hello everyone -

    I recently bought a new MB Pro. Two days later - after it worked perfectly fine - I got on a plane from NY to SF. As I turned on my computer mid-flight, I got the white screen of death.

    As soon as we landed, I tried turning it on again - and it worked, like nothing had happened.

    Two weeks later, same thing happened. I try turning on my computer on the plane: white screen and disturbing clicking noises. As soon as I was back on the ground, turned it on again: no problem.

    At first I figured it was some crazy coincidence, but then two days ago I flew back home to Belgium and AGAIN, white screen of death. And AGAIN, when I got home, it worked perfectly.

    Has this happened to anyone ever? Since I don't usually fly as often, it's not a GIGANTIC problem, but still.
  2. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    It should operate at an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level (if I remember correctly). Cabin pressurization on an airplane, even on your long distance flights, should have been kept at a pressure equivalent to less than 10K feet.

    Sounds like some part or parts of your MBP are not up to par with the environmental operating specifications in regards to altitude/pressure.

    My 2009 Macbook worked fine on a flight from Atlanta to NYC, so I would think your MBP should have worked on at least one of your flights.
  3. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    It sounds like your hard drive. The HD heads fly a microscopic distance above the platter surface on a cushion of air caused by the disk's spinning. At higher altitude the air is thinner, therefore the cushion is weaker, but most consumer laptop HD's are specified for a max operating altitude of at least 10,000'. Aircraft cabin pressures are kept at 8,000' or lower, therefore it looks like your drive is out of tolerance, and the heads may be riding in the platter's surface, and unable to read. The disk retry clicks point to this.

    I would contact Apple to have this disk replaced under warranty. Besides the fact that it cannot operate within the specified altitude, the attempts to operate may have damaged the heads or platter, making them subject to premature failure. You should immediately backup any important data on the disk.
  4. bigsexyy81 macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2010
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah, its the Hard Drive. However, if you booted off a SSD it should work on the plane ;)

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