MBP only starts up with all the screws out!!!?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peedrr, May 29, 2010.

  1. peedrr macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    Hi there, first post on this forum.

    i was lucky enough to be given a Macbook Pro Core Duo 2.16 (A1150) by a good friend of mine who upgraded. He told me that it was broken and he didn't know why.

    i started it up and got the dreaded Question Mark Folder. i took the hard drive out, tested it and found it was fine. i put it all back together and, being a little impatient :D, fired it back up before clicking the keyboard layer back on or putting the screws in. The OS started up fine and i was a happy bunny.

    Feeling pretty chuffed that my new freebie was so easy to fix, i powered down, clicked the keyboard layer on properly and screwed in the million squillion little screws. i plugged in the power again, pressed the Go button and... Question Mark Folder.

    i repeated the above process maybe 3 or 4 times and each time it would work fine without the lid on and without the screws in place but would not boot up when put back together properly.

    i decided to do some tests. i fired it up again with the keyboard layer resting on the top of the case and it was fine, then i pressed down on the flat parts as though it was screwed up and clicked in place. i got the colourful whirly 'thinking' symbol. i would then release the pressure and after a few seconds the system would work as normal.

    My best guess is that the hard drive is disengaging whenever i put pressure on the top of the case or when the case is done up tight.

    Have any of you ever experienced this? is it a common problem? What steps would you take to sort this out?

    Any and all help much appreciated.

  2. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    This might sound strange, but does it boot with the battery removed?
  3. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
  4. raxafarian macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    is there any way a 12.5mm drive got crammed in there and tightening the screws puts pressure on the drive?

    Just thinking out loud....
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Try putting it all back together properly and starting up from an external HDD:D
  6. wake6830 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    Maybe one of the screws is shorting something? Might be a pain, but you could always screw one in at a time and boot up, then shut down and put in the next screw and boot up, etc. When it stops working, you know you've found the problem screw and can investigate further.
  7. peedrr thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    Thanks guys

    Thanks for all the replies

    Yes, in fact that happens to be my only option at the moment because my friend gave me the MBP without a battery - I'm running it using a borrowed power supply until I've either got it stable or given up!

    I don't think so - the drive appears to be the original 160GB Fujitsu one with a little Apple logo on it.

    Thank you mrsir2009 - very helpful :cool: Until I read this I was unaware that Macs now support booting from USB (this is my first play with a mac for years. Despite always admiring them from afar I've never had the cash to own one myself)

    I took the HD out and stuck it in a USB adapter. It booted up fine. I then put the laptop back together properly - everything working fine and stable for the past 24 hours. So that's some progress I guess, although I still have no idea why the HDD isn't working in the laptop where it belongs!

    My guess is either

    a) the hard drive is temperamental and not dealing well with the heat/pressure of being enclosed
    b) there is a problem with the HD cable, ie a break/short-circuit which only gets exposed when the case is done up tight.

    I think it is easier to try and eliminate hard drive issues first. Unfortunately I don't have another 2.5" drive that I can put in there to test (donations welcome though! I'm based in London, UK if you're feeling generous ;)) and short of giving the HD a squeeze while it's running, I'm not sure what I should test. Can you recommend any error checking utilities that might give a good overview of the reliability of the HDD? The HD does seem to be making the odd clicking noise at times when I wouldn't have thought it would be reading/writing. Such as now for instance - nothing open except Safari. But like I said, I'm out of practice with Macs so maybe there are all kinds of processes running from the HDD behind the scenes.

    Once again, any other thoughts are definitely welcome.

    Thanks again for all the help. I'm very glad I joined macrumors :)

  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I had a similar issue like this with a MacBook Air; it would only boot with the bottom cover removed. It was concluded that the power was being shorted when the bottom cover was on the machine. After the motherboard was replaced, the issue as resolved.

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