Troubleshoot MacBook non-full-boot

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by cheeryble, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. cheeryble macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    Hi there

    I have a 5 1/2 year old black MacBook.
    I know.....why am I bothering....but it's still a very useful bit of kit and more important still my back up drive has been up the creek for a long time.....I know I'm an idiot no backup promise it won't happen again.

    So here's what's happening and I need to get it going at least long enough to back up my stuff and hopefully for future use.

    Two issues have affected it in recent months:
    1. A knock on the front near the trackpad.
    2. The battery became swollen. The trackpad started playing up and I stuck four rubber sticky chair foot pads one on each stopped the battery pushing upwards and cured it.

    In last days the MacBook has been closing down, or difficult to boot up....sometimes will, sometimes won't.
    Sometimes it gives a message on the screen that the MacBook must be restarted, and it won't work until you do that I decided to take the battery out and it booted fine and worked. Thought I'd just use it at home unbatteried, but sure enough it now won't boot.
    Here's the thing:
    When I press the power button I get the typical mechanical sort of wind-up sound, and a brief flash of white on the screen......but not the Apple chime sound which normally follows. if I hold it to my ear I hear the HD spinning.....though it doesn't sound very smooth. The little white light on the front comes on, and stays lit. But black screen.

    What would a clever man do?
    The SuperDrive hasn't worked for years so I can't boot from that.
    What would be a logical train of thought (and I really do need to get some stuff out!) I didn't realise it was that old yes I agree to get a new one. But I,d rather get a small Air, not keen on his ipad, and use the macbook as a base
  2. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    After reading something I tried holding down SHIFT while trying to boot.
    No difference.
    But still hoping for guidance.....:)

  3. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    Maybe I'm in the wrong place......thought it was Macrumours :eek:

    Let's try something else........PRETTY PLEASE!
  4. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    Can anyone recommend a forum where I might get an answer to my query?

    Thanx Cheeryble
  5. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    If your battery has swollen you NEED to take it to Apple immediately, swollen batteries are dangerous and need to be replaced, they can explode and cause fires in extreme cases.

    Chances are the battery has swollen so badly it's dislodged a connection somewhere along the line that's affecting your macs ability to boot, take it into the Apple Store.

    Alternatively you can try the bog standard reset routine of system level stuff:

    Reset P-RAM

    Reset SMC

    Doing both of these will not affect any of your data etc, it just resets the onboard settings of the hardware incase a glitch has developed somehow.

    Hope this helps.
  6. cheeryble, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011

    cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    thankyou Schtumple I was losing hope!
    I shall try the resets after first Time Machine backup for two years is done.

    Yesterday a piece of luck
    I begged and borrowed startup disk, optical and backup drives, and went to the coffee shop to try a boot up from startup disk.
    Thought i may as well try powering on. lo and behold after going there by bike up and down kerbs etc (age 63!) it booted like a dream.
    I thought ****, I gotta capture this lot while I can.....connected up a big drive and stored the lot over an hour or two.
    So I was safe.
    Now, at home, I've been cleaning out some of the rubbish before rebacking up in a more organised fashion to my old WD drive.
    Everything going good, then suddenly a blackout on screen. Interesting thing the HD is still spinning inside the Macbook (clue?).
    It has rebooted this time though. I then noticed that when I picked up the right front corner the same happened (but again happily could reboot).
    This is suggesting....that is suggesting.....a poor mechanical connection (probably) or short somewhere....hopefully not on a chip.

    Again......what would a clever man do to find this fault?
    Bear in mind I like to fix things myself if it's not going to be an exercise in masochism. It's an early Blackbook but even though I've only cleaned out so the 320gb HD is half empty now, with no reoganizing files in a smarter way which should make things work faster, it's still a great machine and I want to keep it as my home station (have iPad...great for reading but that's about it, am about to buy Air 11inch).
    So suggestions welcome!!


    ps extra clue: when the battery is in it stops the trackpad working properly...I'm using a USB mouse. I believe it works if I take the battery out (not sure about the "click section" at the front and don't wna tto take otu battery right now as I'm still Time Machining. As well as the swollen battery puching upwards it got a knock in front of the trackpad area.
    pps know a simple guide to organizing files so things work smoothly?
  7. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    In case any brightsparks are reading despite few replies I shall continue with my symptoms:

    I have further found suggestion that the problem is mechanical (in the sense of hardware or a hardware connection/dry solder/whatever.)
    I have found if it doen't start but I press down behind the trackpad as I push power on it tends to boot up. What's more sometimes if it blacks out (HD still spinning remember, but ti's not just a screen problem) and I press the bit behind the trackpad it may boot up again without any pressing of buttons!
    I haven't nailed down that push-spot as specific, its just that spot behind the trackpad seems to work.....I shall explore further, and the push may be being transferred somewhere.

    I may open my Blackbook in Target Mode if I can borrow another Mac.
    If the other Mac runs off my Blackbooks HD whilst I press and push ad rattle the Blackbook here and there I'll know if it's the HD or not (or a connection on the way to it.) This will be a worthwhile step eh?

  8. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    Replace the battery.

    As mentioned before, a swollen batter can explode and/or start a fire.

    Also, the swollen battery can cause problems with the track pad.
  9. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    Try the Target Disk mode thing if you have another mac, that will indicate whether it's a hardware fault or software.
  10. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have the battery back in for the moment as I have it running temporarily and had a reason I wanted to be able to move the macbook across the room if necessary (though that is an iffy thing to do)........but this problem happens on no-battery mode also suggesting that's not the big problem.....maybe.
    (take the point about fire etc but here in Thailand we don't worry so much about safety :D)


    That's my plan Schtumple gotta borrow another Mac to use. (maybe time to get that small Air?) Stay tuned may do this evening (Thai time).

    Out of interest, and possibly useful, what does it tell you that when it fails to boot properly it does start to boot? It gives that initial sort of mechanical winding up sound but fails to complete and turn into the Apple chiming sound. Anything?

    cheers Cheeryble
  11. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    Taken it to the local mac guy here in Chaingmai.
    He took it apart and says it's corrosion and dirt in the logic board. It really was dusty in there and I could see the copper looked off colour.
    He,s pretty confident he can get it running OK and may be able to clean the optical drive same time so it works for the first time in years.
    The price here in Thailand? 2500 baht.....less than $85!

    I think it,s well worth it may be able to use as base station for quite some time even withut battery.
    He can provide a battery for 2200 baht, about $70.
    I may not bother and just keep it plugged in....

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