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Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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I have a macbook pro. When trying to shut down it just sat

Customer Question

I have a macbook pro. When trying to shut down it just sat there for a long time. So I pushed the power button and shut it off. When I turned it on the computer statred up but the display is blank. Cannot get the display to work. Tried booting from an external CD, etc. Nothing seems to work. Any ideas?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Rob replied 7 years ago.

Try resetting the pram by pressing the power button and immediately hold the

Command Option P R keys

keep holding these keys until you hear 3 startup chimes, then let go. You should then startup normally.

If you don't get any light in the display after that, press the F2 key to make sure it's not the brightness button that has somehow automatically gone all the way down.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Tried it, no luck. Any other ideas?

Expert:  Rob replied 7 years ago.
Yes, you can try resetting the System Management Controller by doing this which is from Apple's website:

MacBook (13 inch, Late 2008), MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008), and MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2008)

If the computer is on, turn it off.
Disconnect the AC adapter and remove the computer's battery.
Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds and then release the button.
Reconnect the battery and AC Adapter.
Press the power button to restart the computer.

This info is further explained here at Apple's site:

On the brightness button in the first answer, also try holding the fn key in the lower left corner when trying to pump up the brightness.

If this doesn't get you going, try these:

1) Restart, as soon as you hear the startup chime hold the Command S keys. You'll get a Unix text screen. When the prompt come up type:

fsck -f

make sure there is a space between k and -. Then hit the return key. When the diagnostics say the computer seems to be ok type:


then hit return and you'll start up back to normal. You won't be able to do this if your screen still doesn't power up of course.

2) Start up in Safe Mode by restarting and as soon as you hear the startup chime, hold the shift key. Keep holding the shift key until you see the Gray Apple and spinning gear. Then let go of the shift key. It may take up to a half hour to start up because the system runs diagnostics and may be repairing. After the computer starts up, restart again without holding any keys.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Tried all of these - nothing works to bring up the screen - on the cmd S option, never got to see the screen, still blank - same with safe mode - can't see what I am doing.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
PS. I can see the computer and access its hard drive on my network.
Expert:  Rob replied 7 years ago.
That's not a good sign. The only other thing I can think to try is inserting your system install/restore cd, restarting holding the C key and see if the computer has a working display when started up by the system cd. Try pumping up the brightness with the brightness key when you startup in this mode or any other mode I've described.

With your laptop showing up on the network, it does show the computer is working but the display is not.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes, I have tried this.


Here is an interesting thing. I can see the computer desktop and work on it normally using a remote control program on my network from another computer, the one I am sending you this on. Everything seems intact.


I am wondering if there is anything I can do in the system confinguration to get it to recognize the display. I feel sure it is a software problem caused when I tried to shut it down prematurely.

Expert:  Rob replied 7 years ago.
If it is, I don't know it. If starting up from the system CD doesn't get any video, I think something has killed the video in the computer. But, there are lots of other smart people here who might have an answer for you. I'm going to opt out and let them take over your situation and see if someone else can get the video up for you.

Good luck and take care.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for trying, sorry to have taken up your time.Smile

Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.

Thanks Rob for taking it this far.


If the Mac does not show video on startup, which is strictly hardware at that point, no software is even loaded yet, then this is a hardware issue.

So, let's narrow it down. Get a flashlight and shine it on the Mac display at different angles and try to see if there is an image in the display, but just no backlight.

If you see an image then the backlight or Invertor have failed and that is the repair it will need.

If you see no image, and can see it using Screen Sharing, then the video is good from the Mac logic board but the display has failed itself, or a cable came loose.

So, botXXXXX XXXXXne... No video with flashlight bad display or cable. Video with flashlight, bad invertor or backlight.

Make sense?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Doesn't really matter at this point. I had decided it was a hardware problem and made an appointment with the Apple store for today.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Ok great. I think that is best.

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