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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8527
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I have a Mac book pro and it will turn on but not boot up from

Customer Question

I have a Mac book pro and it will turn on but not boot up from cold start. Has a black screen, no sound, and no response.

Any help much appreciated,

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
Hi, I'm Mary and I'll do my best to help you solve your Mac issue.

I am happy to help you troubleshoot this issue, but have patience with me if I ask a few questions.

When you say it will turn on, but not boot from a cold start what do you mean? If, after shutting the laptop completely down and then pressing the power button, do you hear a chime?

Have you tried resetting the power manager or PRAM/VRAM?

If not, let's try that and see what happens.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Mary - when powering on, I have no chime, black screen, and no detectable function. I did insert a CD to see if it would accept, which it did & sounded as if it was reading, but will not eject. In an attempt to reset, I did disconnect all power & remove the battery, which changed nothing. Hope that helps.
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
Ok, first thing I'd like you to do is get the CD out of the drive, if you haven't already.

Press and hold the power button until the machine completely shuts down. Then, press the power button again and either press your external mouse button or the trackpad button until the CD ejects.

Once you're to that point, we'll carry on.

Edited to add: good thinking about the power cord/battery removal testing - that's one of the things I would have suggested!

Edited by Mary on 9/2/2010 at 8:13 PM EST
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
Oh and sorry, my bad:

Which model of MacBook Pro do you have and what's your OS version?

Edited by Mary on 9/2/2010 at 8:14 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have a 2008 17" model running OS Leopard. I'm having difficulty getting the disk to eject. Any physical way to do this?
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
It sounds like we are both working with the same Pro model and the same OS, so that is helpful.

To force eject the CD in the drive, there are several things we can try, from easy and non-destructive, to possibly scary.

Let's start with the easy:
  1. Hold down the power button until you are pretty sure the machine is shut off

  2. Press the power on button and then immediately press and hold the eject button (that button all the way to the right at the top of the keyboard - next to the F12 key)

  3. Keep holding it. Let me know if the CD ejects.

In the old days, there was a little hole next to all the CD drives that allowed us to insert a paperclip or suchlike to force the CD to eject. Not anymore, so we now have to take other steps.

And I am assuming correctly that you still have a disk stuck in the drive?

Edited by Mary on 9/2/2010 at 8:28 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No ejecto. What's the next step?
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
This is a bit scary to try. It won't ruin your drive, but it might damage the CD that's stuck in there.

Get a business card or a thin piece of cardboard. Insert it into the drive and press down a bit on the CD (the objective is to stop the CD from spinning). You might have to fold or double up the cardboard to do this.

Restart the computer while holding this bit of card against the CD in the drive. It then should eject.

Please read this link before doing this. I can't endorse this, but we do need to get than damnable CD out of the drive before we continue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
hallelujah - its out!
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.

Before anything else, shut down the power and try to reboot. Does this do anything?

If not, let's try troubleshooting further.

This may sound like a really stupid suggestion, but I've done it before and been confused.

With your machine booted up and on (and, assume, you still don't see anything on the screen), press and hold the F1 key for about 5 seconds and then press and hold the F2 for the same amount of time.

Does your screen then come back on?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I've tried rebooting several times since getting the disk out, to no avail. I'll try once again using the f1-f2 keys. BTW, nothing spectacular led up to this problem. I simply closed the cover to put the thing to sleep, and this morning there was no response to anything. Even the sleep mode light has quit its normal soft pulsation with the cover closed - curious.
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
I've had some similar issues myself. The F1/F2 thing was a shot in the dark on my part hoping that if, maybe, you had turned off the monitor somehow we could turn it back on.

I suspect, however, that isn't the case.

Have you tried resetting the PRAM and NVRAM? If not, do this and let me know what happens:

  1. Press and hold the power button to shut down the computer (as best you can)
  2. Turn on the computer by pressing once on the power button
  3. Immediately press and hold the Command + Alt + P + R keys.
  4. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the chimes at least twice
  5. Release the keys and wait to see if the computer boots up

I don't know if this will help, but it's the first thing to try in this sort of situation.

The next step will be trying to reset the PMU (power management unit).

After that, if none of the above works, we'll "kill" the machine (not really kill, but remove the power adaptor and the battery for about 12 hours to force a completely cold restart - you won't lose data, but you might lose some finder defaults like date and time).

If none of that works, then it might be you just have a dead screen. As an additional suggestion, during all this trying and testing, move the lid of the book back and forth to see if you ever get any sort of image on the screen.

Another suggestion - do you have an external monitor you could connect to the MBP to test?

Edited by Mary on 9/2/2010 at 10:01 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay - no dice with the command+alt+p+r thing - no changes - no sounds. I do have an external cinema monitor I've been using which has shown up nothing throughout all this even though disconnected & replugged. Moving the cover to & fro makes no difference other than the indicator light on the front release button goes from dim to dark as it the cover approaches 'closed' and then lights up solid again once closed. How does resetting the PMU go?
Expert:  Mary replied 7 years ago.
To reset the PMU, do this:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
  3. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
  4. Release the power button.
  5. Attach the computers power cable.
  6. Press the power button to turn on the computer.

If this works, terrific; if not, we'll take the next step.