My MacBook will not boot unless 'Shift' is pressed.

When booting, after Apple logo and wheel I only get a white screen and then nothing. Booting to Safeboot works but does not allow full use of machine. Not a software problem, I think, but what hardware would cause this?

Same result in an Apple store when using their OS disk! They sent me away saying I needed a new one!

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The white screen is the telltale symptom. Disconnect the hard drive and boot from your original system installation disk. If all runs well, you have isolated the problem to the hard drive. Replace it.

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Do you have access to an external USB keyboard? You could try it.

You'll need to disconnect the internal ribbon keyboard cable and then try powering your system up via the power pads (if your keyboard doesn't have one with the power switch option).

Did it work correctly now? If it did you know your internal keyboard has a problem and will need to be replaced.

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I should point out Apple stopped servicing this model a few years ago so they can't service it. An independent authorized Apple service center may be willing to! Lastly, swapping out the uppercase (keyboard) is quite easy in this series.

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