13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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Will not boot after being shut down for extended period of time.

I'm having trouble booting a 2008 13" MacBook unibody (A1278) that hasn't been used in ~7-9 months.

The laptop is in excellent physical condition (not drops/spills), and worked prior to storage in a safe, climate controlled space. Only issues prior to extended non-use was an old battery that wasn't holding charge for long and occasionally a spotty WiFi connection.

Upon getting the laptop back out the other day, the battery was completely drained, so I plugged it in a let it charge for a bit. The light on the MagSafe connector turned green, then orange and the first battery indicator light started flashing signaling charging. It has since gained several charge lights.

Pressing the on button, I can hear the the HDD spin up, but not reading . There there is no start tone, or other noises from the fan, optical drive, etc. The display does nothing and the keyboard is unresponsive. The HDD spins up, runs several seconds, quits, and then spins up again and runs until I force shutdown by holding the on button.

I've pulled out the rather new HDD and booted another computer with it, so it's working just fine. I've also put in another bootable HDD in it's place and experience the same behavior.

I've pulled the RAM and reseated, also restarted with only one RAM stick and then the other, with no success. Starting with no RAM sticks, I do not hear the three beeps I'm supposed to hear.

I've tried all of the other suggestions that I could find to set the PRAM, SCM, etc. I've started by holding the eject button as some have suggested.

If I take the battery out and unplug the laptop, hold the on button for ~10 seconds, connect the power while continuing to hold the on botton for an additional 10 seconds and then attempt to restart, the fan comes on at full speed. I can't tell if the HDD is spinning over the sound of the fan.

I'm torn at this point. I'm struggling to believe it's a bad logic board when it worked prior and has been safely stored.

- Could it be something to do with the battery being so depleted, and likely defective at this point? I've tried booting without the battery and experience the same behavior. Would a new battery potentially allow it to boot?

- My understanding is that this machine does not have a PRAM battery, but a capacitor instead. Anyone know different? Could that be the issue?

Sorry for the long read, I wanted to give as much detail as possible. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Right now I've got two of three of the MB(P)s in the house not working. Kind of a bummer.

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If you have tried booting without the battery plugged in, and it still isn't doing anything, it would likely indicate a logic board issue. I would recommend pressing the caps lock key to see if it lights up when the Macbook is switched on (do this after a minute or so). If it is lighting up, it is getting in an OS and it would indicate a screen/screen circuit issue. If not, it is not passing POST and it is a more complicated issue. Let us know.

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Thank you, Reece.

I agree that it's not passing POST:

- To your question, the caps lock does not light up after allowing time to boot.

- I can't get it to boot to the optical drive. It took the OSX CD but won't boot to it or eject it.

I did try to boot it last night with a brand new aftermarket battery with the same results.

As mentioned above, I've tried reseating and booting off of single RAM sticks to rule out bad RAM. I may try to boot off the old sticks if I can find them this evening.

I'm open to any suggestions for next troubleshooting steps. Thanks in advance for any help.


I would recommend taking it to a repair centre who can diagnose this. It will be a logic board fault, so it would either need repairing or replacing.

It's difficult to diagnose this without seeing it, as it can be caused by a number of things, so I would recommend taking it somewhere if you wanted to fix it, or sell it on eBay for spares if not.


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