A1260 fan starts + latch LED lights, doesn't boot, no sounds

My trusty A1260 / EMC 2198 with last 3 serial YJZ is misbehaving.

After leaving it alone, lid closed, nothing plugged in except power, for a couple of days, I came back and found the front latch LED glowing a steady white, could hear the fans running and it was quite warm to touch (though no more than usual when its running - it was in a well ventilated spot).

I opened it and the screen was black and the keyboard lights / volume buttons had no response. I held down the power key and after ~5s everything turned off. This happened once a couple of days ago, but it powered up as usual without problem. But not this time.

I tried to boot as usual, and the following happens when I press the power key:

  • fan starts
  • CD drive makes a noise (I think, possibly HD?)
  • front latch LED goes white (at half brightness)

The screen does not light up, and nothing else happens after this point. I can power if off again by holding down the power button for 5s.

Things I've tried:

  • reseating the RAM cards
  • booting with/without the power attached
  • removed battery, held down power button (SMC reset?)
  • booting with no RAM -- exactly the same as above

Any suggestions on next steps / tips are much appreciated!

Edit: I just noticed that if its in the zombie state, when I close the lid the latch LED goes from subdued white to bright white (steady in both cases, not flashing). If I re-open the lid, it goes back to dim. Not sure if that's a clue? I've also hooked up an external display - nothing shows there.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Dang, Apple called me back within 3 hours of dropping it off -- all fixed with a new logic board and no charge under the nVidia recall! I'm a v happy camper! (Plus they obviously cleaned it too and its running *much* cooler).

Now for the SSD upgrade...

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Your machine has the GeForce 8600M GT video chip that Apple has a recall on. If you were getting any artifacts on the screen before it failed you may be able to get it fixed for free. They will balk if the screen is totally black. I would read through the questions on this site on the nVidia 8600 recall. Here's Apples notice on it: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377

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I took it to the local Apple store Genius Bar (sic) today (after making an appointment yesterday just in case). He poked and prodded, and plugged in a little box with double USB dongles and listened to it and then declared exactly what you said above - the Nvidia recall. "The fact that the latch light stays dim means that the video is causing problems". It didn't seem like the box was actually telling him anything, but based on the serial number he was inclined to write it up that way with no nudging on my part. And then he declared I would get a new logic board and it would all be free (courtesy of Nvidia). Fortunately he didn't balk at the totally black screen. I was quite relieved, because this box has some dings from a previous owner dropping it, and I wasn't optimistic about getting the $310 service option. (And when I asked him, he said that it would have been the ~$700 tier).

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Glad I could save you a lot of bucks and get your problem solved ;-)

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Many thanks Mayer! I see you all over this site - you're obviously a huge help around here. Thanks again!

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Sounds like you have some malware on your system or some other app is not following the rules when the system is in sleep mode (closed lid or via menu). Now your OS/HD is corrupted.

You need to boot from a Mac OS-X CD/DVD or a bootable external HD. Once you have you should be able to use disk util from the menu to check your HD and make any needed repairs. If you can run a current version of anti-virus it should be able to remove any malware. You may need to re-install your OS otherwise.

Once your able to reboot under your internal HD make sure you've run the Mac Update service so your OS is running the most current security updates ASAP.

If you can't access your internal HD at all from booting up under the Mac OS CD/DVD or external HD, or disk util reports the disk can't be repaired you'll need to replace the HD.

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Thanks for responding! Fwiw I couldn't even get it to boot from from a CD (and nor could the Apple person when I took it in) or come up with any diagnostics window. Per my answer above, they concluded it was the Nvidia problem and will fix it for free.

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MikeM will be eternally grateful.
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