Apple's line of MacBook Pro laptops was intended for the professional and power users. The MacBook Pro line includes the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody, MacBook Pro 15", MacBook Pro 15" Unibody, MacBook Pro 17", and the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.

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What to do when I can't boot?

I have a MBP 17" A1261 (Early 2008) that is failing to boot. I took it to the Apple store in Atlanta and they told me I needed a new logic board. They said it was failing the POST test. I want a second opinion on my problem.

Here are my symptoms:

  • On Power button press:
    • Latch light comes on and remains lit.
    • Fans, Optical drive, Hard Disk all spin up.
    • No system chime or image on screen.
  • On Power button press and hold:
    • Same as above except: Latch LED constant for 2-3 seconds and then blinks 5-10 times and then goes out.
  • One other thing that I noticed, when pressing power button and closing lid after a moment, it will make the latch LED shine brighter until opened.

*Between 1st crash and subsequent ones, I did get it to do a clean install of the OS. It seemed to be fine after but then, I logged into the account that I had used before the install after a restore but after shut down, no ability to restart.

I've done all the things that the Apple KB says to do about resetting PRAM, SMC, Etc. It will not boot from CD or in target mode as far as I know. I've power cycled it many times, with and without battery and from full charge to nothing.

Just before the crash, it was on battery power and ran it down to nothing.

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I would reseat your RAM modules, and test the slots by powering up with a module in one slot and the other empty, and then the reverse. I would also remove the battery to simplify the situation. There is no reason to have it connected while testing.

During the "on power button press" test you mention, it should produce a solid tone...did it? Has sound on this laptop ever worked?

I assume you are doing all this on AC power, but you mention "it was on battery power and ran it down to nothing"...are you suggesting it has power issues, or wasn't charging the battery?

It's probably a little premature to suggest this, but due to it seeming that you likely have power-related issues, I'd guess you need a new DC-in/IO board:

MacBook Pro 17" (Model A1261) Left I/O Board

I'd also try connecting to an external display. If you get an image, that tells you the logic board is good and you don't have a GPU issue.

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rdk is more tactful than I am, but said the same thing I did without the anger.

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Sound does work on this machine. I hear a faint beep just after pressing the power button but I think that it may be the HD spinning up. The computer wasn't on AC when it died, just battery and the battery will hold charge. Unfortunately, I don't have a monitor to plug it into to test the GPU. As an FYI, according to the apple tech, it's not in the group that had the abnormally high GPU fail rate from NVIDIA.

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I swapped and reswapped RAM, testing each one in both slots and no dice. If you have other ideas, let me know... thanks for the help.

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If it were my machine, I would probably swap the DC-in/IO board next. It handles most power issues in Pros.

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Did they bother to tell you what the POST test was? This usually refers to Power On Self Test. It tests the RAM. Pull one chip and try it, then try the same chip in the second slot. Then repeat with the other chip. I think you're the victim of the PHd syndrome. (Piled Higher and deeper.) If this fails we'll explore other things. Here's your POST test from Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2341

grrrr

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