Is it the logic board?

A little over a year ago, a small amount of diet Coke was splashed on the left side of the computer. (The lid was closed at the time.) There are no obvious signs of liquid on the inside of the computer but the display doesn't work. There is also no "chime" on start-up. . .I know. . .bad sign. The laptop was functioning (running Lion) just fine as long as it was hooked up to an external monitor. I had decided I could live with it even though I couldn't use it as a laptop. A few months ago, I downloaded a software update and new problems started. It will boot from the Leopard discs that it came with but I can't install anything higher than Leopard. The Snow Leopard update that also came with the computer won't work. I get a message that it can't be installed on the computer.

It still works just fine if I don't try to install any system above Leopard and it is attached to an external monitor. Sadly, some of the programs I want to use require a more current system.

Again, it was running Lion before the software update from Apple crashed it. Are there any possibilities other than the logic board?

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I forgot to say that the MacBook Pro passes all the Apple Hardware Tests and the Tech Tools hardware tests.

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Hi, can you confirm that Lion is still installed on the hard drive and that you can't boot from it after the software update that is why you are using the Leopard disc to boot the system?

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Lion is not still installed on the hard drive. After the update crashed the computer, I erased the hard drive and tried to "start over" with Leopard. I could do all the Leopard updates but that was as far as I could go. I read that "Lion" sometimes lurked around in the background and caused problems so I put in a new hard drive. I still couldn't install anything above Leopard.

When I remove the ram and restart the computer, it beeps and the front light flashes. After I posted my question earlier today, I decided to get my nerve up and remove the logic board to see if there was any visible sign of damage from the diet coke. I found one little sticky spot under the left speaker. . .the part that sits under the video connector. That might explain the loss of the display but it doesn't seem like it was enough to cause the problems with the software.

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Hi kathiaz, try to clean the video connector and make sure that there is no corrosion left on it. Also try resetting the PRAM by holding altogether the Option+Command+P+R right after pressing the power button. Then do a fresh install of Snow Leopard/Lion using a full installer disc not the update only version and see if you can install.

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I will try that. I have tried resetting the PRAM but this is the first time I've taken the logic board out and cleaned it. I really appreciate iFixit for having the good pictures and clear directions.

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Well. . .nothing has changed. The video cable didn't look corroded but I cleaned it and that portion of the logic board thoroughly. I got everything resembled but still don't have video. Because I don't have a startup chime, I can't tell if I'm resetting the PRAM or not. Should the system start while I'm holding option+command+P+R down? Without the chime, I'm not sure how long to hold the keys down.

How do I get the full installer disc for Snow Leopard? From what I've read, a lot of people have purchased discs that won't work. I have the upgrade version and the Snow Leopard install discs athat came with a MacBook. When I try to use the update discs, it looks like everything is progressing normally until it restarts. Then, I'll see the Apple logo and spinning wheel for a few minutes. After that it's just a gray screen until I reboot the computer.

Any other ideas I can try?

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PRAM reset will only work using the builtin keyboard not external. You should press and hold the option+command+p+r buttons after pressing the power button and should be before the apple logo comes up and you should keep holding the buttons until the second appearance of the logo. That should reset the pram. Then try using the Snow Leopard install discs and boot from it by holding down the option key until the boot menu appears.

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