My MacBook Pro has a black screen at startup.

Hi, recently, for no apparent reason, my MacBook refuses to turn on when the power button is pressed. I hear the hard drive and dvd drive kick in as well as the apple ding, but no monitor backlight or image. I have tried with and without the battery plugged in and have tried letting it charge. The keyboard backlight will come on eventually, but doesn't stay on.

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!

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Any liquid spilled on the MacBook Pro ?

by lemerise

i have the same problem dont know if it shall solve.

by lwande

I'm having the same problem except mine happened after i did command option p r. I got the 3 restart noises and everything but my screen just stayed black

by Gerard

Since this question is a year old, I would try the suggested fixes. Tell us why you zapped the PRAM in a new question.

by mayer

Tried everything, been researching all the forums and applied all including opening the dam thing and having a look at the video cards,nothing nada hopeless. The only solution that worked was to use time machine, had a backup on a hard disk.

First I saved the image of the HD on the same hard disk in a different partition so I still have all the pictures and documents, rest was details so they don't matter.

Wish you success.

by Ion Ciobanu

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3 Answers

Chosen Solution

Resetting the Power Manager

If the computer is on, turn it off.

Restart the computer by holding down the reset button to the left of the Serial port for 10 to 20 seconds.

If the computer does not restart, repeat step 2 three or four times.

Resetting the Power Manager and PRAM

Resetting the parameter RAM (PRAM) when the computer is shut down also resets the Power Manager. The following process resets both the Power Manager and the parameter RAM.

If the computer is on, turn it off.

Make sure the Caps Lock key is not down.

Restart the computer. Immediately after hearing the startup sound, simultaneously press and hold Command-Option-P-R. (If you do not hold down the key combination within 5 to 10 seconds after the computer restarts, you must repeat steps 1-3.)

Hold down the keys until you hear the startup sound again. Then release the keys.

If the computer shuts itself off, press the reset button on the back of the computer to turn it back on.

When the computer has finished starting up, restore any custom settings.

If this doesn't work then insert your system disk and start up holding down the "C" key. On the third screen a pull down menu will appear. Go to Utilities - Disk Utility and see if you can repair your disk. If this fails then reinstall the system. Or do the following:

Get to another mac and start up in target mode. Connect via firewire cable, start the bad machine holding down the "T" key. It should bring the hard drive up on the other machine. Get your data off first. Then run disk utilities. Also check remedies listed on Apple's site for gray screen:

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not grey screen its black, no backlight even, tried reseting using command option pr no luck my MacBook has no serial ports system disk does not work and do not have another mac for target boot.

by joshfreeman

Target mode uses Firewire not serial. The Apple site for grey screen remedies is recommended by Apple after what I had listed for Black screen. You use known procedures for isolating these problems till something works. Next I would do as Xen recommended.

by mayer

i had black screen and Macbook pro 17 inch would have sound, lit keyboard, and starting repeatedly with disks to re boot, it re fused the disk that came with the computer. I found this forum and as Mayer said,press "C" key at start up......well.ill be..............the screen went on and no problems since . may be the cat got on there and did some thing, but i knoe the "C" key worked and re paired the problem : )) thank you Mayer

by laura iancu

The "c" and power button worked for me!! Thank you!

by Kelly Post

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Ok, sounds like you have a display issue off hand. Try connecting an external display and see if it gets a picture. Also you can shine a flashlight on the screen, if you get a faint picture it's the backlight.

You also want to try resetting the smc. To do that you remove all peripherals, the battery and the power adapter. Then hold the power button down for a min of 5 seconds.

If the smc reset works you should be good if not there is a good chance you need to repair the computer.


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Have tried external monitor, nothing, target disk i cannot do because this is my only mac, and i dont have serial ports was a reply to the earlyer comment about a reset button that was next to the serial port... took in to apple today and they were unable to even run diagnostics on it because apparently it hangs right after the boot chime ... without video ... should i just assume faulty logic board ? possibly a faulty BGA chip ? i used to fix xbox360 BGA video chips day and night with a heat gun if this logic board is the culprit is it worth a try ? the mac is out of warranty and apple wont even touch it because the case is completely warped as if someone stepped on it but im a broke student and have to do homework somehow !! luckily i have an iPhone to write to you guys with !!

by joshfreeman

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I had same problem no chime blank screen did have power light apple logo keyboard lights.

Did SMC reset and it worked but weeks later same wont start up blank screen etc and now no apple logo light or keyboard lights and SMC reset not working.

I have researched and there is a fault with this model a1226 relating to video and graphics chip sets being cooked As they are poorly designed for ventilation this had a fix from apple back in 2011 free until 2012 cant find any more info.

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My macbook pro display wont turn on even after pressing F2... it did once but not now..... the sensor light stays on and battery indicator led shows the percentage of battery charged but the cpu starts heating rapidly and screen display won't turn on... pls help

by gouriagarwal

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joshfreeman will be eternally grateful.