Is my Macbook dead?
October 4, 2013 8:46 AM Subscribe
Without any warning, my Macbook froze and now won't boot. I'm trying to determine whether it's fixable or a total loss. (Technical details inside.)
posted by Kadin2048 to computers & internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a Macbook Pro 15.4" Core 2 Duo (A1211; specs
). A few days ago, while coming back from idle (screensaver), it abruptly froze. I hard-rebooted it, and it froze at a grey screen.
"Grey screens of death" are pretty common Macbook problems, but this is not one of the typical cases that I am familiar with.
- The system passes POST (chimes) every time.
- Without any boot-modifier keys held down, it will get through the spinning-ball boot stage, the screen will flash (as if changing the screen resolution, although it's not really) and then it will hang at a completely gray screen. No cursor, no spinning ball, nada.
- Getting through the spinning-ball stage indicates that it's not hanging at launchd.
- It will boot to Single User Mode just fine. It seems stable in SUM, never crashing.
- It will boot to Target Disk Mode just fine. I was able to back up the HDD.
- Running fsck in Single User Mode doesn't seem to affect anything.
- Booting off of the Mac OS 10.6 install DVD, it will typically get to a blue screen and then hang. I think this is just before the Installer opens (it's the color of the desktop underneath the Installer window).
- About 1 time in 10, booting from the DVD, it will come all the way up to the Installer and behave normally for a time. I tried running Disk Utility on the HDD; it got about 75% of the way through, without any issues detected, before freezing.
- When it froze, it displayed this weird pattern of artifacts on the screen. I've never seen this before, and it's really the crux of the question: what would produce this, but only under these very particular circumstances?
My gut is that there's a problem with the video card, but I'd like to know for sure before junking the machine. It's not particularly old (only bought refurb'ed in 2009) so I'm going to be fairly annoyed if it's now DOA.
I've tried zapping the PRAM and reseating the memory just as a precaution, neither seem to have any effect.
Has anyone ever seen this before?