my macbook thinks its the frikkin messiah.
January 14, 2011 11:31 AM   Subscribe

why would my macbook decide to power on some days, but play dead with me on others?

i have a white macbook (circa 2007). maybe about once every few weeks it will decide to not turn on. and i'm talking about no fan noise / chime / screen / sleep light. however it will still recognize when there is a battery and the power adapter will charge it. i never spilled anything on it, it gets hot when i use it but i dont think it's unlike other macbooks (it has never shutdown from overheating).

i'll do things like the smc reset, use a different power adapter and battery, switch the memory around, i've even taken the ram out entirely since macbooks should at least power on with no ram. nothing helps except one thing

and that is to just wait. sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes a few days. then it will power on as if nothing has gone wrong. it's like i make it angry, gives me the silent treatment then come back around when its tantrum is over.

it's frustrating that i can't pin what's going on. i've read a few forum posts around the web of the same problem but after their ressurection the discussion ends there. my question is not so much what must i do to fix it but what would be causing the mac to not turn on and then automagically fix itself.
posted by sammich to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
When it's not working, does your little battery meter on the bottom show anything? Any chance the copper contacts on the bottom of your battery are dirty or corroded? Could your power button be stuck?
posted by wayland at 11:45 AM on January 14, 2011

Check if there's recall on that MacBook... back in the day, when I was an ACPT, we'd come across MacBooks at the shop that shut down and wouldn't turn back on, and one's that would intermittently power on, but once booted were otherwise fine. It was a known issue with these models, and Apple was covering them no questions for the following specific issue: If I remember correctly, it seems the Heat sink/heat sensors were faulty, and it would give an erroneous signal that the processor was overheating. We repaired a boatload of these when back in late 06 early 07.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:12 PM on January 14, 2011

wayland: i'll check the battery contacts but i don't think the battery is the problem since it works fine on another macbook. but i'm not sure if the battery would matter because the macbook power is not dependent on a battery.
posted by sammich at 3:17 PM on January 14, 2011

debaser: i did look on apple service source a while back for any recalls and i didn't find any notices related to thermal sensors but i'll check again. and i guess i'll run the hardware test cd next time it turns on again which is something i'll admit i haven't done.
posted by sammich at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2011

Yes, likely the heatsink needs to be replaced on this model. Take it to an Authorized Apple Service provider and discuss with them. Apple might still pay for that repair if it turns out to be the issue.
posted by BryanPayne at 6:30 PM on January 14, 2011

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