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Old January 10th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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MBP won't boot

Today my 17" MBP (circa 2007) locked up while editing. The dark screen with the instructions to restart comes up every time I try to reboot.

It did this once last week, but it came back after about five reboot attempts. I performed the latest Apple Updates and things seemed back to normal...until today.

I have tried booting from the Apple Disk incase it was the harddrive, and even changed the RAM. Still the same thing. Am I wrong in thinking that this may be a hardware(mother board) problem, not software?

I use the computer daily to edit and upload broadcast sports news(FCP 6.0.6), and will have fix or replace this one very quickly. Fortunately I have a break until Friday.

Any thoughts on the problem or it's solution would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old January 10th, 2011, 05:35 PM   #2
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A bad hard drive is a possibility, especially with the age of your computer which I'll assume is well used. The lock-ups are happening when the program is trying to read program code from a drive that is temporarily not there. Booting from the CD/DVD drive might not work as sometimes bad drives can lock up the whole drive bus. If changing the RAM isn't helping the situation, a defect in the motherboard is possible but that's not something you can do anything about without a trip to the Apple repair center near you.

If you have another Mac, attach your laptop to it with a FireWire cable and boot the laptop in Target Disk Mode (hold down "T" while booting). If the laptop's drive appears on the Mac's desktop, consider backing it up immediately. You might also consider running a disk repair program on it although it doesn't seem that a corrupted drive is the problem here.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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I had the same prob...

took it to apple to fix the graphics card which on a mbp means replacing the motherboard. when i got it back I loaded a S X S card to offload video from a shoot, as soon as I put the card in i got the "dark" screen. took it back to apple and they replaced the motherboard again. Problem solved.

take it into the apple store for a diagnostic on the graphics card, which is a known issue, you might kill two birds with one stone?

Greg
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Old January 10th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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Was your MBP one of these?

MacBook Pro: Distorted video or no video issues
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Old January 10th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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Peter is having kernel panics, which can be caused by a number of errors in programs not loading or unloading properly. I'd check your HD with Disk Utility or a third party utility using William's suggestion. I saw a computer whose hard drive was on its last legs and the owner had no idea. Disk Utility even had a big error that said "Your hard drive is going to fail in the near future. Back up your hard drive now." This wasn't causing kernel panics, but it very well could be the cause in your case.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 04:35 AM   #6
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Thanks for the helpful responses.

Both times the computer crashed strange things happened on screen. I was importing footage through XDCam Transfer when a bunch of sparkling pixels showed up in the pictures. Then everything froze with partial bits from both XDCam Tranfer and FCP mixed together.

The drive is newer than the computer, about two years old, and has worked and sounded fine. I have a disk image from a while back that I can restore with should it turn out to be a drive issue.

I'll drop by the Apple Store this morning.

With a computer of that age, I have thoughts about whether I should just replace it, as my client and I depend on it to deliver the report each day. If I can find a clear cut fault I'll repair it, otherwise I'll buy a new one I can't afford more failures.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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Well, I went to the Apple Store this morning, and the problem lies with the video processor. A new mother board is required.
Fortunately they have it in stock, and it will be repaired by tomorrow. Best of all, this repair is free, as Nvidia has to pick up the tab because it is their part that failed. It would have cost me $1600 otherwise. Not bad for a four year old computer.
Thanks for all the comments and advice.
Peter
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #8
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I received an email from Apple in my inbox this morning referencing the NVIDIA chipset problem.

The NVIDIA GPU Litigation - Frequently Asked Questions
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Old January 17th, 2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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glad it worked for you...

my mbp is about as old as yours so I figured that might be the case.

greg
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Old January 17th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #10
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What bothers me about this recall is that the website describes the free repair as a limited time offer.
I have a 15-inch MBP with this NVIDIA chipset, but I am not yet experiencing the problem. The document specifically states that they will not replace the unit unless it is currently exhibiting the problem.
Should my MBP develop the this problem at a later date and my AppleCare warranty is expired, will it repaired for free, or will I have a lump of aluminum?
I have to call AppleCare for a resolution.
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