At that price you can't go near a repair counter and with this you can slide your drive into the "new" machine and get back to work.
My Macbook Core 2 Duo 13" won't stay on for any significant time anymore. When it does, it seems that the slightest movement, or pressing a key will shut it down or it just shuts down on its own. Or it reboots repetitively after chiming. Or it remains on as it is doing now for the last 30 minutes, long enough to see if it needed a firmware update. It's never on long enough to really use it anymore.
When there is no image on the screen, I often can hear the fan or drive running quietly in the background. I can turn it off by powering down with the button. Without the power cord, it will eventually drain the battery if I don't force shut it down.
I have verified that the hard drive is OK by removing it and mounting it externally.
I have been unable to do a hard system reboot (hold down powerbutton until system starts and continue to hold until tone) - no tone, just keeps rebooting.
When it stayed on long enough, I tried to install the firmware 1.1 update. Message was that it didn't need it.
Running 10.5.x Leopard.
I have tried removing one RAM card at a time ( it has 1GB + 512Mb). Haven't really noticed any change. "POST" message is OK when it starts
Any ideas? I've looked at all the "usual suspects". Thanks!
This is an older MBP, from about 2007, because you implied that it came with OS X Leopard.
So, it sounds to me like the Graphics Chip Set is the real culprit. Take it to the nearest Apple Store and ask them for a repair estimate.
Then, you can decide to repair or replace it. If it needs a new Planar Board, see if you can buy a new non-Retina MBP, instead. The Retina Display units are way too expensive for what you get, IMHO.
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