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Problem for Jimmy Greystone

by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 11, 2010 3:00 AM PDT

Macbook Pro.
User surfing web when the screen developed a problem.
Shut down the machine and rebooted.
Screen has the problem immediately, as soon it becomes illuminated.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8777887@N02/4979435093/ is where you can see an image of the screen

2GB Ram. Swapped for known good during testing.
Will not boot from HD, optical drive or external Firewire.
Normal Apple logo and spinning gear for about 45 seconds and then Kernal Panic.

All screen connections are good. No visible physical damage to LCD.

Machine was dropped a couple of months ago, resulting in some case damage, but it performed normally up until 3 days ago.

Thoughts?

P

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I'm going to assume
by Jimmy Greystone / September 11, 2010 7:52 AM PDT

I'm going to assume the system is out of warranty given it was dropped. So, some of this depends on what you can tell me about the model. Like is it a Mid-2010, Late 2009, etc.

And it's really a bit early to say, but I happen to know someone who has a system with a very similar sort of graphical issue. After replacing the logic board and having the same problem with the new one, and trying just about everything else possible, came to the conclusion that somehow or another the heatsink must be bad.

If the system was dropped, it's not inconceivable that the heatsink got knocked loose a little. Maybe it's taken this long for the thermal grease to dry out enough to start causing problems. So reapplying the thermal grease may not be a terrible idea, or at least checking that the screws are on tight.

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Mid 2007 to Late 2007
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 11, 2010 9:11 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm going to assume

is what the serial number is reporting on the Apple Spec database.

I like the idea but, wouldn't the thermal grease issue take time after power up to produce the effect?

Just wondering.

I'll go back in there tonight to see if the heatsink is properly positionded.

Yep, no warranty

Thanks for the response


P

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It should
by Jimmy Greystone / September 14, 2010 12:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Mid 2007 to Late 2007

It should, but CPUs today can overheat in a few seconds without adequate cooling. And if you've been turning the system on and off a bunch of times, obviously that helps too. Might not hurt to run it without the top case for a bit. Take the battery out, and then if you look carefully over around the CPU fan, you should be able to find a couple of pads with the Power symbol by them that you can short to turn the thing on. Then just remove the AC adapter to shut it off, or short the pads for 5 seconds.

Make sure that the CPU fan is actually running. You can also make sure the video cable is firmly connected. Shouldn't be too hard to trace it.

Sorry about the delayed response... A few days ago I found out I'll be needing to move... Only a couple miles to a different part of town, but it's a disruption. And I'm dealing with about three kinds of stupidity trying to actually get some movement on the $50-$75K worth of out of warranty systems I have cluttering up my shelves.

So, I'll be around if you want to run this through some more paces, just may be a day or two for the rest of the month. I'll see if I can find anything of use in the service manual for that system. I've done a couple logic board replacements on those, so am at least somewhat familiar with them. Bit before my time though.

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Problem kinda solved,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 14, 2010 10:00 PM PDT
In reply to: It should

On Sunday evening, I decided to salvage the data off the drive, in case the user went with a new machine, and started it up in Target Mode.
The Firewire icon was visible, as were the defects. During the course of the transfer, the defects started to disappear until there was only a streak down each side of the screen.

On rebooting the machine, something that it would not do originally, it came up exactly like it should do.

Machine has been functioning perfectly for the last two days.

User has the machine back, is creating a backup of their data but are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Guess we will never know exactly what the problem was. The fan was running, lid off to prove it, all connectors reseated, so who knows?

Thanks for the assist and good luck with the move

P

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Yeah, that happens
by Jimmy Greystone / September 14, 2010 11:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Problem kinda solved,

Yeah, that happens. I had one system once... Needed a new logic board... Put one in, thing refuses to boot. DOA the board, get a new one. Still refuses to boot. Spend about two hours working with Apple's TSPS people to try and sort that out, nothing. So figure I'll just GPR the second replacement board and set the system aside to work on some other stuff.

After clearing out the bulk of the other stuff that had piled up before I started, I go back to this system which I hadn't touched since putting it back together. Go to refresh my memory about what's wrong, by turning the thing on. To my surprise, it turns on and runs perfectly. So I run some diagnostics on it. They all pass with flying colors. I zeroed out the drive, and reloaded the OS without a hitch. AFAIK, the system hasn't been back, so I chalk it up to magic elves... Or the little Japanese guys inside the computer doing some home repairs while I was busy with other things.

But you can't argue with results. I assume you advised the person to keep some cash on hand for when the system finally gives up, because something that old isn't worth repairing out of warranty.

I also wonder if it couldn't be something like the stress fracture issue that hit the iBook G4s. When it was dropped, it created a small fracture along the graphics data lines, which might have been "healed" when the system warmed up and the board expanded. And when you took the thing apart, unknowingly did something to help bridge the gap enough that it will work. Almost impossible to tell on that one though without some highly specialized tools.

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