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Knowledgebase: Mac Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro that won't turn on
Posted by UCS IT Support 2 on 01 November 2009 06:26 PM

Symptoms

There are some simple troubleshooting steps you should try if your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro won't turn on. Use these steps if:

  • Your Apple notebook's display has no picture after you turn it on.
  • You don't hear any fan or hard disk activity sounds after you turn the computer on, and the sleep light doesn't turn on.
  • The computer doesn't seem to have any power when you try to turn it on.

Products Affected

MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air

Resolution

  1. Disconnect any devices connected to the computer including printers, hubs, and third-party keyboards or mice, and test the computer again by trying to turn it on.
  2. If you're using a MacBook or MacBook Pro, check the battery level.  Press the small button on the battery or on the side of the computer. You should see lights indicating the battery's level of charge. If you see just one light blinking, the battery needs to be recharged. Use the computer with the adapter connected to recharge the battery.
  3. Unplug the power adapter from the electrical outlet and from the MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro. Wait one minute. Plug it back into the wall first, then to the computer. Make sure the electrical outlet is working by plugging in another device (such as a lamp). When you plug the adapter back into the computer, the power adapter LEDs should light up green or amber.
  4. Inspect the MagSafe port on the computer for debris, such as metal stuck to the magnet in the port, which might prevent the connector from seating properly. On the adapter side, look at the DC connector for dust or other debris and check whether pins are missing, bent, or stuck down. If you find any of these to be true, see Apple Portables: Troubleshooting MagSafe adapters for instructions on cleaning the adapter.
  5. Make sure you are using the adapter that was designed for your computer. If you aren't sure or if you need a new adapter, learn which adapter is appropriate for your computer.
  6. Press the control key, the command key, and the power button simultaneously and hold for three seconds to try to restart the computer.
  7. Reset the PRAM. After pressing the power button, hold down these keys simultaneously: Command-Option-P-R, until you hear the startup chime at least one additional time after the initial startup chime.
  8. Reset the SMC  for the MacBook And MacBook Pro by removing the AC power, removing the battery and then holding down the power button for five seconds. On the MacBook Air, press (left) Shift-Control-Option along with the power button once. Note: You must use the keys on the left side of the MacBook Air keyboard.
  9. If you recently installed additional memory, make sure it is correctly installed and is compatible with your computer. Remove the new memory to see if the computer starts up properly without it.
  10. If you are still unable to start up your computer after trying each of these steps, schedule a service appointment with UCS Service Dept.: Service@UCScorp.com


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