I had this exact problem. Black screen but computer still ran... I could even ssh into the thing. I took it in to the apple store and they had to replace my logic board. Supposedly the video card went out. So take it in and they should be able to fix it. I've never had this happen on any other laptop that I've owned in the past. Kind of a bummer.
I got the same blank screen issue on the Mid 2012 Macbook Pro Retina. I use it as my work laptop. I took it to the Apple Store. They ran some tests and able to reproduce the issue. The so called Genius not able to read the logs and explain the exact problem or may be he was trying to hide the known issue from me by saying those are all generic logs. I came back home and read the logs to understand that it is a very well known issue of GPU.
I saw this issue running from 2008 and shame on Apple that they are not able to fix it even in 2012 laptops (the next generation).
I called in Apple Store the next day and explained the exact problem based on my research. They asked me to drop in the laptop for indefinite period of time (approx for a week but can't gaurantee). I went on loss of pay for a week and dropped the laptop at Apple Store. I was told that I will get a call with in 24 hours when someone start the repair. I did not receive any call and then I called the store. They said, it might take 48 hours for some cases. I never received any call even after 48 hours and then I called back to learn that it was shipped to a repair center. By now I understood how pathetic Apple support is and started calling them every day to follow up on the status. I learnt today that it was shipped back to Apple Store and no body knows when it will reach the store !!!
I am paying a huge price (one week loss of pay) after buying a MBPR. I should have bought a Dell laptop, which was stable and having better service than Apple. I have two Dell XPS's of 2005 and 2011 models. They do not have a single problem in all these years except a hard disk crash of 2005 XPS. Dell sent a service person to my home to replace the hdd and they told me to ship my crashed hdd after recovering my data. That is what I call a master service !!
Here is my answer. It's a little crazy, but it worked for me.
I had the scary lines on the screen of my last computer, and was told it would cost a small of tune to fix it, so I dumped it and bought a second hand 2008 MBPro for $400. It seemed to be in perfect condition for about 4-5 months, and then I got the Black Screen of Death (BSD). I read all the posts, and nine of them worked. So I went to Apple and asked if it was covered under the Nvidia program, but no, the time was up on that, so they could;t offer a fix, except to maybe bake it, yes, you read right, bake it. Otherwise I would have to fork out $550 for a new logic board.
I went home and had an intuition, and followed it, I always follow my intuition. I restarted the computer about 50 times and guess what, it worked again. But, when I closed it, I was back to square one, and this time I had to restart it about 100 times, and start it did. I placed a big coin between the back of the keyboard and the screen so I couldn't possibly close it by accident and just left it running all the time, with a dimmed light. One day I had to take the computer out, so I closed it, and of course it took another 100-150 restarts, and bingo, I thought it was going t work, because the screen lit up, but this time there was a mysterious Apple object in the middle of the screen, like a file or folder icon with a question mark in the middle. So I just kept restarting and the icon kept reappearing, I idd this about 50-100 times over two days and presto, it worked again, but it now works better than ever and I can close the computer and reopen with no problems. I don't know what that icon was, but if you can press some keys to get it to pop up when you successfully restart the computer, I think this is a cleaning icon of sorts.
Maybe even find out what this icon means, and actually try to bring it up on purpose even if your MBPro is working OK. It really was like a reconditioned Mac when the icon disappeared. Amazing. It takes patience, so do the restarts while you are watching TV etc. Just keep pressing the start button as soon as you here the clicking noise, and then hold to close down straight away, unless you get the chime, then wait a few seconds to see if it is going to open. My screen came to light straight away with the chime.
I hope this helps. Saves a heap of money and at least the first restart gives you a chance to back up ;o) But unless you get the icon folder with the ? mark in the middle, don't close the commuter, or you will have to do the restart process again. Good luck.
I am sorry to hear your story. If I was you, I should have spent that $400 on any other machine than Mac. These Mac's are not built to perform. They are just show pieces with delicate parts.
Fortunately, I am covered under Apple Care for next 2 years. I recently learnt that I can't renew Apple Care after 3 years which means that Apple already knows that their products never work beyond 3 years !!! So, a simple calculation here - I spent $3000 on my laptop and it works for 3 years (as per Apple's policy). So, I am spending $1000 per year to use this piece of **** along with some bonus offers like loss of pay for a week's repair !!!
This company will bite the dust soon !!
I agree wholeheartedly. I used to tell everyone to buy a Mac, but now I tell no one that, because I don't want to be embarrased when their optic drive breaks down, they get the green lines and the black screen like I got with both of my last computers.They both lost optic drive ability. The thing that hurts most is that after 7 years as a loyal customer, they wouldn't extend the warranty, even though I had two with almost the same problem from the Nvidia board.
I'm even thinking of buying a Samsung 5" instead of an iPhone, or even an HTC. I also hear that Sony's iphones have ironed out all the Apple sync problems.
Shame about Apple, all that money sitting there, what is it, $100bil and they can't extend the warranty further on logicboards that they know are the culprit. Nothing else wrong with the machine except the optic drive. I have an ext drive now. More expense.
To be honest, I think I will have to start telling my friends not to go to Mac from now on. No loyalty from them, no loyalty from me. I also keep getting the dreaded Can't Find A Connection or something similar, out of the blue, when I'm on WiFi.
I'm actually looking at not gettng a new Mac when this one dies completely.
Nearly 200 thousand people have read this thread, and yet, the issue remains.
I too had my MBP4,1 (2008) affected by this issue. It happened immediately after an update done via the App Store, where two downloads were made to update both OS X and EFI.
After the updates were done, my MBP screen "died", including the external monitor connection - everything else apparently working just fine... I went to San Francisco on a business trip shortly after and bought a brand new MBP, problem "solved"...
A long time has passed (nearly 2 years), I just left the old RMB computer in its original box in the attick, and forgot about it.
I decided I wanted to play with Mountain Lion OS X Server and needed a machine to install it. I went looking for that old MBP, I knew I had no eyes into the machine (other than SSH - and that's no small thing) and I wondered if it was possible to use it much like a Mac Mini...
So I powered it up, and same old same old, no screen, no external display, all still very much "dead".
When you start playing with installing software remotely over SSH you discover a few things, you do so many blind reboots that randmoness starts coming into effect and here is the big surprise that I thought I would share with you...
EVERY TIME I BOOT UP FROM A USB STICK THE SCREEN COMES ALIVE AND WORKS FULLY DURING INSTALLATION OF OS X MOUNTAIN LION.
I have now tried it 5 times, and every single time, the screen ressuscitates to full working condition (including the external display connection!) to perform the installation of OS X... Now... I have always suspected that the issue of the Black Screen / Graphics card was software driven because it all happened following a software update...
But this, in my opinion, raises a very serious question. Software updates that are handed down to us by the software and hardware manufacturer, in this case Apple, ought never ever to disable a machine. If and when they do, we ought to ask ourselves why is it that an issue that has attracted so much attention over the last few years is being blatanly ignored by the giant corporation.
And more importantly, why are Apple issuing updates that render machines nearly useless after 2/3 years they were bought?
The fact remains, my computer is not plagued by hardware failure, I am now convinced of this. Sure graphic cards fry up, sure fans stop working, sure you can set fire to your home while you smoke and sleep... But to have a genius suggest that this is "fairly common and to be expected after 3 years, hardware just fails..." (SIC!) is beyond belief given how much we pay for what is supposed to be premium hardware at the time we make our purchases.
In the long run, the net result will be customers will walk away from a company that does not honour its commitment to excellent customer service and delivers (deliberatley or otherwise) shody disabling software updates - something that is simply unacceptable.
For now, I will continue to work on a solution to have my motherboard to believe it's in OS X setup mode permanently so I can have the computer back to full working condition. If anyone has any suggestions out there please do let me know.
I hope you find all of the above useful.
My display "died" yesterday too, but the external monitor seems to be working for now. I am going to backup the data tonight if it still works, and try a few suggestions on this long thread. Though this feels like a software issue, I am pretty much convinced it's hardware as most posts suggest. I made an appt with the genius bar, will see what they say, I don't have warranty or Apple care. If they want too much money, I'm done with Apple laptops, will buy a dozen Dells for the same price and daisy chain them or something....
Hi, I've posted here before and now I want to let everyone know that I'm sure it is software, because I very quickly restarted the MBP about 50-100 times adter it went black, but the last time it happened and I went through the reboot drill , an interesting thing occured, a Folder icon with a question mark on it came up, and then I had to go through thew whole restart thing about 100 time, maybe 50, but it felt like 100 and then Bingo!!! it started up and has been better than ever since that day.
It takes patience, but you can watch you favourite TV show as you do it. Try and research what the ? folder means, I'm sure the answer is there somewhere.
My 2008 aluminum unibody MacBook (the first generation of aluminum unibody MacBooks, model 5,1) has been having this "black screen of death" for the past 2 years now. I was forced to get a new laptop (rMBP) because the "black screen of death" was making my MacBook unusable for school work. I do believe it is a heat issue since the problem occurs every time my MacBook gets hot (e.g. while running Windows via BootCamp, watching YouTube videos with Adobe Flash, etc.). I've done a fresh install of the OS in case it was software, but the problem still persists. I do believe it also has to do with a connection somewhere since I can move the screen at different angles and the display will sometimes work again. It was really embarrassing having to do that in class when the "black screen of death" popped up; sometimes whacking the screen actually made it come back to life too...
This is quite unfortunate and inconvenient since I pretty much have to connect the MacBook to an external monitor whenever I decide to use it. Does anyone know if a third party vendor is able to repair it since it's obviously outside of the Apple Care warranty?
Thanks in advance.