6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2010 5:02 PM by knorven
KEGPhoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
It's a 2.33 ghz 17" MBP. The built-in display and external displays are both black. Audio works, however. I tried booting from the CD and a bootable external drive to no avail. I read about the Nvidia issue and I've got a ATI Mobility Radeon X1600, so it doesn't fall under the recall. Also tried PRAM and pulling the battery and external power while it was running.

Anyone know where to start? It was working fine this morning. Then the computer froze and hung for a while. I tried force-quitting my programs, then eventually powered down. It chimed when it started up, but (probably) goes to my user login screen and does nothing.

I don't have Apple Care and it is out of warranty.

Thank you for your help-

MBP, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Unfortunately, it does sound like your video chip has died. With no video on either the internal or external display, there's probably no way to run the AHT to confirm anything. You've tried the obvious troubleshooting steps.

    If the chip has indeed died, then the cure will be to replace the logic board. If you want to tackle this yourself, then you can check for parts and instructions at ifixit:

    http://www.ifixit.com/

    However, it may be time to treat yourself to a new 17" MBP. Logic board are pretty expensive, and it may make more sense to put the money towards a new machine.

    Good luck!
  • KEGPhoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That's what I was afraid of. I'm familiar with iFixit. I used them recently to upgrade my ram to the max 3GB, replace a failing optical drive and upgrade the HD to a 7200RPM drive. They were all recommended as compatible with my machine; do you think they might have had something to do with this failure?
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Not necessarily, as others have done these upgrades with no ill effects. If you were careful, there should be no damage to the logic board itself.

    However, it may be worth opening up your machine again and making sure that all cables are well seated on the logic board. Also check for any damage to any cables. You might get lucky.

    I've read about failures of this chip even when no work has been done on the machine. I don't know if it could be purchased separately. If so, it might be possible to get it replaced by a specialist like Superior Reball. I don't know this for sure, but if it is possible, I think it would be a lot cheaper than a replacement logic board.

    Good luck!
  • KEGPhoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No damage to the critical components, just some case damage but nothing that a well loved and well used MBP might suffer in a professional, highly mobile environment.

    They offered me the flat-rate fixit fee, I think I'll do that.

    Thank you both for your help.
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Good deal! Great that Apple offers the flat rate deal instead of trying to get you to buy a new computer.

    Happy computing, and thanks for the star!
  • knorven Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't know that it is such a good deal. The X1600 configuration on the late 2006 MacBooks and iMacs is dodgy and a replacement, which will only have a limited warranty, will likely fail in time as well, unless you religiously keep the computer running a lot cooler than intended. Otherwise the continuous exposure to the fairly intense heat will eventually damage the new processors. I did a Google using the words X1600 and petition. Maybe you should do the same.