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MacBook Pro Startup Problem

11346 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 8, 2010 10:20 AM by Allan Jones RSS
Allen Rubin Calculating status...
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Aug 6, 2010 1:09 PM
My MacBook Pro (late 2006, Snow Leopard) runs fine once it's booted... no problems... restarts quickly without problems, but if I shut it down (like at night) it will not start up without a lot of fiddling. From a cold start, when I push the power button the first time, the screen lights up, Apple logo appears, spinning gear appears, and after a minute or so gear stops spinning and nothing happens. Then I press and hold power button till MacBook shuts down. I press button again, power light comes on, but screen stays black for many minutes. I force shutdown again, press power button and do a PRAM reset, then MacBook boots normally and runs fine until the next time I shut it down. I have to repeat this procedure almost every time I shut down the MacBook, especially overnight. Any ideas?
eMac G4, Mac OS X (10.4.5), MacBook Pro - Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
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    Aug 6, 2010 1:45 PM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    Allen,

    During the startup process (Apple logo with spinning gear) the system is going through a series of basic self checks and the loading of the OS. Interestingly enough the startup process is no different in a shut down to power on scenario then a restart scenario.

    Do you notice any performance issues with your machine when you're in the operating system? Any sluggishness? Any issues with peripherals that are connected to the machine?

    I'd vote you try a Safe Boot and force a full directory check, in addition to possibly running some basic diagnostics from the OS X Installation disc that came with your machine.

    Safe Mode - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1455

    Disk Verification Troubleshooting - http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1417
    13" MacBook Pro (2.4GHz/4GB/250), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
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    Aug 7, 2010 1:05 AM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    Hi Allen,

    I'd say that DiskWarrior might be excessive at this point, especially after you reinstalled the OS. A reinstall of the OS would theoretically resolve any sort of directory corruption. Regarding TechTool Pro, regrettably that isn't much for finding hardware faults. In my 5+ years of providing direct hardware support in multiple environments has brought me to the conclusion that the best hardware failure detection software out there is the stuff that Apple gives their service centers and Genius Bars (not consumer available stuff).

    But I digress... what you probably did was an Archive & Install of Snow Leopard. Unlike in previous versions of OS X, Snow Leopard doesn't give you the choice of Archive & Install vs. Erase & Install, it just performs an Archive & Install. You have to go into Disk Utility and erase the drive first if you want the benefit of the "E&I" approach. That'd be my vote for the next step, backup your data and perform the Erase & Install. At that point if you're still having difficulties... it's most likely a hardware issue.
    13" MacBook Pro (2.4GHz/4GB/250), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • KXsig Calculating status...
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    Aug 7, 2010 12:13 PM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    Hi A,

    So your computer is not normal, first to do is to find out if is the computer or any other connected device. Here is the next step (this should be the first when you are debugging):

    DISCONNECT EVERYTHING that is plugged in your Mac, wait about a minute, turn your computer on, this way you can find out if your USB mentioned device or any other is causing this or if it is really your Mac.

    Good luck.
    MacBook Pro 1,1, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
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    Aug 7, 2010 1:01 PM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    Hi Allen,

    I don't know how familiar you are with the startup sequence of a Mac. But that "chime" you're describing is what's called a POST chime. POST stands for Power On Self Test, a basic check, by the operating system of critical hardware components that the machine requires to run.

    It sounds like something is causing POST to either false positive or fail. What's interesting is that when the machine finally does start running it's perfectly fine. Definitely a weird one...

    I agree with the above poster, unplug any USB related peripherals. I'd also add unplugging the battery and just trying to run the machine on A/C power (for the purposes of troubleshooting). See if there's any change or improvements. If not, then I think the next course of action is a Genius Bar / Service Provider.
    13" MacBook Pro (2.4GHz/4GB/250), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,130 points)
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    Aug 7, 2010 2:50 PM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    Hi Allen,

    Even though the POST does not specifically indicate a RAM issue, I would be suspicious, especially if the RAM is not the original as supplied by Apple.

    If it is not, install the original.

    If it is, take one module out and try running the MBP. Move it to the other slot and try running the MBP. Repeat with the other module. In this way you check out both RAM modules and the RAM slots.
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
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    Aug 7, 2010 11:07 PM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    Allen Rubin wrote:
    (even though TechTool Pro said it was OK).


    Allen, happy to hear we're making progress towards a resolution. No surprise with TechTool Pro. From my experience that software is rarely capable of detecting the problem and in most situations will tell you something's wrong on a component that isn't the problem.
    13" MacBook Pro (2.4GHz/4GB/250), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,575 points)
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    Aug 8, 2010 10:20 AM (in response to Allen Rubin)
    The good news, or maybe the "better" news is the the $300 charge indicates a "depot repair." Computers often come back with other little deficits fixed, all covered under the flat-fee system. You should have a nicely refurbed computer when it comes back for far less than the cost of a new unit.
    PowerMac G4 MDD 1.25G SP;, Mac OS X (10.4.11), ; MacBookPro Late2007 2.2G 15" (10.5.8); PowerBook G4 1Ghz 17" (10.4.11)

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