14 Replies Latest reply: Mar 29, 2011 8:38 AM by Natz Atienza
Justin Lam Level 1 (0 points)

I have a problem with my Macbook Pro not starting up on pressing the power button.
Here's what happens:
1 - I press the power button
2 - The laptop makes the hard drive clicky sound
3 - It shuts down completely, making the sound like when you force shut down your Mac
4 - If I press and hold the power button, the laptop makes the shuffly click sound, and the status light on the latch release button flashes quickly 5-10 times and shuts down again.

I've read articles around the Internet, telling me to reseat RAM, resetting PRAM/PMU, however these 'solutions' did not work for me. I can't even access Target Disk Mode in this scenario, as the computer fails to even reach the gray boot screen, so all my information is stuck on my hard-disk and as of now I have no way of getting my data back.

Does anybody have a solution or information regarding my problem?

Thanks in advance,

Macbook Pro 15" Late 2008, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Doesn't power on
  • tjk Level 7 (24,220 points)
    Hi Justin, and welcome to Apple Discussions.

    First try Repair Disk: Boot from install disc (insert disc>restart>immediately hold down c key and keep holding it until you see “Preparing Installation”)>at first screen select the language and click Continue> click on the Utilities Menu in the menu bar>open Disk Utility>select your HD in the panel on the left side>click Repair Disk at bottom of main window. Run this at least twice, and keep running it until it says “appears ok” twice in a row. If that doesn’t happen, you may need a stronger utility such as DiskWarrior or if the directory is damaged beyond repair, you may need to reinstall the OS, or you may have a damaged HD (repair utilities can only repair the directory structure, not the HD itself).
  • Justin Lam Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your swift reply. I have inserted the Install Disk into the drive, however holding C immediately does nothing, and shuts off as normal. Now, the disk has remained inside the drive, and since I cannot get to the gray screen, I cannot eject the disk by holding the trackpad button.

    Any solution/answer would be appreciated.
  • OzziesMAC Level 2 (150 points)
    To me that sounds like a hard drive mechanical failure. All that noise and clicking is not good. I do not think you will find a software solution to this. A change in the hard drive may be needed IMHO.
  • Justin Lam Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your opinion. However, this shuffly sound of the hard-disk starting up has been here since day one... maybe there was a misinterpretation of my words. What I meant to say was that the first sound that you hear when you start up is not the boot chime, but there is a 'zip-zup' sound that indicates the computer's innards starting to work.

  • tjk Level 7 (24,220 points)
    My bet is logic board, in which case I'd suggest a trip to the Apple Store or an AASP.

    One thing you could try before that is troubleshooting the RAM: first, if this is not the RAM provided by Apple, put the Apple-supplied RAM back in. If you don't have that RAM, or it is the Apple-supplied RAM, remove one module, try booting, move that module to the other slot, try booting, repeat with other module.
  • KXsig Level 2 (305 points)
    Hi there,

    Just in a hurry, so excuse me for the short link to this iMac related which can lead to a MacBook Pro searching - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2538?viewlocale=en_US

    Good luck.
  • HaraldS Level 2 (310 points)
    Try removing the battery, and rebooting with the power plugged in.

    Of course, this only works with the earlier models of MacBook Pro...
  • Kbob4 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have this exact same problem. Any solutions??
  • me7777slashme Level 1 (0 points)
    can u help me this my prob:can some one help me well i was playign a game it asked me to run it on safe mode i said no so i got a black screen pressed optioncommandESC failure it when wurse i was playing music Eminem -When Im Gone. i waited till Battery died .turned computer on every thing seemed ok i played music and BAM no music no sound nothing PPL i need music PLZ HELP ME im new to the mac WORLD HELP
  • anoz Level 1 (0 points)
    I had a similar problem and I had to change the logic board.

    Everytime I turned off or put it to sleep at night, the next morning it would not turn on or wake. No matter if the magsafe was plugged in(green or ambar light) or not. The battery was always full(I could see the eight green dots). When I pushed the power button I could see the white light in front of the MacBook blinking only once. A noise from the HD would start for a second and stop.

    What I figured out was that I had unplug the magsafe and keep pushing the power button rapidly and constantly until making the HD to work. Usually took like one or two minutes to make it work and once it started it would run normally. I could turn it off or put it to sleep and wait for few minutes and turn it on again or wake from sleep without a problem.

    _The problem was that I could not let my Macbook turned off or sleeping for a long time (overnight more than 6-7 hours)._

    It seems to me that some component of the logic board could not work if it was cold (ambient temperature). That's why I had to keep pushing the power button to make some "heat". Probably a half broken circuit line.

    I sent my MacBook Pro to service center three times until they finally decided to replace the logic board.

    Now it works perfectly !
  • jdiaz87 Level 1 (0 points)
    hey justin,

    I have the same problem now...
    So what did you do? did you get a new HD???

    A reply would be very much appreciated
  • D Skylark Level 1 (0 points)
    Joining the club. Same symptoms. Blank Screen. HD spinning usual noise at start up. Click sound on left side of the laptop as if I were turning off the computer manually with the power button. Also had same symptoms as anoz posted. Worked fine at night. Went to sleep for 6 hours and found the laptop I it's current condition. : / it has been recordly below temperature in my area too so it's cold weather the MBP isnt used to.

    Spoke with Apple and they said logic board as the possible problem, but I'm out of warranty/ apple care. He. Quoted me $310 as a flat rate fix if I send it in? But I'm looking at logic board prices and they are $900+ : /

    Does any one know what the 310 flat rate he was talking about? And if I should do this through apple or try apple doctors? Or some third party that fixes Apple products?
  • Natz Atienza Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi, i don't know if it has the same problem, but my MBP, 15" A1260, bought Feb 2008 has the same symptoms. Mine actually starts up to the chime sound, but stops there when it is plug to the power supply. Also, i cannot start when i am using the battery, even though it is fully charged (battery health is 96% on last check). Any comments would be helpful. Thanks.
  • Natz Atienza Level 1 (0 points)
    Ops, let me clarify, it only starts when it is plugged to it's powerbrick, it doesn't start with the battery. Thanks.