7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 26, 2013 12:41 PM by thomas_r.
lulu.bell Level 1 (0 points)



i was using my macbook the other morning listening to music then shut the lid and went to work as i always do. when i came home i opened it up to play itunes again and the screen started flipping out on me. it was doing this for a minute or so then the whole thing just shut down and now it wont turn back on. i try to turn it on and i hear it start up and a start up tone happens then - nothing. i leave it for a while and the light on the front comes on so i hit the space bar and it went off. i tried charging it and it all seems to work. my friend seems to think that it is a virus? i walked about 200m with it in the sprinkling rain the other day and a few droplets got on it. could that be the cause or would it be a virus.


what can i do to fix it without losing all my hard drive?




MacBook Pro
  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,100 points)

    First it is not a virus. You can try resetting the SMC and since you're getting a startup chime the pram. You don't say which model MacBook you have so look at the SMC instructions and choose the right procedure, pram is the same for all. If these don't work you will probably need to take it in for service.


    To reset the SMC

    MacBook and MacBook Pro 

    Laptops with a battery you can remove 

    Shut down the computer.

    Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the computer, if it's connected.

    Remove the battery.

    Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.

    Release the power button.

    Reconnect the battery and MagSafe power adapter.

    Press the power button to turn on the computer.


    Newer Mac portables with a battery you don't remove

    Shut down the computer.

    Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.

    On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.

    Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.

    Press the power button to turn on the computer.  

    Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.


    Resetting NVRAM / PRAM

    Shut down your Mac.

    Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.

    Turn on the computer.

    Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.

    Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

    Release the keys.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,650 points)

    This definitely isn't a virus.


    What it sounds like, to me, is a hardware issue. Mike's solution for resetting the SMC isn't a bad thing to try, but I don't have high hopes that that will help. Especially given the fact that your screen "flipped out" for about a minute... that sounds more like a hardware issue. Water and electronics don't mix, and 200m is a long way to walk in the rain. It's entirely possible that your machine has water damage. You'll want to get it looked at by Apple, but note that any water damage will be solely your responsibility, and not covered by warranty. (I would avoid mentioning the rain, so as not to prejudice them towards a specific diagnosis... but there are moisture sensors inside, so if that is the cause, they'll know.)

  • lulu.bell Level 1 (0 points)

    i trired both of those options and still nothing. im living on a remote island and have no phone reception and very limited access to the main land. is there anything else that i can do appart from sending it to an apple shop?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,650 points)

    Nope, it's got to get looked at, I'm afraid. If it just plain won't turn on and you've tried an SMC reset, you're definitely looking at a hardware issue.

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,100 points)

    Agreed. My MacBook recently had a similar issue without the water, it didn't end well.

  • lulu.bell Level 1 (0 points)

    do you know how much approximately it will cost or is ir under a warranty still?
    do i have to make an appointment at an apple store or can i just go in?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,650 points)

    As I pointed out, it's definitely not going to be covered by warranty if it's water damage (which seems likely). If it's not, that will depend on whether your machine is still under warranty and what the problem is. There's no way to estimate the cost, as it's impossible to say exactly what components might be affected.


    You should definitely make an appointment if you're going to an Apple Store. Walk-ins typically leave frustrated. Most Apple Stores are simply too busy to accomodate walk-ins at the Genius Bar. Make an appointment here: