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Mid 2006 / model number A1181 / black or white case / 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

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MacBook only boots fully occasionally, otherwise black screen

Hi! I've got a MacBook which boots and works fine about 1 in 30 times I try to power it on, and the other 29 it makes bootup noises (but no chime), the optical drive revs up, the power light stays on, but nothing else happens. When it works occasionally, it works 100%, and stays on pretty much till I power off. The original owner was told by Apple that it's a GPU problem. I've tried different memory, replacing the DC-in, PMU and PRAM resets, and nothing seems to make a difference or improve the 1/30 ratio. I don't suspect the screen, because, again, when it works, it works. I'm just curious if anyone has any thoughts before I give up and assume it's a bad board.

If you want to see the machine, below is the video I'm using to sell it on EBay. I've been selling lots of MacBooks for parts lately, and would much prefer to sell this as a working machine! :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTiwLudfF...

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Thanks guys! Today I replaced the screen and hinge, just to rule that out, and unfortunately it still exhibited the same symptoms. There was a moment of excitement when it seemed a new topcase had solved the issue, but, alas, the problem started happening again.

Ah well, sometimes a bad motherboard is just a bad motherboard, and there's no other way about it, and the productive thing to do is just move on. It's frustrating though, when a machine like this one seems so close to being fixed!

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Have you tried booting without the optical drive connected, or to an external drive with bootable OS?

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Since you sell lots of machines for parts, you might have a display port adapter hanging around? Have you tried booting the machine with it connected to an external display?

What we're testing is if there is a loose connection to the display itself, or perhaps broken wiring from lots of open/closing of the laptop.

It still sounds like the machine's graphics processor is pooched, which I believe is part of the logic board?? (don't quote me on that one though...)

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It sounds like it might be an intermittent connection. You could try cleaning the memory sockets and remaking the cable connections. If that fails I suspect you do have a bad logic board. Ralph.

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Check the battery, it may be popped out slightly.

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he said that it still makes boot-up noises and if the battery was popped out a bit it wouldn't turn on at all or it would run fine

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actually, if it was slightly disconnected, it could get a little power, but not enough, and then just stop; i see this happen all the time in desktop macs with plugs, with batteries its actually easier because they are less the 'all or nothing' wall sockets are, also if the battery itself is old or defective (leaking, breached, or whatever) then the same issue could arise.

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You mention everything but the hard drive. Have you tried booting to an external, or a CD? You must have!

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Hi! Yes, I always boot to an external hard drive that has the OS installer mounted on it. I find this is the best way, since internal optical drives can be flaky and add some confusion to the overall diagnosis.

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How about booting to an external with the internal hard drive removed?This would test whether a failing internal hard drive is interfering. Since you want to try everything before deciding it's the logic board, it would be worth a try, and is easy to do.

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Hey,

I have exactly the same issue here. First I think I wittnessed it becoming worse about 2 years ago. Then had it running for months without rebooting. I tried different harddrive, ram, disc-drive and battery, but it stays the same.

In my case the screen flashes once for about a millisecond when I try to turn it on. My MacBook also won't wake up from suspend, so I really have it to stay turned on.

Did you get on with yours?

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It's probably your logic board. Same thing happened to me a few months ago before taking it in to Apple.

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Hi. I had the same problem on a A1181. I just removed the hard drive and then booted from a Snow Leopard USB bootable Stick. Since the screen turned on, it seemed it was a hard drive issue. So I Installed that hard disk on another Macbook, which didn't boot. Finally, I solved it by installing a new hard drive on it and just worked.

Hope it work for you.

Good luck!

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