Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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MacBook doesn't boot, no chime, blank screen

Hi and thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice.

I have an early 2008 white MacBook 2.1 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4GB RAM 120GB HD, upgraded to superdrive, running OSX Lion.

Two nights ago, I woke my machine from sleep late at night to print a document. Once printed, I put it back to sleep and went to sleep myself. I forgot to plug it in, so the battery died overnight. When I got home yesterday and tried to use it, it would not boot after reasonable time to charge. I unplugged it, pulled the battery, held the power button for a few seconds, and it booted fine. Used it for the night, and put it to sleep.

This morning, I was woken by the fan in my MacBook spinning full-speed constantly. I did not have time to troubleshoot, so I just held the power button to shut it down after it refused to wake from sleep. When I got home today, it would not boot at all.

I have reseated the RAM, tried other RAM I have on hand, followed every guide I have found to "reset" various components, etc. When I boot it without RAM, it does make the error sound. With RAM, the screen flickers for a split second, and then goes blank with the white LED holding a constant brightness. The dvd drive also audibly starts up, you can hear it cycling.

I hooked my HD to a Windows machine and was able to read the bootcamp partition, so I assume the drive is okay, but I do not have another Mac to read the other partition.

I obviously suspect the logic board is at fault, though I am confused by the no-RAM error sound and the DVD drive cycling. Any suggestions are appreciated, the computer is only worth $400 to me so if it comes to the logic board I may have to sell the machine for parts and scrounge for an upgrade.

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Yep, starting to sound like the GPU problem. Have you had the logic board replaced before? Do you have AppleCare still?

Give your system a good physical external cleaning (getting as much of the dirt & grime off). As a clean system will do wonders when you go to the Apple Store. With a sad face stop in on the Apple Store and see what they say. It's best to pick a date & time they aren't busy, mid morning being best.

If they confirm it's the GPU problem see what they tell you the costs are. If they hit you with both a parts & labor charge insist on talking with the support manager, telling him your friend had the same problem and they replaced the part only charging him the bench labor price (thats the best deal you can make here). If you can't get them to bend let us know before you let them fix it.

Good Luck!

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I haven't replaced the logic board, but I did upgrade to a super drive a month or so ago. I do not have AppleCare, unfortunately. Should I go in with a list of things I've tried or just let them do their troubleshooting? Also, my battery is not OEM, will they have a problem with that?

I own a small business that does computer repairs, sales, etc. so I know my way around inside fairly well. I put my problem here because I was out of ideas and this machine (or any Mac I can find) is essential to my business. If they confirm that that is the problem, would it be cheaper for me to go at it myself? Like I said, I'm only in $400 on this machine so I hate to drop $400-500 on a logic board.


Tough call - You might find a working used system for less.


I think I am going to look for a used machine on eBay and scrap this one to pay for some of the "new" one. Thank you both for your help.


First give the SMC a reset Instructions

Make sure you put the HD & memory the system had back in before you do the reset.

Do you have your OS install CD/DVD the system had when you got it or a newer OS install CD/DVD. If so try to restart with it, any luck?


Thank you both for the suggestions.

Tried booting from Leopard disk, it accepted the disk and I can hear it spin up to read, but the screen is still blank and no startup chime. I tried with and without holding down the "C" key. Also, I now cannot eject the disk; tried holding mouse button during power on and using eject key to no avail.

SMC reset also did not produce any results.


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Try booting up from your system installation disk. If it boots go to the second screen pull down menu to Utilities > Disk Utility and see if your can repair your hard drive. Please tell us the status of your battery now.

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I have the same mac. 2 weeks ago it fell off of my foot stool and the HD stoped working so I got a new HD and had a friend reinstall snow leopard and Lion since I bought it off of here I did not have the start up disk. Well I got it back on thursday and everything seemed to be working great I got everything else loaded back up and back to how it was as far as settings where before it fell. Just a couple of hours ago my son was using it and the screen froze up with a bunch of colored lines in certain areas. It had a message in a black box in multiple languages saying to power down and restart the computer.

Well I restarted it and now I get a black screen, no chime sounds and the DVD drive just keeps starting up like they all do when you first start up a computer. If I leave it on the DVD just keeps doing it every 20 seconds or so but nothing else. I am assuming that I have possibly the same issue as the OP so any help would be greatly appreciated.


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After posting the above question I found the fallowing and tried it and it worked. No for how long I have no idea but when I tried one RAM chip with the battery out and and powered up it worked just fine. I did both slots with the other empty with both RAM chips to see if I did have a bad chip. Both worked individually and now work together like before. Like I said we will see how long this works but it seems for now to have fixed the problem. I was also able to get a screen shot of the Problem Details and system configuration that it asked me to send to apple. Any ways here the directions I fallowed.

" Next, try reseating the RAM, and test the slots one at a time by booting with one empty, and then the other. My symptoms with one bad RAM module were: - display very briefly flashed on but then stayed black - No chime - Optical drive kept doing this brief mechanical cycling over and over, as if something stuck in it - hard drive spun up but didn't sound active. - sleep light stayed on solid Bravo!!


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