View Full Version : Early 2009 Macbook Pro won't boot up

3rd March 2010, 08:39 PM
So, I'm writing this from my wife's Vista laptop ....urgh!

Anyhow, came home from work, had left my laptop on all day, connected to the wall, so it's not a battery issue. First clue I should have twigged that something wasn't right was that I think the screen saver was frozen. But anyway didn't think much about it, shut the case, and went about trying to cook dinner. Then I needed to do something on the laptop, so I opened it back up, it flickered for a minute and then went dark.

Mmmm, that can't be good I thought. I shut the lid again, opened it again after a few minutes and nothing. So I restarted the computer and it got to the grey screen and then nothing, just hung there. The second and third times I got the flashing question mark.

The technical details, March 2009 MBP (aluminium) with 4Gb of RAM. Recently upgraded to Snow Leopard and running the latest version (barring any updates in the last week).

Anyhow, tried to run disk utility from the Snow Leopard install disks and although the hard drive does appear it doesn't recognise it as a formatted disk and the repair disk option is greyed out. (in fact all the options are).

So a couple of questions. a) I know it's not much to go on, but would anyone have a clue as to what might have happened and more importantly b), what's my next step.

Should I re-install Snow Leopard in the hope that the data will still be on the disk. My latest backup is from Mid January (yeah I know, I know) and I'd rather not lose this last months worth of stuff if I can help it.

Any help/suggestions appreciated.



3rd March 2010, 09:41 PM
Sounds like hard drive failure. I suspect you are chances of getting back data are pretty low unless you have it professionally done

3rd March 2010, 11:03 PM
See if it will boot into 'single user mode' (hold cmd-s at startup chime). If it does try a file structure check fsck -fy. That said it sounds like the drive is fritzed, it may still be just under warranty in which case you can get it changed over for free, but you'll lose your data. You could try booting it into target mode, connected to another Mac and try disk recovery software to reclaim your files, but it can be pretty hit and miss. :(

5th March 2010, 08:58 AM
Thanks for the reply guys. Yep it's frazzled alright. Tried a few different things but it's a no-go. You wouldn't believe it, I bought it March 4 last year and it failed on March 3. So it's under warranty, but only just. Hopefully I won't get any grief about having to prove when it failed.

Just another general question, and I'm being lazy as I haven't looked into it, but is the incidence of hard drive failures on macbooks higher than usual, or did I just happen to get a dud? I'm asking because in the 20 odd years of my using PCs, believe it or not it's the first time I've had a hard drive go on me and it's annoying that it's happened on a relatively new product. I know that statistically it was bound to happen sooner or later, but just a little disappointing. So just curious as to what others' experiences have been.

5th March 2010, 09:53 AM
You could try using your post online to prove the date of failure because you had already asked about it would be tough to put a backdated post on a public forum.

On the issue of harddrive failure, I don't think Macbooks would be any higher than other brands. They use normal branded drives from WD, Seagate etc so unless your particular laptop has some fault which caused the drive to fail, its probably just one of the .01% (or whatever the failure rate is) of drives that fail in the first year.

5th March 2010, 04:47 PM
You could try using your post online to prove the date of failure because you had already asked about it would be tough to put a backdated post on a public forum.

Hopefully I won't have to resort to that but yeah good idea.

its probably just one of the .01% (or whatever the failure rate is) of drives that fail in the first year.

So what you're saying is that the Universe hates me! Yeah thought so! :laughing:

Oh well, off to the reseller tomorrow to see if I can get this fixed under warranty....wish me luck.

19th March 2010, 12:26 PM
Just an update to advise what a relatively painless experience it was getting a replacement.

I phoned my reseller (DJs Canberra) who advised me to contact Mac1 who handle all warranty repairs for Apple here in Canberra.

As you may recall, I was worried about the exact warranty expiration period, but I rang Mac1, spoke to one of the guys there who looked up my details (all online, why can't all resellers do this?) and found that according to Apple my warranty didn't finish till the end of March. So obviously Apple allowed a little leeway for shipping and delivery times. +1 to Apple!

So anyway, brought the laptop into Mac1, they took my details and told me they'd contact me once they'd assessed the machine. 5 days later I get a phone call, not to tell me they'd assessed it, but to let me know I could pick it up. They'd even had a go at recovering the data but couldn't.

So one week after I dropped it off and also thanks to SuperDuper, I'm up and running again, minus a couple of month's worth of data...but that's my own damn fault!

I have to admit I was more than a little peeved at having a product that failed after less than one year of ownership, but I appreciate how good the customer service was. I can think of a few other manufacturers where getting a replacement like this would have been a major production number.

So thanks Mac1 (Fyshwick) and thanks Apple!