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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Weird MacBook Pro problem - HELP!

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Member Since: Jul 18, 2010
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maccmannmatt is on a distinguished road

maccmannmatt is offline
My MacBook Pro (original CoreDuo, 2.0 Ghz, 2GB, 160HD) is giving me a weird error and I cannot fix it. It has Leo 10.6.4 which I was just able to update it before it crashed again.

Below is a pic of what I see just before I cannot do anything else with it. (Please look at it because it's consistent with the core problem and a part of the issue that I am facing here. I'm hoping that one of you will see it and say, "Oh yeah, that's a [whatever the problem is] problem! I've seen that before," and tell me how to solve it!)

Here is a direct link to the image if you cannot see it

Picasa Web Albums - Matthew - Redrum Total

This weird "hash-marks grid" appears over the mouse pointer, then it eventually turns into the pinwheel. I can move the mouse pointer, but cannot click anything. I cannot force-quit apps or use the apple menu to shut down. All I can do at that point is hold the power button down until the unit shuts off.

Has anyone else seen this happen on a Mac before?

Some troubleshooting history:

When I reboot, I get a start-up chime, the Apple Logo appears and the spinning progress indicator goes for a normal amount of time, the screen then changes to total gray, but then goes no further. I can boot into Single-user and Verbose mode but that's really no help because I'm not a "command-line" sort of guy. I started it in Safe Mode by holding the Shift while boot and it doesn't do anything different.

I have zapped the PRAM, done a hardware reset, pulled the memory one at a time and replaced one at a time to see if one was bad (both are OEM). No difference there.

I have FanControl installed because I suspected overheating and have the speed set for 5000+ RPM for both fans and the menubar gauge read 59C at the time it stopped working, which is hot but not so hot that it should cause instant problems.

I cannot boot from an external drive with Leo on it or to a bootable DVD (I tried both the SnoLeo DVD and Techtool). I was able to start it up and back it up using the MacBook Pro in Target Disk mode and it cooperated as a USB drive attached to another Mac. I did a full diagnostic on it using TechTool and it found no hardware issues. It did find filesystem issues that I was able to repair after which for a time I had it running again, but the same problem returned.

I have basically had everything except the bottom case replaced under AppleCare (BTW, if you don't have AppleCare on your Mac, BUY IT!) and the mainboard was replaced about 2 years ago.

After letting it sit for a couple of weeks, I decided to just see if it would boot and it did. It allowed me to do an OSX update to 10.6.4 and rebooted, but within about 10 minutes, the problems were back.

Any ideas anyone? I would LOVE to fix this myself and not have to spend any hard-earned dough on repairs. I am usually able to diagnose and repair stuff myself and have been doing so on Macs for about as long as Macs were out there, but this one is a stumper.

Thanks for any and all assistance!

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You've done pretty much everything you can do to trouble shoot it yourself. It looks to me like you may have a bad logic board again but without the type of diagnostic testing that only Apple can do, that's not a given. Might be time to sit this one out... do you want to spend any more on repairs? New logic board is going to be costly (if that's it) and even if you do replace it, your machine is still dated.

Might be time to consider buying a new machine and sell this one for parts. BTW, I'm assuming that your Apple care has run out and you're now on your own.

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