Bootcamp Broke my MBP

Sep 18, 2008
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tl;dr : Bootcamp installation has turned off [destroyed?] my display adapter on my MBP. How do I turn my display back on using only network file access (or ssh if I can somehow turn it on provided systemwide network files access)? :(

I'm desperate and more than a little scared. I think I may have bricked my MBP. I'll provide a full chain of events below, but this is definately boot-camp related, so bear that in mind.

My Symptoms:
*At boot the display receives NO power. It is an unpowered black screen.
*I will hear the boot chime (or multiple chimes if clearing PRAM) but nothing to indicate a successful boot after that (exceptions noted below)
*Certain boot sequences do appear to work (Mouse button for CD eject, clearing PRAM gives multiple chimes, etc)
*The sleep light comes on and stays on forever (not breathing but on full time). It appears to be at about half power (not full brightness)

Symptoms indicating it is booting still:
*after some time > 1 min, the cd-eject key will begin to work, but not earlier in the boot--indicative of booting actually occuring?
*I attempted to login (gave username + tab + Pass + enter) while the install cd was in and after the system had been sitting for a bit. After hitting enter the cd drive spun up for a bit and I _think_ I heard some HD activity. ~60 sec later I heard a blip (.wav/mp3 audio of some sort) that I've never heard before. This also happens if I attempt to 'login' without the dvd in the drive. Maybe it's booting and I'm logging in and the blip is some error alert? (I honestly cant remember if there are any auditory cues of a successful login >.<)
*Inserting a CD after 'login' causes the dvd drive to spin up, perhaps mounting it?
*By pressing the power button briefly it seems possible to put the system to sleep (sleep light starts breathing) after some time
**!** I can ping it on the network
**!** I can actually access my files on it over the network, I have admin access. ssh is not enabled though

Chain of events leading to this:
I recently upgraded (clean install from empty drive) to leopard and have spent the past week installing software, configuring it, and occasionally getting some work done. Finally, having finished my configuration of OS X I decided it was time to install windows via bootcamp so I could play some of my games. I started up the bootcamp assistant and successfully partitioned the drive (150 GB to windows, 315 GB to OS X). I then inserted the install media (Retail Windows Vista Ultimate Full Install (not upgrade), 64-bit) and hit continue when prompted by the bootcamp assistant. At first it claimed that there was no install media because it seems I hit continue too quickly after inserting the DVD and it wasnt mounted yet. After waiting for the DVD icon to appear on my desktop I hit continue again, and it paused working for a bit, then logged me out for a moment (blank screen, no dock/finder/toolbar etc just background as if it were shutting down) and then the screen just shutoff.

I'm not sure if I heard the boot chime at that time or not, I actually walked away from the system while I figured it was rebooting to install windows. When I returned the screen was black (unpowered) and nothing was happening, although I could hear the fans and the sleep light was on (not breathing). I was a bit perplexed but just let it go for about half an hour before getting concerned. I rebooted it via hard-shutdown (ten-sec power button) and am now presented with the symptoms above. It was working perfectly before the bootcamp assistant shut the machine down.

My System:
Mid '07 15.4" MacBook-Pro 2.4 GHz intel Core 2 Duo
Aftermarket Crucial 4 GB (2GBx2) DDR2 PC2-5300 Memory Installed 1 month ago
Aftermarket Samsung 500 [465] GB 5400 RPM SATA HD Installed 1 week ago
Leopard 10.5.4 Installed 1 week ago from retail DVD

I mention the installation timelines because I did the installations myself and while I want to be upfront about that I do not suspect they are at fault as the machine has seen HEAVY usage (16-hour days) in the interim without a single issue.

Attempted Fixes
*Booting from install dvd - spins up for awhile then goes idle, and I cant see anything. No apparent difference between just leaving the dvd in the drive or holding c as it boots
*Reset PRAM and NVRAM - Multiple chimes = success?
*Reset PMU - No idea if successful
*Booting as a target drive - held down t while booting and connected to a Macbook via firewire for about a minute. Did not hear a chime or have the drive recognized by the macbook even after I released t and waited for a bit.
*shined a flashlight through the apple to see if the backlight had just died--I didnt see anything to suggest anything was being drawn at all.
*tried booting with an external vga monitor plugged into the dvi port via adaptor, nothing happened but I'm unsure if there's a special key sequence I'm supposed to use to make it work from boot.

My Request:
If anyone knows how to fix this you can have my first born. I want to get my display up and running again. I have network file access, but ssh is not currently enabled. I suspect ssh could be enabled by manipulating config files directly using my admin access, I just dont know how.


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
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Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Long post. Don't know if I can help, but here's a suggestion using your external VGA monitor:

Attach the monitor with the mini DVI to VGA adaptor but don't turn it on. Boot the MBP and let it go until you think it has booted up. When you're satisfied it may have booted, close the lid on the MBP and let the machine go to sleep.

After a few minutes, open the lid on the MBP and turn on the external. The external (if everything is working OK) should display in extended desktop mode. If nothing shows up on the external, I would start to suspect the graphics chipset in your MBP. Very unlikely for the internal monitor to fail and even if it had, the external will still display. That kind of points to the graphics chipset maybe being bad. And since you can access the HD from the network, the logic board is probably OK.

How did that happen? Might be a coincidence that it failed while you were installing Windows. Who knows? In any event, it may be time to take it on in to Apple. Is the machine under warranty or applecare?

Hope that helps. Sorry I can't be more definitive about what the trouble could be.


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