macbook pro turns on but screen stays black — my solution

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 1:26 pm
By Colin

The Apple Macbook Pro would turn on, but the screen would not.  The screen would stay black.  I could tell the computer was on because when I hit the “caps lock” key, the green light on the key would turn on and off.

I fixed this the following way (this is basically resetting the Power Management Unit — PMU):

I disconnected the computer from the power cord, and from all other cables.

I held down the power button for several seconds to turn off the computer.

I let it sit 5 minutes.

I restarted the laptop while holding down the Shift key.  This restarted the computer in Safe Mode, with the screen visible again.

After I logged in (in Safe Mode) to make sure everything was ok, I simply restarted the computer the normal way, and the screen behaved normally again.

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If that doesn’t work for you, you could try these steps, documented at apple.com:

Holding down Command, Option, P, and R to reset your PRAM and NVRAM

Resetting PowerBook and iBook Power Management Unit (PMU)

304 Responses to “macbook pro turns on but screen stays black — my solution”

  1. Mary Ward

    Thanks MG, the only thing that worked!

    #132034
  2. Igor

    Thank you so so much! I had a book due to publish at friday and a million documnets of animal wellfare organization that has to be delivered to govenment and then the computer just crashed. Now its working perfectly!!! I and the misstreated animals thank you!!! Lifesaver!

    #133102
  3. Savi

    Wow shift key really worked for me thank you

    #134510
  4. Karla

    This just saved my poor grad student life! Can’t be more thankful, I thought I lost everything

    #136201

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