macbook pro turns on but screen stays black — my solution

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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)

470 Comments

  1. Anyone interested in purchasing a macbook pro mid/late 2006 black 11.5 inch screen. The “I” key is not working on the actual macbook. Has normal wear on the sides of the plastic, typical of this model. A few side screws and back screws missing. Fully operational, laptop is working fine, is operating mac os x 10.6.8 snow leopard. Selling it with separate white apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse. 500gb hardrive, 2gb of ram for 400USD. Let me know if you are interested. Will be placed on ebay so you can see pictures. Title: Fully Operational Macbook Pro mid/late 2006 OS X 10.6.8 500GB Hardrive 2GB of Ram.

  2. Hi. My mac book pro A1226 with black screen.tried setting all the stuff mentioned in Google .nvram c.o.p.r. or c.o.p.f etc etc but nothing display.however can hear fan running sound chime at startup but give up. ..

  3. Ok, I tried this. At first I thought it didn’t work because starting in safe mode was the same as starting normally. I was unhappy, however I tried turning it on again after waiting a minute and it started fine.
    I’ll also say the problem was the computer was technically on but the little start up noises never happened and the computer screen stayed black.

  4. Hi there, the “shift-restart-version” did the trick for me, so many thanks, wonderful, I had been really desperate…

  5. This solution worked, but at first I was too impatient to notice.
    Started up in Safe Mode, but only saw a very dim “something” appear
    on the screen of my 2006 MacBookPro 1.1. So I tried other solutions I found posted. None worked.
    But finally returned to this safemode startup. …and once again, the very dim
    something appeared. I got distracted by another chore which probably took
    5-10 minutes. When I got back to the MBP, the screen was nice and bright.
    I logged in….everything worked. So I restarted, which happened more slowly than expected.
    So I zapped the PRAM and now everything is back to normal….THANK YOU! THIS IS A LIFESAVER!

  6. Hello. I woke up this morning to a macbook pro ( 2.4 GHz core 2 duo/2GB/256MB VRAM 200GB ) that had a black screen. I’ve gone through many of the fixes listed on this site but so far, nothing has worked fro me. Do you have any other options I can try?

  7. I have problem also with my macbook pro a1286.. i used to forced shutdown my macbook.. but when i try to open it again, its only a black screen.. even the keyboard and apple logo at the back didn’t show light’s..
    I did already the com.. opt.. p and r but didn’t worked..:(
    Can you guys help me please??

  8. Thank you for your solution 🙂
    It works!!!

    I told the computer technician at the IT department the trick to deal with that problem and they thanked me.

    1. Before going and buying a new motherboard for 1000$. Have just the video card chip replaced for 150-250$. eBay/google it. I got mine fixed that way and it runs perfect now! Also Apple has a recap on that which is expiring this year sometime(2016)

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