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MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Troubleshooting

The 13" MacBook Pro Unibody is an update of the 13" Unibody MacBook. Troubleshooting is fairly straightforward.

MacBook Pro Unibody won't turn on

Your computer will not boot.

RAM issues

If your computer beeps three times, there is a RAM issue. Either you have insufficient RAM to boot, or the RAM you do have is faulty. First, access the RAM slots and ensure you have RAM installed. If you have two chips, first reseat them and try again. If that doesn't work, try one chip at a time to see if one of the chips prevents the machine from booting. We offer replacement RAM to replace faulty chips. If none of the above methods work, you may have a bad logic board.

Bad power adapter

If your power adapter is bad, the computer will run off a battery, but it won't charge. If your battery's charge is too low, it will be difficult to diagnose a bad power adapter. The easiest way to test this is to borrow either a battery or power adapter to test in your machine. If you have the same problem with a fully charged battery, you most likely need a new logic board.

Thermal Sensor Issues

If the fans run at high RPMs, but the computer does not boot, there is probably an issue with the thermal sensors.

13" Unibody MacBook Pros house the thermal sensors on the logic board. Therefore, in this instance, the logic board may need to be replaced.

Bad logic board

If the above steps don't fix your problem, replace the logic board.

Also, 9 beeps on startup indicates a logic board problem. Try contacting your nearest Apple representative to determine if they will fix this problem (be sure to back up your data first!). If not, you must replace the logic board yourself.

Laptop shuts off when I unplug it

As soon as you unplug the computer from a power source, it shuts off

Dead battery

If your battery is dead, the computer will run fine off the power adapter, but will turn off when unplugged. A dead battery can manifest itself in many forms: It may not accept a charge (this particular symptom may also indicate a problem with the logic board), the computer may not recognize the battery, or the battery may be recognized as charged but fail to power your computer when the AC adapter is unplugged. We offer replacement batteries for sale in our parts store.

Flashing question mark on startup

The computer displays the flashing question mark when it can't find a bootable operating system. This could be because your OS is corrupt, the computer doesn't have enough RAM, or your hard drive is failing.

Bad operating system

Try booting off an OS CD. Run Apple's Disk Utility and try to repair the disk. If this fails, reinstall your operating system. If you can, erase the hard drive prior to reinstalling the OS.

Not enough RAM

This is quite rare. If you have insufficient RAM for your computer to boot the operating system, you may get the flashing question mark. Installing more RAM or downgrading to an older operating system will fix this. OS X 10.5 requires 512 MB RAM, and OS X 10.6 requires 1 GB RAM.

Bad hard drive

The hard drive may have been erased, corrupted, or damaged. If the hard drive has been erased, format it as HFS+ and reinstall your operating system back onto it. If it is corrupted or damaged, you need to replace it. Failing hard drives can display intermittent data corruption prior to failing completely. They often gradually get louder and start to click. If your hard drive is making abnormal clicking noises but still works, back up your data immediately and replace the hard drive. Any of our 9.5mm SATA hard drives will work in your computer.

My machine boots, but the display remains dark

Symptoms of this are a dark screen, but everything else seems to be running.


If your screen isn't working, the display is most likely to blame. You must then install a replacement display. If this still doesn't solve your problem, you need a new logic board.

Other problems


If you lose firewire or ethernet, the only thing to blame is the logic board. Because there are many components of the logic board, many possible symptoms indicate logic board failure. Any one of these components can fail and leave the others intact. Loss of USB also requires the replacement of the logic board. If you lose the use of another component of your computer, such as the display, battery, or even power, and replacing the apparently non-working part didn't fix the problem, it is possible that the logic board may need to be replaced (see above).

If you expect to see replies to your comments go to Answers!

originalmachead - Réponse

Hi I own this mac in Mex and I wish to thank you for your tremendous support about this assembly/ disasembly and troubleshooting guides

thanks guys!

bloggus - Réponse

As to the flashing folder, that could also be a bad hard drive cable or a faulty SATA port on the MB. If either of these are the case, the machine should be able to be booted (albeit slowly) from an external drive. The internal drive will, of course, fail to appear in "Disk Utility" left pane.

floyd harper - Réponse

This troubleshooting page needs some serious overhaul. If your laptop won't turn on, then there are MANY issues which could cause this issue. Only replace the logic board if you are 100% sure that the logic board is the cause of the issue. If you are having trouble with your macbook pro, try researching the issue on google or take it to a professional. That being said, the iFixit replacement guides for the macbook are excellent, so use those if you do determine the cause of a problem.

Joseph Rubin - Réponse

I’m not sure if I am in the right section for my question… if I’m in the wrong place please forgive me.

My problem:

Device: Macbook pro 13”

My Mac was slower and slower. So I decided to delete everything and I reinstalled fresh O.S. High Sierra 10.13.3.

It worked for 1 week without installing any other software, just the OS.

After one week everything disappeared from the computer, and I couldn’t even restarted it.

The disk was empty… blank.

I formatted disk again … and reinstalled OS only again.

Same problem… after one week everything disappeared.

Now… every 10-15 days .. i have to reinstall the OS…

What sould I check? motherboard? Hard disk? Ram? I’m getting crazy.

Thanks for your help

(sorry for my mistakes in writing , my mother tongue is not english)

maurizio spain - Réponse

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