How to Troubleshoot Apple Laptops

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You can troubleshoot your Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro with a three step process. First, test to determine whether the MacBook is receiving power properly. Second, reset the MacBook's settings to try to enable a proper startup. Third, remove any additional RAM memory which may interfere with startup.

  • Press the button on the MacBook battery, or on the side of the computer (for models with an integrated battery), to see if the battery is charged. Several LED lights indicate a charged battery; a single blinking light means the battery is empty.

  • Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the MacBook and the wall socket for one minute. Reconnect it first to the wall, then to the MacBook. If the LED on the MagSafe cable turns on, the laptop is now charging. Press the power button to see if the MacBook starts up.

  • Hold down the control, command, and power buttons for three seconds to attempt to restart your MacBook. You will hear a startup chime if this is successful.

  • Hold down command, option, and the "P" and "R" keys until you hear a startup chime. This resets the "parameter RAM" or "PRAM," which may prevent your computer from starting up.

  • Reset the system management controller. There are two methods of doing this, depending on your MacBook. Reset MacBooks with a removable battery by disconnecting the power cord and removing the battery, then holding the power button for five seconds. In newer MacBooks with an integrated battery, hold the left-side shift, control, and option keys while pressing the power button. Reconnect the power cable and press the power button to start the MacBook.

  • Remove any additional RAM you may have installed and determine whether you can start up your MacBook without it. The method of removing RAM varies by MacBook; consult your MacBook's manual for instructions. If you are uncomfortable removing the RAM from your MacBook, skip to the next step.

  • Schedule a service appointment at an Apple Store or authorized reseller if these steps do not restore your MacBook. They will work through these steps as well, and set up a repair for your MacBook if it needs servicing.

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