I have a 2009 MacBook Pro 13".

After I haven't used it for a while, I wanted to start it up again to give it to my sister and something really odd happened.

I have searched both google and AskDifferent intensively. There is a lot of questions and forum posts, that are similar, but none are quite like my problem.

  1. When I turn it on, the screen stays black. No boot screen, no Apple, nothing. However the backlight is on. The display flashes a bit, when hard powering off.
  2. There is no startup-chime. To be exact, there is no sound what so ever. I tried removing both pieces of ram, because this usually results in a beeping signal. But even this doesn't happen.
  3. I attached my external monitor, and it showed the regular screen. I was able to log in, went to the settings and it recognised the internal monitor as usual. But it still stays black.

Things I tried so far:

  • Reset NVRAM
  • Disconnect charger and unplug battery for about an hour. In between pressed the on button a couple of times to drain any remaining charge.
  • Tried various ram configurations (since that was what I changed recently)

Does anybody have an idea, what the reason for these problems could be?

Is there any analytic/hardware-test tool, that I could run? Keep in mind, that I am able to boot and view stuff on the second screen. However I do not have any access to menus, that show up before the system is fully booted.


I have looked inside the system settings for sound. The regular sound card as an output device is completely missing. Could this be a problem with the logic board?

  • There might be a problem with the built in LCD. Have you tried attaching an external display?
    – TrinitronX
    Sep 5, 2013 at 17:50
  • As I said: "3. I attached my external monitor, and it showed the regular screen." With an external Monitor everything worked fine.
    – Tim Bodeit
    Sep 5, 2013 at 20:40
  • That happened to someone I know. He thought he had lost the laptop and tossed it away a drawer. Months later he plugged it to the mains and it worked as if nothing happened. Sep 6, 2013 at 0:18
  • Symptoms affecting the integral LCD (1) and (3) may be coincidental to the sound issue (2) and without a common cause. Sep 10, 2013 at 2:39

2 Answers 2


You might try attaching the second monitor and running Apple Hardware Test upon boot.

To run the hardware test:

  1. Print these instructions for reference
  2. Disconnect all external devices except the keyboard, mouse, display, and speakers. If you have an Ethernet cable or external DVD drive, disconnect it.
  3. Restart your Mac, holding down the D key while the Mac restarts.
  4. After your Mac restarts, you should see the Apple Hardware Test chooser screen. If you don’t, Apple Hardware Test may not be available on your Mac. You may be able to start Apple Hardware Test from the Internet. Reconnect your Mac to the network, then restart your Mac while holding down both the Option and D keys.

  5. When the Apple Hardware Test chooser screen appears, select the language you want to use, then press the Return key or click the right arrow button.

  6. When the Apple Hardware Test main screen appears (after about 45 seconds), follow the onscreen instructions.

If you can't see anything on your secondary display after starting Apple Hardware Test, then it may have started but not recognized your secondary display. You could press Enter and then T to start the tests, but there's probably no way to see the results. If this is the case, you're probably better off taking it to the Apple Store. It sounds like the LCD is faulty.

Here is a list of other startup keyboard shortcuts.


You might try running this LCDTest program to check whether any RBG test patterns show up or change the display output. If you still don't see any output, and you've checked that the LCD Display shows up under System Preferences => Displays, then you may have a hardware problem with your Display Data Connector, or LCD Display.

LCD Hardware Problem

This is most likely a hardware problem, and taking it in to the Apple Store for support is probably your best bet if it's still under warranty. You can check if your Macbook's warranty is still active by visiting this page and entering your serial number.

If it's out of warranty, or you really want to try and solve this yourself (this will void your warranty), then dive into the iFixIt Guide for Replacing a MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2009 Display. iFixIt sells Replacement Parts for your Macbook.

  • No, unfortunately this doesn't work. I tried it multiple times. As I said in the question, the external display does not get activated until the login screen appears. Therefore I can't access the Hardware Test. Are there any tests, that I could run after the system has been launched?
    – Tim Bodeit
    Sep 10, 2013 at 14:58
  • AFAIK you can try LCDTest (see edited answer above), but if you're not getting any output from the display at all, it's probably a hardware problem.
    – TrinitronX
    Sep 10, 2013 at 19:28
  • Also, if you're seeing only Headphones output under System Preferences -> Sound -> Output, then it could be that the headphone jack connector switch is stuck. You might try cleaning it out.
    – TrinitronX
    Sep 10, 2013 at 19:44
  • No, unfortunately I don't only see Headphones. The internal sound card is gone completely. No optical, no headphone, no speakers :(
    – Tim Bodeit
    Sep 10, 2013 at 21:49
  • @TimBodeit: Hmm... Sounds to me like something inside the MacBook may have become unplugged from the logic board, or some circuits on the board could be faulty in some way. Again, best bet is to take it in to Apple if under warranty. Otherwise, check that all connections to the logic board are seated correctly. (Especially: Display Data Cable connector, Left Speaker connector, Right Speaker & Subwoofer connector)
    – TrinitronX
    Sep 11, 2013 at 18:36

No sound (no startup chime)

With my 2009 MacBookPro5,2 this symptom sometimes occurs after removing a plug from the headphones socket.

In my case, it's probably wear and tear. I simply reinsert then remove a jack plug, then the internal loudspeakers work.

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