My mid 2009 MacBook Pro has been repeatedly shutting down shortly after turning it on. It won't stay on. Where do I go for help? I haven't tried anything since it won't stay on.
I would start with this Apple article:
If you don't want to troubleshoot it yourself, you could also do worse than:
The first step a professional would take is get out an index card and write down the times the machine shut down. Whether it went down completely or just restarted. From there, they would start to the boot chooser (hold option) and see if the machine can run that OS for 30 minutes without crashing.
At that point, you'd know if the hardware was inherently unstable or software was where to look.
- how long ago is the last backup of the data
- how much $$ would losing the data be worth
- Get the data backed up if it's worth the time and expense to do a backup
- then proceed to isolate the issue to software/hardware/etc...