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.

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    With so little detail, the only thing anyone could suggest is take it to a professional. – Tetsujin Sep 5 '15 at 4:56
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    Yes @Tetsujin I'll make a case for that exactly. Let's see how it plays out. Surprisingly, amongst all the potential duplicates, I see no general guidance on what steps to go. Let's get this duped if needed, though. – bmike Sep 5 '15 at 15:47

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.

Next steps:

  • 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...
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  • @bmike thank you for your input. The machine goes down randomly. Sometimes shortly after restart. All my info is backed up. Since I don't know anything about fixing computers I'll bring it to a professional. I thank you for your professional explanation. – Diana Sep 6 '15 at 3:49

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