My friend's Macbook Pro Retina Early 2015 turns off abruptly to a black screen (as far as I can tell without logs) after booting. Takes ca. 1 minute. The last thing he remembers doing differently is plugging in an external sound card (but it didn't crash until the next day). Supporting that, audio doesn't work in safe mode and we see no internal sound device in normal mode.
The odd thing is: We can boot into safe mode and it runs fine (except sound). However, when trying to boot into Recovery mode (on disk or online), it turns off before the mode is fully loaded.
D hardware test says the hardware is fine.
In Safe mode, we can run First Aid and it complains "invalid btn_btree.keycount" and "fsroot tree is invalid – which it cannot fix. We could probably fix this in Recovery mode (but can't get in there) or in Single user (but this is Mojave, so doesn't exist).
When trying to boot into Online Recovery mode, it reproducibly: downloads everything, starts booting, then flickers to black once, then shows a beach ball, then turns off.
Things we tried:
- resetting NVRAM, SMC
- moving all Kexts in Extensions to the Desktop
- plugging in the external Soundcard again
Next, our questions are:
- Can we somehow fix the recovery partition from Safe Mode? Is there another way to run Disk Util (Target Disk?)
- Can we somehow wipe the SSD and then restore from Time Machine?
- Will creating a bootable USB stick help? Any reason to hope that this doesn't also just turn off (which seems likely to us given that Internet Recovery does)?
- There is a new Mojave update which we could try installing in safe mode (but somehow we suspect that won't work/help)
And yeah, warranty is up. The disk is encrypted and has a firmware password. He has a current back-up and no money, so we'd prefer to somehow wipe the disk completely than take it in (problem is we don't know how – target disk mode?).
He took it into a shop and the guy says the logic board gets too hot to touch within 5 seconds, so must be broken. I don't know why that does't leave any shutdown logs. We are guessing safe mode works because it puts so much less stress on the logic board? We were still thinking about killing all sound kexts or something like that, because he cannot afford the replacement.