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I've had my MacBook Pro for two years now; no problems so far (it has had 3rd party RAM from the get go).

Today, I'm copying a particularly large VM from an External disk drive to local MacBook disk. It has about 3GB to go and I take off to do some other things and when I come back my screen is "dark".

The computer is still on but I can't see anything. I forced a reboot by holding down the power button, it starts up with the "chimes", but still no screen.

I've done this several times. Any ideas? Do you think the hard disk activity caused it to get too hot?

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Does it have screen sharing enabled? –  Mk12 Oct 24 '09 at 17:32
    
No it does not. –  Mike M Oct 24 '09 at 18:14
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4 Answers

Is this an older MacBook Pro, the pre-unibody style? If so, it probably has the video card issue, the GeForce 8600GT. Its covered by Apple for free replacement of the logic board.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ts2377

Edit: Oh wow, this is old. Haha.

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I cannot speak for Macs, but I typically see this on other laptops when the lid shut sensor thinks it has been engaged or the laptop thinks that a external monitor is connected.

You can try toggling the external monitor button if you have one, or try shutting and bringing up the lid.

Lastly, if this does not work, try looking at the screen with a strong light as you may be able to see that it is actually on but the backlight is broken/damaged which causes the screen to be viewable - just very dull.

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Take out the battery, and unplug it from the outlet. It could be that the machine has gotten into a bad state the SMU has become confused.

Once you remove the battery & external power, hold the on switch for 10-15 seconds...

Replace the battery and see if it turns on, and works properly... If so, go ahead and plug the power cord back in...

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I have had a similar issue on my Macbook Black. My backlight has had some issues. This is my question from about a year ago. My flicker issue has not gotten worse even if I did have a moment/day of panic when my screen would not go on.

Good Luck!

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