I connected my Sony digital camera with the MacBook and the screen turned black. I wonder why because the Sony camera was not on at the time and technically could not be accessed. So I thought it might be temporary and I turned on my camera.

Well, it did not work, but my MacBook Pro has been dead since then. It will not turn on - when I hold the power button for five seconds, nothing happens. When I connect the charger cable, the green light is very dim and blinks a little (with about 20% illumination).

I wonder what the problem is. I have to call Apple Care, but just so that I know, what could be wrong? Is my MacBook permanently dead? It might be under warranty but I am not sure.


This sounds like a "return to Apple" solution. If it won't turn on, none of the suggestions anyone will give here aside from "return it to Apple" will be helpful.

I hope you have good backups!

  • True, I just thought if anyone would have any clue. – hk_ Oct 17 '11 at 2:10
  • I had a device short the USB port of my 2009 MBP 17", and all it ended up doing was giving me an onscreen warning that it had disabled the USB port due to shorting, and please disconnect the device. Your experience is surprising given what I experienced. The device in question was a wireless headset with USB charging. – SplinterReality Oct 17 '11 at 2:49
  • That's good to know. Don't know if it was because of USB connect or a conincidence. On my macbook it usually happens you connect the USB or esp connect TV output and the macbook freeses for 5 sec so I thought it was ok except that it never started afterwards with no warning, just a blank screen. – hk_ Oct 17 '11 at 3:25
  • @CharlesChappell, unfortunately, my HP Pavilion laptop does not behave the same way on a USB short. During a test, when I shorted a USB port, the system practically shut itself down - the display went black and the system could not accept any input. Surprisingly, the fan continued to run, so while the computer was frozen, it was still powered on. Even holding the power button for four seconds did not turn it off, so I had to remove the battery and AC adapter. No hardware damage occurred, but this is a heads up that not all systems are protected against USB shorts. – bwDraco Oct 20 '11 at 4:54
  • On a further note, if the system was protected, then Windows would give a "Power Surge on Hub Port" error instead. – bwDraco Oct 20 '11 at 5:03

Your MacBook Pro may have suffered hardware damage from overheating. This may be a complication of a known problem with the early 2011 MacBook Pro, which may freeze under load and may be related to the new discrete AMD Radeon GPUs in these systems. For more information, see this TechCrunch article. You will need to return your computer to Apple for service.

Also, was your system running OS X 10.6.7 or later? This update would have fixed the problem before any hardware damage could have occurred.

  • It was running Lion. I updated yesterday about (485 MB) for 4 apps. That should have probably updated everything. The computer was running slow though lately with a lot of "thinking" cursor even in safari and firefox. That could be related. It was not overheated. – hk_ Oct 17 '11 at 2:09
  • Also maybe worth mentioning, yesterday my macbook got frooz when I opened it. I have never seen a macbook freez before. After a while the cursor disappeared and I had to force restart it. Bottom line it was operating sluggish lately. – hk_ Oct 17 '11 at 2:26

It turns out connecting my camera (sony) through USB port caused the laptop to go dead. The cable is good and the camera is working fine. Could the cable be short I dont know. It shouldn't have gone dead but it does!


Have you tried resetting the PRAM/NVRam?

Resetting PRAM and NVRAM

Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R.

You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously while turning on the computer

Turn on the computer.

Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

Release the keys.

Your computer's PRAM and the NVRAM are reset to the default values. The clock settings may be reset to a default date on some models.

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1379

  • It does not even turn on :) – hk_ Oct 17 '11 at 1:12

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