My Mac Won’t Start Up!

12 years ago in Troubleshooting by Brent | 2 Comments


You want to check your email or download photos or do some actual work, and you turn on your Mac and nothing happens. Now that’s a scary feeling! But it may not be hopeless. There are some tricks you can try before you give up all hope.

  1. Check all your connections and make sure they are tight.
  2. Make sure your Mac is plugged in. If it’s a laptop and you’re using it on battery, get out the power cord and plug it in.
  3. Make sure the outlet works. Plug a lamp or fan or something into it and see if that works.
  4. If you’re using a power strip, make sure it is turned on and working.
  5. Eliminate the power strip and plug the Mac directly into a working outlet.
  6. Unplug everything from the computer except your mouse and keyboard and try again to start it by pressing the power button.
  7. Unplug your mouse and keyboard, too, and try to start.
  8. If you did anything to the computer, like install memory, undo it and try again.
  9. If you have any cards inserted, remove them.
  10. If you have an iBook, miniMac or PowerBook, press control-command-power simultaneously. (I know—shades of a PC!)
  11. If it’s a laptop, reset the Power Manager.
  12. If it’s a desktop, consult your user manual and reset your motherboard.
  13. If you’re a MacGeek, replace the PRAM battery on the motherboard.

If all of these interventions fail, take your Mac to an authorized repair place and see if they can fix it for you. Don’t bury it until you are sure it’s really and truly dead; that is, until it is pronounced dead by a MacExpert. Even then, try to recycle or repurpose it. Old Macs do not die; they simply reappear as MacParts.

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