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Model A1502 / 2.4, 2.6, or 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel processor / Released October 2013

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MacBook Pro does not boot, backlight on

Hi everyone

Since last monday, my barely 3 y/o Macbook Pro Retina 13" (Late 2013) does not boot anymore. It happend all of a sudden and without any previous event (spilling liquids, dropping it etc...).

Pressing the power button, the keyboard backlight + display backlight work, but the screen remains black. If I close the Macbook, the backlight stays on (the Apple Logo on the back still glows). It stays frozen like that for around 10-15 minutes, then it shuts down. Right after that, if I hit the power button again, nothing happens. But waiting for 20 minutes, it's possible to repeat the procedure.

If I connect an external monitor via VGA + Thunderbolt adapter, the 2nd screen shows the Apple Logo and the loading bar, but afterwards the it also stays black.

The keyboard should work, at least the caps lock light does. The Macbook was running with the latest macOS Sierra.

I already tried the SMC and PPRAM reset, which did not work. Booting in recovery did not work either. I also tried entering the password and trying to log in, hoping the external monitor would then show the desktop, which did not happen.

At the Apple store I was told to replace the display. But if only the screen is broken, why is it not possible for example to log in and work on the external monitor?

I hope someone of you has an idea, thanks already in advance!

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I doubt its the GPU, thats not as common as the internet likes to think it is. If you have another Mac, I'd recommend installing MacOS on a USB drive and see if you can boot off of that. From there, hopefully you can use the external monitor to recover your data. Then you could create a MacOS installer USB to try to reformat the SSD and reinstall MacOS. This probably won't solve your display issue though, only the failure to boot that you're seeing with the external monitor.

You may have two faults, the first being the LCD which is why Apple said to get it replaced, but possibly also the operating system may have become corrupted. If you've been turning it off and on over and over while its trying to boot, you may have accidentally corrupted it while trying to figure out the no display issue (computers don't like to be interrupted while trying to boot).

Unfortunately, this is probably a good situation to either bring it to the Apple Store or a local repair shop who has parts on hand to test the various possibilities.

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Thank you for this detailed answer. I have backups of my data, so no worries about that.

Yeah I guess there's at least the issue with the display. But as you said, the OS is probably messed up as well, since I can't access anything even with the external monitor (I just tried to get into recovery mode, but also no image on the 2nd screen). I might have to check back with the Apple store...


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Sounds like a hardware problem, possibly the GPU needs to be replaced. But before you jump to conclusions, I had the same problem on one of my older machines. I would recommend actually pulling out the ram and swapping it out with the other card. To do this will require disassembly. It's not hard, but be careful. Also, a fresh install of the operating system might be in order, but you couldn't see anything if it won't boot.

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Thanks for your answer! I think the RAM is soldered on the logic board, so removing it would be a pretty delicate task...


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