Fixing my Mac (Part 1)

My mid-2010 13-in Macbook Pro


This happened yesterday, Saturday, May 18. It was my usual weekend and its been a few days since I used my Macbook. My Macbook Pro is 13-in and a 2010 model. I purchased Keynote on the Mac App Store yesterday in preparation for a speaking engagement. I downloaded some application updates as well on iTunes. These things are nothing different from my usual routine. 

Its past noon already and I launched Starcraft 2. My brother is planning to play the game but its quite slow to launch so I told him to just quit the game and play NBA 2k13 instead via Bootcamp. Again, there is nothing unusual in this since I let my brother play on my Macbook in the past. Then it happened and it is unexpected...

I finished some stuffs when my brother told me that the Macbook won't turn on. I was not alarmed at first but I noticed that its taking some time for the Mac to turn on. Only the LED indicator has power and its like the Mac is on a lifeline. 

I did not panic and stayed calm so that I can think of a solution. I turned to my other Apple devices to check a solution online. Here are the items I tried on my Macbook.

1. To have my Macbook turn on again, I reset the System Management Controller (SMC) by typing the key combination (left side) Shift + Control + Option + Power button at the same time. Here's the direct link on Apple support about what it does (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964). I had to try several times before my Macbook turn on again.

2. After turning on my Macbook, it got stuck on the Apple logo. Now this is making me worry a lot because its becoming a chain reaction of unfortunate events. To go over this problem I made the key combination Command + Option + P + R to reset the NVRAM. Here's the direct link on Apple support about what it does (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379). 

3. I was able to pass thru the Apple logo and get to the login screen. But when I was supposed to celebrate, I encountered another problem and this is the nastiest -- my Wifi cannot be recognized. It has got to be my unlucky day yesterday. Now this Wifi problem seemed to be an issue when Lion was released so there was a lot of articles about it online. I tried the different solutions hoping it will work on Mountain Lion, the OS installed on my Macbook. These articles are very informative and helpful. 

Tackling the no wi-fi hardware installed error in OS X (Source: CNET)
Why does my wifi card show 'No Hardware Installed' (Source: iFixIt)
Fixed 10.8 refusing to see the atheros ar9280 (Source: Macmanus.NL)

4. Unfortunately though, none of the articles were able to fix the issue and I'm losing hope already. So as a last resort, I backed up my Macbook on Time Machine and restored a recent backup when my wifi was still working. It was the first time I restored from Time Machine and I am really amazed with this application. It was an easy restore from my external hard drive and it took 1.5 hours to complete. 

My wifi still not worked and I'm concluding already that it's a hardware problem since a restored backup did not fix it. Another problem that I noticed on my Mac is that it gets stuck to the Apple logo already when its started from shutdown. To go about this problem, I have to reset the NVRAM (item #2 above). 

As mentioned, my 13-in Macbook Pro is a mid-2010 model bought in June. It is working normally for 2 years and 11 months and running the latest OS from Apple -- Mountain Lion (ver. 10.8.3). It has been a workhorse for me as it served my media hub for photos, music and games. It will turn three years old next month and good thing the problem occurred before my Apple Care expires. Good thing as well that I bought Apple Care in 2010 that extended the warranty of my Mac to two additional years. I'll be bringing my Mac to an Apple reseller to have it checked.

(To be continued)

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