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Macbook Pro Help Needed Diagnosing Boot Problem

Hi-

I was given a MacBook Pro by a friend. (Model #A1229 on the bottom), which kind of works and kind of doesn't. The laptop history is unknown, as my friend had the laptop given to her as dead. Here's the problem: I plug in the AC adapter and press the power button. The famous Apple chime comes out of the speakers and the gray startup screen appears (it is blank). The screen will just stay there, frozen. My friend told me that she thought the CPU might be bad, and someone else told her that the graphics card could be bad. With the grey screen, I kind of doubt that it is graphics. Any help with diagnosis would be appreciated. By the way, I can remove covers on laptops- I have rebuilt many PC laptops. I have never opened up a Mac laptop though- in fact, I have never owned one. Therefore, if I need to get inside the case, some instructions or diagrams would be much appreciated. The specs (on the inside of the battery cover) read:
*2.4 GHz Core2 Duo
*2 GB (RAM, I'm guessing)
*256MB VRAM
*160GB 5400RPM (Hard Drive)

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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More about macbook needed diagnosing boot problem
  1. Best answer
  2. I think I have made some progress- I reset the SMC (Unplugged and Removed Battery and Help Power Button), and the gray screen appears for a minute, and now I have a file folder appear with a blinking question mark. I am not sure what this means (guessing OS or HDD failure???)- Any ideas?
  3. By the way, the machine feels hot on the bottom rear center area after a couple of minutes on- any ideas???
  4. Best answer selected by Omegayellow.
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