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Help! I Dropped My MacBook!

written by: Michael Dougherty•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 11/28/2010

The unthinkable has happed. You have dropped your pride and joy, your MacBook. You pick it back up and dust it off and it is displaying a white screen ...

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    Unibody MacBook White Ok lets take a deep breath. That's it. The first thing we want to do is slow our breathing and calm down. You can't do anything to help your MacBook until you're mind is clear and your hand is steady. Calm now? Ok lets begin ...

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    Troubleshooting Steps

    Now that your MacBook has been dropped it is very possible that the white screen is being caused by a hardware issue. That being said, in some cases resetting your SMC and PRAM may help. Lets start by doing that.

    SMC Reset

    • Shut down your MacBook.
    • Disconnect your MacBook's power adapter.
    • Remove the battery.
    • Press and hold your MacBook's power button for 5 seconds.
    • Let go of your MacBook's power button and reconnect the battery and power adapter.
    • Cross your fingers and power up your MacBook.

    (Source)

    PRAM Reset

    • Shut down your MacBook.
    • Turn on your MacBook and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys.
    • Hold these keys until your MacBook restarts and you hear the startup sound again.
    • Release the keys.

    (Source)

    Next, if the above two procedures didn't work, lets shut down your MacBook and walk away from it for a few hours. This gives you time to put things in perspective and your MacBook time to just sit. On the rare occasion a dropped MacBook resulting in a white screen can cause excess heat to build up in your MacBook. About a year ago I dropped my MacBook Air and experienced this dreaded white screen every time I tried to boot it immediately following. I finally gave up, shut it down and went to bed. The following morning I turned it on and it's worked fine every since. Was it a heat issue? Was it something that simply reset itself from being powered down? Or was my MacBook ugly at me for dropping it and on strike for the night? I really don't know. You've got nothing to lose and after this maybe you both could use some "alone time".

    If these troubleshooting steps have cleared up your dropped MacBook white screen issues, excellent! If the above two techniques didn't help please keep reading.

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    Damaged Hardware

    When your MacBook was dropped it is likely there was some damage done to its internal components. The most likely cause of this white screen is that the LCD and/or the logic board was damaged during the fall. If this is the case you will have to foot the bill for the repairs as Apple does not cover damage to laptops that are a result of being dropped.

    Sadly many times a damaged LCD will cost you upwards of 50% of the cost of a new MacBook but you do have options. If you can find a replacement LCD on ebay or at ifixit you may be able to do the repair yourself. This is assuming it is the LCD not the logic board. A logic board repair is much more complicated and will require a very expensive part and an Apple certified technician.

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    Image courtesy of Stock.Xchng.