One of my users brought in his daughter’s Powerbook this morning. It turned on and then the screen was just white. I listened to the hard drive, and it sounded fine, no popping or clicking. I got out one of our random floating laptops and used firewire to connect the Powerbook. The drive showed up right away. I was able to copy all the data to an external drive that my user brought in.
They had already taken it to the Apple store and the geniuses had told them it was a lost cause. After I got the data off, I ran it through Disk Utility a couple times. It repaired a few things. I then tried to boot it off a CD. It sounded like it was running off the disc, but it was still showing a white screen. On a hunch, I plugged it into my external display, and lo, there was everything.
I’ve seen it a couple times before. The video connector between the logic board and the internal laptop display can get frayed or disconnected. However, the video port for a monitor or projector still displays. Perfectly good computer still, just not much of a laptop anymore!
Bad Apple geniuses. Did you even try?